“Even if encouraging students be declared a crime, I will continue to commit it,” Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said on Tuesday. He was speaking at a ceremony held to distribute laptops among students at the University of Engineering and Technology (UET).
Besides distributing laptops among 6,585 students picked under the scheme, the chief minister also gave laptops to two UET students for recently winning a level speech competition in the Punjab. Mehral Fatima and Nadeem Abbas had requested the chief minister to give them a laptop each after he congratulated them on their recent win.
The chief minister said he would personally pay for the two laptops.
The chief minister urged the youth to strive to change in the system, which, he said, was corrupt. He said the youth could bring a revolution to make Pakistan safe and corruption-free.
Adviser to Chief Minister Begum Zakiya Shahnawaz, MNA Ahsan Iqbal and Special Assistants to Chief Minister Khwaja Salman Rafique and Zaeem Hussain Qadri were also present on the occasion.
The chief minister said the youth were the country’s hope for a glorious future. He said his government had taken steps to equip them with modern technology in view of their role in national development.
He said providing scholarships to the deserving students and setting up of computer labs at public schools were parts of the government’s effort to provide modern education to the students.
He said every year a number of brilliant students were invited to the Governor’s House in Murree.
The CM said he had never received a guard of honour from the police nor hoisted the national flag on his car. He said he was a humble servant to the people.
On load shedding
The chief minister also talked about the power outages across the country and said that Pakistan had become a hostage to darkness and its industrial sector was facing a slow death.
He said importers in other countries were disinclined to order from the industries in the Punjab because the load shedding was making adherence to supply schedules unreliable.
He regretted that adequate attention had not so far been paid to generation of electricity from coal and other alternative resources.
“Hydel power plants of Nandipur and Chichoke Mallian could have produced 900 mega watts energy but a federal minister kept the project pending only because he was not paid a ‘commission’,” the chief minister said. Losing patience with the situation, he said, the Chinese contractors had abandoned the project.
Earlier, MNA Ahsan Iqbal while addressing the function said that Punjab government was striving for promotion of education.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 11th, 2012.