LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said that the politics of sit-ins and protest last year damaged national economy seriously.

“Because of the sit-ins, Chinese president’s visit to Pakistan in September was cancelled and he (the Chinese president) went to India and signed agreements of billions of dollars,” he said while addressing PML-N Women MPAs Saturday.

However, he said that China was a trustworthy friend of Pakistan and the two states had sealed various deals to bring in betterment.

The Chief Minister said 50 per cent population of Pakistan comprised women. He said that the role of women in national development is of paramount importance.

He said Pakistani women are talented, educated and hardworking and they have proved their worth in different sectors. Women have also to play their role in the constitution of peaceful society and development of the country, he added. He said that Punjab government has taken revolutionary steps for women empowerment and progress of the people of the province.

Shahbaz said that the country was already facing energy crisis, terrorism and a number of other problems and the sit-ins further increased the miseries of common man. He said that those indulged in politics of sit-ins committed great enmity to the nation and the country. He said although the country has come out of politics of sit-ins and hooliganism yet the affects of sit-ins will be felt for a long time. He said that with the grace of Allah Almighty, PML-N government has again started the journey of development and we will have to move forward by forgetting the past.

The Chief Minister said that certification of precious mineral reserves in Chiniot Rajwa is a great gift by Allah Almighty for Pakistan. He said that the government has brought precious mineral reserves before the people.  He said that during the era of dictatorship, the former rulers of Punjab tried to commit dacoity in these projects and sold these precious mineral reserves to a so-called company at a very low price but PML-N government has presented these reserves before the people by foiling their attempt. Shahbaz Sharif said that the reserves discovered in Chiniot Rajwa are not the property of ten crore people of Punjab but 18 crore people of the country and is a special gift by Allah Almighty. He told that according to the experts, the reserves of iron ore and copper are spread over an area of 2000 square kilometers and expressed the hope that Chinese and German experts will soon submit a final report. He said that the fate of the nation and the country will be changed by utilizing precious reserves of iron ore and copper with honesty and hard work.

Expressing his views about the problem of terrorism and extremism being faced by the country, the Chief Minister said that the terrorism has caused huge loss to the country. He said that everyone is grieved over the Peshawar tragedy. He said that political, military and religious leadership has united against terrorism due to the killing of innocent children. Shahbaz Sharif said that winning the war against terrorism is the first and last option. He said that the entire nation from Peshawar to Karachi is united against terrorism. He said that the women have also to play historic role in the war of eliminating terrorism. The Chief Minister said that collective efforts and wisdom will yield positive results. He said that we have to march forward by forgetting past mistakes. He said that we will certainly achieve the destiny if we continued to march towards right direction. Shahbaz Sharif said that PML-N government served the people selflessly during six and a half years. He said that the culture of merit, transparency and completing development projects speedily has been promoted in the province and no one can level allegation of corruption of even a single penny against us.

Women lawmakers praised the chief minister’s efforts for provincial development.