LAHORE  - Punjab Governor Ch Muhammad Sarwar on Thursday stated that Punjab government was sincere in holding Local Bodies elections, and there was no reason to doubt its intentions in this regard. 

In an informal interaction with the journalists at Governor House here, Sarwar assured that the Punjab government would implement the court decision on the issue of new delimitations and also abide by all the decisions taken by the Election Commission of Pakistan regarding conduct of the elections.

“There should be no doubt in anybody’s mind regarding Punjab government’s commitment to hold Local Government elections”, he said.

On the issue of opening of sub-campuses by some public sector universities, the Governor said that there was complete unanimity of views between him and the Punjab Chief Minister on promotion of higher education in the universities.

“It should, however, be ensured that rules are followed while encouraging public-private partnership in the education sector so that students don’t have to undergo any trouble”, he observed in an indirect reference to existence of sub-campuses of some public sector universities which don’t fulfil the required criterion.

Asked if he would make efforts to build consensus on construction of Kalabagh Dam (KBD) to overcome energy crisis, the Governor said: “We would have to settle all contentious issues of national importance including that of KBD by evolving national consensus”.

To a question, he said that it was due to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s sagacious policy of ‘trade, not aid’ that Pakistan has been granted GSP plus status to provide duty-free access to its products, some 600 in number, in the European markets.

“But we would have to ensure uninterrupted supply of gas and electricity to the industry to reap benefits of this concession”, he added.

Ch Sarwar informed that India did not enjoy GSP plus status and consequently its traders have to pay 12 per cent duty on various products in the European markets.

Answering a question on the status of minorities in Pakistan, he said they enjoyed all the religious liberties and rights as other citizens.

“I would continue to serve the masses irrespective of cast creed and colour. While in Great Britain, I did not face any discrimination on the basis of my religion”, he stated.