LAHORE (APP): Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif on Friday said that on the 70th Independence Day of Pakistan, there was the need to pledge that collective efforts would be made for transforming the country into a welfare state in accordance with the ideals and principles of Quaid and Iqbal.
He expressed these views while addressing a seminar , "Meri Shan Pakistan" arranged in connection with Independence Day at a local hotel. Provincial Ministers Zakia Shahnawaz, Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, Assembly Members and a large number of intellectuals and journalists were present.
The Chief Minister said that there was the need to learn from the past and not to repeat the same mistakes in future.
He said that if the whole nation decided to compensate the losses of the past, Pakistan could achieve a dignified status in the comity of nations and become self-reliant. He said that though it was a difficult task but not impossible. He said that it was time to move forward with hard work, sincerity and commitment.
Shehbaz Sharif said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor was a blessing of Allah Almighty for the people of Pakistan. He said that by giving investment package of 46 billion dollars, Chinese leadership had expressed its confidence in the present leadership and its policies.
He said that CPEC was a game changer for Pakistan and those opposing it were in fact opposing the progress and prosperity of Pakistan and its people. He said that the enemy did not want Pakistan's progress, however, the people of the four provinces would have to foil its nefarious designs
and successfully complete CPEC projects.
He said that martial law was imposed four times in the country, adding that one of them took over power in the name of Islam while the other deceived the nation by raising the slogan of Pakistan First.
Similarly, he said, others tarnished the image of Pakistan in the garb of messiah.
Shehbaz Sharif said the fact was that martial laws gave nothing but disappointment to the masses.
The Chief Minister said that the nation was celebrating Independence Day this year at a time when a tragic incident took place in Quetta three days ago resulting in the martyrdom of more than 70 persons and injuries to hundreds. He said that this sad incident grieved the nation once again.
Shehbaz Sharif said that in 1947, a historic movement was launched under the leadership of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah for a separate country.
He said that lakhs of people from all over the sub-continent took part in Pakistan Movement and freedom was achieved after supreme sacrifices. He said that it was due to supreme sacrifices of the forefather of the nation that Pakistan came into being and the Muslims got rid of Hindu and British imperialism.
He said that these sacrifices were made for establishment of such a country where equal rights and opportunities would be available to all citizens. He said that there was no doubt that some successes had been achieved in the last 70 years. He said that Pakistan became a nuclear power and its defense was now invincible. He said while successes were achieved, some mistakes were also committed and it was time to learn from them and move ahead.
He said that there were a number of examples in the world history that nations despite suffering defeat achieved tremendous progress and prosperity. He said that Japan and Germany were among such countries which by dint of their determination, commitment and untiring efforts had made rapid progress and were among biggest economies of the world. He said that it was due to strong economy of Germany that Berlin Wall had collapsed and German nation had achieved a prominent status in the world once again.
The Chief Minister said that Pakistani nation would also have to carry out analysis of its 70 year's journey. He said that accountability process would have to start from creation of Pakistan otherwise the faults would not be removed. He said that if the nation did not learn from mistakes, the problems would not be resolved.
He said that speeches and poetry could not bring change and honesty, hard work and dedication was required.
Referring to the efforts for elimination of terrorism, the Chief Minister said that Pakistan would have to be purged of extremism and intolerance. He said that in 60's Pakistan was a progressive and tolerant society. He said that the so-called war against communism promoted the trend of intolerance and had Pakistan stayed away from this war the society would have been peaceful and prosperous. Unfortunately, he said, lawlessness had hindered the process of development and those nations which were far behind had moved ahead. He said that there was no need for despair rather to learn from mistakes.
Shehbaz Sharif said that it was not political point scoring but it was a fact that Neelam Jhelum power project was started in 2008 and work was still continuing on this project of 900 megawatts, whereas 1320-megawatt Sahiwal Coal Power Plant was about to be completed in a record period of 23 months.
He said that there was no such other example of completion of a coal power plant of similar capacity with the same speed.
The Chief Minister further said that CPEC projects were being completed speedily and in a very transparent manner and this was not Punjab Speed but Pakistan Speed. He further said that Pakistan was fortunate in the sense that China, which was the second biggest economy of the world, had given it a historic package of 46 billion dollars. He said that the projects being set up under this package would remove darkness from the country, industrial sector would progress, job opportunities would be created and a new era of progress and prosperity would begin. He said that those opposing CPEC had no interest in progress and prosperity of Pakistan.
He said that opposition to this package of investment was opposition to prosperity of Pakistan which the nation would never tolerate.
CEO Happilac Khawaja Shahid while addressing the seminar said that the aim of progress and prosperity of Pakistan could be achieved by adopting the principles of Quaid-e-Azam. He said that Shehbaz Sharif was serving the people with commitment and had laid a network of roads in Punjab. He said that present leadership was taking the country to prosperity but some people were trying to create hurdles. He said that the whole nation was behind the present leadership in the journey towards development and prosperity.
Prominent cricketer Abdul Qadir, film producer Syed Noor, Abdul Sattar Edhi's son Faisal Edhi, Bishop Alexander John Malik and others also addressed the seminar and highlighted the importance of Independence Day and Pakistan Movement.
The Chief Minister also distributed shields among the participants of the seminar .