Country passing through a difficult time, PM Shehbaz says

F.P. Report

LAHORE: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said that the country is passing through a difficult time.

He was addressing a ceremony after laying foundation stone of Bab-e-Pakistan construction and Walton Road upgradation projects in Lahore on Saturday.

PM Shehbaz said that no doubt, they were passing through hard times, but it was his firm conviction that with collective efforts, sacrifices and hard work, they would overcome these difficulties.

He said all segments of society, including the elite class, would have to come forward and support the nation with generosity, adding that there was no other way to reach to destination except adherence to these qualities.

Talking about the so-called accountability during the previous regime, Prime Minister Shehbaz said that the National Accountability Bureau made false corruption cases against innocent people. He said he wished even his enemies won’t go to the NAB dungeons.

He maintained that corruption was committed in several projects in the country but the NAB did not see any corruption there. He said that even in Bab-e-Pakistan project, billions were misappropriated but no action was taken by the anti-corruption watchdog.

He regretted that the project hit snags during 2008 when its contract was awarded during the rule of late Musharraf. About a billion rupees of the nation was buried in its ruins. The contractor was a fraud and lacked experience who wanted to import granite from Italy at a cost of worth Rs900 million, he added.

The prime minister opined that it would be a shame for a poor country like Pakistan, where the basic necessities of life like health and education were scant, to use costly imported tiles for the construction of the historic monument  

With the import of tiles, what message they had to give to the outer world, he wondered, adding that he refused to allow the import of such material. The contract was awarded to a person without bidding. 

The prime minister further said that with such a display of callousness, the country’s billions of rupees were wasted.

He lamented that our country could not make progress unless we abolished the ‘might is right’ rule from our system.

Prime Minister Shehbaz said that Bab-e-Pakistan reminds us about the great sacrifices. We again have assembled at this historic point today, he said adding that millions of Muslim laid down their lives for the sake of Pakistan.

He said thousands of migrants had stayed at Bab-e-Pakistan. The Bab-e-Pakistan will remind the entire world about the history of creation of Pakistan, the premier said lauding the humanitarian spirit of the local people of Walton who had embraced the migrants like Insar-e-Madina.

He said that the Founder of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam visited this place in 1948.

PM Shehbaz said that then PML-N government swiftly worked on this project in 1997. He said that Nawaz Sharif had laid its foundation stone in 1991.

He said all the development projects across the country had been initiated and accomplished during the PML-N governments. 

Railways Minister Saad Rafiq and caretaker Punjab Chief Minister Syed Mohsin Raza Naqvi also addressed the ceremony.