LAHORE - President Mamnoon Hussain and Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif met here on Thursday and exchanged views on the matters of mutual interest, overall situation of the country and Pak-China agreement.

Talking to the president, the chief minister said that historic agreements of investment of billions of dollars signed between Pakistan and China during the recent visit of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, had again proved that Beijing was a close and trusted friend of Islamabad. He said that the PML-N government would spare no effort to implement the projects of investment signed with China as they had to help the government eliminate load-shedding from the country.

He said there was no loan of even a single penny in these projects and the total investment would be made by China. The chief minister said that economic development was directly linked with political stability and despite certain hurdles the government had put the economy on the right track and economic indicators were improving.

The CM also informed the president about the devastations caused by the recent floods and said the provincial government with the cooperation of concerned institutions, had completed the biggest rescue and relief operation in the history of Pakistan. He said a historic package of Rs 16 billion had been given to compensate the losses of flood-hit people and billions of rupees had been distributed among the affected families in a transparent manner.

Shahbaz said the second phase of distribution of financial assistance among the flood-hit people would be completed within next few days. Shahbaz Sharif said that Punjab government had ensured speedy and transparent completion of development projects in every sector. He said reforms were being introduced for the uplift of social sectors while a monitoring system had been evolved with the help of information technology. Shahbaz said a person like Mamnoon Hussain was the President of Pakistan who had vigorously struggled for democracy and promotion of democratic values and had stood courageously against dictatorship.

Speaking on the occasion, President Mamnoon said CM Shahbaz had made commendable efforts for the development of Punjab including Lahore. He said that the progress made by Punjab under the leadership of Shahbaz was an example for other provinces.

The chief minister also arranged a luncheon in honour of President Mamnoon Hussain. Provincial Ministers Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman, Begum Zakia Shahnawaz and Political Secretary to Chief Minister Afzaal Bhatti were also present on the occasion.

Earlier, the chief minister received President Mamnoon at the airport when he reached Lahore from Islamabad. Provincial Minister Mujtaba Shuja, Bilal Yasin, Zakia Shahnawaz, chief secretary, Inspector General Punjab police and other senior officers were also present on the occasion.