Sharif calls on Punjab to march against 'Ali Baba and 40 thieves'

Published: May 26, 2012
Shahbaz Sharif addressing a protest rally against loadshedding in Kasur. PHOTO: INP

Shahbaz Sharif addressing a protest rally against loadshedding in Kasur. PHOTO: INP

KASUR: Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif on Saturday stepped out of his car and joined demonstrators protesting against loadshedding and called on them to march with him to Islamabad against “Ali Baba and the 40 thieves”.

Shahbaz blamed the federal government for the current state of the province, and alleged that they were doing so on purpose.

“The rulers have sown seeds of hatred against Punjab,” said the chief minister to the angry protesters.

He said that there was loadshedding everywhere in the province because the “federal government wants to take revenge.”

Accusing the president and the prime minister of Pakistan, Shahbaz said, “Yousaf Raza Gilani and Asif Zardari are involved in this. Ali Baba and the 40 thieves are involved in this.”

The chief minister said that it was these people who destroyed Punjab’s economy, giving it a hard-hitting loss of “Rs300 billion” in one year.

Sympathising with the people of Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif said, “Loadshedding has destroyed the cities and villages of Punjab. Hundreds of thousands have become unemployed.”

“The common underprivileged man cannot even feed himself once a day,” he added.

“I stand with you, shoulder to shoulder, for all problems you face,” Shahbaz Sharif told the protesters. “I will walk with you through streets and markets, and together we will chase out Ali Baba and the 40 thieves.”

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Reader Comments (71)

  • Jamil Ahmed
    May 26, 2012 - 3:32PM

    i totally agreed with SS on this issue


  • May 26, 2012 - 3:54PM

    last i heard ali baba was the good guy! not the leader of the theivesRecommend

  • Khurram
    May 26, 2012 - 4:03PM

    There is a load shedding of 16 Hours in Industrial hubs like Sialkot, Gujranwala , Gujrat and Faisalabad whereas i visited Karachi and in their industrial regions there is a load shedding of less than 6 hours. This is a sheer discrimination against one region whereas Punjab have the lowest losses in Power and the highest ratio of people who pay the bills compared to any other province. I agree with Mr Shahbaz on the this issue.Recommend

  • Shoaib
    May 26, 2012 - 4:08PM

    I agree with Shahbaz Sharif on this issue. There is a pure discrinination against Punjab industrial regions to cripple them foreever and in summer they are cutting electricity and in winter they cut our gas supplies.


  • ST
    May 26, 2012 - 4:13PM

    another noora kushti


  • Ahmad
    May 26, 2012 - 4:16PM

    Shahbaz Sharif will be the next Prime Minister of Pakistan….Inshallah!!


  • Dr.X
    May 26, 2012 - 4:28PM

    I’m sorry but I don’t buy this. Maybe because I just read about PML-N calling off their anti-govt protests. Please decide for once which side you are on.


  • Blithe
    May 26, 2012 - 4:34PM

    Noora kuhsti is actually between PTI and ppp and MQM and ANP.


  • geeko
    May 26, 2012 - 4:37PM

    He should be more precise, this statement can be returned against him and his party.


  • Shoaib
    May 26, 2012 - 4:45PM

    @Dr.X: Those protests were against Prime minister Gailani and these protest are against the loadshedding issue and there is no comparison in these two.


  • Khurram
    May 26, 2012 - 4:47PM

    @ST: Atleast he is better than PTI who wants to get votes from Punjab but they are just hiding from all the issues of the public from where they have to get votes. PTI is just waiting to criticize and doing nothing else. Recommend

  • popsaeed
    May 26, 2012 - 4:49PM

    public sideRecommend

  • Usman
    May 26, 2012 - 5:08PM

    @Shoaib: and what does the “Ali baba and 40 thieves” mean??


  • popsaeed
    May 26, 2012 - 5:08PM

    PTI always defuse antigovernment rally by mixing false statement with truthRecommend

  • Maria
    May 26, 2012 - 5:09PM

    @geeko: Punjab has done well under Shahbaz Sharif who has lead the province to its stability and prosperity. However it is clear that no matter how much good work he has done for Punjab, the Federal government has been trying to undermine development in the Punjab. The energy crisis is mostly a Federal issue. Zardari can argue that Musharraf did nothing to add energy to the national grid in his 9 year rule but Zardari has had over 4 years now to try to fix things.


  • Usman
    May 26, 2012 - 5:15PM

    So what about the claim most punjabis make, “Punjabis are better people and Punjab always sacrifices for small provinces” … This is first time ever that Punjab is being discriminated and they are behaving the same way as the people from smaller provinces do … So, you also forget “One Unit” when feel discriminated!


  • Sohail
    May 26, 2012 - 5:15PM

    I have a question to Mr. Shahbaz Sharif, why not Punjab government generate his own electricity?Recommend

  • May 26, 2012 - 5:17PM

    Unfortunately here our country every one plays his role as catalyst to increase the anger of the nation but never try to have deep look on the problems they all try to make them in their favour to blackmail the functional government we request to all them that please resolve the pressure covalently so that the problems could be resolved instead of to increase the violation in the country..


  • Akhtar
    May 26, 2012 - 5:19PM

    This is not discrimination against Punjab. If the economy needs to be kept running then you have to take some extreme measures.
    Sindh, generates highest revenue for Pakistan, but lacks proper infrastructure. It is no longer possible for countries to remain dependent on one specific province for revenues. It has become essential to have several provinces and make each capable of becoming independent.
    Unfortunately politicians are addicted to playing dirty games in my country, Pakistan.
    Time has come for Pakistanis to realize that there is no such thing as free-lunch anymore.


  • Ajamal
    May 26, 2012 - 5:24PM

    Let Sharifs come out of assemblies and CM house and join ordinary people, if they are sincere to the country and people.


  • riz
    May 26, 2012 - 5:25PM

    govt only seems to excist in punjab… he is doing good job. pml-n is on course to bring change.


  • aliza
    May 26, 2012 - 5:26PM

    We aren’t interested…Recommend

  • Khurram
    May 26, 2012 - 5:29PM

    @Sohail: because Punjab government requires Sovereign guarantees by the federal government for the foreign investors as billions of dollars of investment needs guarantee and Federal Government dont give these guarantees for the province of Punjab because Opposition is there. Federal Government is giving these same guarantees to Sindh Government and you can see Wind Mills establishment there but again It is the same discrimination that is being seen against Punjab there as well.


  • Ekram Khan
    May 26, 2012 - 5:30PM

    PML N is now sowing seeds of hatred in Sindh through Marvi Memon, What PML N has done for the people of Punjab ? Only blame Game.


  • Zamir Malik
    May 26, 2012 - 5:32PM

    @Usman: Dont convert it into an Ethnic Issue and stop Defending this that it is alright that energy supplies are cut for Punjab. Punjab is the back bone of Pakistan and when Punjab goes down whole Pakistan will go down. Punjab supports more than 65 percent of the total GDP of Pakistan. Punjab is the bread basket of pakistan. So dont say it is alright against Punjabis to cut their power but it is like cutting the throat of Pakistani Economy. Also dont take Anti Punjabi stance so far that Punjab will talk about Separation from the rest of Pakistan and will talk about their Separate entity as well.


  • May 26, 2012 - 5:44PM

    SS calls for Long March… what a joke… if he is serious then he must resign first from the assembly and then ppl will follow him..otherwise its another mimicry to dissolve the impression that Turk premier has settle down the conflict b/w PPP and PML-N..


  • Omer
    May 26, 2012 - 5:47PM

    So PMLN will march against itself?


  • May 26, 2012 - 5:50PM

    @ Dr.X, @shoaib and @usman.

    Let us be clearer… Soft corner shown by Nawaz Sharif is about demand for resignation of PM. Shahbaz Sharif’s protest is against systematic destruction of Punjab economy, through load shedding.

    Ali Baba and forty thieves fable is quoted to draws some similarity of group activity aimed at harming Punjab.


  • Imran
    May 26, 2012 - 6:01PM

    Your endorsement of Shahbaz Sharif means nothing. In fact, Shahbaz Sharif agreed in the council of common interests that the province that produces something will have the first right. And it is according to that formula the electricity is being distributed. Don’t blame others for what he lost on a bargain table. Someone has said correctly about PML-N that they think after acting, and this attitude is the main reason behind the state of affairs in Punjab.


  • Imran
    May 26, 2012 - 6:03PM

    In 2008, Shahbaz Sharif banned the flow of wheat out of Punjab, when there was acute shortage throughout the country and people were suffering. Mister you yourself sowed the seeds of hatred.Recommend

  • Imran
    May 26, 2012 - 6:07PM

    He will do nothing. He’s just a valve to release pressure gradually out of any public sentiment. His party has successfully taken the steam out of Memo, and PM’s contempt issue. Their only purpose in life is not to let PTI take any benefit of the situation.


  • Asif
    May 26, 2012 - 6:14PM

    If you analyze pragmatically by keeping your emotions and association with a particular political party aside, You would find that PML N has always done a popular politics which is the most easiest thing in politics. They would wait for an issue to become popular among public and would immediately join the bandwagon. In a very recent history, First it was Go Zardari Go, then it was Memo Gate which Nawaz Sharif wasted no time to put on his black suit and appear before the court and when the issue started to die down among public, they stepped back. Then they started Go Gilani Go which according to a story on ET published today, are going to cancel all further scheduled protests. Today, when Shahbaz Sharif saw people protesting about load shedding, he wasted no time to stepped out of the car and joined the protesters. I request every one to wake up please otherwise it would be too late.
    BTW, does any one know on this forum what is PML N’s stance on NATO Supply issue.Recommend

  • Freedom Seeker
    May 26, 2012 - 6:18PM

    Sharif family bankrupted for billions. They simply closed and sold the factories and companies. Rest of loans went in bad debts of banks. They don’t call it theft as its legal for a company to file for bankruptcy.Recommend

  • Concerned
    May 26, 2012 - 6:25PM

    The Punjab Chief Minister appears to have picked up the slogan of ‘Ali Baba and 40 thieves’ from my comment made on ET yesterday.


  • Saad
    May 26, 2012 - 7:03PM

    Punjab government tried to start many power projects like power from biofuel (with the help of sugar mills) and not to forget those projects for which Punjab has payed heavy demurrage on it.


  • Khurram
    May 26, 2012 - 7:04PM

    @Imran: PTI supporters are now Blaming Punjab for everything and they have their presence in Punjab only. Let us see with this Agenda of PTI followers from other Provinces against the same Province where PTI is stronger will take them?. In my view PTI now cannot win a single seat from Punjab with this Hate agenda campaign which they are heading against Punjab.Recommend

  • ali
    May 26, 2012 - 7:55PM

    Thanks to PPP, Sindh has fewer hours of load shedding. Sindhis will never forget this blessing that came in the form of 18 th amendment that allowed provinces to use their resources to fulfill their own needs. Hail Zardari!


  • May 26, 2012 - 8:04PM

    after 19th amendment, Provincial governments can produce electricity on their own. Khadim-e-Aala please care to tell us why your government has failed to produce electricity in punjab?


  • Hafeez Khan
    May 26, 2012 - 8:04PM

    Besides load shedding Wapda is playing another game. They include some adjustment amount of the last year in the current electricity bill. Another corruption is that the bills are delivered just one day before the due date. I received my recent bill in the evening of 25th May, 2012 Friday. The office of Wapda is closed on Saturday and Sunday and the due date falls on Monday. So no chance left to ask the Wapda for this Adjustment charges. This is their BUDMASHI. In fact all the customers are fed up with the policies of Wapda so far as the preparation of electricity bills are concerned. But they can’t complain the authorities concerned who flatly refuse to tell the factual position of such adjustment charges. I think rather am sure that it’s all due to lose control of the present Corrupt Government which have made all the departments more corrupt. Allah may guide them to adopt the right path to run the Government smootly and efficiently. Aameen!


  • Anonymous
    May 26, 2012 - 8:05PM

    @Jamil Ahmed:

    > i totally agreed with SS on this issue

    And yet all Noora League supporters are sitting at home like SS. What a bunch of hypocrites. Unless they get a signal from the establishment there would be no long march.Recommend

  • Umer
    May 26, 2012 - 8:11PM


    There is a load shedding of 16 Hours
    in Industrial hubs like Sialkot,
    Gujranwala , Gujrat and Faisalabad
    whereas i visited Karachi and in their
    industrial regions there is a load
    shedding of less than 6 hours. This is
    a sheer discrimination against one
    region whereas Punjab

    Sindh doesn’t provide gas to its own people and give it to Punjab. Where is the thanks for that? What is Punjab giving in return to Sindh? Punjab is looting resources from Sindh and other provinces 24/7 and yet has nothing good to say about them. Sindh should stop all gas and revenue to Punjab as well as use of ports for Imports and Exports and let Punjab live with its own resources. Hopefully this would be a good lesson to the thankless Punjabis.


  • May 26, 2012 - 8:27PM

    Shahbaz Shareef is not a good administrator, He is enjoying Government as well as opposition facilities. This hypo-critic attitude will not work any more. People have understood fully the Noora Khushtee of PPP and PML(N) and it could be verified from the records as the maximum number of appointments in semi Government organization are being made with the consent of PML(N) politicians by Federal Government Recommend

  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    May 26, 2012 - 8:28PM

    Both brothers are talking about long march. Does their health allows this adventure or they will move in a bullet proof air conditioned cars and the rest of the hypnotized rabbits will follow them in scorching heat. I think they are too much scared from the popularity of Mr.Imran Khan. I don’t think that these Double Shahs of Politics will be able to bag more than 20-25 seats both in the National Assembly and Provincial Assembly in the coming elections provided they are ever held.


  • Peeru Shah
    May 26, 2012 - 8:57PM

    Mian Sahab your party plundered the country and you talk of taking out rallies…

  • Rajendra Kalkhande
    May 26, 2012 - 9:31PM

    @Ahsan: “last i heard ali baba was the good guy! not the leader of the theives” correct. An important role was played by a lady called Marzina to identify the thieves and then kill them one by one. Who is going to be the Alibaba and Marzina of Pakistan to nail the 40 thieves? Any guess? Is Imran khan going to be the Alibaba with or without Marzina?


  • RajaJi
    May 26, 2012 - 9:59PM

    after calling them to march to Islamabad, he stepped back in his air conditioned car and drove off lolz!


  • Tufail Malik
    May 26, 2012 - 10:04PM

    Leave the governmentif you can not run the country.people of Pakistan will have suffer if the load shedding continues. Th highest bill paying areas are the most affected.


  • Farooq Bashir Butt
    May 26, 2012 - 10:16PM

    Mr.Shariff stop taking two joys in one ticket.On one side PML(N) is in government in Punjab and has become the part of the problem by sticking to power corridors whereas also trying to lure the people.


  • ayaz bukhari(awaz e sindh)
    May 26, 2012 - 10:16PM

    Plz stop this show mr sharif, it can’t get longer. Whole pakistan knows you.Recommend

  • Zoaib
    May 26, 2012 - 11:04PM

    Last time SS gave this call for long march but it ended up in him sitting besides the PM in the serene energy conference, by which time all long march threats were forgiven. Don’t think this is much more than that…


  • M Umair Asghar
    May 26, 2012 - 11:15PM

    he is the only guy in pakistan actually working… u should see the clips of his prog with talat hussain (on his fb page) and u’ll et to know wht punjab govt is doing for electricity…
    SS is working day night for 2000MW generation from sugarcanes waste


  • M Umair Asghar
    May 26, 2012 - 11:19PM

    he had been stressing to generate electricity from coal and sugarcane (2000MW)… see his video on his page and u’ll get answer of ur Question:!/photo.php?v=179092402219045


  • LuvPak
    May 26, 2012 - 11:47PM

    @Rajendra Kalkhande:
    Ali Baba is the Avatar of the people of Pakistan and Fourty Theives are the Leaders of it’s Political Parties who Rob it whenever they get a chance. Marjeena! (Not Marzina, that would mean a sick female who has a “marz”)!
    Hai Marjeena! We don’t have Marjeena among us to kill the Thieves in the Drums. Possibly a lover threw acid on her or killed her during Domestic Violence. Now who is protecting the wealth of the People? Whoever comes to help is actually another Robber in Disguise.
    We need Marjeena and her Love and Wit to save her Master__ the people of Pakistan.


  • khurram shahzad
    May 26, 2012 - 11:48PM

    Actually Noon League is itself responsible for more loadshedding in Punjab than other provinces.How? Well, Noon Leauge agreed in 18th amendment that the provinces from where some resource is found has got the first right to use it.Now, Sindh and Balochistan produce gas that is used by power stations to produce electricity.This is the reason that SSGPL has more gas resources at its disposal than that of SNGPL.Punjab’s problem of electricity can only be solved when govt will pay the circular debt of Rs.300 Billion to IPPs who in turn will buy more furnace oil to run their power plants at maximum capacity.Similarly, KPK produces hydroelectric power, so it has the first right to use it as per 18th amendment.I do not favor PPP’s govt but this is the exact reason for more loadshedding in Punjab than other provinces.
    It is to be noted that Noon League agreed on everything (including changing the name of Sarhad province) in 18th amendmentRecommend

  • ho Ho Ho
    May 26, 2012 - 11:58PM

    Ali Baba was the good guy but he stole the looted wealth from the forty thieves, not to give it back to the owners, but to pocket it himself! Alas, Ali Baba and the forty thieves were up to no good. You can draw parallels with our country. Come what may, Ali Baba or the Fort thieves, the looted wealth will never go back to the owners.


  • neutrino
    May 27, 2012 - 12:40AM

    With you Shehbaz Sharif on this.


  • Abdullah
    May 27, 2012 - 1:35AM

    Ali baba was good person. I think CM has to say we have to make long march against all nimroods and firaoun.


  • Aamer Khawaja
    May 27, 2012 - 2:11AM

    You are shamelessly & unfortunately mis-informed, Sindh is infact providing all the gas to Sindhís, only from Sunday 9am to Monday 9am does gas go off, and that too only for industries, which btw don’t work on Sundays 99% of the time, please correct your information. Thank Punjab for providing Karachi 700MW electricity through NTDC.


  • bingo
    May 27, 2012 - 8:36AM

    As someone already pointed out, this is noora kushti.


  • Concerned
    May 27, 2012 - 9:12AM

    Well, the choice is with the Pakistanis to replace Ali Baba one with Ali Baba two or elect an Ali Baba with a clean image but again with 40 thieves.


  • Tariq
    May 27, 2012 - 10:18AM

    Lets talk numbers…..Punjab requires more than 10,000 MW of Energy and produces only 1700 , How many MWs Shahbaz Sharif has produced??


  • bingo
    May 27, 2012 - 11:13AM

    What is the source of your data. What about other provinces? What about their contribution to economy? What about the infrastructure requirements?


  • Khalq e Khuda
    May 27, 2012 - 11:44AM

    @Aamer Khawaja:

    With due respect Sindh generates 67% of gas in this country. It is also Self sufficient as far as electricity generation and petrol refinery is concerned. The 700 MW figure isthe amount supplied from national grid to KESC. All of this is still produced in Sindh at Guddu,
    Naudero and other big and small thermal plants in Sindh.Recommend

  • stenson
    May 27, 2012 - 9:46PM

    @ayaz bukhari(awaz e sindh): Yes the whole of Pakistan knows that the only province where there peace and stability is Punjab. This is due to the efforts of Shahbaz Sharif. Go and compare Lahore or any city in Punjab to cities in Sind and you will know that development is taking place because CM Punjab works for the people of the province.


  • NuPak
    May 28, 2012 - 5:45AM

    @stenson: You are right, 90% of the development is only taking place in Lahore because it can be seen and published with little effort. The real poor, voiceless and destitute live outside Lahore where not much of a show can be arranged. Imagine if all this bridge-making, Laptop-giving money that runs in billions if had been put to use for those living in rural areas every 1000 rupee spent on them could have change more lives than on already-fed city people.


  • ayaz bukhari(awaz e sindh)
    May 28, 2012 - 2:43PM

    wow, great said, you have diverted my view to another way, i said about the politics of pmln and about long march, which will never been happened. well, if we analyze the whole punjab then lahore is considered to be the peaceful, and rest of the punjab is not satisfactory specially south punjab, shahbaz sharif only use to focus on central punjab, is south punjab not the part of punjab???? As far as law and order situation in sindh is concerned alhamdulilah its quite better apart from karachi, there are different ethnic groups as well three parties in karachi, every one has its own merits and demerits.
    The city of karachi is being placed on the bed of arms, and mqm is the biggest culprit of that. this scenario has been developed by the sindh Govt it self.
    PPP is sacrificing the goods of sindh on the name of reconciliation policy.Recommend

  • ayaz bukhari(awaz e sindh)
    May 28, 2012 - 2:48PM

    totally agree with you.

    who will say to the leaders of pmln, they can’t be elected by rewarding the laptops.Recommend

  • Lahoree
    May 28, 2012 - 3:22PM

    Because, they are part of this whole Drama. When Khadem-e-Ala can import Waste Management from Turkey, he could have talked to China for support of power generation.


  • Lahoree
    May 28, 2012 - 3:22PM

    Your Dream Sir!!


  • May 31, 2012 - 8:00PM

    Because the politicians of our country only needs the power and the way to dethrone the current government.Instead to resolve the matter.. according to me dear sohail.

  • m.b.f.h.
    Jun 2, 2012 - 6:20AM

    Here is what happened: Although Altaf didn't bring all he promised to his constituents but one thing his team is good-at is recognizing & scrutinizing the unfavorable Policies made in the Capital. As a matter of fact they also compromised their stand when it comes to the overall benefit of the poor of Sindh. They are reaping the reward resulted in better economic conditions. Our PMLn's All-or-Nothing policy was already doomed from the birth. He sadly Preferred his own victory at the cost of his People.

    Not just Nawaz & his brother made irreversible judgement blunders due to the poor eyesight and strategic depth, they actually signed away their constituents’ benefits(for nothing). Why? Who helped MQM & PPP? Here is another secret: Only because the way their parties are made to function they use more Number of Brains for on each Problem Solving & Decision Making then PMLn did. Ofcourse with less emotional hatred but more reasoning & openness. It’s as simple as that.

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