LAHORE - Punjab will soon be safer, peaceful and a prosperous province, Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif said yesterday.

He was presiding over a meeting at Punjab Safe Cities Project Headquarters Qurban Lines yesterday to review law and order situation in the province. Progress of Punjab Safe Cities Project for the protection of life and property of the citizens also came under discussion during the meeting.

Addressing the meeting, the chief minister said that provision of peaceful and safe environment to the masses is responsibility of the state. “Punjab Safe Cities Project is a revolutionary step towards peaceful, secured and prosperous Punjab,” he added.

Shehbaz said the Punjab Safe Cities Project is an important step for providing safer atmosphere to the citizens through modern technology, adding that latest technology is greatly helping overcome the crime.

That is why; besides Lahore, the Punjab government has decided to launch this project in six big cities of the province including Multan, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, Gujranwala, Bahawalpur and Sargodha, he said during the meeting.

Shehbaz Sharif directed the authorities to complete the building of Punjab Safe Cities Project soon in Qurban Lines and said that a third party audit of civil work be conducted at the earliest. He further stressed that action should be taken in letter and spirit on the decisions taken during the meeting.

The CM also gave approval to setting up of Procurement Cell in Punjab Police and said that services of the experts belonging to private sector will be acquired for Procurement Cell. Purchase of different equipments and machinery for police through this cell will help make the process more transparent and simple, he added.

The process of recruitment for the project should be completed transparently through NTS and best staff be selected and sent to London for training, he further directed.

“Present emergent situation demands emergent measures; therefore, duties should be performed efficiently and in a coordinated manner for foiling the nefarious designs of enemies of the peace .”

Directing to make foolproof security arrangements for the protection of life and property of the people, he advised the authorities to evolve a comprehensive system for monitoring the officials performing duties. Senior officers should personally review the performance of the officials performing duties at important places, he added.

Provincial law minister Rana Sanaullah, Special Assistant Rana Maqbool Ahmed, MPA Jehangir Khanzada, chief secretary, IGP Mushtaq Sukhera, home secretary, and officials of Punjab Safe Cities Authority were present on the occasion.

Shell shows interest in Punjab

Separately, Vice President International Company Shell for South Asia, Asada Harnsuit met Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif and expressed interest in enhancing investment in Punjab.

“Pakistan has become a peaceful country and the confidence of investors has restored,” the CM told the Shell official. “Now people from all over the world are investing in different sectors and various international companies are working on different projects. CPEC has also expanded new opportunities of investment in Pakistan,” he added.

Shehbaz Sharif said the China Pakistan Economic Corridor is a game changer and its completion will leave a far-reaching impact on the progress of not only Pakistan but the entire region. He termed expression of interest by Shell Company in benefiting from new opportunities of investment as good omen. He told Mr Harnsuit that transparency and merit are hallmark of Punjab government and this policy has been adopted in all the projects.

The vice-president of Shell Company acknowledged that law and order situation has substantially improved during the tenure of present government, as a result of which, confidence of investors has restored and a large number of investment opportunities have also become available. He said Shell Company is interested in enhancing investment in Pakistan especially Punjab.

Provincial Minister for Minerals Ch Sher Ali Khan, Chief Executive Officer Punjab Investment Board and other officials concerned attended the meeting.