“Citizens should act as a formidable wall against disruptive sit-ins… to put the country on the road to progress,” Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said on Thursday.
“People should reject the politics of agitation. Those who have been staging sit-ins do not want the country to flourish,” the chief minister said at the inauguration ceremony of Sadiqabad Industrial Estate.
He said agitation had stalled the pace of progress in the past.
Speaking about Pakistan-China economic cooperation, Sharif said agreements had been signed to launch development schemes worth billions of dollars. “This has never happened previously in Pakistan’s history,” he said. He said work on several power projects was under way.
He said Pakistan would join the ranks of developed countries once the projects, launched under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, were completed.
He said power projects would be completed by the end of 2017 and that the country would be rid of electricity load shedding by 2018. He said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government had completed the “dead” power project in Nandipur.
The chief minister praised the people of Pakistan, Pakistan Army and Punjab Police for fighting the country’s war on terrorism.
Commenting on the Panama Papers scandal, Sharif said the prime minister would respect the decision of the commission to be formed to investigate the matter. He said the commission would also probe various corruption scandals of last 68 years.
He said those who had had their loans waived and stolen from the country’s resources should be brought to book. He said he, too, should be punished if he was found guilty of wrongdoing.
Sharif said shortage of electricity in the industrial estate would be overcome so that investors were attracted and more people got jobs. He said a lot of efforts had gone into establishing the estate.
He promised to provide all facilities needed for it.
Earlier, Sadiqabad Industrial Estate Board of Directors chairman Rizwan Khalid Butt briefed the chief minister about the project. He said the 452-acre industrial park had 311 plots. Of these, he said, 100 had been sold.
He said the estate was situated along the border with Sindh and Balochistan. He urged the investors to benefit from what he called the best location for an industrial facility. He said the estate should be connected with the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
The chief minister chaired a meeting at Bahawalpur commissioner’s office to review security situation in southern Punjab. He also announced plans for a Dolphin Squad for Bahawalpur and the Safe City project for Multan.
“The Lahore Dolphin Force has performed well. The force will be extended to other cities in the province,” Sharif said. He said that in order to improve police’s performance, more than 200 front desks would be set up at police stations. He said satellite centres for forensic labs would be established across the province. He urged police to come up to people’s expectations.
The chief minister ordered that Citizen Police-Liaison Committees be made functional.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 29th, 2016.