Lahore: Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that interest-free loans worth three billion rupees are being provided to as many as two lakh families under Punjab government’s Self-Employment Scheme to enable them stand on their own feet.
He said that if the country got rid of Zar Baba Forty Thieves in the forthcoming general elections, interest-free loans will be given in every corner of the country and the scope of this programme will be extended to 40 lakh families. He said that he feels that under the pretext of attending Malalah Conference in Paris, Asif Zardari has gone to France to make a deal in the case of receiving kickbacks of millions of dollars in the purchase of submarines in 1994
Shahbaz Sharif said that it is an open secret that Zardari was paid a commission of millions of dollars in the deal for submarines and now this case has again surfaced. He said that Sarkozi and his cronies are facing a trial and the French press is clamoring that Sarkozi and Zardari received kickbacks in the deal.
He said that it is good that Asif Zardari has gone to France to participate in the function to honour Malalah Yousafzai who is a great daughter of the nation and the country is proud of her but it would be much better if Asif Zardari brings back the money looted by him in the purchase of submarines.
Shahbaz Sharif said that on the one hand Asif Zardari expresses solidarity with Malalah Yousafzai but on the other hand he is depriving millions of other daughters of the country of education, health and other facilities through loot and corruption. He said if Zardari did not bring the looted money back, millions of Malalahs of the country will rise in protest as it is the hard-earned money of the poor masses.
Shahbaz Sharif was addressing at a ceremony arranged in connection with distribution of certificates to mark the increase in the number of boy and girl students getting technical education under auspices of Punjab Vocational Training Council beyond the figure of two lakh and awarding of cheques of interest-free loans under Self-Employment Scheme of Punjab government at Alhmara Hall today. Provincial Minister Zakat and Ushr Malik Nadeem Kamran, Assembly Members Hafiz Mian Nauman, Maiza Hameed, Chairman Punjab Vocational Training Council Dr. Faisal Ijaz Khan, Vice Chairman Punjab Educational Endowment Fund Dr. Amjad Saqib, senior columnist Ata-ul-Haq Qasmi, labour leader Khurshid Ahmad Khan and a large number of boy and girl students of various vocational institutions were present on the occasion. The Chief Minister announced to include the students of vocational training institutes, TEVTA and registered institutions of vocational education in the laptop scheme and provision of free sewing machines to the skilled girl students.
Addressing the function, the Chief Minister said that it is unfortunate that according to the report of the Transparency International, Pakistan is making ‘unprecedented progress’ in the field of corruption and during last four and a half years’ tenure of Zar Baba Forty Thieves the country has gone up to the 33rd position from 42nd place in the list of corrupt countries
Shahbaz Sharif said that he would ask the elements responsible for the corruption of Rs.7 billion daily how long the poor masses, widows and orphans will continue to be exploited.
He said that nation should be told why after the loot and plunder of billions and trillions of rupees it is being deceived with the claims of sacrifices for democracy. He said that public money is being plundered mercilessly and it is a grave injustice that while the rulers are enjoying luxuries the poor are facing hunger
Shahbaz Sharif said, “While we have atom bomb in one hand, we have a begging bowl in the other and was this the dream of Quaid-e-Azam and Iqbal”? He said that the forefather of the country did not make sacrifices so that Pakistan could be pushed into the quagmire of corruption.
Shahbaz Sharif said that masses will hold the rulers accountable for every penny in the general elections. He said that Pakistan is to be made a developed country instead of a beggar country, Zar Baba Forty Thieves will have to be removed. He said that if Asif Zardari brings back the looted money from Paris will be the first installment of the plundered wealth. He said if despite worst corruption and loadshedding the country is still surviving it is due to the prayers of the forefathers otherwise Zar Baba Forty Thieves have plundered millions and billions of rupees in rental power projects, Hajj scandal and other projects. He said if a strict system of accountability is not devised free of cost loans cannot be given to the children of the nation for supporting their families nor the looted money can be recovered from the plunderers.
Shahbaz Sharif said that if given opportunity by Allah Almighty a strict system of accountability will be enforced and the plundered wealth will be brought back and utilized for the benefit of the nation. He said that though it is a difficult task but not impossible. He said that provision of interest-free loans to two lakh families is not the goal but the target is much higher. He said that limited resources of the country are being looted while the nation is divided on the basis of narrow religious differences.
Shahbaz Sharif said that during his last tenure his decision to spend the funds of Zakat and Ushr on vocational education sector was strongly criticized but the purpose was to make the poor people self-sufficient.
He said that this method has now become a model in the entire Islamic world. He said that Skills Development Programme is successfully operating in south Punjab with the cooperation of DFID and if given opportunity by Allah Almighty its scope will be extended to the whole province.
The Chief Minister said that under Self-Employment Scheme interest-free loans are being given to boys and girls receiving technical training.
The Chief Minister thanked the German government for cooperation in the promotion of vocational education and said that Germany has achieved a prominent status through promotion of technical education due to which Berlin Wall has crumbled while East Germany has also been united with the West Germany without any military action.
The Chief Minister announced that Punjab government will soon start the programme of distribution of free sewing machines among the girl students completing training at PVTC institutions. The Chief Minister also distributed certificates among boy and girl students completing training at various vocational institutions as well as cheques of interest-free loans under Self-Employment Scheme.
Chairman Punjab Vocational Training Council Faisal Ijaz Khan, Vice Chairman Punjab Educational Endowment Fund Dr. Amjad Saqib, representative of German Institution GIZ in Pakistan Hans Boris, labour leader Khurshid Ahmad, Chairman Zakat and Ushr Committee Lahore and the successful graduates also spoke on the occasion.