LAHORE - Expressing apprehensions about delay in the general elections, outgoing Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said the country can face a dangerous situation if that happened.

“The Islamabad High Court decisions to erase fresh delimitations of the constituencies and the Balochistan Assembly resolution to seek one month delay in election do not auger well for the on time election in the country,” he said yesterday.

If election did not take place on time, the ensuing situation will be disastrous for the country, democracy and the institutions, he maintained.

All political forces must therefore hold dialogue to ensure timely elections, get united to meet the challenges and take the country ahead, the ex-chief minister added.

This was Shehbaz Sharif’s farewell interaction with the media, which came hours before the expiry of PML-N government in Punjab on the completion of five years terms, at the Pakistan Kidney and Liver Transplant Institute (PKLI).

The outgoing chief executive of Punjab also took some queries from the media persons while his speech dominantly related to newly constructed state of the art PKLI where first two kidney transplantations were successfully carried out under the supervision of institute head Dr Saeed Akhtar a day before.

He said that elections should be held in a free and fair manner. Two democratic governments have had completed their tenures which is a success of democratic system.

It is necessary that all should jointly work for national progress and “we can leave India behind in many sectors in next five years” if government and the opposition could collectively work for national development.

Shehbaz Sharif told the media gathering that his government was completing the term after fulfilling the commitment of meeting the electricity crisis which had badly hit the country when they took over.

He said in addition to thousands of megawatts of electricity under the CPEC, Punjab government from its own resources built the energy plants which are sharing over 5000mw to the national grid system that is not a small achievement.

Today, he said, loadshedding was quite negligible although not 100 per cent over. The chief minister said till this [last] day [of their government] he was responsible for providing electricity to the people and if this menace re-emerged tomorrow in the interim set up, he should not be blamed.

“You know the loadshedding will also know by then that we are out,” he said with a cheek in tongue, stirring laughter among the audience.

Shehbaz said that despite the fact that hydel power generation had come down to a very low level due to lack of water, the PML-N government kept the outages out and did not let it become a scourge.

Showing his spirit to serve the country again, he said in the next five years Pakistan will surpass India in every sphere of national life.

To a question whether he was satisfied with the work during his expiring tenure, he replied in negation saying that he wanted to do much more than what he had done so far and unless the target of prosperity and financial independence is achieved he would not feel satisfied.

Approving of the NAB responsibility towards holding the corrupt accountable, the chief minister however observed that accountability should not create an environment of fear which discourages even the honest and dedicated officials. This dread, he said, also caused delay in completing liver transplantation project of the Institute.

He said that provision of free of charge kidney and lever treatment at the PKLI, which otherwise costs hundreds of thousands of rupees, was a great service to the public.

Shehbaz recalled that he had spent $60,000 on his cancer treatment abroad four years ago. But I better stop here, lest the NAB takes action on his medical expenses too, he said in a lighter vein.

He said PKLI will save Pakistanis from the disgrace they received in India where they would go for liver treatment in the past. Now they can proudly tell India and Modi that “we also have a hospital for kidney and liver treatment that matches the treatment of John Hopkins and Cleveland of London”, he added.

Replying to a question, he said that nation has become quite mature now and it should evaluate that who has served them and who has wasted their time. To a question about the caretaker chief minister, he said that Khan Sahib is continuously speaking lies for the last five years and taking U-turns.

Opposition leader belonging to PTI gave name of caretaker CM after consulting party chief but then Imran Niazi took U-turn and it is, in fact, an excuse to delay the polls, Shehbaz remarked.

To another question, the chief minister said that democracy will be promoted if elections are held free and fair and if it is not done so then God forbid there would be catastrophe.

He said that Imran Niazi levelled baseless allegations on the PML-N about rigging in the last general elections but he failed to give any proof in the court.

“Imran Niazi scraped accountability commission in his province [Khyber Pakhtunkhwa]. I would be held accountable if allegations of Imran Khan are proved; otherwise, he should dwell in some room for worship and pray to God,” he added.

The outgoing CM said that PKLI has been established with Rs20 billion. Its first phase has been completed while the nursing school and research centre was being setup as well.

Shehbaz said 70 medical experts from Europe and Middle East are working here. He said that attendants are happy over the kidney transplants of their patients as this hospital was no less than any European health institute with regard to medical facilities.

This hospital does not belong to Punjab alone but the whole of Pakistan and deserving patients coming from across the country will get free treatment here, he said.

Liver transplant will also be started in next two to three months, he said. As much as Rs1.5 billion has been spent on treatment of poor Pakistani patients in India during the last 10 years and after the start of this hospital, this chapter would be closed and “Modi’s help will not be required anymore”.