Elimination of terrorism, good ties with neighbours crucial to development: PM

* Nawaz says his visit to India was positive; things should move forward in a better way * No threat to country’s defence g Stresses progress on economic front

LAHORE: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Wednesday said ensuring durable peace with eradication of terrorism and extremism in the country and good relations with neighbours were imperative for progress and prosperity.
Dream of progress and development could only be materialised by eradicating terrorism and extremism, and maintaining durable peace, besides good relations with neighbours, the prime minister told a Yaum-e-Takbeer ceremony held to commemorate the 16th anniversary of Pakistan’s nuclear tests in Chaghai.
He said his visit to India was positive and added that things should move forward in a better way.
He said the country should become a citadel of peace.
Referring to the nuclear capability of the country, the prime minister expressed satisfaction over self-reliance in defence and stressed for making progress on economic front which was need of the hour.
Nawaz regretted that despite being a nuclear state, the country was still faced with ignorance, darkness, poverty, illiteracy, lawlessness and load shedding due to poor policies of previous regimes. The government, he said, was working restlessly to overcome load shedding and memoranda of understanding signed with China to set up power generation units during the last one year bore testimony to its seriousness in this regard.
The prime minister said his government, during its first year in power, launched dozens of electricity generating projects of about 6,000 MW. “My government plans to fulfil the country’s energy needs for the next two decades, rather than overcoming the current shortage, bridging demand and supply gap and meeting present financial needs,” he added.
He said China was a reliable friend and it had assisted Pakistan in this hour of need by launching various power projects. Ten coal-power plants of total 6,600 MW capacity were being set up at Gaddani and two at Port Qasim while four would be launched in the Punjab, he added.
He said one power generation plant cost Rs 100 billion and all the projects had been launched with the assistance of China.
Nawaz Sharif said the machinery imported for the Nandipur power plant had rusted at the Karachi Port during the previous regime, while the nation was suffering from the energy crisis.
He said the power would be generated from coal resources of Thar, which have the capacity for 50,000-100,000 MW.

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