LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that the present age is that of dialogue, understanding and communication and all countries of the world should use these mediums in the effort to promote international peace. He said that there is a greater responsibility on the bigger countries in this regard.
He said that besides relations at government level, promotion of public contacts is also essential as interaction at the level of the people provides opportunities to learn from one another’s experiences.
He was addressing a ceremony held in connection with Delhi-Lahore-Delaware Partnership, here on Friday.
He said India and Pakistan must also have good relations and should resolve their issues through dialogue.
American envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan Robin L Raphael, American Consul General Nina Maria Fite, members of American delegation, President Delhi-Lahore-Delaware Partnership Kathleen Meyer, Provincial Ministers Rana Sanaullah Khan, Zakiya Shahnawaz, Col.(Retd) Shuja Khanzada, President Pakistan Society for Peace Almas Ali Javindah, Director USAID Jeff Baken, senior officials and personalities belonging to different sectors were also present.
The partnership aims at promoting people to people contacts between India, Pakistan and America. The Chief Minister said that the partnership is a success of the peace initiatives undertaken by the three countries.
The CM also applauded the role played by the Pakistan Society for Peace and said that people-to-people contacts in this era is big help in understanding one another’s culture and values.
He said that economic relations between the nations are of vital importance for progress, prosperity and peace.
Referring to Pak-American relations, the Chief Minister said that friendly ties between the two countries span over decades, although they have been facing ups and downs. He said that there is a need for taking measures for promotion of public contacts. He said that the wars between India and Pakistan have given nothing except poverty, unemployment and devastation to the people.
He said that India and Pakistan will have to live as good neighbours and resolve their disputes through dialogue.
He said that besides promotion of economic and trade cooperation, India and Pakistan should spend their resources on the progress, prosperity and welfare of their people. He said that some nations which have been at loggerheads for years are now bound together in strong economic and trade ties and enemies of yesterday have become friends of today.
Citing the example of China, Shahbaz Sharif said that India and China had fought two battles but they have excellent trade relations today. He said that China has made investment of billions of rupees in coal-based power projects in India.
American envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan and Senior Advisor Ms. Robin L. Raphel while expressing her views said that in addition to harmonious relations between the States, effective measures should also be taken to promote contacts at public level. She said that Delhi-Lahore-Delaware Partnership can play an important role in strengthening public contacts between the three countries.
President Delhi-Lahore-Delaware Partnership Kathleen Meyer in her address highlighted the role, aims and objectives and activities of the organisation. President Pakistan Society for Peace Almas Ali Jovindah informed about the activities of his society. The participants of the meeting also submitted their proposals for making Delhi-Lahore-Delaware Partnership more effective and vibrant.
Meanwhile, Shahbaz Sharif said that resolving of energy crisis is the top priority of the government as it is essential for economic development and strengthening of economy. He said that Punjab government is implementing a comprehensive strategy for dealing with the problem of shortage of energy and striving for generation of electricity from traditional as well as alternative sources. He said that provincial government has announced a big project of generation of energy from coal and six sites have been selected for setting up coal-based power projects. He said that Punjab government will establish two coal power plants of 660 megawatts from its own resources.
He was talking to Assembly Members of different districts who called on him here on Friday. The Chief Minister said that electricity produced from coal will reduce the cost of production of energy and generation of electricity from coal will be possible within three to five years.
He said that the Federal govt has also started work on Coal Power Park in Gaddani. He said that the purpose of this coal-based power generation is also to encourage and guide private sector and to include its participation in the govt efforts for overcoming energy shortage. Shahbaz Sharif said that this project of power generation will help in supply of electricity to ordinary consumers and industrial and agriculture sector as well as generation of low cost power which will reduce the electricity tariff. He said that the project will usher in an era of progress and prosperity as vast job opportunities would also be created leaving a positive impact on every sector of economy.