LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said PML-N will take part in the next elections with the commitment to ridding the country of corruption, saving national resources and adopting austere lifestyle.
Answering questions in “Insight” programme of the Waqt TV hosted by The Nation Editor Salim Bokhari, he alleged President Zardari had broken all corruption records of the past 65 years. At present, he said, the president was trying to derail the democratic system.
Regarding formation of commission for new provinces in the Punjab, he said it was for ulterior motives. He alleged the NAB was out to save the ‘thieves’. He dispelled the impression that the 18th Amendment had empowered the provinces to generate electricity.
He refuted the allegation that the PML-N had funded the recent survey, showing the party’s popularity graph having gone up. He said if his party could be accused of using money for this survey, the other parties which had grown in public following in the other provinces could also be held responsible for using the same method.
Shahbaz Sharif said the PML-N would contest the next elections on the basis of its performance. Proud of his government’s performance, the chief minister said at a time when foreign investment at the national level had almost come to an end, investors were pumping money in the Punjab. The Metro Bus project and a power agreement with a German company could be cited as an example to substantiate the claim, he contended. He said a British firm was quoting some Punjab projects as an example to other countries.
According to him, corruption was the most serious problem of the country. The national resources, he said, were being looted ruthlessly. The extent of this malpractice could be gauged from the fact that an individual had fled the country after robbing a department of Rs 82 billion, he said. He lamented there was no institution to hold him accountable.
Referring to corruption in the Bank of Punjab, he said the NAB was protecting the thieves. In such a situation, he said, Nawaz Sharif was the only ray of hope and could steer the country out of the crises. He said PML-N would take part in the upcoming elections with the cooperation of its allies in Sindh and KKP.
Shahbaz Sharif said his government had not victimised anyone during the past five years. Referring to the moves for creation of new provinces in the Punjab, the chief minister said it was a drama being staged by the president before the elections, but the people of South Punjab were aware of the designs of Zardari.
He said the Punjab Assembly, through a resolution, had opposed the creation of two provinces in South Punjab, but President Zardari had decided to go for Bahawalpur-South Punjab, humorously abbreviated as BJP, the name of an Indian political party.
The head of the commission, he said, was the staff officer of the president who like its other members was not in a position to contest the election of even a councillor.
Replying to a question, the chief minister said the Metro Bus project had been completed at a cost of Rs 30 billion only. Highlighting the way it would ease the life of passengers, he said the critics were those who travelled in bulletproof vehicles and planes. He said a special authority was being set up to supervise the project.
Responding to a question, the chief minister said humorously if PML-N won the elections, he would like to become the water and power minister. When asked in that case who would replace him in the Punjab, he said he had played his innings and nobody was indispensable.