Lahore – Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Sunday that his party maintained its stance on establishing the new province of South Punjab, adding that the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government took practical steps on the issue of new provinces by tabling resolutions on the subject.
Talking to the office bearers of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists and members of its executive council, he said, “The PML-N government increased development budget of South Punjab to 42 per cent which is much higher than the ratio of the population. Transparent elections are not possible without providing a level playing field. Pakistan can be put on the path to development through transparent elections.”
Answering a question asked by a journalist, CM Shehbaz asserted that Nawaz Sharif was the PML-N supremo and will retain the title in future. He maintained that there were no differences in the party. “Difference of opinion may exist in a democratic party and it is a positive matter and it improves affairs,” he argued.
CM Shehbaz said he was working day and night for development and progress in the country. On his health, he said, “I did not care about my health and ignore warnings of my personal physician. Due to old medical history, I am forced to take medical opinion from UK-based doctors.” Talking about the health facilities in the province, he said struggles were being made to make state-of-the-art government hospitals, adding that to provide medical facilities in remote areas, a medical unit of 54 motorbikes was established.
He asked the media persons to “visit hospitals of Layyah and Bhakkar as they seem to be hospitals of Europe,” highlighting, “Filter clinics have been setup for treatment and prevention of hepatitis. For the treatment of kidney and liver, PKLI hospital has been established in Lahore and in this national institution operation of transplantation will also be carried out. Every human effort has been made to serve the public.”
On the political rivals, he said Imran Khan had a habit of fabricating stories. The chief minister said a fraud of 70 billion rupees had been averted in the clean drinking water project and the case was sent to the anti-corruption department along with the registration of FIR. “Where was NAB at that time? I feel pain because clean drinking water has not been provided so far to every household in Punjab. Every corrupt person and looter of the national resources should be taken to the task. The services of PML-N government have become part of the history and our services will be written in the history in golden words,” he stated.
He said load-shedding had badly damaged the national economy and the business activity in Punjab during 2013. “Former premier Nawaz Sharif approved energy projects on my advice despite the opposition of the cabinet. By the grace of Allah Almighty we have been successful in overcoming energy crisis,” he claimed.
Shehbaz Sharif added that a fourth energy power plant had been installed in Punjab from its own resources that would start production by this year. Answering a question, the chief minister said two power plants of 300 megawatts each had not become functional in Karachi so far due to the bad intentions of their ruling elite. He reasoned, “I have raised objections in this regard in the meeting of the Council of National Interest but PPP government has not paid any attention to it. With support of Chinese investors, Sahiwal project has been completed before the deadline to overcome load shedding.”
Talking about CPEC, he said it was a unique gift. “To overcome the damage caused by sit-in and politics of overthrowing government, efforts are being made day and night to complete development projects. A solar power plant is being installed in Punjab and wind power project in Jhang.”
He said power projects of 5000 MW had been set up in Punjab with the investment of billions of rupees, stressing that electricity generated by Punjab would be provided to the whole country. The chief minister said he was very upset to see the situation in Karachi during his yesterday visit. He said, “We used to visit Karachi in 60s and I had deep love for Karachi which is still a lively city. Karachi has become a huge heap of garbage and broken roads where there is no drinking water. When I visited Peshawar and I had imagined that there would have been billions of trees, power production units, and the people would be benefiting the metro service, but I did not find anything like this.”
The PML-N president said the dream of development and progress in the country would remain incomplete without fair, strict and accountability. He said only those nations move forward where individuals and institutions work jointly, explaining that with unity and harmony Pakistan would progress like Japan and Singapore.