LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif seeks British investment in Lahore Knowledge Park.

“There are excellent opportunities of UK investment in Lahore Knowledge Park,” the Chief Minister said yesterday during a meeting with British Minister of State for Trade and Investment Lord Maude in London.

The chief minister thanked the British government for enhancing export funds for Pakistan. He said Pakistani exports have substantially enhanced after the GSP Plus status was granted by the European Union.

Shahbaz Sharif said construction and repair of roads under a mega project are underway in Punjab. “It is sure to accelerate economic activities in the province,” he added.

UK Minister Lord Maude lauded the Punjab government for setting up an IT-based system to monitor the public welfare schemes. He said the Punjab government is achieving progress and development in province with the cooperation of Department for International Development (DFID).

Meanwhile, CM Shahbaz Sharif disclosed that vaccination of newly born babies in Punjab has increased by 20 percent. “As many 200 monitoring assistants have been deputed for collecting data about health facilities in the province”, Shahbaz Sharif chief minister said during a meeting with Head of Public Health England, Duncan Selbie in London.

The CM said the health sector in Punjab has been reformed to provide healthcare facilities to every citizen. “As many as 700 basic health units have been converted into mother and child health centers for decreasing the death rate of women during birth of child and these centers work round the clock.”

“First time in the history of Pakistan, serious efforts are underway to control population rate. 48000 health workers are being trained to create awareness about population planning.”

Duncan Selbie appreciated the use of information technology for monitoring performance in the health sector in Punjab. He said wanted the other under-developed countries to follow this system.

Separately, CM Shahbaz met Chief Executive British Council Sir Ciaran Devane and thanked Britain for the help in rehabilitation of libraries at British Council in Pakistan. The CM expressed the hope that British Airways will soon resume flights to Pakistan.

Separately, Britain Minister for Pakistani Affairs Tobias Ellwood hosted a reception in honour of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif in London.

Mr Ellwood said a delegation of prominent British investors would visit Pakistan in the beginning of next year, adding that the current visit of the Chief Minister would greatly help promote Pak-UK economic relations.

CM Shahbaz, in his address, welcomed the increase of financial cooperation by DFID for Punjab and KPK. He expressed the hope that same cooperation for other provinces of Pakistan will also be increased soon.

Security steps for LB polls:

Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has directed the law enforcement agencies to ensure foolproof security arrangements in the third phase of Local Bodies elections on December 5.

“The police and the administration should perform their duties efficiently for maintaining the environment of public peace in local government elections,” the CM ordered yesterday. He urged the police and administrative officers to put up their best efforts to maintain law and order on the polling day.

Shahbaz Sharif warned of strict action against those who would resort to aerial firing while celebrating victory. “They will be dealt with iron hand,” he maintained.

The chief minister ordered the police to strictly ensure ban on carrying and displaying of weapons across the province. “Security plan evolved in this regard should be implemented in letter and spirit,” he stressed.