LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said that martial laws imposed by the military dictators in the past gave nothing but disappointment to the nation.

He expressed these views while addressing a seminar, “Meri Shan Pakistan” arranged in connection with the Independence Day at a local hotel, yesterday.

Without naming the past dictators, he said “one of them took over in the name of Islam while the other deceived the nation by raising the slogan of Pakistan First.” Similarly, he said, others tarnished the image of Pakistan in the garb of messiah.

The chief minister said the process of accountability should initiate from the creation of Pakistan if faults have to be removed and system streamlined, otherwise things would not change and remain out of order. He said if the nation did not learn from the past mistakes, the problems will not be resolved.

“Speeches and poetry cannot bring change for which honesty, hard work and dedication is required,” he added. Referring to the efforts for elimination of terrorism, the chief minister said that Pakistan will have to be purged of extremism and intolerance.

He said that in 60’s Pakistan was a progressive and tolerant society. He said that the so-called war against communism promoted the trend of intolerance and had Pakistan stayed away from this war the society would have been peaceful and prosperous.

Unfortunately, he said, lawlessness has hindered the process of development and those nations which were far behind have moved ahead. He said that there is no need for despair rather to learn from mistakes.

“Pakistani nation will also have to carry out analysis of its 70 year’s journey, to know what went wrong and when. It is time to learn from the past and not to repeat the same mistakes,” he added.

The chief minister said, on the 70th Independence Day of Pakistan there is the need to pledge that collective efforts will be made for transforming the country into a welfare state in accordance with the ideals and principles of Quaid and Iqbal.

He said that there is the need to learn from the past and not to repeat the same mistakes in future. He said that if the whole nation decides to compensate the losses of the past, Pakistan could achieve a dignified status in the comity of nations and become self-reliant.  “It is a difficult task but not impossible,” he added. He said that it is time to move forward with hard work, sincerity and commitment.

Shehbaz Sharif said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor is a blessing of Allah Almighty for the people of Pakistan and by giving investment package of $46 billion, Chinese leadership has expressed its confidence in the present leadership and its policies. He said that CPEC is a game changer for Pakistan and those opposing it are in fact opposing the progress and prosperity of Pakistan and its people.

Shehbaz Sharif said the nation is celebrating Independence Day this year at a time when a tragic incident took place in Quetta three days ago resulting in the martyrdom of more than 70 persons and injuries to hundreds. He said that this sad incident grieved the nation once again.

Shehbaz Sharif said that in 1947, a historic movement was launched under the leadership of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah for a separate country. He said that lakhs of people from all over the sub-continent took part in Pakistan Movement and freedom was achieved after supreme sacrifices.

He said that it was due to supreme sacrifices of the forefather of the nation that Pakistan came into being and the Muslims got rid of Hindu and British imperialism. He said that these sacrifices were made for establishment of such a country where equal rights and opportunities would be available to all citizens.

He said that there is no doubt that some successes have been achieved in the last 70 years. He said that Pakistan became a nuclear power and its defense is now invincible. He said while successes were achieved, some mistakes were also committed and it is time to learn from them and move ahead.

He said that there are a number of examples in the world history that nations despite suffering defeat achieved tremendous progress and prosperity. He said that Japan and Germany are among such countries which by dint of their determination, commitment and untiring efforts have made rapid progress and are among biggest economies of the world. He said that it was due to strong economy of Germany that Berlin Wall has collapsed and German nation has achieved a prominent status in the world once again.

Former cricketer Abdul Qadir, film producer Syed Noor, Abdul Sattar Edhi’s son Faisal Edhi, Bishop Alexander John Malik, and eminent lawyer SM Zafar also addressed the seminar and highlighted the importance of Independence Day and Pakistan Movement.

Later, the chief minister also distributed shields among the participants of the seminar.