LAHORE – Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that Pakistan needs visionary leadership to pull the country out of the ongoing crisis.

He expressed these views during a meeting with young entrepreneurs on Wednesday.

The chief minister said that if we did not mend our ways, no one would come to our rescue. He said we had to march forward by relying on our own resources. He said country was passing through a critical phase and was facing serious problems like terrorism, energy, poverty and unemployment and an unprecedented corruption over the last four years by the rulers of Islamabad. He said terrorism could not only be coped with the force of bullet but by promoting educational, economic and social activities.

“China has become the second big economic power of the world today. It is a sincere friend of Pakistan but trade with China as compared to India is negligible. It is need of the hour that trade with China should be enhanced,” the chief minister added.

Replying to a question of a youth, Shahbaz Sharif said that Pakistan and India had fought three wars due to which problems of peoples of both the countries had increased. He said Pakistan and India would have to live like peaceful neighbourers and would have to spend their resources on the welfare of the people instead of wars. He said that both the countries would have to resolve all problems including Kashmir and water through dialogue.

A girl who was allegedly gang raped by three people on May 23 approached Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif at his Minar-e-Pakistan Tent Office on Wednesday and claimed that Manga Mandi Police were patronising her rapists.

The chief minister directed the SP Saddar (Investigation Wing) to submit a report of the case within three days. According to details, Shaheen Bibi (name changed), daughter of Muhammad Ashiq of Qilla Sher Singh, was allegedly gang raped by Muhammad Riaz, Zulfiqar and Abbas alias Papi on May 23.

The victim’s family alleged that the police concerned, after taking illegal gratification from the culprits, registered a case on rape charges and provided shelter to others by excluding them from gang rape charges. Police also arrested the culprit but got him released after seeking his bail.

Ashiq said her daughter gave her categorical statement in front of the magistrate that she was gang raped by aforesaid culprits and their accomplices, but policemen were patronising them since then. He appealed to the Punjab chief minister to provide him justice.

Also, Shahbaz Sharif visited the residence of former Lahore Press Club President and senior journalist Sarmad Bashir in Township on Wednesday and expressed condolence over the death of his father, Bashir Ahmad Qureshi.

Shahbaz said the late Bashir Qureshi had a prominent place in the literary and journalistic circles. He was author of a number of books and his literary services will be remembered for a long time. The chief minister also offered fateha for the departed soul.

Shahbaz has also expressed deep sense of grief and sorrow over the loss of precious lives as a result of a bus accident at Khairpur National Highway.