MOHAMMAD ABRAR SHEIKH

ARIFWALA – “I can leave the government but never welcome (President) Asif Ali Zardari,” said Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif on Saturday at the inaugural ceremony of Arifwala-Sahiwal dual carriageway costing Rs 1,300 million at Trekhni Chowk in Arifwala.Addressing the gathering, Shahbaz said the Punjab government was serving the people from Attock to Rahim Yar Khan through various projects under the leadership of PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif, despite the fact that they had faced many difficulties during the four years of government in the province.He said Zardari in 2009 in collusion with the ‘Dogar Court’ attacked the Punjab government while using money, but he could not trap anyone, adding that the PML-N with the help of common people, lawyers and civil society - who rejected his (Zardari’s) shine - ensured the restoration of judiciary after hard-fought battle. The chief minister also advised the president not to make threatening statements.Shahbaz reminded Zardari that when the people of Punjab were experiencing the challenge of devastating floods (in 2010), he chose to fly to Paris for enjoyment. “You say that you will snatch the shine, but just go to the public and they will show you your real face,” Shahbaz remarked, as he announced that he would never welcome Zardari and rather opt to resign.He continued his counterattack on Zardari over his recent remarks, as he blasted him over calling the Sharif family as mohajir. Zardari did not know the meaning and significance of Hijrat (migration), the chief minister said while talking about Muhammad (PBUH) and his associates.“I announce at this platform that I will sacrifice each and everything and bring back the looted money from abroad,” he promised to the audience, adding that a huge amount of $60 million had been deposited in the Swiss banks. “All the money is for Pakistan.”The Punjab chief minister noted that corruption had paralysed the country, as he cited the examples of various scams including the RPPs, Steel Mills, NICL and Haj.“I cannot welcome corrupt people like him,” he said, adding that the PPP-led federal government had made the lives of people dark (an obvious reference to loadshedding) and economy and industry had been ruined. “Zardari cannot see a developed Punjab.”Shahbaz said he would have welcomed Benazir Bhutto a hundred times if she was alive, as she understood the real problems and had signed the Charted of Democracy.“Zardari is a friend of Musharraf. Zardari had seen Musharraf off with a salute of 21 guns salute and saved him from impeachment.”He stated that many roads had been constructed in the Pakpattan area but he was not satisfied with the quality of work. He ordered the department concerned to overcome their mistakes and blacklist the corrupt contractors.Earlier, Rana Zahid MNA, Dr Farrukh MPA, Mian Jalal Din Dhako MPA and party workers welcomed the chief minister at the helipad.Staff reporter from Pakpattan adds: Shahbaz Sharif has ordered timely completion of development projects and warned that there will be no compromise on the quality of the work.The chief minister ordered inquiry into poor execution of the city package and constituted a three-member committee, headed by Auqaf Minister Auqaf Haji Ihsanuddin Qureshi.Presiding over a meeting in Pakpattan, he announced provision of two busses to the Govt Women Post-Graduate College.He also visited the Shrine of Hazrat Baba Farid and ordered air conditioning of the mosque. He also announced construction of a Baba Farid Hospital at shrine.During a meeting with the press club delegation, headed by Murad Khan Asim, he announced a journalist housing for the media men of Pakpattan and Rs 0.5 million grant.