PM performs groundbreaking of much-awaited Mohmand Dam

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MOHMAND: Prime Minister Imran Khan offering Dua after performing the Groundbreaking of Mohmand Dam Hydropower Project, in Mohmand Tribal District, Thursday. - PID photo

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday asserted that the country could not prosper unless the restoration of peace in the society.
While addressing the groundbreaking ceremony of the much-awaited Mohmand Dam at the project site on Swat River about five kilometers upstream of Munda Headworks in Mohmand district, the PM outlined significance of peace for investment in the country, and stated: “Investment is impossible unless peace is restored.” He considered it vital to eradicate unemployment and poverty.
The premier lashed out at political rivals and said those who were inflicting damage to the system were saying that they are saving democracy. “In 1960s, we [Pakistan] were far ahead of many other states in the world, however after that even countries in the subcontinent moved ahead of us,” he added.
He praised measures of development adopted by China, and said there is no example alike China as it has already prepared for the next 20 years. “China doesn’t think merely of elections,” he continued.
He said that China has about 5,000 dams as big as Tarbela and Mangla in Pakistan, and that there is a reason why China has been building so many dams. He maintained that China has decided to help Pakistan, and with the use of advanced technology and techniques, the dam could be built in less than five years of time.
He stated that we [the government] have to build five million houses in the country, and not one city but the entire state would be uplifted.
For Mohmand district, he said Rs4.5 billion has been allocated for the development of the region.
Regarding peace process in Afghanistan, he expressed Pakistan resolve to find a solution to that, and termed it vital for trade activities in Afghanistan. “I will fulfill a demand of opening the doors with Afghanistan,” he went on to say. “Besides, demands of 4G and [building of] education institutes will also be accepted.” He said that under the National Finance Commission (NFC) award, the provinces were to give a share to tribal districts.
Moreover, he paid rich tributes to former chief justice Saqib Nisar and armed forces of Pakistan for their remarkable services for the homeland. He praised Pakistan Army for rendering sacrifices for the restoration of peace in the state.
Earlier, PM Imran Khan, Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa and former chief justice Saqib Nisar on performed the groundbreaking of the dam.
Federal Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda, Defence Minister Pervez Khattak, Federal Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony Dr Noorul Haq Qadri, Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Shah Farman and Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, Senator Faisal Javed, MNA Sajid Khan, PTI leaders and WAPDA officials were also present on the occasion.
WAPDA Chairman Lt Gen (Retd) Muzamil Hussain and project director of the dam briefed the PM about salient features of the project.
Former chief justice Saqib Nisar also addressed the ceremony and expressed his gratitude to dwellers of the region for their generous contribution that a land has been allocated for the construction of the dam. He said many difficulties could be faced during the construction project, and one of them would be “transparency.”
Emphasising the significance of building dams, he said: “Water is our life.” “The Supreme Court hasn’t done a favour to any one [since it initiated the dam fund]. It has become a campaign and a movement,” he said. “I am hopeful, because of the manner in which you worked and the resolve with which the chairman of WAPDA has worked, that the dam will be completed within the stipulated time and budget,” he asserted. He also thanked immigrants for contributing to the fund.
Earlier, Federal Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda addressed the ceremony, while thanking the premier for instilling confidence in him and his team, and criticised previous politicians by stating that schools, hospitals, jobs and dams were not built and created as they were busy in playing politics.
He also expressed his gratitude to the army chief and the Water and Power Development Authority chairman for their contribution in the project. He outlined that the real threat to the state is from within, and not from powers outside. He stated that he had tried to pursue theKalabagh Dam project, but was unsuccessful.
Regarding accountability of corrupt elements, he maintained that the process would not be halted under any circumstances. “We have not only started the preliminary works, but for the first time have received a Rs18 billion straight discount,” he said, addressing the premier.
“We have created 27,000-28,000 jobs in the Mohmand and Diamer-Bhasha dam projects,” Vawda said, adding that “for the first time, a minister (Vawda) will from his own pocket, his friends’ pockets and with the help of Pakistanis announce 200-400 businesses and jobs in his own constituency in Karachi” before the 10th fast of Ramazan, in line with the prime minister’s vision for poverty alleviation.
Earlier in March, the WAPDA had awarded the contract for civil and electro-mechanical construction works at the Mohmand Dam Project to a joint venture between China Gezhouba Group of Companies (CGGC) and Descon Pakistan. “Wapda has successfully realigned the project after a delay of decades, removing the legal, financial and technical snags.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Thursday said that the provision of National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO) to the corrupt elements will be tantamount to committing treason.
PM Khan said that such elements were actually seeking another National Reconciliation Ordinance (NRO). He clarified, “I am saying this again that I will commit treason with my nation if I provide them NRO.” The premier said that he would not provide any relaxation to the corrupt elements at any cost.
PM Khan, while initiating his address to the groundbreaking ceremony of Mohmand Dam, expressed thanks to the former chief justice of Pakistan Justice (Retd) Mian Saqib Nisar. He said, “I’m grateful to ex-CJP Saqib Nisar for his struggle to construct dam.”
He also praised Pakistan army forces for playing a vital role to eliminate terrorism from the tribal belt.
The groundbreaking ceremony for Mohmand Dam was performed by Prime Minister Imran Khan and former chief justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar. The event was also attended by Chief of Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa and other high-level officials.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan earlier attended a sports festival organised under the auspices of the Pakistan Army in Tirah valley in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).
KP Governor Shah Farman and Chief Minister Mahmood Khan were also present in the event.
Meanwhile, senior officials of the district administration, tribal elders, political and social activists, and youths were present in the festival.
The event remarks restoration of peace in the region following the merger of Fata into KP as the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI)-led federal government aims to promote sports, education and health services in tribal areas.
The competitions in eight games were organised and tribal people, including students of various schools on the occasion, presented patriotic songs.
A traditional dance by a group of tribesmen, showcasing local traditional dress, was the highlight of the event. A special tribute was paid in honour of Pakistan Army for rendering sacrifices for the motherland.
A large number of valley dwellers participated in the event as the audience enjoyed different types of items presented in the festival. – NNI