LAHORE - Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had a meeting at their Raiwind residence on Sunday and discussed host of issues including the Model Town tragedy and expected arrival of PAT chief Dr Tahirul Qadri in Islamabad on Monday morning (today).
Sources said that the two leaders pondered over various options to deal with the law and order situation on the arrival of Dr Qadri. The option of taking Dr Qadri into protective custody and its implications were also discussed at length.
The security threats coming in the wake of military operation in North Waziristan was another subject of discussion between the two brothers. Issues relating to deployment of armed forces in major cities of the province also came under discussion.
The chief minister also briefed the prime minister about the formation of judicial commission and joint investigation team to get at the facts. Shahbaz said he would go to any extent to meet the demands of justice.
In the context of Qadri’s planned Long March, the prime minister reportedly said that nobody should be allowed to pose any threat to the public life and property.
Meanwhile, Shahbaz said that Pakistan was passing through a critical phase and facing internal and external challenges. Therefore, he said, the country could neither afford politics of agitation nor it was justified at this stage. He said the elements engaged in politics of agitation are trying to hamper the ongoing uplift process, but the patriotic and enlightened people would totally reject the politics of sabotage and chaos.
Talking to a delegation of MNAs and MPAs who met him here on Sunday, the CM said the PML-N government led by PM Nawaz Sharif had worked day and night during the last one year to steer the country out of problems due to which the national economy was improving. He said that rupee had appreciated 15 per cent against dollar while tax collection had also increased. He said that overall national production had enhanced, textile exports had increased by seven per cent while foreign exchange reserves had exceeded 14 billion dollars.
Shahbaz said that expeditious efforts were being made for resolving energy crisis and 1,700 megawatts of electricity had been added to national grid in a short period while work had been started on 19 projects of generation of 24,870 megawatts electricity besides coal and solar power projects under the leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif first time in the history of Pakistan.
The chief minister said that China had announced an investment package of 32 billion dollars for energy, infrastructure and other sectors and due to solid and comprehensive measures taken by the government, the pace of progress and development has accelerated. He said that not even worst opponents have been able to accuse federal or Punjab government of corruption of even a single penny during the last one year and national resources are being spent on the welfare and betterment of the people.
Shahbaz Sharif said that some political opponents of the government were making futile efforts to create confusion and chaos in the country through protest and agitation but the people of Pakistan would follow their political tactics. He said that patriotic and enlightened people of the country would never support such elements engaged in meaningless protest and agitation.
The chief minister wondered that he was unable to understand why some elements were trying to hinder the process of national progress and prosperity through agitation and whose agenda they were trying to implement by hampering projects aimed at public welfare and uplift.
He said the demands of justice would be fulfilled at any cost regarding the loss of precious human lives in a clash with police in Lahore and those responsible for this tragic incident will not escape punishment. He said that he fully realised the sentiments of families of the deceased people as well as leaders and workers of the Pakistan Awami Tehrik.
He said that the report of judicial commission will be implemented in letter and spirit and the guilty persons will not escape punishment. He said that the case registered against the sons of Tahirul Qadri was withdrawn the same night.
He said his six-year tenure as Khadim-e-Punjab was before the masses. He said that he was the one who provided help to the victims of floods and other natural calamities everywhere in the province. He stood with the oppressed and spared no effort to take to task the oppressors and the powerful, under the law and constitution. He said his track record was witness to the fact that he never compromised on principles, and justice will also be ensured to the victims of Lahore tragedy.
The chief minister said that he has already given orders for the arrest of those who opened fire on innocent people and all out measures are being taken to uphold justice. He said that he is answerable to Allah Almighty as well as 100 million people of Punjab and has stood by the weak against the powerful.
He said that he will neither tolerate any hurdle in the provision of justice nor make any comprise in this regard. He said that he is ready to go to any extreme to ensure transparent and impartial inquiry. Shahbaz said that he was Khadim of the people and was deeply aggrieved at the loss of precious human lives. He said that people of Punjab were like his family and he could fully realise the feelings of the bereaved families. He said that PM Nawaz Sharif, federal and Punjab government as well as the whole nation shared the grief of the families of the victims.
He said that the government had started exemplary programmes to resolve issues of the poor masses and hampering this process is neither a service to the country nor a revolution.