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November 20, 2017



Shahbaz’s role in Pak-Turk ties praiseworthy, says envoy

LAHORE: Turkish Ambassador Sadiq Babur Gargon on Sunday called upon Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif for his farewell meeting.

Ideas were exchanged on issues of mutual interest, promotion of Pak-Turk relationship as well as enhancing cooperation in different sections. The chief minister praised the services of Gargon for the promotion of Pak-Turk relations and expressed good wishes for him. He said that compelling role of Gargon would always be remembered and he would always remain in “our heart as a great friend of Pakistan”.

He said the brotherly relationship of Pakistan and Turkey was associated with history, religion and culture and both countries cherished their self-explanatory friendship. Both the countries were tied to an eternal relationship of love and respect as Turkey proved to be a true friend of Pakistan in difficult times.

He said Pakistan and Turkey were like one soul in two bodies and “we have to promote cooperation in trade, economy and other sectors”. He said many Turkish companies were investing in Punjab as there was a huge margin of investment in housing, infrastructure, health and vocational training. The Turkish ambassador said Punjab set extraordinary development records under the leadership of Shahbaz Sharif and moved forward rapidly to attain development goals. He said the CM’s role in promoting Pak-Turk ties was praiseworthy and he would always remember the love and respect given to him by Pakistanis, especially Punjabis. He said the CM was a visionary leader.  

Later, Shahbaz arranged a dinner in honour of Gargon. Consul General of Turkey Sardar Deniz was present at the dinner. Meanwhile, addressing a meeting at the Civil Secretariat through video link, Shahbaz said the provision of resources worth billions of rupees and latest reforms had enriched health facilities in the province. The Hepatitis Control Programme shielded people and free medicines were being provided to patients of hepatitis and TB. Till now, 15,000 patients had been provided free medicines at their doorsteps, he said and added the Punjab government would achieve the target of delivering free medicines to 100,000 hepatitis patients by June 2018.

The CM said that in the 70-year history of Pakistan, patients were never given medicines at their doorsteps. He said a programme for establishing modern Hepatitis Filter Clinics was being carried out in districts and 60 small hepatitis clinics had been made functional at the Tehsil level He directed launching a hepatitis awareness campaign.

He said a programme had been started in hospitals to destroy their waste and incinerators were being installed in hospitals. He said a free ambulance service for rural women yielded positive results, so this service was being extended. ISO certification has been attained for five hospitals, he said, adding that Mobile Health Units were providing modern diagnosis and treatment facilities to people residing in remote areas. As many as 14 major Mobile Health Units and 20 small units will be functional soon whereas in the next phase, 85 hospitals would be upgraded. He said the programme of installing CT scan machines in all districts was moving forward. The machines had reached Kasur, Bhakkar, Layyah, Vehari and Mianwali. He said the Drug Testing Lab in Lahore had been set on modern lines. The Punjab Health Management Facilitators Company had also been made functional.

The CM directed steps to enhance the capacity of the Department of Primary and Secondary Healthcare and devise a management course plan for medical superintendents. Primary and Secondary Healthcare Secretary Ali Jan Khan told the meeting incinerators to be installed at 13 spots had arrived and the registration of hair salons and beauty parlours was under way to prevent hepatitis.

Provincial Minister of Health Khawaja Imran Nazir, Special Assistant Muhammad Ahmed Khan, the chief secretary, the Planning and Development chairman, the health secretary and other officials attended the meeting.

In his message on the International Child Rights Day, Shahbaz said: “Children are our future and most cherished asset.” He said children should be treated with compassion as today's children were tomorrow's architects. If they were given proper education and training from childhood, it would promote confidence in them. He said the Punjab government took measures to eliminate the curse of child labour. Children working at brick kilns were admitted to schools. He said: “On this day, we need to resolve that all sections of society will ensure privileges of kids in Pakistan.”

He also lamented a traffic accident at Kala Shah Kaku. Expressing solidarity with the bereaved families, he prayed for the speedy recovery of the injured and directed the administration to give them best medical treatment.