LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that the day of accountability of thieves and looters, who have plundered the hard earned money of the poor, has come closer.

Addressing a public meeting at Ludhar village, Bedian Road Sunday, the chief minister said masses would rule the country after the upcoming polls while those who looted national resources ruthlessly would be behind the bars.

Had Zardari and his cronies not plundered national wealth during last five years, the country would not have been facing darkness, industrial sector would not have been shut down and agriculture, education, health and other sectors not been destroyed, the CM added.

“Zar Baba and Forty Thieves have emptied the national exchequer, corruption is rampant and billions of rupees have been plundered while a new corruption scandal is coming to surface almost daily,” he added.

Shahbaz said people would have to elect such a leadership which gave solid economic policies to the country made it a nuclear power and turned down the American offer of five million dollars. He said such a leadership would have to be brought into power which built Gwadar Port, airports and laid a network of development projects throughout the country.  He said, if given opportunity by the people, Pakistan would be made a developed and prosperous country under the leadership of Nawaz Sharif and every penny of public money would be recovered from the looters and utilised for the benefit of the masses.

The chief minister said the 60-bed hospital to be constructed at a cost of Rs 30 crore in Ludhar will soon start providing medical facilities to the people. He said though the member of the National Assembly elected from the constituency does not belong to PML-N but still Punjab government has undertaken record development schemes in this area at a cost of billions of rupees.

He said Bedian Road passing through this area which was in a dilapidated condition has been completed by the Punjab government in a record period for the provision of modern transport facilities to the citizens. He said besides providing Emergency 1122 service in the constituency, a police station has also been set up in the area for the eradication of crime.

The chief minister said 30 thousand tractors were distributed among small farmers at a subsidy of two lakh rupees each while 300 tractors were distributed in this constituency on merit. He said educational scholarships were given to more than 40 thousand from educational fund for higher education.

Shahbaz said splendid project like Ring Road and metro bus had also been completed by Punjab government under leadership of Nawaz Sharif. He said though billions of rupees were spent on the purchase of aeroplane and bulletproof vehicles for president, prime minister, chief ministers, governors, federal ministers and elite during last five years but the common man and working classes remained deprived of proper travelling facility.

However, he said, the Punjab government had arranged travelling facilities for the masses by completing public welfare project of metro bus through which more than 1.25 lakh people were travelling daily.

Member Provincial Assembly Rana Mubashar Iqbal also spoke on the occasion while Assembly Members, Pakistan Muslim League-N leaders and a large number of workers were present on the occasion.

Meanwhile, Shahbaz Sharif condemned the bomb blasts in Karachi.

He also expressed his deep sense of grief and sorrow over the loss of precious lives in these blasts. Shahbaz Sharif said those targeting the innocent people are not human but beasts. The CM prayed for the departed souls and early recovery of injured. Also, Shahbaz Sharif inaugurated the largest Kalma Chowk underpass of the history of the country on Sunday.

Addressing a ceremony held on the occasion, the chief minister said completion of the largest underpass in a record period of 82 days is a great achievement which was possible due to the collective efforts of the entire team working on the project. He congratulated the concerned departments, members assembly, contractors and labourers who worked on the project.  The chief minister said the underpass consisting of seven lanes has been completed at a cost of Rs.2 billion in a record period of 82 days. He gave away cheque for Rs.25 lakh to the labourers who worked on the project. Shahbaz Sharif said that transparency, quality and speedy completion of development projects, is the hallmark of Punjab government.

The chief minister said the Punjab government has spent millions of rupees on the improvement of infrastructure throughout the province and a network of roads, bridges and underpasses has been laid due to which economic and trade activities have increased in the province.

Director General LDA while giving briefing about the Kalma Chowk underpass, informed that this project has been completed by working round the clock and one lakh sixty thousand vehicles will pass through this underpass daily. Later, the Chief Minister inaugurated underpass and passed through it.

Also, the chief minister said special children were not inferior to normal children with regard to God-gifted qualities, talent and hard work. He said physical disability did not create any hurdle in the struggle and capacity of special children.  He was addressing a function arranged by Special Education Department for awarding cash prizes and commendatory certificate to special children who achieved prominent positions in Secondary School Examination at Punjabi Cultural Complex, Gaddafi Stadium, on Sunday.

He said it was responsibility of the government that like normal children, it should also encourage special children at every level. He said that position-holder special children have achieved a prominent place in the society on the basis of their hard work and steadfastness and Punjab government fully appreciates their spirit and efforts. He said that philanthropists and NGOs working for the welfare of special children are ensuring success for themselves in this world and the world hereafter.

Senator Pervaiz Rashid, Special Assistant Zaeem Hussain Qadri, Advisor Zakiya Shahnawaz, Secretary Special Education Mohyuddin Ahmad Wani, former chief secretary Pervaiz Masood, special children, their parents, teachers and a large number of prominent personalities associated with NGOs were present on the occasion.  The chief minister gave cash prizes of 65 lakh rupees and commendatory certificates to 31 male and female special children. The Chief Minister said that holding of such ceremonies is very important for encouraging special children. He said that special children have polished their talent through their courage and determination for which they as well as their parents and teachers deserve credit.

He said that despite problems, special children have displayed commitment and spirit of hard work and their self-confidence is commendable. That is why, he said, they have become a symbol of determination and courage and the self-confidence on their faces reflect that they do not feel inferior to normal citizens of the society.

He said he was hopeful that special children would be able to achieve a distinguished place in the society in future. He said that proper attention was not paid to the education and training of special children in the past.