LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has that the dream of progress and prosperity cannot be realised without elimination of terrorism and maintenance of peace.  He was talking to a delegation of overseas Pakistanis in London on Friday. He said that Pak Army was writing a new history of courage and valor for purging the country of terrorism and maintenance of peace.

“Pakistan is facing serious issue of terrorism and extremism and curbing of terrorism and restoration of peace is the top priority of the government. Pak army is fighting against the enemies of peace for the survival and stability of the country and has achieved tremendous successes in the war against terrorism,” the CM held.

Shahbaz Sharif said: “The whole nation is proud of the courage, bravery and professionalism of its armed forces. Pakistani nation is united against terrorism and standing behind Pak army for riding the country of this menace. The ongoing Zarb-e-Azb operation is yielding glorious results and the day is not far when Pakistan will become a haven of harmony and tranquility. He said that terrorism and extremism have also affected economic and trade activities and national economy has suffered a heavy loss,” he maintained.

The chief minister said that thousands of Pakistanis had laid down their lives in the war against terrorism which include officers and jawans of armed forces, police, security institutions as well as ordinary citizens. He said that it was highly lamentable that while the armed forces were fighting terrorism, some elements were engaged in negative politics at this critical juncture of the national history for achieving their personal ends and had involved the people in meaningless sit-ins.

Shahbaz Sharif said that he believed that the elements staging sit-ins should display maturity and wisdom at this stage in the larger interest of the country. He said that side by side with the operation to rid the country of terrorism, promotion of economic and trade activities, equitable distribution of resources and provision of basic amenities to the deprived segments of the society is essential, therefore, Punjab government had taken effective steps in this regard.

“Youth are a precious asset of the country and Punjab government has started a number of programmes for their empowerment. A programme has been evolved for the provision of vehicles on soft terms to the unemployed youth under Apna Rozgar Scheme. A corruption-free culture and merit has been promoted in Punjab,” the CM held.

He said that like other programmes, Apna Rozgar Scheme would also be implemented in a highly transparent manner and merit would be ensured at every level. He said that the dream of homeless people to have their own house was being realised through Ashiyana housing project. He said that Punjab government had taken revolutionary steps as could help in checking the trend of extremism for making Pakistan a peaceful country.

He said that the Pakistan Muslim League-N government lauded the services of overseas Pakistanis for national progress and prosperity. He said that solution of problems of overseas Pakistanis was the responsibility of the state and Punjab government had completed legislation for setting up a fully autonomous commission for this purpose.