LAHORE – Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that the accused of Badami Bagh arson will be tried in Special Anti-Terrorism Court.

He told media on Saturday that he had ordered the police to nick the perpetrators within 24 hours.

Separately talking to a nine-member delegation of Sindh journalists at Model Town, the chief minister said inequitable distribution of resources has been widening the gap between the rich and the poor and the situation will worsen if this gulf is not bridged. “The country has been plagued by terrorism, energy crisis and corrupt politicians. The nation must agree on a national agenda to meet the challenges” the CM added.

Talking about the PML-N feats, he said the Punjab government has been delivering. He came down hard on the PPP-led government for leaving people in the lurch. He called for joint effort to maintain law and order in the country. He said the situation in the country is critical as lawlessness has become order of the day, for which we have to work together so that common man can also feel that this country belongs to him.

He said that bulletproof vehicles making fun of the common man, while only defective buses are plying on the road for him. He said it is a matter of honor that the Punjab government has given top priority to the welfare of the common man.

He said the Punjab government has introduced revolutionary reforms in education, health, infrastructure and transport sectors. He said metro bus service (MBS) project has provided best traveling facilities to the common man. He said no such mega project has ever been completed in the history. He said the number of passengers, traveling on metro buses, has crossed over 145,000.

The CM said subsidy on public transport is granted and if Britain can give subsidy of four billion pound to its public transport, why Pakistan cannot do so? He said Punjab government has utilised national resources as a trust of the people, on the welfare and progress of the common man.  He said so-called opponents are opposing this 30 billion rupees project, in order to have those 30 billion rupees to themselves, to fill their own pockets through mutual division. He said the MBS fare has been kept within the reach of the common man at Rs 20 by the Punjab government. He said Karachi is the biggest commercial center of the country, where MBS should have been started earlier.

He said it is regrettable that police officers in Sindh have been recruited on contract, and, if police system is handed over to contract officers, how can they stop extortion, target killing and violence? He said terrorists incidents in KP is a matter of great concern, as well. The CM said he is grateful to Allah that law and order situation and governance in Punjab is much better than other provinces, however, we have to chalk out a national agenda against extremism for which consensus of all political parties and nation is highly essential. 

He said federal government has issued thousands of prohibited licenses to national and provincial assembly members. He said incompetent rulers have destroyed the economy, agriculture and industry, besides flouting the decisions of Supreme Court. He said loans were written off and national exchequer was looted by the defaulters. He said the federal Interior Minister had done nothing, except closing mobile phones and issuing empty threats.

He said the Punjab government has not been given a single penny with regard to security. He said country is steeped in darkness, despite rental power projects. He said billions of rupees have been spent on the projects of Nandipur and Chichuki Mallian, but its machinery is lying idle at Karachi port for a long time.

He said it is time to save the country and if dedicated and honest leadership did not come forward in general elections then bloody revolution would be knocking at our doors. He said the deprived segments of the society would have to be brought into the mainstream of national economy. Shahbaz Sharif said no development work was done for the people, except issuing meaningless statements.

Senator Pervaiz Rashid, Special Assistant Zaeem Hussain Qadri, Lahore Transport Company Chairman Khawaja Ahmed Hasaan, MPA Mehr Ishtiaq Ahmed, Secretary Information, DGPR and other concerned officers were present. Welcoming the delegation of Sindhi journalists to Lahore, the CM said inter-provincial harmony and unity is promoted in wake of such visits, besides benefiting from each others’ experiences.