LAHORE - Prime Minister Imran Khan Saturday said that his government would fully meet the constitutional requirements for the establishment of South Punjab province. He said, in this connection, a major step was taken in the shape of setting up South Punjab Secretariat by transferring the administrative powers.

The prime minister was talking to a delegation of members of parliament belonging to the South Punjab, PM’s Office Media Wing said in a press release late Saturday.

During the meeting, the prime minister also underlined the need for creation of separate financial commission for the South Punjab

 province which was required for its development. The prime minister said uplift of backward areas had been the top priority of his government and regretted that in the past, negligible funds were allocated for the development of such areas.

The prime minister also directed for constitution of a committee comprising members from the federal and provincial level to look into relevant affairs for the establishment of South Punjab province and the constitutional requirements in this regard.

The delegation included Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Minister for National Food Security Syed Fakhar Imam, Zahoor Hussain Qureshi, Malik Muhammad Aamir Dogar, Muhammad Ibrahim Khan, Rana Muhammad Qasim Noon, Mian Muhammad Shafiq, Makhdoom Syed Samiul Hassan Gilani, Tahir Iqbal, Syed Mobeen Ahmed, Chaudhry Javed Iqbal, Makhdoom Basit Bukhari, Niaz Ahmed Jhakar, Khawaja Sheraz Mahmood, Sardar Muhammad Khan Leghari, Sardar Muhammad Jaffar Khan Leghari, Sardar Nasrullah Draishak, Sardar Riaz Mahmood Khan Mazari, Dr Akhtar Malik, Sardar Dost Muhammad Mazari, Abdul Hai Dasti and Hanif Pitafi. Minister for Industries Muhammad Hammad Azhar and Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar were also present.

The delegation appreciated the government and thanked the prime minister for the practical steps taken on the public demand. They said that for decades, the public demand for South Punjab province had been put on the back burner. The PTI not only made this demand a part of its manifesto, but had also taken concrete steps, they added.

The members further said that with the establishment of secretariat, the public issues would be resolved at Multan and Bahawalpur. The members also presented various proposals for meeting the constitutional requirements for establishment of the South Punjab province. They also lauded the prime minister for his successful strategy to contain coronavirus pandemic, provision of relief to the people in these difficult times, and keeping of balance between the economic and daily activities.

While speaking at the groundbreaking ceremony of Quaid-e-Azam Business Park as a chief guest, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that no nation could dream of success without industrialization. The PM assured facilitating the small and medium enterprises, big industries, and business community to help materialise the dream of putting Pakistan on the path of progress and development. He said that the present regime would take the initiatives like ease of doing business.

 

Imran Khan recalled that Pakistan had been leading the region in terms of industrialisation during Ayub-era but lagged behind after 60’s due to certain short-term policies. He said that lack of planning put Pakistan behind Singapore, Malaysia, and South Korea.

 

“Per capita income of Singapore is $ 50,000. Malaysia and South Korea borrowed plans and excelled. But Pakistan lagged behind”, he said, adding, these three countries had long term planning unlike Pakistan.

 

Unfortunately, he said, rulers in Pakistan only focused short term plans for achieving success in elections.

“Our only focus was on getting victory in elections. I have strong conviction that our nation possessed more potential than any other country in the region. During 60s, there were predictions that Pakistan could lead the region,” the PM said, adding, the scenario changed after 60’s.

 

He appreciated the Punjab government for business-friendly steps, saying setting up nine economic zones and incentives laden package were the steps in the right direction that would definitely help achieving the desired results. While appreciating the Punjab government for the site of the park with Faisalabad and Lahore as being the two major hubs of business, he assured that the federal government would resolve all their issues.

 

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Imran Khan held meeting with Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat during his day-long visit of the provincial metropolis. Both the leaders discussed prevailing political situation, coronavirus and strategy of smart lockdown and matters pertaining to the provincial management and development.

 

Amid speculations and unverified reports of replacing the CM due to his ‘under performance,’ the PM appreciated Usman Buzdar for steps taken for controlling spread of coronavirus and betterment in the province. Earlier on arrival of Imran Khan, the CM received him along with cabinet members.

 

Also, a meeting of the steering committee of Ravi Riverfront Urban Development Project was held with Prime Minister Imran Khan in the chair in Lahore on Saturday evening. On this occasion, the Prime Minister directed the concerned officials to ensure protection of environment and water conservation during the execution of the project. Imran Khan said this project will generate employment opportunities in the prevailing crisis like situation due to COVID-19. He directed that local raw material should be used for the project.

 

 

Later, Prime Minister Imran Khan said they had faced immense difficulties during the current coronavirus pandemic due to negligence of the past regimes who had failed to accord due priority to the health sector.

Keeping these factors insight, he said the government had introduced a comprehensive reform programme in the health sector.

The prime minister was chairing a meeting over the health sector in Punjab province. The meeting was attended by Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, provincial minister Dr Yasmeen Rashid, Makhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht, Fayyazul Hassan Chauhan and other senior officials, PM office media wing in a press release said. The prime minister was briefed about the ongoing and new proposed projects in the health sector. The prime minister directed for utilization of all available resources for the timely completion of these projects. He further directed for taking immediate measures for provision of quality health facilities and sanitation of all major hospitals of the province. 

The prime minister also directed for strict implementation of all precautionary measures and standard operating procedures (SOPs) during Eid ul Azha and Muharramul Haram.

 

Announcing big news for the residents of Bhakkar, Khushab, Muzzafargarh and Layyah districts, Prime Minister Imran Khan Saturday said that a decision to start work on the Thal canal project had been made which would commence soon. He said that all the available resources would be utilized for the resolution of public issues besides, their social and economic uplift.

The prime minister expressed these views during a meeting with members of the National Assembly from different districts of Punjab.

The members included Malik Muhammad Amir Dogar, Zulfiqar Ali Khan, Syed Faizul Hassan, Haji Imtiaz Ahmed Chuadhry, Malik Umar Aslam Khan, Maher Ghulam Muhammad Lali, Riaz Fityana, Malik Kirmat Ali Khokhar, Rai Muhmmad Murtaza Iqbal, Ahmed Hussain Dhaher, Mian Muhammad Shafiq, Tahir Iqbal, Niaz Ahmed Jhakar, and Sardar Muhammad Khan Leghari, PM office media wing in a press release said.

Minister for Foreign Affairs Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi and Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar were also present during the meeting. 

 

Prime Minister Imran Khan said despite massive disruptions in global air travel, we have fulfilled our promise of bringing back stranded Pakistanis and our overseas workers. In a tweet on Saturday, he said 250,000 Pakistanis from around the world have been brought home. The Prime Minister said that his government will continue to support overseas Pakistanis in every way possible.