Lahore: Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that those hindering the process of national development and opposing the efforts to remove load-shedding from the country cannot be sincere to the nation. He said that it is not politics or justice to bring sons of the nation, mothers, infants, students and teachers on the streets while enjoying the cool air of Canada himself.
He expressed these views while addressing a seminar on the role of journalism in the stability of Pakistan organized by Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists at Alhamra Hall, here today.
He said that Pakistan Muslim League-N government can be held accountable in general elections if it failed to come up to the expectations of the people, set up power projects or bring the country out of quagmire of problems.
Those protesting against setting up of hospitals and Daanish schools for the poor and establishing energy projects to remove darkness from the country should show mercy to the nation otherwise the people will be justified to say that they have been involved in ball tempering and hampering the process of national progress and development. Khan Sahib, this is not cricket but politics and ball tempering is not allowed, he added.
Shahbaz Sharif said that he will leave politics forever if corruption of even a single penny is proved against him. He said that Khan Sahib lives in a palace and though he also has a big house but he has dedicated himself to the service of the masses and if Khan Sahib is sincere to the people he should quit his palace and he will also leave his house.
Federal Minister for Port and Shipping Kamran Michael, Minister for Information Balochistan Abdul Rahim, Parliamentary Secretary on Information Rana Arshad, President Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists , office-bearers of journalists’ organization and a large number of media-men were present on the occasion.
The Chief Minister said that he has always taken guidance from news and analysis of newspapers and constructive criticism based on truth is the best source for this purpose. He said that media has struggled for freedom of expression and won this war through sacrifices. He said that journalists have shed their blood and also faced economic sanctions in their struggle.
He said that no one can deprive media of its freedom nor should put restrictions on the press. He said that journalists are associated with a noble profession and they can help change the destiny of the nation if they use the power of their pen for the elimination of corruption, ignorance, Safarish, nepotism and oppression from the society.
Shahbaz Sharif said that attack on Hamid Mir was tragic and extremely deplorable. He said that Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif immediately after the incident constituted a judicial commission comprising three judges of the Supreme Court so that no one could indulge in allegations or destort the facts. He said the nation expects from the judicial commission to bring the facts to light so that the elements involved in the incident could be exposed. He said that after attack on Hamid Mir, display of the picture of the head of an institution and making of comments provided an opportunity to the enemies of Pakistan to malign the country.
He said that it was not a proper attitude and should have been avoided. There is a need to learn a lesson from such incidents and show tolerance and restraint in such a situation as its helps the nation to move forward. He said that though media has achieved freedom after numerous sacrifices and emerged as a strong institution, however, its responsibilities have also increased.
Shahbaz Sharif further said that a Maulana who has entered into the field of politics for horse trading is trying to hinder the process of progress and development of Pakistan while enjoying the cool weather of Canada. Similarly, he said, Khan Sahib, who is a new entrant into politics, is trying to show his sympathy to the poor while sitting in a palace. He said that if these politicians are sincere to the masses, they should give up their luxurious style of living and join the people. He challenged Khan Sahib and Maulana Sahib to come out of their palaces and he is also ready to do so otherwise they should not try to increase the problems of the masses.
The Chief Minister said that he is ready to face accountability, if corruption of even a single penny is proved against his government during the last eleven months. He further said that Pakistan is passing through the most critical phase of its history and the country is immersed in darkness due to worst negligence of the former rulers. He said that had the dictator who raised the slogan of ‘Pakistan First’ completed Diamir Basha Dam, there would not have been load-shedding. He said that though the dictator took aid of billions of dollars from Aghyaar but neglected the masses. He said that the former rulers looted the country ruthlessly.
He said that had inefficient rulers pay attention to power projects instead of indulging in loot and plunder the energy crisis would not have been so severe and Pakistan would have been an economically strong country. Shahbaz Sharif further said that through the dictators caused a huge loss to Pakistan during last 68 years but some political governments also did not come up to the expectations of the people and did nothing for progress and prosperity of the masses. He said that PML-N government led by Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sahrif made Pakistan a nuclear power and strengthened defense. He said that PML-N government under the leadership of Nawaz Sharif is working day and night for resolving energy crisis and work is being carried out speedily on a number of energy projects.
The Chief Minister said that Nandipur power project which became a victim of the greed of the former rulers has been revived by the present government and completed in a record period of eight months and will be inaugurated on May 31. He said that government is working on a massive programme of power generation from coal with the cooperation of China. He lamented that full benefit was not taken from the friendship of China in the past. He said that the volume of trade between China and India is 85 billion dollars but it is only six billion dollars between Pakistan and China.
Shahbaz Sharif said that China has set up coal power plant of 20000 megawatts in India and Pakistan is now also benefitting from Chinese technology and power projects of 20000 megawatt will be executed with Chinese cooperation.
He said that if European countries resolve their differences after centuries of bitterness, Pakistan and India also address mutual issues such as Kashmir and water for the benefit of the two countries. He said that India and Pakistan has similar problems like poverty and unemployment and they will have to utilize their resources for the benefit of the masses instead of wasting on war. He said that if Pakistan became prosperous, Kashmir will join it, just as East Germany merged with the West Germany.
He said that Kala Bagh dam is of vital importance with regard to economy, however, work cannot be started on this project without consensus of the four provinces. The Chief Minister said that construction of Kala Bagh Dam without consensus of the federating units will seriously damage the interests of the country. He said that there is a need to adopt the principle of honesty and hard work for achieving the goal of national progress and prosperity. He said that instead of fighting each others, unity will have to be promoted for elimination of poverty and unemployment.
He said that principles of Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal will have to be followed and sincere efforts be made for progress and development of the country. He directed Secretary Information to review setting up of research institute for the journalists in Lahore.
Shahbaz Sharif said that he is ready to double the endowment fund of Rs. 70 million for journalists and has directed Secretary Information to formulate recommendations for this purpose. He said that comprehensive recommendations will be presented to him in this regard with the consultation of journalists. President Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists , former President Pervaiz Shaukat, senior journalist Salman Ghani and office-bearers of journalists associations of KPK, Balochistan and Sindh also addressed the seminars.