LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that if the US wants elimination of terrorism in true sense it would have to support the strategy of Pakistan.

In a statement here Sunday, Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif said the menace of terrorism had caused maximum damage to Pakistan and almost 50,000 innocent citizens including officials of the armed forces, police, Rangers and security agencies had lost their lives due to terrorism.

“Our economy is continuously under pressure and we are facing difficulties in moving ahead,” he added.

He said American attitude was hampering the serious efforts aimed at maintenance of peace and was indirectly encouraging terrorism. The chief minister said that he had expressed reservations over the US aid just because of the drone attacks and the overall American behavior.

He disclosed that while talking to a high level American official, he termed the drone attacks insulting to Pakistan’s autonomy and sovereignty. The US official was a bit surprised at his remarks. After a few days, during a meeting, he assured that the US would not carry out any drone attacks during the dialogue process to be initiated by the Pakistan government. He lamented that this top level guarantee was not honoured even. Shahbaz cautioned that if problems continued to be created for Pakistan, the sincere efforts of the government towards elimination of terrorism would suffer a setback. World community needs to realise the ground reality and must put its weight behind the strategy of Pakistan failing which the elimination of terrorism would get all the more difficult. Earlier replying to a question about drone attacks after his arrival at Lahore Airport from London, Shahbaz said drone attacks by the US was a matter of grave concern for Pakistan and the PML-N would formulate a strategy on drones through consultation.  “Consultation will be made over this issue in the party meeting and a strategy would be evolved soon”, he said.

He said the PML-N had always raised voice against these attacks and Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif during his recent visit to America also raised this issue with the US President.

Talking about his visit to Turkey, Germany and Britain, he said that the basic purpose of these visits to the three countries was to motivate foreign investors to invest in energy sector in Pakistan so that energy crisis could be resolved.

He said that besides Pakistani and foreign investors, meetings were also held with the local authorities during this visit.  The Chief Minister said that during these meetings, talks were also held on energy crisis being faced by Pakistan and investment in this sector and hoped that these meetings would yield positive results.

He said that serious efforts were being made for dealing with the energy problem and ending loadshedding.

He said that full attention had been paid to the projects of power generation and several agreements have been signed with local and foreign companies in this regard.  He said that during his recent visit, talks were held with Pakistani investors based in Germany, Turkey and Britain as well as international energy companies for investment in power generation sector.

Meanwhile, Shahbaz Sharif on his return to Lahore from London after visiting Turkey, Germany and Britain early in the morning on Sunday proceeded to Rawalpindi after a few hours and presided over a high- level meeting at the Commissioner Office to review dengue situation and the measures taken in this regard.

Later, the Chief Minister inquired after dengue patients in the hospital. It may be mentioned that during his foreign visit, the Chief Minister continued to monitor the arrangements made in the province to deal with the menace of dengue.

He addressed meetings in Lahore and Rawalpindi on this issue through video conference from Berlin and London and issued necessary instructions.

The attendants of the patients appreciated the efforts of Chief Minister and said that he would definitely succeed in defeating dengue this year as well as he did in 2011 and 2012.