LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Wednesday was all praise for Chief of Army Staff General Qamar Javed Bajwa and seemed much impressed by his professionalism.

“I have met Army Chief Qamar Javed Bajwa and found him a professional person. His services for the country should be fully lauded,” he remarked while talking to reporters here.

A reporter had sought his comments about ‘Bajwa Doctrine’ on the occasion.

The chief minister said that much had been written in the media about it, but what he actually knew was that army chief was a professional soldier who must be commended for his services to the country.

“We jointly have to strengthen the national defence. The immortal sacrifices rendered by the armed forces of Pakistan for the defence of the country and elimination of terrorism and fanaticism should be appreciated from the core of our hearts. These priceless sacrifices will not go wasted,” he said.

Replying to another question about NAB, Shehbaz said NAB had become very active now-a-days; but it was the basic responsibility of the anti-graft body to investigate corruption and dishonesty. “Accountability of dishonesty occurring anywhere, either by a minister or a bureaucrat, is the responsibility of NAB but this accountability should be irrespective and indiscriminate without making any political victimization,” he averred.

The chief minister added that there were instances that corruption cases to the tune of billions or trillions of rupees had been established. “Now, it is the responsibility of the NAB to dig out this money and bring it before the nation,” he affirmed. He hoped that NAB would also bring back the looted money in such corruption cases.

“The way NAB has been activated, it is prayed that this should be made a blessing for the country and billions of rupees of looted money should be recovered from the corrupt people,” he observed, adding that NAB had also summoned him and he appeared before it.

“I answered their queries and everything is recorded. Afterwards, I held a press conference to put everything before the nation,” Shehbaz further stated. 

He also said that it would be unfortunate if a part of the society was engaged in politics in the garb of accountability. “Whether it is the PML-N, the PTI or the PPP, it would be a great loss to the nation if accountability is left behind for political reasons. We can only move forward through a strict system of transparency and accountability and can achieve success,” he said.

In response to a question, the chief minister said that he had held meetings with Ch Nisar Ali Khan who had rendered invaluable services for the party. “However, as the President of PML-N, it is my reasonability to maintain party discipline as well. Therefore, I have realized to everybody that party discipline should not be violated. The allegation-leveling should be stopped so that the party could go for elections with full concentration,” he maintained.

To another question, the chief minister claimed that the PTI was behind 22-month delay in completion of Orange Line Metro Train project. It filed petitions in the courts to create hurdles. The Punjab CM said that case was heard in Lahore High Court for one and a half years and LHC gave a verdict of 300 pages containing the stay order for 11 points of the project. “However, there was not even a single line about any corruption in this project. Similarly, the case was also heard in Supreme Court where Waleed Iqbal of PTI filed a petition. If there was any corruption in this project, the PTI should have given proof to the court. Now any wrangling about the corruption is, in fact, an attempt to misguide the nation,” he explained.

Shehbaz alleged that the PTI did not want to see the Pakistani people enjoying quality facilities available in Europe and other developed countries. “These people do not want that working class should reach their destinations in an honourable manner. There are no other supreme forums of justice than Supreme Court and high court. After failing to prove their corruption charges, PTI’s hue and cry about corruption in this project is equal to licking the dust.”

He said that train project was scheduled to be completed on December 25, 2017 and three lakh people were supposed to travel by train. The passage from Dera Gujran to Thokar Niaz Beg was scheduled to be covered in two hours and 35 minutes.

“Due to enmity of PTI with the people, a delay of 22 months has occurred in this project. A culture of sit-ins, lockdowns and strikes has been introduced by the PTI. It is bad luck that this party has made politics a hub of allegations and deceit,” he lamented.

To another query, the chief minister hoped that elections would be held in time, in a fair and transparent way so that the country could move further with speed to emerge as a great state. “We have to move further jointly,” he added.

“I made a promise two years ago that same high quality medicines will be provided to public sector hospitals which are used by the elite. With the grace of Allah Almighty, we have been successful in this regard and same medicines are being given to the common people at government hospitals which are used by the privileged. We have totally changed the culture of public sector hospitals,” he said, adding that a network of hepatitis filter clinics was being established in Punjab for the treatment of hepatitis patients. “25 hepatitis filter clinics have been completed at primary level where 90,000 patients have been provided treatment and free medicines,” he said.

Talking about the Kidney and Liver Transplant Institute, the chief minister said that this most modern institution had been developed by the Punjab government with its own resources and added that he was desirous of starting liver and kidney transplantation as soon as possible. Medical professionals, doctors and surgeons from Europe and America have joined PKLI and machinery and other medical equipments are speedily being installed in the hospitals.

“If Allah Almighty and the people accorded us an opportunity to serve the country again, the KP, Sindh and Balochistan will be brought at par with Punjab province with regard to educational facilities, health infrastructure and socio-economic development. Setting up of a wonderful institution like PKLI with provincial resources has no resemblance in country’s history and it is a major step towards public service,” he concluded.