KARACHI - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Wednesday apologised for criticising Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari.

“I have apologised before and if you say I apologise again,” said the CM in a light mood to the media in Karachi. Shahbaz had harshly criticised Asif Ali Zardari in the past when the latter was serving as the president of Pakistan.

Earlier, Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif paid one day visit to Karachi. During the visit, he held important meetings with Sindh Governor Ishratul Ebad Khan, Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Sindh chapter leaders.

Shahbaz was received by Qaim and various PML-N leaders. He held detailed meeting with Governor Sindh Ebad in Governor House Karachi to discuss political and national matters and different development projects. During the meeting law and order situation of Karachi also came under discussion. Both the leaders agreed to resolve various issues through negotiations. On the occasion, the Punjab CM also congratulated the governor on his daughter’s marriage.

The Punjab chief minister also held meeting with Sindh CM Qaim at the Sindh Chief Minister House. During the meeting, various issues including the NFC Award formula, Karachi Metro Bus project, Circular Railway, Pak-China projects to link various cities of Sindh and security situation of the province came under discussion. Shahbaz offered full cooperation to Sindh government over the projects like metro buses in various cities of Sindh. He also invited Qaim to the inauguration of metro bus project in Rawalpindi. Furthermore, both the leaders agreed to enhance security at the borders of Sindh-Punjab and cooperate to end the looming threat of terrorism from the country.

Talking to media men after the meeting with PML-N Sindh chapter leadership at Punjab House Karachi, Shahbaz said progress of the country was linked with elimination of terrorism from the country and to get better results, all provinces had to work together. “Terrorisms cannot be eliminated with a bullet so political forces should focus on resolving public issues especially unemployment, education, health and others. Currently the country is facing terrorism and power shortage - the two major challenges whereas the military leadership stand firm against the terrorism in the country. Collective efforts of all the four provinces are needed to defeat the scourge of terrorism.”

Shahbaz said China had expressed confidence in the people of Pakistan. Out of 43 billion dollars Chinese investment, 33 billions dollars would be spent on the energy projects. Criticising Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan, he said last year the conspirators attempted to derail democracy and it was considered as the dark chapter in the history of country.

“I urge ‘Shah Sahib’ (CM Sindh) to resolve PML-N people issues in Sindh,” said CM Punjab in reply to a query. He further informed that during the meeting with PML-N Sindh chapter leadership various issues including the local bodies’ election came under discussion. The central leadership of the party will hold meeting to finalise distribution of the tickets and coalition with the like-minded parties for the upcoming LB polls in Sindh. He further assured that LB polls would be held in Punjab province soon.

Talking about the Axact fake degree scam, he said PML-N government had not taken any step against the software company. The reports regarding the involvement of government were baseless. The software company is responsible for whatever had happened, he added.

To a question about Karachi law and order situation, he said the targeted operation in Karachi would be taken to its logical end and arrest of Safoora carnage suspects is the big achievement of LEAs. Constructive discussions were held with the chief minister and governor over terrorism. Shahbaz did not respond to the question about changing the Sindh governor.