KASUR - Punjab Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif on Saturday said unbridled corruption in the country was responsible for loadshedding, poverty and massive unemployment in the country; therefore, people should extend full support to his party in the proposed long march towards Islamabad against the corrupt Pakistan People's Party (PPP) rulers.
Addressing a crowd gathered in Kasur to protest against power loadshedding, Shahbaz said the federal government was inflicting serious damage on Punjab by supplying power far less than its due share.
He said Punjab was the worst target of loadshedding which not only suffered the loss of Rs 500 billion, but hundreds of thousands of people had also become jobless because of it. “We will hold the rulers accountable for the injustices being committed to Punjab.”
He criticised the government, blaming President Asif Ali Zardari and Prime Minister Yousuf Gilani of destroying Punjab's economy with prolonged power outages.
“Businesses and factories in the province are closing down due to the government's poor and inefficient policies,” said the chief minister, adding that the people were struggling to have a single meal a day.
Shahbaz further told the people that he would accompany the people shoulder-to-shoulder in their protest against the unending power crisis.
“The federal government is trying to 'take revenge from the province' through loadshedding as it has taken its toll on Punjab's villages and cities,” he added.
Highlighting the welfare projects initiated by the Punjab government, he said these ventures were pinching the opponents.
Expressing his hopelessness over the state of economy, Shahbaz said the ruling clique in the Centre was looting the national wealth, adding that the economy could not recover because of short-sighted policies of the federal government.
Earlier, he told media persons in Fatehpur village - where he visited the residence of prominent local politician MNA Rasheed Ahmed - Gilani was violating the Constitution and it did not matter whether a convicted prime minister went into an appeal or not against the apex court’s verdict.
Answering a question whether the PML-N will take part in the forthcoming general elections if Zardari was the President of Pakistan, he reply was, “Who is Zardari?”
The chief minister also ordered an inquiry into the distribution of gunny bags at the wheat procurement centres in Kasur.
Later, he also visited the residence of MNA Waseem Akhtar to condole the death of his father. Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Punjab Assembly Speaker Rana Iqbal Khan and local parliamentarians accompanied him.
On the other hand, Chaudhry Nisar also had a chat with reporters, during which he warned that Imran Khan would destroy Pakistan if he came into power. "God forbid if Imran Khan comes to power, he will destroy Pakistan".
The PML-N leader said none of those personalities, whose names he had recommended for the slot of chief election commissioner, belonged to his party.