PM Imran Khan to inaugurate int’l airport, 146km highway in Skardu

PML-N GB leaders inaugurate Gilgit-Skardu road day before PM Imran's visit; Premier expected to announce update on granting provisional provincial status to GB

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan on Thursday will visit Skardu to inaugurate the Skardu International Airport, the 164-kilometers Juglot-Skardu highway, and a few other projects in the area.

Both the mega projects, initiated during the previous government’s tenure, have been completed by the incumbent government.

Similar to asserting that the Karachi Green Line Bus was completed due to the PTI government’s work, while inaugurating the project on Wednesday, the party is also maintaining that the projects in Skardu are the fruit of the incumbent government’s efforts.

On the other hand, in a bid to remind the public about PML-N’s initiation of the projects, former GB chief minister Hafeezur Rehman along with dozens of other party leaders held a symbolic inauguration of the road at Alambridge near Gilgit on Wednesday.

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They had visited the road site for a symbolic inauguration — a day before Prime Minister Imran Khan is scheduled to inaugurate the strategically important road. 

The PML-N had awarded a tender of over Rs32 billion for the improvement, upgradation and widening of Juglot-Skardu Road in 2017. 

According to PTI leaders in GB, work on the mag project was commenced on June 29, 2017. They said that although PC-I of the project was approved on December 9, 2010, its revised PC-I was later approved on October 7, 2017 with at revised cost of Rs32.325 billion.

Apart from the road project, the premier will also inaugurate the recently completed Skardu International Airport. Two airlines including an international one have already been given licenses for operating flights from and to this airport.

During his visit to the city, the premier will also address a public gathering at the Municipal Stadium Skardu for which, insiders said, every lawmaker of the party and ministers have been tasked to gather party workers, supporters and the general public.

In this regard, the GB chief minister, governor and other ministers, who are already in the city, are holding corner meetings to invite people to the stadium to welcome the premier.

According to senior minister Raja Zakariya, the premier may announce tabling a constitutional amendment bill in the national assembly (NA) for granting provisional provincial status to GB during his address to the residents of Baltistan, a long standing demand of GB.

However the ruling needs a two-third majority to pass in parliament as a constitutional amendment. 



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Ghulam Abbas
The writer is a member of the staff at the Islamabad Bureau. He can be reached at [email protected]



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