LAHORE (HANDOUT) - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif Thursday said that terrorism had caused irreparable loss to the national economy and weakened the foundations of the country.

Addressing the participants of National Security and War Course (NSWC) of National Defence University at CM Office, the chief minister said that more than 40 thousand officers, jawans of Pak Army, police and citizens lost their lives in the war against terrorism. He said that there was a war being fought in North Waziristan for the survival of Paksitan and the entire nation was standing with Pak-Army. He said that the nation was proud of glorious achievements of Pak-Army in operation Zarb-e-Azb.

Shahbaz lamented that the precious time of the nation had been wasted in processions, public meetings and sit-ins. He said that the entire nation would have to work for steering the country of poverty, unemployment, ignorance, energy crisis and coping with the problem of terrorism and march forward on one agenda with national consensus.

Provincial ministers, Assembly members, Chief Secretary, Inspector General Police, secretaries of various departments, heads of development institutions and senior officials of Punjab government were also present on the occasion.

The CM said that investment and economic activities could not be promoted in the country without eliminating terrorism. He said that the army was fighting against terrorists for making the country a haven of peace. He said that provision of education, health and other basic facilities would have to be ensured to the common man. “Without provision of basic facilities to the common man, Pakistan cannot be termed as a welfare state in accordance with the ideals of Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal,” the CM added.

Shahbaz said that education was the only way to put the country on the path to progress and prosperity, adding that only those nations progressed in the world which had spent their resources on promotion of education. He said that corruption must be rooted out for promotion of investment in the country, adding that it could not be promoted without a free and empowered justice system.

“Pakistan is a fortunate country of the world as 60 per cent of its population consists of youth and the destiny of the country and the nation can be changed by equipping them with education,” the chief minister maintained. He said that his government had started a number of programmes for the development of youth and empowering them.

The provincial chief executive said that South Korea, in the decade of 60, implemented the blue print of a five-year development programme and has become fourth biggest economy of Asia. He also stressed on the Pak-China relations, saying that China was a great and trustworthy friend of Pakistan.

“Pakistan can achieve an honourable place in international community by adopting the motto of hard work and honesty,” the CM hoped.