LAHORE - British National Security Adviser Sir Mark Lyall Grant met Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif in Islamabad, yesterday. Steps taken for improvement of security and law and order in Punjab were discussed in the meeting.

Sir Mark Lyall Grant lauded the steps taken by the Punjab government under the leadership of Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif for elimination of terrorism and extremism under National Action Plan. He said that provincial government made effective legislation against terrorism and extremism which was yielding positive results.

Sir Mark Lyall Grant said that British government appreciated the steps taken by Punjab government for eradication of terrorism and extremism and Britain would continue to cooperate with provincial government in this regard.

Talking to National Security Adviser of Britain Sir Mark Lyall Grant, Shehbaz Sharif said that peace, progress and prosperity of Punjab is the top priority of the government. He said that in order to protect life and property of citizens and to root out terrorism and extremism, police and security agencies have been imparted modern training.

He said that Punjab government has also set up counterterrorism force, which is combating terrorists and extremists in an effective manner. He said that provincial government is implementing a comprehensive programme for capacity-building of police and security institutions. He said that the biggest Safe City Project of South Asia has been launched in Lahore and this vital project will be extended to six big cities of the province.

The chief minister said that the Punjab government was fully benefiting from modern technology for security of cities. He said that full attention is being paid to ensuring foolproof security for economic development and promotion of investment in the province. He said that police has been imparted training on modern lines as well as provided necessary facilities due to which important successes have been achieved with regard to elimination of terrorism and crime in the province.

Shehbaz Sharif said that officers and Jawans of Pak Army, police and security institutions have rendered supreme sacrifices in the ongoing war against terrorism and due to joint efforts of political and military leadership, the measures for countering terrorism are proving successful.

The chief minister said that terrorism is an international issue and collective efforts are needed for resolving this problem. He said that due to effective implementation of Operation Zarb-e-Azb and National Action Plan, Pakistan has become a peaceful and secure country.

The chief minister thanked Britain for cooperation in this regard and said that as a result of bilateral efforts for promotion of mutual contacts between Pakistan and Britain, the relations between the two countries are strengthening. British High Commissioner Thomas Drew appreciated the efforts of Punjab government for progress and prosperity of the province and implementation of welfare projects.

He especially commended legislation for elimination of terrorism and measures for women development and promotion of economic activities. British High Commissioner in Pakistan Thomas Drew, National Security Advisor Lt Gen (r) Nasir Khan Janjua, Provincial Minister for Law Rana Sanaullah, Chief Secretary Punjab, IG Police Punjab and Chairman Taskforce for Information & Culture Muhammad Maalik were also present on the occasion.

Meanwhile, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif presided over a high-level meeting which reviewed the pace of work for provision of gas to power projects of 3600 megawatts being set up in the province.

The meeting expressed its satisfaction in this regard. The chief minister said that gas-based power projects of 3600 megawatts are being set up in Punjab and their completion will result in elimination of  loadshedding to large a extent as well as availability of low-cost electricity to consumers.

He said that national resources of Rs. 110 billion have been saved in these three projects which are being completed expeditiously while a high standard is being maintained. Minister for Petroleum Shahid Khaqan Abbasi said that the work for supply of gas to power projects is being completed speedily and gas will be provided to these projects on priority basis.

Provincial Secretary Petroleum, Secretary Water & Power, Additional Chief Secretary Energy, Secretary Energy, MD Sui Northern Gas Pipelines Limited, MD Sui Southern Gas Pipelines Limited, and concerned officials were present on the occasion.

Separately, Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said that those engaged in sit-ins, protest and lockdown of cities are trying to hamper the process of national development and prosperity.

Talking to elected representatives here yesterday, he said that these elements have no interest in the progress of Pakistan or solution of public problems and their sole agenda is to destroy the country. He said that people ask these elements whose agenda they are trying to promote and why they want to stop the process of development through promotion of chaos in the country.

Shehbaz Sharif said that after repeated defeats, these rejected elements are suffering from bewilderment and trying to take every undemocratic step as could weaken democratic system and hinder development process. He said that these elements, which have promoted politics of anarchy during the last three and a half years, stand isolated in political field due to their negative attitude.

Shehbaz Sharif said that those who want to lockdown cities are against CPEC, energy projects, motorways and other development programmes, which could generate employment opportunities and result in national progress.

 He said that these elements are afraid that if these projects are completed within next 18 months, they will again face defeat.

Shehbaz Sharif said that after hearing of Panama Case in the Supreme Court, there is no moral or political justification for closing Islamabad. He said that Prime Minister has welcomed the hearing of the case in Supreme Court with an open heart. He said that those trying to create hurdles in the process of national development will not succeed in their negative designs and 18 crore people of Pakistan will foil this conspiracy.

He said that the enlightened people of the country have rejected negative politics at every level and those taking decisions on roads will face failure and disappointment. Shehbaz Sharif said that sit-in politicians have no agenda for national development and prosperity of people nor they believe in political values. He said that these elements only want to promote chaos and negative politics in the country.

The chief minister advised the elements engaged in negative politics to give up their undemocratic attitude and make efforts for the progress and development of the country.