HASSAN ABDAL - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that nation youth are capable of steering the country out of crises and meeting the modern-day challenges through dedication, industriousness and working hard.

He was addressing an annual function on Parents’ Day at Cadet College Hassan Abdal, district Attock on Saturday. He said that it was the Muslims of India who, under the leadership of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah and with unity, created Pakistan and there were no sectarianism at that time. He said that there was no room for extremism in Pakistan and hoped that the youth would light the candle in the darkness and steer the country out of problems.

He said that the last federal government did nothing to implement energy and other development projects. He said that country’s security was linked to economic stability and the PML-N government was endeavouring for strengthening Pakistan. He said the youth constitute 60 percent of the population thus the nation looks for betterment of the country.  The chief minister said that despite being an atomic power, Pakistan had lagged far behind in economic field and other sectors. He said that the concept of security in today’s world has changed as the national sovereignty is linked to the economic and technological development. He said that in the changing international scenario, enemy countries of the past are today’s friends.

He elaborated that China and India fought a war in 1962 but now they were doing trade and extending cooperation. The chief minister said that the trade volume between China and India was more than $75 billion. He said, “Contrary to it, we are far behind. China is our very reliable friend which has supported Pakistan in every hour of trial but despite old and reliable relations, the volume of annual trade between both the countries is only $6 billion.”

He noted, “We have divided ourselves into different groups and instead of Muslim, we are proving our identity on the basis of various sects. Those believe in oneness of Allah, Prophethood of Hazrat Muhammad (SAWW) and the Holy Quran are cutting throats of each other. Did our forefathers created Pakistan for killing Muslims by one another? It is high time to reform ourselves.” For alleviation of poverty and elimination of unemployment, he suggested promotion of investment in the country, saying that time is passing speedily and nothing could be achieved through hollow speeches.

Criticising the former central rulers, the chief minister said that only paper work was done instead of making sincere efforts for the construction of Bhasha Diamir Dam and Dasu Dam. “Today, an amount of 12 billion dollars and 6 billion dollars are required for the construction of these dams respectively. PML-N government has started work on these dams,” he said. He said that the country can be put on the road to progress and prosperity only by taking concrete measures. He said that the youth completing education from prestigious educational institutions like Cadet College Hassan Abdal, have the ability to face challenges being confronted by the country.

Sharif announced a grant of Rs200 million for the college on behalf of the central and Punjab governments. He also distributed prizes to the cadets displaying outstanding performance in curricular and extracurricular activities. Federal Minister for Water & Power Kh Muhammad Asif, Federal Minister Khurram Dastagir Khan, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Sh Aftab Ahmed, Punjab Minister for Minerals Ch Sher Ali Khan, Lt-General Ahsan Mehmood, Principal Maj-Gen (r) Najeeb Tariq among others were also present.

The principal delivering welcome address mentioned various projects underway at the college and would complete at a cost of Rs100 million given by Punjab government and its additional annual grant. He also detailed the achievements and curricular and extracurricular activities of the college.