LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said all who have been at the helm of affairs since the creation of Pakistan are collectively responsible for the failures.

“We are all Pakistanis and we are very much indebted to our motherland. We need to pay this back with hard work,” the CM said while addressing the participants of 106th National Management Course at Model Town on Wednesday.

“During the last 70 years, we collectively remained unsuccessful in justifying our positions. We failed to give a country to our children they deserved duly. The soil of our country is questioning this to us even today.

“We have more failures than successes. If Pakistan is lagging behind, then no single person is responsible, but the responsibility lies on all of us. Politicians, generals, judges, bureaucracy, elite of the society and we all did not do justice to Pakistan.

“Whether there were political governments or it was dictatorship, no one came up to the expectations of the nation. Even after the passage of 70 years, we are falling out with each other, while the motherland asking us to pay back the debt,” he said.

The chief minister stressed the need for hardwork and unity, saying: “We collectively have to work and stand shoulder to shoulder for the prestige and honor of the country. If we get united today, Pakistan will surely regain its lost status in the comity of the nations.”

Adding that socio-economic discrepancies have created differences, Shehbaz termed the socio-economic inequality as a major hurdle in development of the country. “Pakistan will not progress unless and until children of the poor and the rich get equal rights.”

The CM urged the officials to play their due role for the cause, saying, “You should perform your duties with hard work, commitment and passion.”

About local bodies system, he said the local government system is the best mechanism to solve public problems but the dictatorship used these bodies to prolong their tenures and Musharraf regime is the worst example of using the LG system for personal gains.

“We have given an effective and active local bodies system and these institutions have also been strengthened economically as well as administratively. The Punjab government has provided ample development funds to local bodies which cannot be utilised for any other purposes, and it would fully support the local governments that would show exemplary performance in public service and will also timely utilise their funds,” he added. He counted his government’s feats, mentioning Rs65 billion construction and rehabilitation of farm-to-market roads, setting up healthcare units for rural population.

“In 2010, six mobile hospitals were given to southern Punjab districts and these hospitals are successfully providing quality healthcare services to the rural population at their doorsteps. This year, 15 more mobile hospitals are being acquired while during the next fiscal year, it has been planned to procure another hundred mobile hospitals,” he informed. The CM said a mega programme of providing clean drinking water to the rural population has also been finalised. This is being launched from 37 tehsils of southern Punjab and the scope will be extended to the whole of the province, he said.

He mentioned impregnable denfence system and shared the story of Pakistan becoming nuclear power but regretted the target of health, education and other social sectors had been missed.

Shehbaz Sharif also cited malnutrition in kids as big challenge and vowed to cope with it with the partnership of World Bank.

National School of Public Policy Rector Azmat Ali Ranjha, National Management College Dean Naeem Aslam, faculty and senior officials were also present on the occasion.