BAHAWALLPUR - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Wednesday pledged to continue his struggle to root out corruption from the society to pave the way for strengthening the national economy and resolving crises like loadshedding.

He was addressing a function at the Islamia University of Bahawalpur, where he distributed laptops to 2,264 scholars of the university and gave Punjab Youth Internship letters to 5,135 postgraduates.

The chief minister said the country could be made strong only through progress and prosperity. He said that the nation should stand up against corrupt gang of “Zar Baba Chalis Chor” who what he said had looted the national wealth through different ways and transferred the looted money to the Swiss banks.

He said that the corrupt rulers had done nothing for the nation, rather were hoodwinking the masses through hallow slogans.

He expressed complete confidence in the national youth and said surely they would support him in his struggle against corruption in the national interest. The chief minister made it clear that he was not there for politics. But, the CM added, he wanted corruption-free society and self-reliant country, stressing the need for taking bold steps to strengthen the country. He expressed the hope that the youth would play a key role in this regard.

“We want to provide the best quality of education in the country and we have to develop our economy on strong footing by curbing corruption at all levels,” said Shahbaz. He announced that the talented unemployed postgraduates of the Punjab would be given internship in the public and private sectors and the programme had been started from the IUB. He added that also the distribution of laptops was started from Bahawalpur.

He said, “We are committed to distributing 250, 000 laptops worth Rs8 billion to talented students at the initial stages only to provide better education facilities.”

He condemned those criticised the distribution of laptops and said that if just 25,000 students succeed to achieve the goal of the distribution, he would be pleased that his aim is fruitful.

He observed, “Surely, our youth would use the latest facility by applying their best abilities for national cause. He announced that five recommended students of the IUB would be given apprenticeship at Punjab Chief Minister Secretariat and other Punjab departments for better know-how of working conditions for three to six months.

Shahbaz remarked that he wanted education for all without any discrimination. For this purpose, he said, the Punjab government had taken a number of steps like Punjab Endowment Funds and Daanish Schools System for the poor children to provide them with quality education.

The CM said that he and his ministers themselves bear their travel expenditures and the saved money is being used for the scholarships of students. He said that he wanted to give due respect to the deserving and talented students who are the future of the country and we have to look after them properly for their secure future.

He appealed to parents to allow their daughters to work in the field after completion of their studies to play their role for national progress.  The Punjab chief minister also announced to set-up Sir Sadiq Abbasi Postgraduate Medical College in Bahawalpur on the request of Vice-Chancellor Dr Muhammad Mukhtar. The Postgraduate Medical College will work under the Islamia University of Bahawalpur as a teaching hospital for the under construction 410-bed District Headquarters Hospital of Bahawalpur.

Mr Shahbaz appreciated the students’ performance on the occasion and joined them while they were singing a song. Earlier, the vice-chancellor in his welcome address appreciated the contribution of PML-N Chief Nawaz Sharif and the Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to the uplift of the IUB and promotion of education. He said that their remarkable services for the IUB and education would be remembered for a long time.

After attending the function, the chief minister visited Mubbarakpur to condole the death of 26 passengers who were killed in a road accident. He also announced Rs500,000 for each deceased and Rs75,000 for each injured person.