LAHORE – Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Wednesday vowed to bring back the money looted by the elite and recover the bank loans obtained by them. He, however, spoke soft about the recovery of the commercial loans, saying “they are obtained in routine to keep the economy in motion.”

While addressing a ceremony held to conduct a computerised balloting of the Aashiyana Quaid Extension Project-I, the CM described the looted money as one of main reasons for impoverishment. The AQEP consists of 825 houses of 3-marla each. As many as 40,218 applications have been submitted to get these houses.

In the same area, extending over 700 kanals, 935 five-marla plots will also be distributed in due course, he added. During the balloting, Shahbaz Sharif, in order to put transparency in the balloting, randomly asked for the digits and letters from the participants. Following this practice, the computer showed the lucky house getters.

Punjab Land Development Company Chairman Sheikh Allauddin, ministers, advisers, parliamentarians, officials, and the media men were present on the occasion. Besides a total 8000 houses in Ashiyana I another 10,000 houses will be built in Ashiyana II for which land has been acquired at burki road.

The chief minister said that the country and its resources belonged as much to a layman as they do to a rich man. He said the common-man was being crushed under poverty only because of loot of “our national resources by the elite.”

Answering various queries from the media persons about the project, the CM said his government was determined to providing facilities to the poor and the low-income groups. He expressed the hope that under the dynamic leadership of PML(N) Quaid Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, the poor all over the country will soon have their own homes. He said the Aashiyana Project was without any tincture of corruption and unfairness which otherwise existed in certain public and private schemes as “safarish” and looting of the masses respectively.

He said the Aashiyana is a project, equipped with every basic and quality facility, for those who have sky as the roof and earth as the floor and can never dream of having a house of their own.  The CM, remembering former Prime Minister Muhammad Khan Junejo as a noble soul, said Mr Junejo had also initiated Apna Ghar Scheme but it had fallen prey to corruption by the bureaucracy. The CM appreciated the role of Bank of Punjab in the Aashiyana Project, yet he lamented the loss of billions of rupees of the Bank which the politicians looted during the last regime.

He said banks loans are equal rights of the deserving poor and denying this to them amounts to inviting Divine wrath. He said without giving rights to the poor, Pakistan of Quid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal cannot be created. He said for that end we need to establish a system based on justice and equality and for that, the present obsolete and exploitative system needs to be brought to an end. The Chief Minister said under the leadership of Nawaz Sharif the nation will certainly have the ideal system which would ensure right of the poor and provide for them.  The CM said in the Aashiyana projects, special quota for the martyrs, widows and orphans has been allocated and Punjab Government will make 25 per cent down payment of them. The chairman of the project also briefed the participants on the occasion.