LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said that young generation is guarantee to a bright future of Pakistan as such the government is providing all out resources to equip them with modern knowledge as a useful investment.

He expressed these views while addressing first batch of 66 students selected for two-year Chinese language course, here yesterday. Chinese Consul General Yu Boren, Additional Chief Secretary, Secretary Higher Education, Vice Chancellors and other officers concerned were present on the occasion.

He said that Punjab government had made a programme to send 500 youth to China for learning Chinese language and first batch of 66 students will leave on Thursday. He said that China has become the second biggest economic power of the world and has proved its mettle across the world. He said that political, diplomatic and economic importance of China is established. Learning of Chinese language is the need of the hour.

The chief minister said youth are future of the nation and it has high expectations of them. He said that all out resources will be utilised for the bright future of the country and the nation. He said that youth are equipped with courage and knowledge and they have to make their country prosperous.

Shehbaz Sharif said that after learning Chinese language, they have to play the role of master-trainers. He said that a bright future is waiting for them. He said that those showing outstanding performance in the course will be encouraged and will be provided jobs in universities and colleges.

He said that nation is spending resources on their course, therefore, they would have to pay attention to their course with hard work, determination and honesty and they have to get complete awareness about different aspects of Chinese language.

Shehbaz Sharif said that hard work, punctuality, discipline observed by them during the course will enhance respect of the country. He said they have to prove through their character that Pak-China friendship is everlasting and Pakistanis and Chinese are brothers. He said that they are going to such a country, which has made rapid development through hard work, commitment and determination and there is supremacy of law in that country, there is no gulf between the rich and the poor and equal opportunities of progress are available to all citizens.

He said that the present government is also determined to transform Pakistan in accordance with the vision of Quaid and Iqbal and achieve the goal of self-reliance through honesty, hard work and commitment. He said that Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iran and a number of other countries are also friends of Pakistan but Pak China friendship is unprecedented.

The chief minister said that friendship and economic cooperation with China is important in many respects. He said China has proved that a friend in need is a friend indeed. He said that the extraordinary investment package of China is taking a practical shape in the real sense and PML-N government has worked very hard to transform this package into reality.

“It is not a loan but a practical proof of love, sincerity and friendship of China and is purely an investment which will accelerate economic activities and lakhs of job opportunities will be created. Pakistan has received conditional aids, loans and grants from different countries but China is such a country which has given economic package without any condition,” the CM added.

He said that Pakistan has got loans of 60 billion dollars during the last 68 years. He said that on the one hand there are loans of 60 billion dollars while on the other hand China is making investment of 46 billion dollars in Pakistan. He said that China has given this big investment package unconditionally to Pakistan and made no demand to “Do More” which is proof of love of Chinese leadership with the people and leadership of Pakistan.

The chief minister said that judges, generals, policymakers, judiciary, traders and every segment of society will have to play its due role in the uplift of the country. Referring to merit policy of Punjab government, Shehbaz Sharif said that culture of merit and transparency has been promoted in the province during the last eight years. He said all recruitments in education, police and other departments have been made on merit.

Replying to the questions of students, the chief minister said that Pakistan is more of the poor than of the rich. He said that Pakistan will become the country of Quaid and Iqbal only when the gulf between the rich and the poor is eliminated.

Chinese Consul General Yu Boren said that it is an honour for him to participate in the ceremony. He said China and Pakistan are good neighbors, friends, partners and brothers and the friendship between both the countries is strengthening with the passage of time.