Shahid Abbasi, Shehbaz Sharif lay foundation stone of 1,263MW power plant in Jhang
PM criticises opposition parties, says ‘if you add zero to zero, you still get zero’
Punjab CM comes down hard on Zardari, Imran, dares NAB chief to prove corruption in Punjab projects
JHANG: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday took a dig at the political alliances being formed against the government, saying the opposition parties, including Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), had failed to match the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government’s performance and were now scrambling for support from other parties.
“If you add zero to zero, you still get zero,” said Prime Minister Abbasi, in a veiled reference to the meeting between PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) chief Tahirul Qadri in Lahore the other day. The unprecedented meeting between the two leaders demanded Shehbaz Sharif’s resignation in wake of the Model Town enquiry report.
“In June, the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) will complete its tenure after which elections will be held,” PM Abbasi said after laying the foundation stone of a power plant in Jhang.”We are hopeful that people will still vote for us based on our performance,” he added.
The 1,263 megawatt LNG power plant, which is being funded by China and the Punjab government, will be constructed near the Trimmu Barrage. The project is estimated to cost $800 million. The project is scheduled to be completed in 26 months, and it will start power generation of 810MW within 14 months and 1,263MW once it is completed.
Addressing the event, the prime minister said that Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) is the only party which wants elections to be held on time.
Hailing the role of Shehbaz Sharif for the rapid completion of the different development projects in the province, he said that the Punjab CM has played an integral role in the materialising of the development projects.
Lauding the ruling party, Abbasi said that load shedding has ended in the majority of the cities, adding that load shedding only occurs in places where electricity theft is common.
“No one can complain that PML-N differentiated between provinces,” said the PM. “We have learned politics from Nawaz Sharif sahib who never put down his political opponents even during party’s internal politics,” he added.
Abbasi said that CPEC could have been initiated during the tenure of PPP, adding that CPEC came during the tenure of PML-N because of the trust of the people.
‘NATION WILL HOLD ZARDARI ACCOUNTABLE’:
Addressing the audience before the PM, Shehbaz Sharif lashed out at political opponents Asif Ali Zardari and Imran Khan.
Lashing out at the PPP supremo, Shehbaz Sharif remarked that those who have looted the country now speak about others’ corruption.
“If NAB [National Accountability Bureau] doesn’t hold Zardari accountable, then the nation will.”
“I will bring each and everything to the forefront,” he remarked.
Shehbaz went on to say that someone needs to step up and reform the country’s structures. “There is rampant corruption, the money of the poor people has been looted and kept in the bank accounts in Switzerland.”
“The money could have been spent on the orphans, widows and unemployed youth,” he remarked.
Criticising the PTI-led government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), the chief minister said that not a single watt of electricity was produced in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the leader speaks about bringing about a new Pakistan.
Speaking about the corruption allegations against him, Shehbaz remarked that even if the NAB chairman investigates 56,000 cases against him no corruption would be found. “If even an ounce of corruption is proven against me, then the nation is free to hold me accountable,” he added.
“Politicians, judges, generals, bureaucrats and parliamentarians must work together and form a new contract,” stressed the Punjab CM.
“All the stake holders must work together if we want the Pakistan envisioned by Allama Iqbal and Quaid-e-Azam,” he said.
Shehbaz Sharif vowed an end to the load shedding issue with concrete measures taken by the PML-N government.
The chief minister said that all power projects have been completed speedily with utmost transparency.
Taking jibe at his opponents, Shehbaz said, “If they cannot bring themselves to mention the names, they should at least appreciate the [development] projects.”
“The first phase of power plants at Bhikhi and Haveli Bahadur Shah is already functional,” he said.
Sahiwal Power Plant and Solar Park Bahawalpur are being completed under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, concluded the Punjab chief minister.