By Shabbir Mir
GILGIT: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leadership in Gilgit-Baltistan has called the development schemes announced by the prime minister an attempt to woo voters before the legislative assembly elections in June.
Speaking at a news conference at Gilgit Press Club on Wednesday, senior PTI leader Izhar Hunzai said the announcement is a form of political maneuvering to ensure the prime minister’s party comes into power in the region. “The Diamer-Bhasha Dam and Hanizal projects have been promised to us time and again,” said Hunzai. “They have also been approved by the Executive Committee of National Economic Council (ECNEC).”
Hunzai also drew attention to a series of issues where the interests of the people of G-B had been overlooked. He voiced reservations over the lack of G-B’s representation in the planning cell working on the Pak-China economic corridor.
Speaking at the conference, Hashmatullah, another PTI leader, said the prime minister had made the announcement to attract voters towards the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.
“Nawaz’s speech was like old wine in a new bottle,” he said. “He merely chose to announce the projects rather than give a formal approval or allocate funds.”
War of words
The PTI leader also raised objections over the prime minister’s scathing remarks against party chief Imran Khan. “Such remarks reflect Nawaz’s weaknesses as a leader and his insecurities about PTI,” added Hashmatullah.
During his visit to Gilgit on Tuesday, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had announced a number of development projects for the region. These schemes included construction of a cardiac hospital, a university and the completion of the Diamer-Bhasha Dam project. A series of power projects were also announced.
During his speech, the prime minister had vehemently criticised PTI for engaging in “container politics” to deceive the masses.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 16th, 2015.