LAHORE - Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif says he is committed to overcoming all obstacles his political opponents are putting in the way of his mission to develop Punjab and provide the best facilities to people.

Shehbaz said in a statement here on Sunday the PML-N government had initiated mega projects for development and prosperity of people that had no match in the 70-year history of the country. He said provision of record development budget to southern Punjab was also an honour for the PML-N government. He said that transparency, quality and speed were distinctive features of the Punjab government; therefore, Punjab Speed had become a catchword in Pakistan as well as abroad. For the first time in the history of Pakistan, he said, record had been set by saving millions of rupees from almost every development project. This saved amount is being used in other public welfare schemes, he said.

The chief minister said that innovative projects had been started in education, health, agriculture and other sectors and positive impact of these projects had raised living standards of the public. He said that magic of PML-N's mega projects would show its power in the next elections. He vowed that after coming into power with people’s support in 2018 “we will fulfill our promise of bringing Pakistan in the line of developed countries. We only believe in public service, development and prosperity, as this is our politics and our worship.”

Shehbaz said that those whose politics was based on lies, allegations and U-turns had no interest in public service. On what grounds they claim to be public representatives? he asked. He said those who promoted disrespect and falsehood in politics tried to stop the journey of development in Punjab and were responsible for delay in welfare projects like Orange Train. He vowed that he would continue to move forward on the journey of development without heeding to opponents' criticism. He said people’s prosperity and resolution of their issues were the acts closest to his heart. He said, “We have always served the public and will continue to do so till our last breath.” He asked the opponents to review development and transparency in Punjab. He said the new record was set by saving Rs625 billion from development projects. Those who are levelling baseless allegations and involved in criticism for the sake of criticism would get nothing, but regrets in the next general elections.

Separately, Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif said in his message on the Kashmir Solidarity Day that February 5 offered people an opportunity to pay tribute to the unparalleled commitment of Kashmiris to attain their right to self-determination. “This day reminds the global community that it should play its proactive role in light of UN resolutions to get Kashmiris their right to self-determination and political future,” he said.

He said, “We all salute them for their unending sacrifices in this journey.” He said that denial of right to self-determination to Kashmiris highlighted flaws in moral, diplomatic and political behaviour. He said that a durable and peaceful resolution of the Kashmir issue was essential to bring stability in South Asia. He said it was pivotal to fully benefit from collective resources of the region. He said that PML-N had always projected the Kashmir cause at every national and international forum and laid stress on the need for a diplomatic solution to the problem in light of UN Security Council resolutions. “In accordance with demands of people of Kashmir, we will keep highlighting their conditions at national and international forums,” he said.

He assured Kashmiri people that Pakistan would never abandon them. He said that Kashmiri people were facing atrocities with courage, but India could not deprive them of their basic rights. He said that Pakistani people had always raised their voice against the oppression of Indian forces in occupied Kashmir and abuse of human rights. He reaffirmed steadfast support of people and the government of Pakistan to the Kashmiri brothers and sisters in their struggle to achieve their inherent right to self-determination. He said that in today's democratic and media dominating era, it was very unfortunate to deprive Kashmiri people of their basic right through this tyrannical detention. By observing the day for solidarity of Kashmir, we have to reiterate the commitment to continue political, moral and diplomatic support to Kashmiris. Also, taking notice of death of a 20-year-old motorcyclist in a kite string-related incident in the Naikapur area in Sialkot, Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif suspended DSP City and SHO of Naikapur Police Station and sought report from the DPO. He also directed that a departmental action be taken against the suspended officers who did not enforce the ban on kite flying.