RAHIM YAR KHAN/BAHAWALPUR  - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif and Ambassador of United Arab Emirates in Pakistan Essa Abdullah Al-Bashanu Aami inaugurated various developmental, educational and health projects.

The projects funded by the UAE government include: a road namely Allama Iqbal Open University road, Choudhry Hadayatullah Campus, Sheikh Khalifah Auditorium, Sheikh Khalifah Public School, Sheikh Khalifah Healthcare Centre, Sheikh Khalifah School of Allied Health Sciences, Sheikh Khalifah Chowk Darri Sanghi bridge, Sheikh Khalifah Sports Complex, a family park and mega sewerage project.

Talking to the media on the occasion, the Punjab CM condemned the Karachi bomb blasts. He said that all the Pakistanis are in deep grief due to innocent people's killings, adding that the Punjab government was with the people of Karachi.

"All the people of Punjab are with their brothers in Karachi and we are with the affected families. The UAE government spent billions of rupees for these projects and these are gifts for the residents of district Rahim Yar Khan," he said. He appreciated the UAE government's funding and paid rich tributes to UAE rulers. He said the UAE always helped Pakistan in hard times and gave financial aids to Pakistan. He said that the Pakistanis love the UAE and we will always stand together in the future. He further said that Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan also loved Pakistan and he considered Pakistan as his second home.

Talking to the media, the ambassador of United Arab Emirates said that his government would continue more projects and support the people of Pakistan. Essa said that more projects would be started soon. He said that relationship between Pakistan and UAE is very deep and the UAE government will continue to funding Pakistan. Later, the CM met with a delegation of farmers and ordered DPO Sohail Zafar Chattha to take a strict action against water thieves.

During a distribution ceremony held at the Islamia University of Bahawalpur, the chief minister distributed 4,300 laptops to the students. On the occasion, he mentioned the Punjab government's steps like establishment of Daanish schools, distribution of laptops, solar energy lamps, scholarships and internships to students to improve education. He said that the Punjab government had spent Rs1,100 billion in the education sector in the province during the last five years.

He said that that the Punjab government had laid the stepping stone towards the promotion of education. He said that it was a matter of pride for him to serve the new generation for better cause. He expressed the hope that the investment on the youth would bring positive results and they would take complete benefit of these facilities to utilise their energies for the national prosperity.

He remarked that it was a proof of his love for Bahawalpur that he started five mega projects from there including distribution of laptops, solar energy lamps under Ujala programme, establishment of Daanish schools for the children of poor, internship for the unemployed educated youth and the opening of a solar energy plant in Cholistan.

The Punjab chief minister paid rich tributes to Nawab Sir Sadiq Muhammad Khan Khamis Abbasi (Late), the last crowned ameer of the former Bahawalpur State, over his remarkable services for Pakistan, education and people of his state. He said, "We would follow his public welfare schemes devotedly to recognise his unforgettable contribution and services for the area and the country," he said.

Mr Sharif also announced a housing colony for the university staff. The vice-chancellor of IUB, Dr Muhammad Mukhtar, in his welcome address highly appreciated the education-friendly policies of the Punjab chief minister. He expressed the hope that the efforts of the Punjab chief minister for the youth would surely produce positive results. He said that the Islamia University of Bahawalpur was trying its best to come up to the expectations.

Later, the chief minister inaugurated a newly-constructed 410-bed Civil Hospital at Jhangiwala Road, Bahawalpur, adjacent to the city. He said that the provision of health and education facilities were among the top priorities of the PML-N government.

"We are committed to serve the public devotedly and selflessly while President Zardari and his accomplices had badly damaged the national exchequer and plundered the national wealth to ruin the economy which has led the country to bankruptcy. He said that the federal rulers had ruined all the national sectors like agriculture, industry and business. However, the looters will not be spared and every looted penny would be recovered from them," he pledged.

He asked the people to vote for the PML-N in the upcoming general elections to get rid of the corrupt as the PML-N was fully committed to making the country strong, progressive and prosperous. He also inaugurated the second biggest Drug Testing Laboratory project during his visit and ordered to release Rs14 million fund immediately to make it functional. Meanwhile, Director of Drug Testing Laboratory Bahawalpur Munnawer Hayat said that the project would complete at a cost of Rs.47 million but only Rs22 million had so far been released by the government. The chief minister also inaugurated Aashiyana Scheme near Model Town (A), Bahawalpur and performed the ground breaking ceremony of the housing scheme.