LAHORE - Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif chaired a meeting on extending cooperation between the Punjab government and the UK DFID for strengthening the ongoing health reforms . The British side was led by Chief of Basic Services Group of the DFID, Dr Ruth Lawson.

Addressing the meeting, the CM said a comprehensive programme has been started to provide quality healthcare facilities to the people and in this regard, special attention is being given to enhance the capacity of the health institutions.

He said Punjab Public Health Agency has been established and added that role of this new institution is important for providing prior information about the spread of different diseases along with devising of a comprehensive strategy for their treatment and eradication.

He said DFID is providing support to the Punjab government in education , healthcare and skills development. The Punjab government would welcome the technical assistance of the DFID to make the Punjab Public Health Agency commensurate with latest needs and trends.

“We don’t require resources, rather we need expertise and skills and further improvements will be brought in through technical assistance of DFID and Public Health team of the UK,” he added.

Dr Ruth Lawson said that cooperation with the Punjab government would be extended.

Provincial Minister Primary and secondary Healthcare Khawaja Imran Nazir, Provincial Minister Population Welfare Mukhtar Ahmed Bhart, Adviser Dr Umer Saif, Chief Secretary, health experts and high officials attended the meeting.

Separately chairing a meeting held to review Khadim-e-Punjab Ujala Programme, Shehbaz said a plan was been devised to transfer 20 thousand schools situated in remote and far-flung areas of the province to the solar energy.

The first phase of this program will start from southern Punjab and a total of 10,861 schools will be provided the facility of solar energy. He said that Khadim-e-Punjab Ujala Program will go a long way in providing and atmosphere conducive for students.

CM curses military coups

Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said the takeover of October 12, 1999 was a conspiracy against national development.

“The nation is still facing the negative consequences of that undemocratic and unconstitutional step,” he said in a statement on the eve of Musharraf coup anniversary.

“October 12, 1999, was the darkest day in democratic and political history of the country when a dictator dethroned the popularly elected democratic government” the CM added.

Shehbaz went on to say: “The process of development and prosperity has always been weakened during the dictatorial regimes. Had the democratic process not been sabotaged during different tenures of national history, the country would have not been plagued by problems. Political workers and leaders suffered difficulties during the martial laws are our heroes.”

“PML-N has always played an effective role for strengthening of democracy and democratic institutions as solution to country’s problems lie in continuity of democracy and adherence to the constitution. Today, we should pledge to fail any step against democracy,” the CM concluded.