Lahore : Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that half of the population is consisted of the women and the country cannot make progress without including women to the path to the development.
He said the government of the PML-N under the leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has taken revolutionary such steps for the empowerment of the women which has no precedence in the history.
Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif expressed these views while addressing a ceremony held at the Aiwan-e-Iqbal in connection with Women’s International Day. Provincial Ministers Begum Zakia Shahnawaz, Dr. Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, Hameeda Waheed ud Din, Naghma Mushtaq, Women Parliamentarians, Women Vice Chancellors, Principals, Teachers and the women belonging to fields of life attended the ceremony.
Addressing the ceremony, the Chief Minister said the object of Women’s International Day is to review steps taken for the development of the women folk. He said the PML-N government under the leadership of PM Nawaz Sharif has taken historic step for the empowerment of women, protection of their rights and inheritance rights. He said in the 70s Pakistan was ahead of many countries economically and Pakistan’s currency was strong against Indian currency.
He said when the PML-N came to power in 2008 with the vote power then the foundation of the biggest and unique education fund was laid with the budget of Rs. 2 billion and now the volume of the Punjab Education Endowment Fund (PEEF) has swelled to Rs20 billion and one lakh and 30 thousand girl and boy students from poor families are benefitting from this fund.
He said from the income of the PEEF scholarships worth Rs11 billion have been distributed and main feature of this fund is that students from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan, Sindh, FATA, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan are also benefiting from this fund. He said PM Health Insurance Scheme is working in four districts of Punjab and later it will be expanded to the whole province and the Punjab government will spend Rs12 billion on it.
He said under this program 80 lakh people from the poor families will get free medical aid besides more than 57 lakh women and children will also benefit from this program. He said education and standardized health facilities are the right of the citizens of Punjab and the provincial government is giving them this right.
He said had the PEEF been initiated 70 years ago, the children who had lost their bright future in the dust of streets had been able to play an active role in the development of the country. He said now if thousands of boys and girls cannot become engineers, doctors, professors, and teachers due to the shortage of resources, then the aristocracy of the country will be responsible for it.
He said the state is responsible for providing education to the youth, but unfortunately politicians, upper-class class and powerful class of the country did not allow changing the fate of the country and plundered resources due to which thousands of the youth could not brighten their future and the country’s aristocracy is responsible for it and he is also part it. He said developed nations of today have made progress through the promotion of education.
He said the prime minister, he, Imran Khan, all politicians, traders and judges should make themselves duty bound that they will play their role in providing same education as they provide to their children and this is the only way forward.
He said we forgot principals of Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal due to which those nations have left us behind them. Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif mentioned a woman who got interest free loan of Rs. 15000 to establish an academy and said if that woman had not got loan from a bank and she could not return this amount due to some reason then an FIR would have been launched against her.
He said on the other hand there are car owners, owners of factories and luxury houses who have swallowed loans of billions of rupees of the nation and are now delivering sermons of honesty and against corruption. He said the richest of the rich has deprived the common of their rights by engulfing hefty loans.
He said nobody hold accountable to those who have deprived the poor, resource-less of their rights. He said the national wealth has been plundered mercilessly during the last 70 years and the nation cannot make progress without transparency accountability. He said prime minister, chief ministers, ministers, judges, generals, traders, politicians, and all of us should have to implement the transparent system of accountability upon ourselves and this is the only way forward for the nation.
He said we do not need help of anybody because our religion and life of Holy Prophet (PBUH) have given us methods to move forward. He said the prime minister health insurance scheme has been launched in four districts of the province and by the end of this year the scope of this scheme will be expanded to the whole province.
He said the Punjab government will spend Rs12 billion for this scheme to provide best medical health facilities to the poor. He said from this scheme 80 lakh people will benefit. He said during the last eight years two lakh and 20 thousands teachers have been recruited on merit. He said he says on oath no even a single teacher has been recruited in violation of merit.
He said in Punjab there is merit, merit and only merit and this was the vision of Quaid-e-Azam. He said 80,000 more teachers will be recruited this year again and President, Prime Minister, Chief Minister, Ministers and Lawmakers cannot get recruited anybody in violation of merit.
He said as merit and discipline are respected in armed forces in the same way here merit and discipline are also respected and kept supreme. He said out of 80,000 new teachers 30,000 will be science teachers. He said corruption should be eliminated for the provision of facilities to the people.
He said the Punjab government has launched Metro Bus on which lawyers, teachers, widows, orphans, nurses, doctors, and clerks can travel and those called it ‘jangla bus service’ had launched this jangla bus service during their term then he had welcomed them and believed that they have resolved to provide best transport facilities to the people.
He said the Punjab government decided to hold the final of the PSL despite reservations and PSL final was held on March 5 at Qaddafi stadium successfully that is slap on the face of opponents of Pakistan and enemies of peace. He said we are proceeding forward to resolve problems and can sacrifice our lives for the motherland. He said we will work for the development and progress in the country till the last drop of blood.
Provincial Minister Hameeda Waheed ud Din said unprecedented steps have been taken for the welfare and empowerment of the women under the leadership of the Chief Minister.