LAHORE   -    Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has said that backward areas will be brought on a par with the developed cities of the province.

“The love and affection shown by people of Zafarwal has reminded me of my ancestral area. I feel I am in Taunsa Sharif. Both Zafarwal and Taunsa Sharif are peripheral tehsils and the location of Zafarwal is geographically important, but it was deprived of development like Taunsa Sharif,” he said while addressing a public gathering in Zafarwal on Thursday.

The chief minister said no doubt this area was deprived of its share in development. “Full attention was paid to some areas in the past and they progressed, but majority of the areas remained deprived. According to a survey, Rs100,000 per head were spent in some cities and Rs3,400 in areas like Taunsa and Zafarwal. This is an injustice because discrimination promotes unrest in the society. The former rulers raised hollow slogans of composite development and created a societal divide through their unjust approach. On the contrary, our government has promoted composite development and we will not let injustice happen to any area,” he said.

Buzdar said that backward areas were given special attention and more funds were allocated for them. “I am monitoring the situation and visiting different areas. Deprivations of Zafarwal will be removed. Attention was paid to brick-and-mortar business but public welfare was totally ignored in the past. Due to this inconsistent approach, many buildings are looking like a typical haunted house. Similarly, hospitals were made sans the required resources to run them. We have laid the foundation of durable development and new hospitals are being built to be run efficiently. Hundred seats will be increased in medical colleges. Farmers will be given agri credit cards. Wheat procurement has been started under my supervision,” he said.

The chief minister said that draft of the new local bodies system had been approved by the Punjab Assembly and a bill would introduce a fundamental change in the local bodies system. He said that public problems would be solved at the grassroots. “We are abolishing district councils and union councils. As many as 22,000 panchayat councils will be constituted in Punjab. Metropolitan corporations will be formed in every division. People will be empowered and local bodies representatives will be answerable to people. There were numerous faults in the previous local bodies system that have been removed and a system of check and balance has been introduced,” he said.

Buzdar said the condition of local roads was pathetic and added that all roads would be repaired. He announced a grant of Rs200 million for repair of Zafarwal-Narowal Road and establishment of a new park in Zafarwal. Repair of Zafarwal-Shakargarh Road and launch of BSc (Hons) programme at the Government Degree College was also announced by the chief minister. “It is regrettable that THQ hospital is not available in Zafarwal and only a basic health unit is catering to medical needs of people,” he said.

The chief minister announced release of funds for completion of THQ Hospital in Zafarwal along with upgrade of rescue 1122. He also announced a grant of Rs500,000 for the Zafarwal Bar Council and said that a piece of land would be given for the press club building.

Punjab Auqaf Minister Saeed-ul-Hassan Shah welcomed the chief minister in his address and said that problems of Zafarwal would be solved under Buzdar’s leadership.

PTI leaders Naimat Ali Javed, Dr Tahir Ali Javed, Sajjad Hussain, Col (r) Javed, Nadeem Nisar, Khizer Virk, Arif Manhais and others were also present on this occasion.

 

LAWYERS CALL ON CM

A delegation of lawyers from Zafarwal and Shakargarh called on Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar in Zafarwal and apprised him of their problems.

Buzdar assured he would solve lawyers’ problems and the government would take necessary steps in this regard. Identification of a suitable piece of land for Zafarwal Bar will be completed soon, he said.

 

MESSAGE ON WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY

Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has said that independent media is the best critic and reflection of the society because truth is the biggest reality, which cannot be concealed. However, freedom of the press is linked to the societal norm of responsibility, he said.

In his message, the chief minister said that journalists digging out the truth for the sake of public interest are praiseworthy and the present-day freedom of the press is the result of their longstanding struggle. The sacrifices rendered by them for the cause of press freedom will always be remembered, he said. He reiterated that the PTI leadership strongly believes in the freedom of expression and added that immediate action is taken on the public complaints submitted through the print, electronic and social media platforms. “The Punjab government is working for the promotion journalism at regional and national levels and a new example will be set by relieving the media of the advertisements’ grip. The press freedom in Pakistan will become a global example and necessary steps will be taken for protection of journalists performing their duties because provision of a conducive atmosphere is our priority. We reiterate that the government will proactively play its role to protect the press freedom,” the chief minister concluded.