LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif Thursday attended a function in connection with the 234th Independence Day of the United States at the residence of American Consul General Carmella Conroy and cut a cake. Speaker Punjab Assembly Rana Muhammad Iqbal, provincial ministers, MNAs and MPAs, and a large number of people representing different walks of life were also present on the occasion, says a press release. Addressing the function, Shahbaz said the Independence Day was of great significance for any country as it promoted awareness about the history and achievements. Congratulating the American nation on the day on behalf of government and the people of Punjab, he said Americans could rightly feel proud of the fact that their country stood as the sole super power of the world and a global leader in every sense. He said Pakistan was facing a heavy loss of human lives and damage to property in the war against terrorism, adding that poverty, ignorance and deprivations bread terrorism. Shahbaz said Punjab offered excellent opportunities for economic cooperation and investment, and the provincial government looked forward to building stronger links with the United States in various sectors. The host, Carmella Conroy, also spoke on the occasion.