Lahore: Canadian High Commissioner in Pakistan Greg Giokas called on Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif here today and discussed matter of mutual interest, bilateral relations, regional situation and promotion of cooperation in various sectors. Provincial Minister for Health Khalil Tahir Sindhu, Chairman Planning & Development, Secretary Health and Canadian Consul General Syed Yawar Ali were also present on the occasion.
Talking to the Canadian High Commissioner, the Chief Minister said that Pakistan and Canada have close friendly relations and Canada is extending cooperation for development of various sectors in Pakistan. He said that Pakistan is facing various challenges including energy crisis and terrorism. He said that energy crisis has badly affected the economy and left negative impact on trade, industry and other sectors. Shahbaz Sharif said that an effective strategy has been adopted to control energy crisis and load-shedding as soon as possible and solid measures have been taken in this regard. He said that work is in progress on power generation projects from coal, biomass, biogas, hydle and solar energy. He said that curbing of terrorism is essential for survival while peace in the country will bring in foreign investment and national prosperity. That is why, he said, process of consultation is continuing with all stakeholders for elimination of terrorism and extremism. He said that Pakistan has rendered innumerable sacrifices in the war against terrorism and over 40 thousand precious lives have been lost. The Chief Minister said that the new leadership is evolving an anti-terrorism policy at national level for eradication of terrorism and working capacity of law enforcement agencies is also being enhanced. He said that special attention is also being paid to providing health, education and other basic facilities to the masses as well as creation of new job opportunities.
Referring to the steps taken for development of the province, the Chief Minister said that revolutionary measures have been taken for development of education, health, infrastructure as well as other sectors. He said that the dream of progress and prosperity cannot be materialized without equipping the new generation with modern knowledge and technology and keeping in view this fact the government is implementing an effective and comprehensive education policy in the province. Shahbaz Sharif said that setting up of Punjab Educational Endowment Fund and Daanish schools are important steps in this regard. He said that due to setting up of Punjab Educational Endowment Fund no student has to stop his educational activities due to financial constraints and more than fifty thousand talented boy and girl students are studying at prestigious educational institutions whereas modern educational facilities are being provided to poor boy and girl students at Daanish schools. He said that Skills Development Programme is also continuing successfully for providing vocational education to the youth for eliminating unemployment. He said that this programme has been initiated in various districts of south Punjab and now the scope of this programme is being extended to other districts of the province.
The Chief Minister said that minorities have also been given due representation in assemblies and protection of their rights has been ensured.
Canadian High Commissioner said that development of Punjab is an example for other provinces and he was pleased to see metro bus project which can be compared with the developed countries. He said that Pakistani nation is talented and its regional importance is established. He said that Canada will continue to extend corporation to Pakistan in the development of various sectors.