Addressing a public gathering in Chachran Sharif on Saturday, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani said that the government will create 100,000 new jobs in the next budget, with the finance minister being advised in this regard.
The prime minister said that problems of south Punjab could not be solved until the creation of a Seraiki province. He added that without the creation of the province, people in the area would remain deprived of their rights.
“Speculations are prevalent that PPP is instigating people for a Seraiki province, but our party is just manifesting the people’s needs,” he said. Prime Minister Gilani remarked that a lot of conspiracies were hatched to finish the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) but it always emerged as a popular and strong political party. “Those who cannot face us in elections are hatching conspiracies, but due to a vibrant media and civil society they cannot derail democracy,” he said.
He was also critical of the Punjab government, saying that if the provincial government had a chance it would topple the PPP government in no time.
The prime minister said, “If I abandon the PPP, President Zardari, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, and Benazir Bhutto then I am a pious man, otherwise a ‘traitor’,” adding, “I will prefer death over compromising on principles.”
He said that a revolution could never come by changing loyalties and switching political alliances. Premier Gilani assured that employees of the National Commission for Human Development would also be restored in the provinces.
There were also a host of announcements in terms of development.
The prime minister reiterated that a second installment of Watan Cards would be released soon. He told the gathering that he will order the Higher Education Commission to establish an engineering university and an information technology institution in Rahim Yar Khan and promised to allocate funds for a flyover in Rahim Yar Khan in the new budget, Rs50 million for a model city in Chachran Sharif, Rs100 million for a cadet college in Khanpur and Rs1 million for a water supply scheme in Feroza Town.
The premier also inaugurated the construction of the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Bridge in Rajanpur. The project will cost Rs7 billion and authorities are claiming that they will complete it in 10 weeks. If so, it will be a record for such a project. The bridge will connect the N-5 national highway with N-55.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 22nd, 2012.