GILGIT: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will bring prosperity to the region and help end extremism and terrorism.

He was addressing the groundbreaking ceremony of the 820-km-long fibre optic link between Khunjerab and Rawalpindi in Gilgit. The $44-million Pakistan-China Optical Fiber Cable will be laid in two years by the Special Communication Organization (SCO). The project is part of the Gwadar-to-Kashgar CPEC project that will also pass through Gilgit-Baltistan (GB).

PM Nawaz said the project would be a milestone for information technology in the country, and called for extending its linkages to other CPEC areas. The project will also ensure high quality of 3G and 4G services in GB,î he boasted. He said the world had transformed over the years and now knowledge-based economy was the buzzword. He urged the youth, particularly of GB, to get ready for the challenges ahead and strive for excellence. He said the objective of his government was to bring economic stability to the country, end poverty and generate employment. Never in the past such huge projects had been launched.î he claimed. He announced establishment of a technical training institute with Rs100 million in seed money while granting Rs200 million for the development of Karakoram International University.

Earlier, the premier also inaugurated the CPEC patrol police headquarters in GB for which China has donated the vehicles. The patrolling force comprising 300 personnel and 25 vehicles, and will help ensure safe and smooth flow of traffic on the 439-kilometer chunk of the CPEC project within GB.

At the ceremony, PM Nawaz said the construction of roads was vital for the development of the country. Ii know there are people who are against my plans to construct roads,î he said, apparently taking a jibe at the PTI chairman. But when we construct motorways, it is them who travel the most.î

The fiber optic project was first envisioned during visit of Chinese President Hu Jintaoís visit to Islamabad in 2006 and an agreement was inked in 2007. It is the first IT- and telecoms-related project under the CPEC and would also be the first land-based interconnection between the two friendly neighbors. Starting from Khunjerab, the optical fiber will pass through Karimabad, Gilgit, Chilas, Naran, Mansehra, Hassanabadal and culminate in Rawalpindi. Plans are afoot for network extension to Gwadar and Karachi for complete end-to-end international connectivity along the CPEC route. The optical fiber would help establish alternate international connectivity for both the countries to address prolonged communication outages due to disruptions in submarine cables.


CHITRAL: Member of the Provincial Assembly (MPA) from upper Chitral, Syed Sardar Hussain, said the KP government should launch an investigation against the district health officer (DHO), Dr Israr Ullah, for irregularities in the recent recruitments in the department.

In a press statement, the MPA said he had no hand in the appointments made i the health department on May 9, and if any worker or activist of his party, the PPP, was involved in the irregularities their names should be made public.

It may be noted that the DHO has been accused of appointing 29 class-IV employees by violating rules and regulations. It has been alleged that the DHO advertised only six posts but inducted 29 people in the department through the backdoor.

The MPA said he had already sent a letter to the chief secretary KP against the alleged corruption and irregularities made by the DHO Chitral. He expressed the hope that the PTI government would take action against the corrupt official.

He also demanded that the government should immediately remove the DHO and conduct an impartial investigation into the allegations so that the culprits could be taken to task and the deserving candidates get their rights.


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