Posted by: Administrator | 12 January, 2008

President at Lowari Rail Tunnel Inauguration

Lowari Rail Tunnel Inauguration

9 July 2006, Chitral  Pix02-01.jpg image by kt10208

Governor NWFP Orakzai, Chief Minister Durani, Federal Minister, Commander 11 Corps, General Hamid, Minister, ladies and gentlemen

It is indeed a great pleasure and unique privilege for me to talk on the important occasion of earth breaking of the Lawari tunnel. It is my pleasure to be here because I know this project is ultimate desire of the people of Chitral. I am extremely grateful to the minister for carrying out my instructions, inaugurating and making it possible that I am here for this earth breaking ceremony.

I would like to say no one should get political get advantage from this project. This project is for the public of Chitral and this is my project. No one has pressurised me. Previous government have been making all kinds of promises for development in this region. It seems that firstly they did not have the will to do this task and secondly they did not have the resources. They made false promises because they did not have recourses so they used to come and make false promises of developmental projects but actually they did not have resources. I will not go into the detail of economic revival of Pakistan but will give an example to prove the lack of economic resources with previous governments. The allocation of fund for PSDP (Public Sector Development Project) between 1988 and 1999, for was around 70-80 billion rupees (1.1 or 1.2 billion$).Today by the grace of Allah because of the economic revival of Pakistan, the PSDP is Rs.415 billion .This is four hundred percent increase PSDP.

We have all the resources to complete the Lowari Tunnel project and I mean every word of it. The resources will be made available for this project. If you people want we can make it in two years and the resources will be available. We will not have a delay in this project and this is because of strength of economy of Pakistan. These are not just slogans but a reality. This project which the people of Chitral wanted and it is for their fulfilment. This project will bring the prosperity to the people of Chitral. There will be increased human interaction and this project will end many troubles faced previously by the residents of Chitral. It will lead to a tremendous amount of economic activity. I know that there are precious stones and tremendous quantity of marble in Chitral. We cannot explore the marble resources without this tunnel. It will add to the marble resources of the country especially in all the tribal agencies of the frontier province. These mountains are loaded with marble. We have decided to explore all these resources and we have taken much big a lead forward. For this we have combined the public and private sector and we have decided to open an organisation in public-private sector namely Pakistan Stone Development Corporation. Its a public-private combination under the ministry of industry but the person who will run it belongs to the FATA and he is already involved in the business of marble so we have decided to open cluster of a number of queries mines in Sindh, in FATA and also in Chitral. They will have modern facilities of mining, cutting and polishing. These clusters will have all the equipment available for the people who

want to join this business. Not only that we will have the model query in that cluster, run by through the government equipped with all the machinery.

Today 70% of our rocks are wasted in mining. Because we use obsolete methods of explosives. We will cut down this waste. The people of this are will not only get jobs but they will earn much more from the natural resources that they have.

Every nation’s development depends a lot on the communication infrastructure. The basic and prerequisite of the development is an effective communication infrastructure with the rest of the world and internally. We are moving in this direction in the strongest possible manner. First of all communication infrastructure involves ports. We are choked with only Karachi. We have now opened the Gawadar port. This port has tremendous future potential. We will give this port to the best port operators of the world. We will expand it when we open it in a most modern manner. Then we look at the rail and road infrastructure of Pakistan. We are taking it into multiple dimensions. We take it from the two south ports up north, linking into Iran, through main roads and railway lines of Pakistan and to Afghanistan through Kandhar, and through northern areas to China.

This is the future of communication network that we are developing in Pakistan. I don’t want to go in details. We would like to have a rail link, going to Northern Areas into China. While this is the internal communication network, its external linkages are with china, Central Asian Republics, Afghanistan and China. We lie at the centre of all land lock countries who wants to trade with the world. Pakistan provides the linkages within the region and out side the region. Only Pakistan can facilitate these linkages. And we are very conscious of that. And inshAllah, the communication infrastructure will be developed in Pakistan. And the linkages with the sub region of this area. whether it is Central Asia, Afghanistan, china even to our East, India with peace returning to this region, the linkages provided by Pakistan and that is the future and again if we see it at the domestic level, this Lowari tunnel coming to Chitral, we are looking at the road link from this area from Chitral linking through Afghanistan into Tajikistan. If that happens, this will be another link of Central Asian Republics through Afghanistan through this narrow strip of Afghanistan to Chitral down to Pakistan. So the future of Chitral depends so much on Lawari tunnel and insha-Allah in the future we would like to make it into road tunnel. Let me say that resources are not less. Pakistan can easily afford this project and it’s just a matter of priority. Where we want to lay the priorities and where we want to plug-in the money. Because so much has to be done so at the moment we thought that because of the traffic that is today running on this route it is adequate with that we have this tunnel. Now if the traffic increases we will shift the priority and will give priority to this project of Lawari tunnel, the road tunnel. We will be able to do it in coming years because as I said about PSDP allocation having increased by 400% that is because of our revenue generation has increased from Rs.304 Billion in 1999- 2000 to Rs.700 billion and it is going to cross1trillion rupees in 2007 inshAllah. When it crosses 1trillion rupees what is our problem to give Rs.25B to this Lawari tunnel. There is no problem what so ever, so money is not the problem, priorities are the problem. And at the moment we think that priorities are enough for the rail tunnel and not the road tunnel. But we will make the road tunnel inshAllah in future. Ladies and gentle man in conclusion I would like to congratulate NHA Chairman and the minister for working so well to start the project and especially our foreign friends who have come here to this remote place left their homes and hearts, to participate in the development of Pakistan. I salute you and I thank you. I only wish and pray that the people of this area understand what we are doing for them. And they welcome you and they show their hospitality to you in this area. Because you come here to do something for them.

Thank you very much. I would like to congratulate the people of Chitral. It is for them that this project is coming in. I would like to congratulate them from the bottom of my heart i had committed to them that we will get this tunnel through inshAllah. And I congratulate every individual of Chitral. Many of them are here, Prince Mohi-ud-din is here he knows it. I would like to congratulate Chitral’s people. I would like to wish and hope that the constructors, NHA and everyone will stick to the mission and if possible complete it in the reduced time. We will support through funding which will be available all time. Thank you very much Ladies and gentle men for being here it’s been my honour. Pakistan Paenda bad. Thank you.

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Responses

  1. […] Lowari Tunnel: A project worth Rs.8 billion, started in 2005 and inaugurated by General Musharraf in 2006. A 9 km long, 7.5 metre wide tunnel being built by a Korean firm, which would be the […]


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