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Nawaz Sharif welcomed cricket team to PM House

05 July, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday welcomed the Pakistan cricket team to the Prime Minister’s House at a ceremony hosted in the honour of the team for winning the Champions Trophy after defeating arch rival India last month.

Addressing the participants, the prime minister recounted how he used to play cricket in his younger days. The participants broke out in laughter when Nawaz Sharif said even Panama Papers and the JIT couldn’t give him the pain he had to endure when he and his teammates were forced out of a cricket ground in his college days.

The prime minister said he couldn’t recall how many sixes he had hit in the past, but he was sure he struck more boundaries. He said he always disliked the bouncers.

“We are conquerors of every ground. Don’t beg any team for a visit if they are not willing to come,” he said.

Expressing pleasure over Pakistan cricket team’s marvels during the ICC Champions Trophy, the prime minister said due to the policies of PML-N government Pakistan now enjoyed the status of a fast developing country among the comity of nations.

He said when the PML-N came to power in 2013, the country was at the brink of default, with power shortage and terrorism plaguing the people.

But Pakistan embarked upon a journey of progress and prosperity with several development initiatives taken by his government, boosting its power, energy and infrastructure sectors, he added.

The prime minister said the power sector was now witnessing an unprecedented boom with the establishment of new power plants. Similarly, a vast network of roads and motorways was being laid, he said, mentioning the Lahore to Karachi motorway and six-lane Hyderabad-Sukkar-Multan-Lahore motorway.

He said Gwadar and Khunjrab were also being linked through roads at a cost of about 1,000 billion rupees. The country’s growth rate was on the surge, which would soon touch the mark of 6 per cent, he added.

The prime minister said the backbone of terrorists had been broken and informed the gathering that he was told by the Azad Kashmir prime minister and the Gilgit-Baltistan chief minister about the influx of visitors thronging the scenic valleys.

He said huge number of visitors were visiting Neelum and Leepa valleys and the Khunjrab Pass. He said such prospects were also infusing new spirit into sports activities in the country.

The prime minister said Pakistan had its self-respect and advised Najam Sethi not to beg any foreign team to come and play here. Expressing his confidence, he said time was not far off when all the international cricket teams would line up to play with Pakistan team at its homeland.

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