LAHORE – Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that corruption, embezzlement and plunder by the rulers in the Centre over the past four-and-half years has caused despondency, unease and hatred among the people of Pakistan.

Addressing parliamentarians belonging to various districts on Friday, Shahbaz said in this so-called democratic system, the poor masses were barely managing to make their ends meet, while loadshedding had aggravated the situation to an alarming point by rendering thousands of workers jobless. “The incompetent rulers have widened the gulf between the rich and the poor,” he viewed.

The chief minister said the lava of hatred was simmering in the people over the criminal negligence of the corrupt Zardari gang to the people’s issues. Those practicing politics in the name of reconciliation had become blots on the face of democracy, he held.

“Politicians, judiciary, generals and the elite have not discharged their national responsibilities during the past 65 years. The Zardari system operating under the garb of democratic dispensation has further increased the distance between the rulers and the masses. Unfortunately, the people have been deprived of the fruits of democracy and the rulers have only filled their pockets during the past four-and-a-half years,” Shahbaz said.

He further said during this period, the hopes, aspirations and desires of the people had died; and the life of the masses had been poisoned by the archaic system. “The wave of despondency among the masses calls for critical thinking by politicians and the elite,” he noted.

The chief minister emphasised that those societies that did not ensure social and economic justice got decimated. “Neither extremism can be eliminated from the society nor progress and prosperity can be achieved without provision of social and economic justice,” he added.

Shahbaz said because of poor governance, coupled with loot and plunder by the incompetent rulers, the nation was facing problems that could only be resolved by getting rid of corrupt rulers.

The chief minister alleged that the Zardari gang had established new records of corruption because of which the national economy had been ruined.

Shahbaz stressed that strict accountability to eliminate loot, plunder and corruption was the need of the hour, while the obsolete system that had failed to provide relief to the masses should be done away with.

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said on Friday that the highly-talented Pakistani youth were proving their mettle all over the world. “The students who won top position in the international debating contest have made the whole nation proud,” he remarked.

The chief minister also announced setting up of the Chief Minister’s Debating Society within two weeks.