Lahore: Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that the resources of poor nation were looted ruthlessly during dictatorial era and national economy was affected due to corruption. He said when PML-N came into power, railway and other national institutions were presenting awful stories. He said that Federal Railways Minister Kh. Saad Rafique and his team under the leadership of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif have done historic job for improving the railways system. He said that due to their hard work, struggle and continuous efforts, 10 billion rupees deficit of railways has been reduced and its system improved considerably.
He expressed these views while addressing the inaugural ceremony of railways double track from Lodhran to Raiwind at Premnagar, today. After the inauguration of the double track from Lodhran to Raiwind, the project of double railway line from Lahore to Karachi has been completed. Federal Minister for Railways Kh. Saad Rafique, Parliamentary Secretary Railways Syed Ashfaq Hussain Kirmani, Chief Executive Officer Railways Javed Anwar, Chairperson Railways Parveen Agha, Railways officials and a large number of workers were present on the occasion.
The Chief Minister said that one and half crore passengers who had left travelling through railways have again come in railways system. He said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor is a national project and all units of Pakistan will benefit from it. He said that under CPEC, 36 billion dollars are being spent only on energy projects which is China’s investment, out of which, 2.5 billion dollars are being spent on energy projects in Punjab while 9 billion dollars on energy projects in Sindh.
Shahbaz Sharif said that energy projects are also being set up in Gawadar, Baluchistan and KPK. He said that Punjab gave 11 billion rupees annually to other provinces out of its share and got approved National Finance Commission Award. He said that Punjab government has given 55 billion rupees to other provinces in this regard. He said that Pervaiz Musharraf despite dictatorship and all his powers, could not get approved National Award Commission and this achievement was made by politicians and sacrifice of 55 billion rupees of Punjab borne fruit.
The Chief Minister said that Punjab being a big province strengthened national solidarity by giving this sacrifice. He said that Pakistan is all of us and we have to jointly develop it. He said that all units of the country will have to remove misunderstandings jointly for the progress of Pakistan. He said like National Finance Commission Award, Punjab is ready to give every sacrifice for the stability, development and prosperity of the country in future as well. He vowed that under the leadership of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan will be steered out of quagmire of problems and put on the road to progress and prosperity.
Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif said that this day is an important day in the history of railways when the project of dual railways track from Lodhran to Raiwind has been inaugurated. He said that the completion of dual railway track project is the fruit of hard work of Federal Minister for Railways Kh. Saad Rafique and his team.
He said that the railways about which there were different stories. He said sometimes there was news that a train is standing in a forest for many hours and sometimes there were news about the late arrival of marriage parties and marriages in the train but now under the leadership of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, railways has made tremendous progress.
The Chief Minister said that 10 billion rupees deficit of railways has been reduced and now its deficit has become 27 billion rupees from 37 billion rupees and more 3.5 billion rupees is being reduced in this deficit during current year. He said that revolutionary changes are being brought in the railways which was presenting awful stories of the past. He said that Kh. Saad Rafique, railways authorities and his entire team deserve congratulation. He said that improvement in railways system is the result of transparency, hard work and sincere efforts. He appealed to media that besides criticizing shortcomings of the government should also highlight its good deeds.
Shahbaz Sharif said that it is right of the media to conduct our accountability, criticize the government and bring fore its shortcomings, however, it should also give prominent place to the welfare programmes of the government.
The Chief Minister said that government faced worst flood in the history of the country in 2010 which caused heavy devastations throughout the country. He said that a number of houses were damaged in Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan, KPK and other areas and thousands acres crops were destroyed and the entire nation and all institutions worked collectively during this flood but the media also propagated that politicians were not available in the flood hit areas.
The Chief Minister said that he personally helped the people marooned in the flood water in South Punjab round the clock but some people also criticized his this deed. He said that it was the result of the service of the masses that people of South Punjab voted to PML-N and provided thumping success under the leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. He said that China has given 46 billion dollars package for CPEC projects, out of which, 36 billion dollars are being invested in energy projects and this is not the loan. He said that 2.5 billion dollars are being spent on coal power plants in Sahiwal and solar plants in Bahawalpur whereas 9 billion dollars are being spent on energy projects in Sindh.
Shahbaz Sharif said that Sindh is an important province of the country and we will be happy if 18 billion dollars instead of 9 billion dollars will be invested in Sindh. He said that the projects are also being set up in Gawadar and KPK under CPEC.
Referring to Lahore Orange Line Metro Train Project, the Chief Minister said some elements are criticizing this project that only people of Lahore will benefit this project and why center is providing resources for it, whereas, the fact is that Punjab government has obtained loan from China on soft terms for this project at 2.4 percent.
He said that there is no country in the world which gives loan on such soft terms. He said that the first installment of the loan has to be paid after seven years and its total period is 20 years. He said that criticism is made on the sovereign guarantee of federal government for getting foreign loans whereas according to constitution of Pakistan, federal government has to give sovereign guarantee for all foreign loans of the provinces.
Shahbaz Sharif said that today’s media is independent and powerful and instead of creating misunderstandings, it has to play its fullest role for the promotion of cooperation and national solidarity. He said that Pakistan can make development and progress through the solidarity of four provinces. He said that Pakistan will be made self-reliant through hard work, hard work and only hard work under the leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and will achieve dignified status in the comity of nations and every sacrifice will be given for Pakistan.
Federal Railways Minister Kh. Saad Rafique while addressing the ceremony said that this day has a significant importance in the history of railways. He said that after a long period, we have succeeded to construct dual railway track from Karachi to Lahore. Had the work not carried out on this project on war footings then perhaps we would have been waited for many years, he added.
He said that Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif is his leader and he has learnt a lot during his political career. Kh. Saad Rafique said that Shehbaz Sharif has introduced the vision of good governance and transparency and he is the builder of development of Punjab.
The Chief Minister has promoted merit policy in the province and we have succeeded in improving the railway system by following his vision, he added. The Railway Minister said that we have put the railway on right direction under the leadership of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and cooperation of Federal government in the development of railway is commendable. He said that the approach has been changed for putting the railway on road to progress and Federal government did not interfere in our work.
Kh. Saad Rafique said that all decisions are taken by the Board for the improvement of railway whereas operational matters are decided at Railways’ Headquarters. He said that this is the only way to strengthen the institutions. He said that Railway Department is achieving its targets. He said that merit has been promoted in railway and the department has been made free from politics and this credit also goes to Shahbaz Sharif as these steps have been taken by following his vision.
The Railway Minister said that the entire Pakistan will benefit from China Pakistan Economic Corridor. He said that those trying to make this national project controversial are not serving the nation. He said that all political parties should cooperate with the government in this project of national importance. He said that poverty, ignorance and unemployment will be eliminated from the country under the leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
He said that Pakistan will progress, all institutions will be strengthened and a bright and prosperous Pakistan will be given to the coming generations. Secretary Railways Perveen Agha in her welcome address threw light on the project of railway double track.
Earlier, Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif and Minister for Railways Kh. Saad Rafique inaugurated double railway track from Lodhran to Raiwind. Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif and Railway Minister Kh. Saad Rafique also inaugurated new building of Premnagar Station and inspected double track from Lodhran to Raiwind.