Lahore: Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif today visited the Mazar of poet-philosopher Allama Muhammad Iqbal at his birth anniversary and laid a wreath as well offered Fateha. The Chief Minister also prayed for the solidarity, progress and prosperity of the country. He also recorded his impressions regarding the national services of Allama Iqbal in the visitors’ book. Special Assistant Khawaja Salman Rafique, Commissioner Lahore Division, District Coordination Officer Lahore and other senior officers were present on the occasion.
Talking to mediamen, the Chief Minister said that Allama Iqbal through his poetry awakened Muslims of the subcontinent and gave the idea of a separate homeland which was translated into reality under the dynamic leadership of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah. He said that Pakistan is passing through a critical phase and it is a collective responsibility that message and ideas of Allama Iqbal are spread to every nook and corner of the country as the need of national unity and solidarity is more than ever now. He said that unfortunately serious and solid steps have not been taken during the last 65 years for the solution of the problems of the country and that is why Pakistan is lagging far behind developed countries in the journey towards progress and prosperity. He said that it is his firm faith that Pakistani nation can solve its problems itself without looking towards anyone else but for that an honest, capable and committed leadership is required which can work round the clock for achieving the targets of national development. The Chief Minister further said that though the time is passing very quickly but if decisions are made only in view of national interest, setting aside personal considerations, no power on earth can stop the process of building that Pakistan which was envisioned by Allama Iqbal and Quaid-e-Azam. However, he said, at present Pakistan of the rich is different from that of the poor and while the rich enjoy all privileges, even justice is denied to the poor. He said that there is a need to bridge the widening gulf between the poor and the rich. He said that there is still time to rectify the wrong and give precedence to the national interests otherwise it will be too late. The Chief Minister further said that Pakistanis are a bold, courageous and hardworking nation and remains steadfast in every hour of trial. He said that he is confident that Pakistan can be made a strong and prosperous country by propagating and acting upon the message and principles of Allama Iqbal. He said that there is a need to pledge on this day that the message of Allama Iqbal will be spread to every nook and corner of the country while the day is not far off when Pakistan will be transformed in accordance with the ideals of Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal. The Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif further said that the message of Allama Iqbal is of self-respect and self-reliance and if this principle is adopted and collective efforts and thinking is developed, the country can be steered out of crises.
Earlier, when the Chief Minister reached Mazar-e-Iqbal, a smartly turned out contingent of Navy presented him salute while national anthem was played.
When Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif reached Mazar-e-Iqbal today, he was wearing Jinnah Cap. Tunes of national songs were played by a band at Mazar-e-Iqbal while different posters and flexes depicting the poetry of Allama Iqbal were displayed at various places. A contingent of Navy presented salute to the Chief Minister. After offering Fateha at Mazar-e-Iqbal, the Chief Minister recorded his impressions in the visitors’ book. He wrote, “It is our collective responsibility and an honour for us to pay homage to the great poet and philosopher. I renew my pledge that I will make all out efforts to act upon the principles of Allama Iqbal and Pakistan will be transformed into the Pakistan of Iqbal”.