LAHORE - President Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Ms Gabriela Cuevas Barron called on Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar at his office on Wednesday and discussed different matters including the promotion of institutional collaboration.

The CM extended felicitations to her for completing 130 years of the Inter-Parliamentary Union forum while Ms Gabriela Cuevas Barron appreciated the effective anti-corona strategy adopted by the Punjab government.

Usman Buzdar also commended the services rendered by the IPU President for the supremacy of the institution of the parliament. 

He said Pakistan fully believed in the supremacy of the parliament for strengthening democracy and the importance of dialogue for maintaining peace, development and solution of conflicts.

The chief minister apprised the foreign dignitary that the Punjab government had taken unprecedented steps for the welfare of the people. 

He also mentioned the planned project of a new city near the Ravi River to overcome the city pollution and to raise the level of underground water. For this purpose, he added, an autonomous body has been established.

The Chief Minister pointed out that minorities enjoyed unprecedented religious freedom and the budget had been sufficiently increased for their welfare.

He also told Ms Gabriela that the anti-corona strategy, steered by Prime Minister Imran Khan, had yielded positive results and the government was successful in overcoming this virus in Punjab.

The CM further apprised her that 13 Special Economic Zones (SEZs) were being set up and work had started on two SEZs while the foundation stone of 3rd SEZ will be laid in Bahawalpur soon. 

He further stated that the government had devised a plan to provide facilities to the people at their doorsteps and the Southern Punjab Secretariat had also been set up. It enjoyed administrative as well as financial autonomy, he said. He said secretaries of different departments will perform their duties in the Southern Punjab Secretariat and the people will not have to travel to Lahore for the solution of their problems.

He regretted that the past governments had not done anything in this regard but the incumbent PTI government had given due attention to the development of backward areas. The CM further stated that the Punjab government had made maximum legislation in the public interest and added that investors are provided best services under one window. 

Punjab will be made a hub of tourism and industry, the CM concluded.

Ms Garieba commended public welfare steps of the Punjab government and told the CM that she was happy to visit Lahore. 

She affirmed that consistency in contacts was necessary to promote the bilateral relations.

The CM also hosted a luncheon in the honour of Ms Gabriela Cuevas Barron and other members of her delegation including Member Parliament of Mexican Congress Mr Jose Ignacio Sanches, Senator Mirza Muhammad Afridi and others. Provincial Ministers Raja Basharat, Dr Yasmin Rashid, Ijaz Alam and others were also present.

 Also, President Mexican MP Gabriela Cuevas Barron, who was elected in October 2017, visited Lahore Museum on Wednesday. Director Lahore Museum Tariq Mahmood Javaid received the delegation and briefed about Museum collections. Additional Director Madam Noshaba Anjum showed the rare collection of coins. 

Gabriela Cuevas Barron, took keen interest in coin collection and appreciated the master pieces of Gandhara gallery. She was also taken to the Islamic and painting galleries of Lahore Museum.

Also, Ms Gabriela visited the historic Badshahi Mosque and appreciated its architecture. Prayer leader Moulana Abdul Khabeer Azad briefed her about the historical and religious importance of the mosque.