LAHORE – Forecasting the ‘victory’ of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in the upcoming general elections, Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif on Saturday said that the Pakistan People’s Party will face defeat if it does not change its ‘habits.’

Talking to a delegation of British High Commission during a meeting at Model Town, Shahbaz described the PML-N as the most popular party of the country. “The federal government led by the PPP had lost the confidence of the masses due to corruption, loadshedding, unemployment and bad governance since the public deem Zardari responsible of it,” he said. Shahbaz alleged that Zardari preferred personal interests on national and if the PPP did not change its habit, it will be finished.

Political Consular Susan Hyland, Deputy Political Officer Jasper Thornlton, Secretary Home Punjab Iram Haider, Vice Chairman Punjab Investment Board and Saif Hameed were also present on the occasion. Matters of bilateral relations and mutual interest were discussed during the meeting.

The CM said on the occasion that ties between Pakistan and India are improving. Both can accelerate the process of development in the region by reestablishing peace.

He stressed the need for solving Kashmir, Siachin, water and other issues through meaningful dialogue. He said that the recent visit of Deputy Chief Minister of Indian Punjab and Chief Minister of Bihar helped in promoting trade, cultural and economic relations between Pakistan and India.

Shahbaz said that a new journey of friendship was being started between Pakistan and India through visits of high-level Indian delegations and this journey should become a source of promoting lasting economic relations as mutual trade worth billions of dollars can be made through Wagah border. The CM said that he was also visiting India next month in this regard.

  He said that like Chief Minister of Indian Province Bihar Natish Kumar who introduced reforms for elimination of corruption and bad governance, similarly, Punjab government had also taken revolutionary steps to eliminate corruption and bad governance. He said like the Indian Province Bihar which was considered most corrupt province of India, similarly, Punjab had also become a corrupt province of Pakistan during the era of dictator Musharaf.

Shahbaz disclosed that an international institution had also declared Punjab a corrupt province but PML-N government after coming into power eliminated corruption, promoted merit and transparency and now international institutions have recognized the good governance and implementation on merit in Punjab province.

The British delegation appreciated the steps taken by the CM for eliminating corruption, promotion of merit and good governance in the province and paid tributes to him for introducing reforms for the betterment of the social sector. Members of the delegation assured that UK will continue its cooperation with provincial government in institutional reforms and other development works in Punjab.

Separately in an interview with a leading Turkish journalist, Shahbaz said the country cannot afford delay in elections. He said that only honest and patriotic leadership can put the country on the road to progress.

Pakistan and Turkey are tied with everlasting relations of love and the hearts of people of both the countries beat together. The CM said that instead of making speeches and projects on papers, we have taken practical steps for strengthening economic relations between both the countries. He said for the first time in the history of Pakistan, work is continuing on projects of 500 million dollars with the cooperation of Turkey in Punjab and he was highly grateful to Turk President Abdullah Gul, Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan and Mayor Istanbul Kadir Topbas.