LAHORE   -  Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has directed the authorities concerned to launch a crackdown on canal water thieves.

He issued instructions to the Irrigation Department, says a handout issued here on Saturday. The CM said canal water theft was a punishable crime and people involved in this crime deserve no leniency.

Police and the administration at division and district level should take more effective measures to make the campaign against water theft successful, he added.

He said that a report regarding an action against the canal water theft should be submitted to the chief minister office.

Until now, action had been taken in 2,995 incidents of water theft and 1188 FIRs had been registered against those involved in water theft. Some 381 people had been arrested on charges of water theft.

In a statement, CM Buzdar said that the opposition parties have nothing to do with public welfare.

He said the opposition parties’ alliance was aimed at protecting their wealth they looted in Pakistan, and they were doing politics of personal interests.

The CM said all corrupt elements were worried about protecting their looted wealth. He said the menace of corruption had pushed the country backwards, and the corrupt elements would no more be allowed to hinder the path of progress of the nation.

The CM asked that on what grounds the corrupt elements were now talking about the rights of people. Pakistan would not have faced such a huge burden of loans had corruption not been committed by the former rulers. He said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led government had launched a jehad against the corrupt mafia.

The CM said that Pakistan would be rid of corruption under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan. He said the nation had attached hopes with Imran Khan and he was the voice of 22 crore people of Pakistan. Therefore, the PTI government was doing indiscriminate accountability of the corrupt elements, he added.

The chief minister said that those who looted the country had no future. He said the PTI government had resolved to improve the condition of weak segments of society and the country would be rescued from the quagmire of loans with the help of people.

The PTI government is making efforts for welfare and progress of the common man and the public welfare is our mission, the CM added. He said the whole nation supports the PTI mission. He said the government was working on the policy of supporting the poor segments of society. Health, education and housing are the basic rights of every citizen. Buzdar said that befitting response would be given to undemocratic steps of the opposition and the unnatural alliance of the opposition parties would die down soon.