Lahore, January 18, 2017 (PPI-OT):Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif has said that Pakistan is consisted of four provinces, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan and 200 million people living here have strong bonds of brotherhood and fraternity between them. He said the country will make progress when all of its federating units will make development together. He said Balochistan is the largest province of the country and a smallest province in terms of population, but less population should not hinder development and progress at any cost.
He said the federal government is responsible for fulfilling educational, transport and other facilities in Balochistan and the PML-N government under the leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is discharging all these responsibilities. He said in the past lofty claims of progress in Balochistan were made, but justice was not done with Balochistan due to multiple reasons, but the current federal government is making all-out efforts for development and progress in Balochistan and work is in progress on mega projects in Balochistan.
He said the federal government provided land for the Gwadar seaport from its own resources; however, China is working on this vital project under the CPEC. He said Balochistan has internal problems of governance that is the responsibility of the provincial government and Chief Minister Sanaullah Zehri is making efforts to resolve this issue. He said CPEC is the great project for the whole country, but Balochistan will be benefited more from this project than any other province. He said under the CPEC China is making investment of 52 billion dollars and with this huge funding projects have been undertaken in all parts of Pakistan including Balochistan.
Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif said apart from projects in power, transport and transmission sectors, a 300MW power project will be set up in Gwadar and an industrial estate and it will be connected with Kashgar. He said the CPEC will transform lives of residents of Balochistan because China will carry out imports and exports from this seaport. He said nobody can disagree with those who say we should focus on self-reliance instead of talking about CPEC, but why had these people become silent spectators when other countries used to give small chunks of aid attached with heavy conditions.
He said there is no political, social, economical or geological condition attached with the CPEC because this mega project is evidence of sincere and unconditional love of the people and leadership of China. He said the foundation of CPEC has been laid and this project will continue growing till centuries and it will change the fate of Balochistan. He said Balochistan is the land of huge natural resources of Saindak and Reko Diq, and unfortunately, Reko Diq is victim of legal complications. He said he believes that our survival depends on the existence of Pakistan and we will make joint effort for development and progress in the country.
Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed these views while talking to a delegation of teachers and students from the Jamiat-ul-Hasnat Inter College, Quetta and other institutions of Balochistan. He distributed laptops girl students and teachers and announced sending 10 students from Gwadar to China to learn Chinese language. About increasing quota of students from Balochistan in educational institutions of Punjab, Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif said Punjab government is available for this service, but increasing quota is no solution because the provincial government of Balochistan should take initiatives to provide best education facilities in remote areas.
He said Punjab had sacrificed its share in the NFC award in 2010 to meet needs of Balochistan and gave Rs11 billion annually from its share and until now Punjab has provided Rs66 billion under this head. He said the NFC Award 2010 was the greatest achievement of federal and four provincial governments and this historic agreement was reached in Lahore and was later signed in Gwadar. He said under the award decided with the approval of federal and provincial, resources for Balochistan increased by 100 percent and Punjab then sacrificed its share for the approval of this award.
He said the Punjab assembly while supporting the NFC award then unanimously said this vital decision will strengthen sentiments of unity, brotherhood and fraternity in the people of Balochistan and their legitimate complaints will be redressed. He said the provincial government of Balochistan is responsible for using these resources for the development and prosperity of the people of the province. He said Pakistan had faced big disaster during the last 70 years, and Balochistan has deprivations but they have also been blown out of proportion.
He said we should all think about these matters and all of us should share pleasures and pains and live together. He said he is happy that a meeting of the CPEC Joint Coordination Committee has decided to include metro mass transit projects in Quetta, Peshawar and Karachi. He said it was objected that Lahore Orange Line Metro Train Project is part of CPEC however, it loan will be paid by Punjab government and not federation.
He said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor is a great gift by Chinese leadership, government and people for Pakistan which will change the destiny of the nation and the country. The Chief Minister said that Punjab government has also included girl and boy students of all the units of Pakistan in its educational programme. He said that quota of Baloch students has been increased twice in educational institutions of Punjab. He said that Punjab Educational Endowment Fund, which has become the biggest fund of south Asia, also includes students of all the units of Pakistan including Baluchistan.
He said that those acquiring education through this fund are playing their active role in construction and development of the country and 1.75 lakh resourceless talented students are studying in educational institutions through this educational fund. He said that talented students of all the provinces are included in the programmes of sending position holder students on study tours to foreign countries and distribution of laptops. Replying to the questions of the students, Shehbaz Sharif said that corruption is the main hindrance in the development of Pakistan and also the main cause of depriving the children of education as well as people of treatment facilities.
He said that there is no corruption free society in the world. He said that corruption is a cancer and during 70 years, corrupt rules have looted national resources of billions of rupees ruthlessly. He said that dacoities of billions of rupees were committed during marshal law and civilian governments and the pocket of the poor nation has been picked mercilessly. He said that although all are not dishonest but despite it, cancer of corruption has shaken the foundations of the country. He said corrupt rulers committed dacoities on the pockets of the poor nation and looted national resources of billions of rupees.
The country has reached at this stage only due to the corruption of politicians, bureaucrats, institutions or persons associated with the development of the country. Corruption is rampant in the country for the last 70 years, he added. The Chief Minister said that so-called pious people, who deliver lectures regarding corruption, have got written off loans of billions of rupees on political grounds. Such people have vehicles, luxurious palaces, offshore companies and factories but despite it, these elements have got written off loans which is intolerable, he added.
He said that solid steps have been taken for the eradication of corruption under the leadership of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and our indicators regarding elimination of corruption have improved during the last three years and international institutions are its witness. He said that Transparency International of Germany has also appreciated the measures of the present government taken for elimination of corruption.
He said that each and every step of present government is moving towards a corruption free society and zero tolerance policy against corruption has been adopted in Punjab. He said that some corrupt officers have been arrested and sent to jail while officers have been suspended on inefficiency, negligence and non-professional attitude in another important project. Although corruption was not committed in this project but there was a chance of corruption if action was not taken in this regard.
He said that entire nation has to play its role for the elimination corruption especially it is duty of elites to play their role in this regard. He said that the elite including politicians, judges, generals, big industrialists, bureaucrats and traders did not fulfill their responsibilities. They also did not come up to the expectations of the people, he added. Replying to another question, the Chief Minister said that Balochistan is rich in minerals but Balochistan government will have to enhance its capacity for benefitting from them and due to this, Balochistan will make rapid progress and prosperity.
In reply to a question, Shehbaz Sharif said that undoubtedly sui gas is present in Balochistan and it should be used for the progress and prosperity of people of Balochistan. However, federal government has executed a number of projects successfully for the development of Balochistan and work is continuing on different projects. Answering a question with regard to unavailability of clean water in Gwadar, the Chief Minister said that work is being carried out on CPEC projects and when Chinese experts will work on this project in Gwadar then a plant of potable water will also be set up in the area and clean drinking water will be provided to the people.
Replying to another question, Shehbaz Sharif said that we as a nation are not habitual of working hard and consider foreign aid as a source of development. He said that no nation progress through begging and aid. Only those nations achieve their goal as move forward, relying on their own resources, he added. The elite of Pakistan did not come up to the expectations of the people and marshal law and political governments did not spent resources on the development of the masses but instead committed loot and plunder.
He said that there is a heavy stone in the way of development of Pakistan which has to be removed jointly. Replying to another question, the Chief Minister said that a delegation of 200 girl and boy students has been sent to China for learning Chinese language which also included students of other provinces. He said that ten girls and boys will also be sent from Gwadar to China in this regard. He said that language plays the role of bridge and in order to benefit from CPEC projects, it is compulsory for Pakistani youth to learn Chinese language.
In reply to another question, Shehbaz Sharif said that self-employment scheme has been launched for empowering youth under which interest free loans of billions of rupees have been provided to the youth of the province. Youth of Balochistan can also benefit from this scheme of Punjab government, he added. Answering another question, the Chief Minister said that we all have to jointly make Pakistan a strong country.
He said that Pakistan cannot progress only through slogans or speeches rather we all have to move forward by following the golden principles of hard work and honesty. Provincial Minister for Higher Education Syed Raza Ali Gillani, Members Provincial Assembly, teachers, educationists and senior officials of the government were also present on the occasion.
For more information, contact:
Directorate General Public Relations, Punjab (DGPR)
Government of the Punjab
21-Mahmood Gaznavi Road (Abbot Road), Lahore, Pakistan