HOSHAB: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was on Wednesday taken on a drive on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) route by Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif. Prime Minister Nawaz inaugurated the Gwadar-Hoshab M8 motorway by driving on the newly constructed road that links the Gwadar Port to Quetta. He took a test drive on the road on a military jeep driven by General Raheel Sharif. Frontier Works Organisation Director General Major General Mohammad Afzal also accompanied them, as the trio drove on a patch of the new metalled road. The prime minister noted the quality of the road and was appreciative, as it was of international standard. The FWO constructed the 193-km-long road through a difficult terrain in a record period of 19 months. The highway would connect the western, central and eastern routes of CPEC with the Gwadar Port. Prime Minister Nawaz said his government accords top priority to development in Balochistan and said the construction of the road was a dream come true. He said that Pakistan’s prosperity was in the prosperity of Balochistan. The prime minister said the completion of the M8 reflects his government’s vision of a bright and prosperous Balochistan and a well connected region. He said the government was not only focussing on construction of roads alone, but was giving equal attention to other sectors that would usher in an era of prosperity in the country. Nawaz said the Central Asian Republics were keen to use the elaborate network of roads in Pakistan to reach to the open seas. He said the road linkage would not only benefit Pakistan alone, but also around three billion people of the entire region. He said his government does not believe in mere rhetoric and was focussing on real development for a lasting impact. The prime minister announced initiation of work on the Quetta-Khuzdar dualisation project, Basima-Khuzdar-Shahdadkot road and Bella-Awaran-Hoshab highway. He said the four-lane roads can later be expanded to six lanes to cater to growing traffic.