CPEC M-15 motorway improves law and order in remote KP district

By Khalid Aziz | Gwadar Pro Feb 21, 2022

ISLAMABAD, Feb 21, (Gwadar Pro)- The Hazara (M-15) Motorway of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has helped bring down the crime rate in Battagram district of KP province by creating the region a hub of tourism-related economic activities.

This was stated by District Police Officer Tariq Mehmood while talking to Gwadar Pro.

The district was once known for lawlessness with the local people frequently involving themselves in enmities and incidents of violence against their rivals, together with other crimes.

However, as M-15 has brought enormous economic opportunities, the local people are now more inclined to establish businesses in Battagram, instead of being involved in crimes, he said.

“I don’t claim that crimes have ended totally, but the rate at which the law and order situation is improving here is encouraging and it demonstrates the economic and social impacts of CPEC,” he said.

Battagram has become a starting point for the scenic northern parts of the country, as the historic Karakoram (N-35) Highway merges here into M-15, which leads onwards to Shangla district of KP and Gilgit-Baltistan.

The local people are setting up businesses in Battagram city, including shops, kiosks and hotels to serve the tourists, the police officer said. This has generated robust economic activity and diverted the people from crimes to businesses, he added.

Pakistan Peoples Party Battagram President Alhtar Javed also confirmed that M-15 had brought down crime rate in the area by triggering massive economic activities in the district. The prices of land have jumped, as people from other areas are also investing heavily in hotels and other facilities for tourists, he said.

After the construction of M-15, the northern areas of Pakistan have become accessible to the people of other parts of the country, who now flock to the region on festive occasions round the year. During Eid and other festive occasions, tourists spend around Rs6-7 billion in these areas per day, according to an estimate of the KP government.

Momin Khan, an expat worker in Islamabad from Battagram, said that he had to leave his native town due to enmity. The situation is now improving as people are undergoing a big social and economic change due to the M-15 motorway, he said.

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