“The government is clear about holding talks with the Taliban. The army and the political parties too have agreed to it,” Punjab Governor Chaudhry Ghulam Sarwar said on Saturday.
He was talking to the media at former union council nazim Qayyum Azam’s residence in Bahawalpur.
Sarwar said dialogue was the only way to resolve the issue. “We expect the Taliban to agree to it,” he said.
The governor said the government was against drone strikes on Pakistani soil. “More than 40,000 Pakistani soldiers and policemen have lost their lives in this war. Yet the International community does not fully recognise our sacrifices,” he said.
Sarwar said support for terrorism would not be tolerated at universities. He said strict action would be taken against those found illegally living at hostels.
He said education, health and restoration of peace were the top priorities of the provincial government. He said the government was using all available resources to change the police culture.
Sarwar said a board had been constituted to introduce a single syllabus at schools. He said an initiative had also been taken to establish a sub-campus of Islamic University, Bahawalpur, in Hasilpur tehsil.
“We are introducing a special programme for teachers’ training with help from the British government…Steps are also being taken to improve the educational standards at Aitchison College, Lahore, and Sadiq Public School, Bahawalpur,” he said.
Sarwar said safe drinking water would be provided to 100,000 school children by the end of this year.
The governor visited the Sheikh Wahan Sharif mosque. He also met the divisional and district administration officials at the Bahawalpur Circuit House.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 22nd, 2013.