LAHORE: Shehbaz Sharif has said that in the present circumstances in Pakistan, all state institutions need to show unity and prioritise areas which they agree on and put contentious issues on the back burner.
He expressed these views while talking to a delegation of All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS) which called on him here on Thursday. The delegation comprised Mujeeb ur Rehman Shami, Hameed Haroon, Arif Nizami, Rameeza Nizami, APNS Secretary General Umer Mujeeb Shami, Vice President Mehtab Khan, Joint Secretary Munir Jillani, Finance Secretary Waseem Ahmed, other senior journalists and owners of newspapers.
On the occasion, the CM said that when he first talked about the Orange Line Metro Train (OLMT) Project in Lahore, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had initiated an investigation into its financial underpinnings and said that the project is riddled with rampant corruption. The CM invited NAB to probe OLMT to the furthest extend, adding that all records will be given to the organisation for conducting an audit. “No corruption has been done in the project”, he said, adding that his hands are clean.
During the meeting, problems faced by the newspapers industry and the prevalent situation in the country were discussed. The CM said that the role of media is pivotal in raising public awareness.
The APNS delegation appreciated Punjab government’s role for solving problems of the newspaper industry. The chief minister assured to resolve the problems of journalists in the future as well. The chief minister, while acknowledging the positive role of media, said that the attitude of some of the TV channels is irresponsible and such an irresponsible attitude is not helping the journey of public development and prosperity in Pakistan. If Pakistani society is to be strengthened, then the media will have to work in a positive and responsible manner, he said. The media should fully project positive developments, he said. He said that a TV channel leveled baseless allegations about sending money to China in Multan Metro Project and defamed the country. This attitude is highly deplorable, he added.
The CM further said that martial law has been promulgated in Pakistan on four occasions; the elected governments which interspersed these regimes have been unable to resolve the issues of the country in the past. He said that Pakistan must be viewed as a collection of federating units; only then can its problems be resolved.
He also lambasted Imran Khan for criticising the initiative for metro buses which are now going to be launched in Peshawar. He further said that the menace of corruption has been spread everywhere in the country, adding that mega corruption scandals were unearthed in the past which NAB does not care to open.
He also said that the Pak Army is the most organised institution and every organisation is duty bound to fulfill the responsibility of moving the country further by getting rid of troubles. He proposed that all the stakeholders should hold dialogue for the sake of the country and a mechanism can be set up for dialogue between politicians, judiciary, and army. He said that Pakistan is a nuclear power which has not yet fully realised its economic potential.
Provincial Minister Mujtaba Shuja ur Rehman, Special Assistant Malik Muhammad Ahmed Khan, Additional Secretary to Chief Minister Raja Jahangir Anwar and concerned officials were also present on the occasion.