LAHORE

Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has barraged Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf Chairman Imran Khan with a series of questions during his visit to flood-hit areas.

Presiding over a high level meeting on Friday, the chief minister blamed that plunderers had been supporting Imran Khan. “Will Imran Khan make new Pakistan with the support of of these corrupt people? Is Imran Khan’s eyesight weak? Why can’t he see corrupt elements around him? Why is Imran Khan - one of the critics of Lahore metro bus - constructing ‘Jangla Bus’ in Peshawar? Which kind of new Pakistan does Imran Khan want to create by forgetting the flood-hit people?” the chief minister kept on asking.

Citing postponement of the Chinese president’s visit to Pakistan, Shahbaz said the Capital sit-ins inflicted serious damage on national economy. He said, “Holding musical nights has been rubbing salt into wounds of flood survivors.” About flood relief package, he said that the financial assistance would be given to the affected people in two installments and the first installment would be paid ahead of Eid.

He said that Rs25,000 would be given in the first phase to such families whose houses have been damaged by flood.

He said that the process of payment in the first installment would be started soon while the payment of the second installment would be made from October 20 and compensation of losses caused to crops and cattle would be paid. He said that free-of-cost fertilizers and seeds would also be provided to the farmers.

He said that special Eid gifts would be given to the children and flood-hit people whereas arrangements of sacrificial animals and meal would also be made for them. Shahbaz said that the construction and repair work of roads had been started for providing travelling facilities to the people. He also said that affected schools, hospitals and health centers would soon be restored.

The chief minister said he would also stand by with the affectees during construction of their houses and all possible resources would be provided for their rehabilitation. He disclosed that the expansion project of Head Trimu would be started at a cost of billions of rupees for coping with flood situation and minimising losses in future.

Addressing the meeting, the CM directed the elected representatives and administration to display the same spirit for provision of due rights to deserving persons as was shown during relief and rescue operation. He said that funds were a national trust and it was the responsibility of the government to ensure their utilisation in a transparent manner. He said that district monitoring committees have been set up for supervising the process of payment of financial assistance while committees have also been established to address complaints.  Shahbaz Sharif directed that a vigorous awareness campaign should be launched for creating public awareness regarding payment of financial assistance and besides displaying lists at schools, police stations, mosques, hospitals, health centers and other important places, announcements should also be made in the affected areas.

He further directed that necessary facilities should also be provided at special payment centers for flood affectees.