MULTAN        -        Central leader of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Jahangir Khan Tareen dispelled on Saturday the impression that he and Shah Mahmood Qureshi stood in the way of creation of South Punjab Secretariat, saying both of them want this secretariat be established in Multan.

“It is unfortunate that the decision regarding establishment of the secretariat has not been made so far. Whether it is to be set up in Multan or Bahawalpur, I ask the Punjab chief minister and his cabinet to make a unanimous decision on this issue as soon as possible,” he declared while talking to the journalists here after attending a meeting at Cotton Research Institute. He hoped that the establishment of the secretariat would help resolve problems currently being faced by the people of South Punjab.

Mr Tareen claimed that the former governments cut cotton research budget by 90 percent. “Former governments are responsible for the destruction of cotton,” he maintained. He added that the N-League and PPP completely neglected cotton as a result of which today the farmers did not have good varieties to sow. He revealed that no variety worked against pink bollworm and it had become a big test for the pesticides to kill it and whitefly.

He revealed that the government has decided to take steps for the elimination of pink bollworm and whitefly in next year. He said that no one in the past bothered to conduct research to control whitefly and pink bollworm as a result of which both the pests posed the biggest challenge to cotton crop. He said that the government had started planning from today. He disclosed that the new varieties developed by the cotton research institute would be tested on emergency ground and all out steps would be taken to pass on these varieties to the farmer. He declared that the government would bring new technology for better yield of cotton. He told journalists that sugarcane was sown over 10 per cent less area than last year. He said that the previous government did not care about the farmers. “The farmer would have been prosperous, had the previous rulers cared about them,” he lamented.

He said that the government inherited ruined economy but their capable team and good policies lifted it. “We’ve controlled dollar, stopped power theft and collected revenue by recovering bills,” he claimed. He said that the nation needs to be a little patient and, God Willing, the PTI government would stand Pakistan on solid foundations very soon.