He was speaking at a ceremony held to distribute allotment letters of houses in the Aashiyana Housing Scheme in Soraba Atari among the beneficiaries of a lucky draw. He and Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif handed over these letters and later inspected civic works and houses in the scheme. Sharif said there were two classes in the country: those who owned houses built by money earned through unfair means or by as little as signing a few documents and those who found it difficult to even own a two-marla house. He said the government was responsible for protecting the rights of the poor. Sharif said there would be no compromise on rights of the people and that he would go on another long march for the purpose if needed. “All its 180 million people and not just a few privileged people own Pakistan,” he said. He recalled his August 14 speech and said that he would honour all of the promises he had made to the people. Sharif said that under Mera Ghar Scheme a project was started during his previous government to provide 500,000 houses to deserving people. He said land had been distributed among landless farmers in Sindh, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and proprietary rights granted to thousands of residents of slum settlements. Earlier, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said that work was already underway on Aashiyana Housing Schemes in six other districts of the province. He said similar schemes would be inaugurated in 18 more districts by the end of the current year. He said civic works in the scheme were better than many so-called posh residential colonies in the city. He said the balloting for allotment of houses had been carried out in a transparent manner. He said all documents of the shortlisted candidates were scrutinised and verified before allotting them houses. The chief minister said he would face any punishment if anybody could point out an irregularity in the project. He praised the provincial cabinet, the chief secretary and the Punjab Land Development Company chairman, Sheikh Alauddin, for working around the clock to complete of the project. He said none of the previous governments had taken any steps to address the housing needs of the population. He said the PML-N government had started several projects for the welfare of the people. PLDC chairman Sheikh Alauddin gave a presentation on the Aashiyana Housing Scheme. Senior Advisor to the Chief Minister Sirdar Zulfiqar Ali Khan Khosa, Senator Pervaiz Rashid, Zafar Iqbal Jhagra and Mushahid Ullah Khan were also present on the occasion.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 17th, 2011.