Lahore:Senior Political Editor of a leading German daily Der Tagesspiegel, Ingrid Muller met Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, here today. Provincial Secretary Information Mohyuddin Wani was also present on the occasion. The Chief Minister informed the German journalist about the public welfare projects and development priorities in the province as well as socio-economic situation in South Asia.
Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif said that Pakistan has been facing maladministration, corruption, shortage of resources and an absence of sagacious leadership during the recent years. In the background of 9/11 tragedy, he said that terrorism is the gravest challenge being faced by Pakistan which should be overcome immediately so that it could get rid of its basic problems. He said that more than 30 thousand Pakistanis have been martyred while a number of people have lost their near and dear ones in the incidents of terrorism. He said that it is a supreme sacrifice on the part of Pakistan, therefore, there should not be any doubt about its commitment to fight the monster of terrorism. He said that instead of giving dictation, world community should work with Pakistan to cope with this challenge. He said that in order to counter terrorism, all stakeholders will have to be taken into confidence and a comprehensive policy will have to be adopted for this purpose. He said that though it is a difficult task but not impossible. He said that innocent Pakistanis are killed in Drone attacks while they also lose their lives in incidents of terrorism so there is hardly any difference between the two. He asked what objectives are being achieved in the war on terror through the death of innocent people. He demanded that America should offer an apology on the killing of innocent Pakistanis and also stop Drone attacks. He said that Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran should maintain a close contact with each other in the interest of peace in the region. He further said that peace in Afghanistan will lead to tranquility in Pakistan, therefore, both the countries should cooperate towards this end.
Referring to the steps taken for the elimination of terrorism in Punjab, Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif said that besides training of police in professional matters on modern lines, its capacity is being further built through intelligence training so that it could combat terrorism in a more effective manner. He said that besides administrative measures, it is also necessary to provide jobs as well as affordable educational and health facilities to the masses close to their homes. He said that in addition to improving administrative efficiency, there is also a need to launch projects in socio-economic sector for raising the living standard of the common man. He said that though it will be a long struggle but it can definitely restore peace in the region.
The Chief Minister while informing the German journalist about measures taken in the province during the last four years, said that transport, solid waste management and other sectors are being improved with the assistance of Turkey for the benefit of the common man. He said that friendly relations with Turkey have been transformed into economic ties. He said that new roads and flyovers of international standard are being constructed in the province while air-conditioned public transport has also been introduced to facilitate the passengers. He said that these development targets have been achieved from the available resources. Referring to the energy crises, he said that payment of the circular debt of four hundred billion rupees will greatly help in overcoming this problem. He said that power theft and mismanagement is a different issue and energy production can be increased by two to three thousand megawatt through overcoming these problems. Similarly, he said, energy requirement of the country can be met through short and medium term projects of generation of power through hydel, coal, baggase and solar energy.