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MALAKAND: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday visited the Swat Motorway and inaugurated three tunnels that will significantly reduce the travel time. He unveiled the plaque on the occasion to mark the inauguration and also inspected the completed tunnels.

Federal Minister for Communications Murad Saeed accompanied the prime minister.

On his arrival at Zalam Kot, Malakand, the prime minister was received by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa chief minister Mahmood Khan and Director-General of Frontier Works Organization Major-General Kamal Azfar.

Briefing the prime minister, the FWO DG said the 80-km-long Swat Motorway had seven interchanges and three tunnels with a length of 1266, 271 and 324 meters.

He presented a 3-D model of the Swat Motorway to the prime minister.

The prime minister said the government was focusing on mega-development projects to generate economic and financial resources.

In addition to two mega-projects of Bhasha and Mohmand dams to meet energy needs, Ravi City was also being constructed in Lahore to increase revenue and promote economic activities, he added.

Priority, he said, was being given to the construction industry keeping in view its enormous potential to generate employment opportunities, besides providing low-cost housing to the poor, the labourers, the farmers and the have-nots.

Thirty industries would be directly benefited from the promotion of construction industry in Pakistan, he added.

Following the construction of the Chashma Right Bank Canal (CRBC), he said over 300,000 acres of land would be irrigated in DI Khan and its adjoining districts that would bring about a green revolution in the southern districts of the KP. He said the area on the right bank of the River Indus was the most suitable option for olive plantation, and substantial revenue could be generated by promoting its cultivation besides saving the hefty revenue that was being spent on edible oil’s import. The prime minister also hinted at announcing a new policy soon for further promotion of the agriculture sector in the country. Imran Khan said promotion of tourism in the country was the cornerstone of the PTI government's policy, and domestic tourism had now taken off, especially in the KP.

He said Malaysia was earning about $20 billion, Turkey $40 billion and Switzerland from $60 billion to $80 billion from tourism, and Pakistan's northern areas, including Gilgit Baltistan and KP, have more land than Switzerland, where skill sports could be developed to generate substantial revenue for the national kitty.

Malaysia, he said, had achieved remarkable success by promoting cottage and other industries due to the prudent leadership of its prime minister, Dr Mahathir Mohammad.

Earlier, the prime minister was briefed about the salient features of the newly-inaugurated block at Malakand University.

Upon his arrival, the prime minister was received by KP chief minister Mahmood Khan and the University of Malakand’s vice chancellor.

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