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October 13, 2017



Those who did nothing in Peshawar hampering our projects: Shahbaz

MULTAN: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Thursday criticised the PTI and said Imran Khan was on a mission to destroy the country, adding that his seven-month-long sit-in destroyed the country besides resulting in postponement of the Chinese president’s visit.

Addressing the inaugural ceremony of the feeder buses in Multan at the Circuit House, he congratulated the people of Multan on the launch of feeder buses after Nawaz Sharif had inaugurated the historic Metro Bus project some months back.

Shahbaz said the PML-N was making utmost efforts for making the southern Punjab equal to central Punjab, adding that the Metro Bus was available only in Multan after Lahore and Islamabad.

The chief minister said the PTI had failed to lay even a single brick of the Metro Bus project in Peshawar despite the passage of more than four years, adding that the PTI had criticised the Lahore Metro project, terming it the ‘Jangla Bus’. “Imran Niazi and his followers ridiculed the Metro project, he destroyed the country by staging a sit-in for seven months, and he destroyed the country’s development projects,” said Shahbaz.

Although, the PTI criticised the Lahore Metro project vehemently, it later planned the same for Peshawar, Shahbaz noted and added that it had similarly challenged the Lahore Orange Line project in the court.

“If the PML-N forms government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Metro Bus would be launched in 11 months,” he promised.The chief minister said 100 feeder buses were currently operational in Multan and citizens could travel in Metro and feeder buses after paying only Rs25. He said the next destination for feeder buses was Lodhran district and the service would soon be inaugurated.

He said the government had decided to launch the Nishtar Hospital Phase II and the development work would be started during the current year.Citing different projects, he said no one could match the services and development work carried out by the PML-N in the last four years. Shahbaz asked the writers highlight the development work – including hospitals, schools and road infrastructure – in southern Punjab.

He ordered the authorities to immediately start of classes at Govt Girls’ College, Ghala Mandi, and promised to launch Multan Safari Park project. The chief minister invited the local journalists to visit Lahore next Saturday and promised to resolve the issue of Journalists Colony in seven days.

Speaking on the occasion, Punjab Mass Transit Authority MD Sabtain Fazal Aleem said the feeder buses would initially be operational on 11 routes. The Metro Bus Card – necessary to use the service – would be available at 11 sale points at the rate of Rs 130, he said, adding that 22,000 cards had been sold in Multan.

He said 258 feeder bus stations were established in the city and the private sector had invested Rs1.5 billion on the project.

Also on Thursday, Shahbaz paid a surprise visit to the extension project of the Government Recep Tayyip Erdogan Hospital, Muzaffargarh. He inspected the construction work and also visited the hospital to inquire after the health of patients.

Shahbaz said the Punjab government was adding 250 beds to the hospital to provide quality healthcare facilities to more and more people.

Later in Lahore, an MoU was signed between the Punjab Health Department and Novartis Pharma Pakistan to provide healthcare facilities to cancer patients. Under the agreement, a sum of Rs44 billion is to be spent on the treatment of cancer patients during the next five years. The Punjab government will provide Rs4.40 billion while the share of Novartis Pharma will be Rs 39.6 million. The programme will benefit 9,000 patients.

Talking to the media, the chief minister said, “Today’s Pakistan is much better than Pakistan of October 12, 1999 when the dictatorial regime, its puppet governments and the subsequent governments plunged the country into crises and darkness, figuratively and literally due to the lack of electricity.” To a question, he said, “The credit goes to the PML-N government and Nawaz Sharif that we have worked day and night to end the energy crisis.”

The country had succumbed to terrorism and fanaticism during the nine years long dictatorship and “we have overcome the genie of terrorism and fanaticism to maximum extent”, he added.

Separately, the chief minister, in a message on the International Day for Natural Disaster Reduction, said the damage caused by natural calamities could be minimised by adopting precautionary measures.