LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif said on Monday that his party would definitely issue a ticket to disgruntled party leader Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan in the general elections in 2018.

The statement comes after Chaudhry Nisar did not submit application for party ticket for the general elections 2018. Nisar, who was member of PML-N’s parliamentary board back then in 2013, has announced to contest elections from NA-59 and NA-63 constituencies.

On the other hand, PML-N has not included its senior leader in the parliamentary board constituted for awarding tickets.  Earlier, Shehbaz said that candidates having the passion to serve the masses will be given priority in award of tickets for the next general elections, which his party will win with a thumping majority.

Addressing a parliamentary board meeting that scrutinised applications of candidates from Sargodha here yesterday, Shehbaz said promises made with people have been fulfilled and loadshedding and terrorism have been eliminated. Similarly, savings to the tune of billions of rupees in different development projects is another achievement of the party, he said.

During the meeting, interviews of different candidates were conducted for the upcoming elections. On this occasion, Shehbaz said that PML-N is deep-rooted in the masses and the party has promoted politics of public service. In fact, he said, the PML-N is the largest and most popular political party in the country and public service, honesty, trust and transparency are its hallmarks. The present tenure of the PML-N government is the golden period of the history as the number of projects initiated and completed by the PML-N-led government has no resemblance in the 70 years history of the country.

Shehbaz said that promises made with people in the party manifesto have been fulfilled and the masses will make politics of public service a success in the upcoming elections. He said the PML-N leadership has worked very hard to serve people and due to the untiring efforts made by the government the Punjab province is leading other provinces with regard to development and prosperity. He vowed that he will continue to serve the masses till the last drop of his blood and added that no one can separate him from people.

The projects completed in PML-N’s tenure are an example of its own. On the contrary, he said, political opponents remained engrossed in making hollow claims and did not serve the masses. After a passage of five years, the PML-N is proudly standing with its head high in the court of people, Shehbaz said.

Former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, former federal and provincial ministers Khawaja Saad Rafique, Rana Tanvir Hussain, Khurram Dastgir Khan, Chaudhry Tanvir, Ahsan Iqbal and others attended the meeting.

Separately, Shehbaz Sharif, who will continue to serve as Punjab chief minister until nomination of an interim chief minister ahead of the upcoming general elections, said that environmental degradation and climate change have emerged as a bigger challenge for the nation. He said that environmental issues have become a stumbling block in the formation of a healthy society.

In his message issued here on the eve of World Environment Day, the chief minister said that atypical environment changes are occurring on the planet earth due to increased unnatural phenomena. Irrespective of its category and kind, the environmental degradation is badly affecting natural habitat and human health, he said. “This day reminds us about taking effective and collective measures to save the environment from further degradation,” he said. He said that protection of natural resources and increased public awareness could help in promoting safety of environment.  Therefore, he said, awareness campaigns should be continuously run to project the importance of environment. A major reason for environmental degradation and pollution is cutting of trees, he said.

He said there is a need to protect forests and increase the area under forests. Keeping thing in view, the Punjab government has adopted a holistic approach to remain safe from environmental pollution, he said. He said that adoption of necessary steps for saving the environment from pollution is part of government priorities to provide healthy atmosphere to people. “In fact, we all have to play our roles in maintaining clean atmosphere around us and on this World Environment Day we should seriously reaffirm our commitment to act as a defender of clean environment at the grassroots,” he said.

Shehbaz said that this day requires collective efforts to save this planet. “We should reiterate that we will continue to play our role for protection of environment and this planet from different challenges,” he added.

Earlier, Shehbaz strongly condemned the unprovoked firing by the Indian army on the Sialkot Working Boundary. He expressed a deep sense of sorrow and grief over the martyrdom of a woman and girl child due to Indian army’s firing and expressed heartfelt condolences and sympathies with the bereaved families. He directed the authorities to provide best medical treatment to the injured.

The chief minister said that firing on the civilian population by the Indian army is a blatant violation of human rights. He said that targeting the civilian population is a cowardly and nefarious act of the Indian army. He said the Pakistan Army is effectively answering every provocation of the Indian army and the entire nation stands by its brave armed forces. In fact, he said, the Modi government has become a threat to the regional peace, the chief minister concluded.