LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif was happy on Saturday to have met a delegation of Lahore Bar Association, led by its President Ch Ishtiaq Ahmed, who announced their disassociation with the PTI’s call for protest on December 15.

Talking to the delegation, the chief minister said that the role of lawyers’ community for speedy justice to the people was of great importance. He added that the lawyers needed to play a pro-active role for the redressal of public grievances at police stations and the courts. He also assured them that the problems of the lawyers’ community would be resolved on priority basis. “Punjab government is taking steps for the welfare of the lawyers who have played a significant role in the restoration of independent judiciary,” Shahbaz Sharif said. He added that effective steps had been taken for ensuring merit and transparency at every level in the province. Where the lawyers criticised PTI’s politics of protest, they thanked Shahbaz Sharif for his assurances regarding the solution of their problems.

Those who called on the chief minister included vice-presidents Labaib Zafar Bajwa and Sahir Abbas Awan, Secretary General Ch Salim Lodhi, advocates Qaseem Aslam Hinjra, Tehseen Zuhra Kazmi and other office-bearers. Provincial Ministers Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman, Rana Mashhood Ahmed and senior officials were also present on the occasion. Shahbaz Sharif said that Pakistan could not afford any negative kind of politics, adding, “These protests have caused huge loss to the national economy.”

Association’s president Ch Ishtiaq Ahmed said that the lawyers’ community considered negative politics as harmful for the country and discouraged the sit-ins at every forum. Lauding the efforts of Shahbaz Sharif for supremacy of law and constitution and stability of democracy, he said that the Lahore Bar Association was in full support of the Punjab government.

The chief minister told his party legislators Friday that the PML-N proved its public friendly policies by reducing the tariff substantially, following the double cuts in fuel prices.

Criticising the recent wave of protests in the country, Shahbaz Sharif said that the politics of chaos had caused huge loss to national economy. “Whole nation is depressed over this politics of protest and wants a responsible attitude from the politicians,” he commented while stressing on the need of unity and sacrifice. “It is the time to rise above personal and party interests and strive for national progress and prosperity of masses,” the CM underlined.

He said that no one would be allowed to hamper the process of national development and prosperity, adding that the nation would never forgive those who were tarnishing the image of Pakistan through protest.

App reportS: A delegation of the Pakistan Sugar Mills Association led by its Chairman, Sikandar Khan met Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif  . The delegation apprised the Finance Minister of the issues faced by the sugar millers in the country due to low prices of sugar in the local and the international markets and the high cost of production.

The delegation requested the Finance Minister to help and facilitate the sugar producers for export of surplus sugar stock. Dar constituted a committee comprising representatives of Ministry of National Food Security, Ministry of Commerce, Federal Board of Revenue and PSMA to discuss the issues in detail and suggest remedial measures for consideration at the appropriate forum.  The delegation thanked the Finance Minister for his due care and hoped that their issues would be accorded due consideration for finding remedies.