Pakistan to apply US method to lawfully punish May 9 arsonists, PM tells critics

Shehbaz Sharif says his govt will punish violent protesters the way US did to Capitol Hill rioters n Claims strings of Black Day riots attached to abroad n Breaks ground for K-IV water supply project in Karachi n Bilawal says Karachi needs Shehbaz Speed.

 

KARACHI    -    Prime Minister Sheh­baz Sharif said Friday that no one should ob­ject if the government of Pakistan punished the arsonists of May 9 as per law, the way the United States had done to its citizens for storm­ing the Capitol building on January 6, 2021.

“Today, in the city of Quaid, we all are ashamed of what hap­pened on May 9 in La­hore. Justice requires to punish the perpetra­tors like the rioters of the Capitol building on January 6, 2021. If that punishment was legal, then no one should ob­ject if we do so under our law for the dese­cration of our martyrs,” the PM said.

Addressing the groundbreaking cer­emony of K-IV water supply project here, the PM said the poli­tics of political chaos culminated on May 9 in the form of the des­ecration of the nation’s martyrs, Ghazis and se­curity installations. He said the strings of the May 9 riots were at­tached to abroad and that the desecration of martyrs and installa­tions on the instigation of Imran Khan was the darkest chapter in the nation’s history.

Recalling his re­cent interaction with the family members of martyrs, the PM said their dear ones had rendered sacrifices for the country but the ar­sonists desecrated their monuments. The prime minister said the per­son who always blamed others for plunders had resorted to ar­sons when arrested on charges of cor­ruption.

“What kind of politics is this,” he ques­tioned and said no political leader in the past ever instigated an attack on Jinnah House or military installations, despite having faced many difficulties.

He said the leaders of MQM and PPP – both representing Sindh – gave a message of national unity which was a must for na­tional development. He said the coalition government coped with huge challeng­es through collective wisdom, including floods, inflation, IMF and also the nefar­ious designs of chaotic politics which cul­minated on the darkest day of May 9.

Committing to revive Pakistan’s lost grandeur, the prime minister lamented the unnecessary delay in the K-IV proj­ect that was meant to provide drinking water to millions of the Karachi people.

Prime Minister Shehbaz asked the rel­evant ministries to provide uninterrupt­ed funding to ensure project’s comple­tion without further delay.

He said the project was “most im­portant” for him because the people of Quaid’s city, were deprived of the drink­ing water, despite it being a city with the highest revenue generation and taxation.

The prime minister assured that he would put the project at top priority in the upcoming budget and provide maxi­mum funds for its early completion.

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said the prime minister was keenly focusing the development of Sindh, particularly Karachi. He said the two major political parties of Karachi voted for the prime minister and his gov­ernment enjoyed a “super majority” in Sindh. He said the people of Sindh also pinned hopes on the prime minister for the resolution of their issues.

Bilawal said K-IV project faced immense delay and that Karachi needed “Shehbaz Speed” for the resolution of its issues.

Regarding the floods, the foreign minis­ter said concerted efforts were needed for the rehabilitation of the people in Sindh, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, South Punjab and other areas, including the metropolises. He said around 52 percent of Sindh’s edu­cational infrastructure had been damaged by the floods impacting the education of around 47 percent population. Bilawal Bhutto said the leaders of the PPP, MQM and other parties also faced jails and oth­er hardships but they always stood for de­mocracy, without resorting to violence.

Minister for Water Resources Syed Khursheed Shah said the project was of utmost importance to meet Kara­chi’s water needs. He said the first phase would provide 260 million gallons of water to the city. He also requested the prime minister to announce the K-5 project as the K-4 would be insufficient to cope with future needs. Shah said due to the government’s efforts and dedica­tion, the country would neither default nor its economy would destabilize.

Minister for Maritime Affairs Faisal Sabzwari said the K-IV project was also part of the agreement between the MQM and the ruling coalition. 

He said unnecessary delay in the proj­ect led to a huge increase in the cost.

He said the whole province including Sindh chief minister had serious reser­vations about the census. Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah said start­ing from 2002, the project was used to be an example of ill-planning and had faced immense delay. The project would ac­cumulatively cost around Rs200 billion which could have been around Rs100 billion had it been started timely.

He said storage of Keenjhar Lake would have to be enhanced as the Irrigation De­partment has already proposed a project for the water body’s expansion.

He urged the federal government to en­sure the provision of funds for the time­ly completion of the project. Sindh Gov­ernor Kamran Tessori said under the leadership of prime minister and Foreign Minister Bilawal, the project was moving ahead. He said for the first time, the fed­eral and provincial governments were on the same page to execute the much-de­layed project. He said the May 9-like inci­dents had united the nation and thwarted the designs of the miscreants.

In his address, WAPDA Chairman Engr Lt Gen Sajjad Ghani (Retd) said K-IV wa­ter project would supply 650 million gal­lons of water to Karachi. The first phase would provide 260 million gallons and 390 million gallons to be supplied in the second phase.

He said under the project, a 111-kilo­meter-long pipeline would be laid from Keenjhar Lake to Karachi.

The first phase would cost Rs126 bil­lion as Rs33 billion had already been spent on the project.

Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto, Plan­ning Minister Ahsan Iqbal, Informa­tion Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb, Wa­ter Resources Minister Syed Khursheed Shah, Maritime Affairs Minister Faisal Sabzwari, Syed Qaim Ali Shah and others were also present.

‘TEXTILE EXPO’

Prime Minister (PM) Muhammad She­hbaz Sharif Friday stressed the country’s exporters to come up with innovative and unique ideas to boost exports which would ultimately help the country earn valuable foreign exchanges. 

“Despite various challenges, we have very robust, very futuristic, and ex­tremely hardworking entrepreneurs that have gradually built Pakistan’s ex­port culture,” he said while addressing a ceremony at the Textile Expo here.

He said with genuine government sup­port combined with the entrepreneurs’ extraordinary intellect and hard work, the provision of quality export goods to foreign customers would be ensured. 

Welcoming the foreign delegates, the PM said he was happy to learn that over 400 foreign delegates from 60 countries were visiting on the occasion showed Pakistan was a valuable destination for foreign guests, buyers, and traders. She­hbaz Sharif also appreciated the indus­trialists, exporters, and experts who had contributed immensely to promoting Pa­kistan’s textile and leather exports. 

He said Pakistan’s industry had now been transformed and converted to air jet looms, ginning, spinning, and waving.

Commerce Minister, Secretary Com­merce, and Zubair Motiwala, he said had done a commendable job by arranging this expo which would help promote the country’s exports. 

The PM said the textile sector consti­tuted 60% of total exports while 40% la­bour force was absorbed in this sector. “It is no doubt one of the largest sectors of Pakistan’s economy,” he added. 

He pointed out that despite financial challenges and other difficulties, the government was committed to provid­ing genuine support to all the export sec­tors including textile, leather, and sports to help increase the country’s export vol­ume. He recalled that a few decades ago, Pakistan was ahead of its neighbors in textile exports, however unfortunately it lost the grounds. “But I have no doubt in mind that we can still recover from these setbacks and take hands off the clock back to 1990s and excel in our exports,” he said adding that Naveed Qamar, its team, and the finance minister combined could turn the table.

The PM said Naveed Qamar had put in place the national compliance cell which was the need of the hour and “we are ob­viously grateful to the European Union for GSP plus status and again I am aware of the fact that all reviews have been done, and we ... respect all internation­al requirements in this behalf whether it is good governance, human rights or any other requirement”. 

He maintained the government be­lieved in the rule of law and merit, and come what may, the government would toe the line of constitution and policies. 

Commerce Minister Syed Naveed Qa­mar on the occasion said Pakistan of­fered numerous opportunities for in­vestment to foreign investors.

He stressed the need to provide more incentives to the exporters to boost the exports of the country. He also as­sured the entrepreneurs of the govern­ment’s full support saying that it would provide a conducive environment for them to help Pakistan not only to build up the country’s foreign exchange re­serves but also to lessen their depen­dence on international lenders. He said last month the government set up the compliance cell in the ministry to co­ordinate the efforts for meeting all the conditionalities for various programs including GSP Plus. 

Chairman Trade Development Author­ity of Pakistan (TDAP) Zubair Motiwala said Pakistan was known for the stan­dard textile products around the world.