LAHORE - Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed Anti-Corruption Establishment (ACE) of Punjab to first go after the big fish that are responsible for the prevailing hardships to the masses.

Speaking at a briefing given on the performance of ACE on Saturday, he urged the officers to become a role model and perform duties honestly, without any fear and pressure.

Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, Special Assistant to the PM Shahzad Akbar, Punjab Chief Secretary Yousaf Nasim Khokhar, Inspector General of Police Arif Nawaz Khan, ACE Punjab Director General Ijaz Hussain Shah and directors of the department attended the briefing. The prime minister assured the officers that he would stand by them in case of any difficulty. He said performing professional duties with honesty was a ‘Jihad’ in the prevailing circumstances.

He said corruption had inflicted an irreparable loss to the country and the future of next generations was at stake due to this menace. Owing to the unprecedented corruption in the past, he said, the government had no alternative but to take loans, he lamented.

Ijaz Shah briefed the premier and other participants about the mission, administrative structure, legal framework, enforcement aspects, human resource and achievements of the ACE. He also shed light on the measures being taken for improving the institutional mechanism, bridging the human resource constraints and refresher courses for the officers to enhance their capabilities against white collar crimes.

Earlier, the ACE DG called on the PM separately. Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar was also present. The PM said eradication of corruption was top priority of the government. He directed the DG for taking indiscriminate action against corrupt elements, saying

 

 

corruption and journey of national development could not go side by side.

The PM spent a busy day in Lahore. He visited his alma mater, Aitchison College. He also inaugurated world’s largest picture wall at the Lahore Fort. The Walled City of Lahore Authority recently completed the conservation work of the wall in collaboration with the Agha Khan Trust for Culture.

 

INDIA CAN BE A GREAT TOURISM CLIENT: PM

 

APP adds: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday said it was necessary to preserve the national heritage and culture for the next generations.

Speaking at the inauguration of the resurrected Mughal era Picture Wall here at the Lahore Fort, he said when the nations knew of their glorious past, they were destined to greatness. The heritage was a source of national pride.

The 'Picture Wall' is a 17th century monument which has been restored to its original grandeur after years of toil by the local and foreign archaeologists through the technical assistance from some foreign countries, including Norway.

The prime minister regretted the neglect of the past rulers due to which historic monuments deteriorated in the country. The foreign countries, including neighbouring India, had preserved their heritage successfully. Pakistan could learn a lot from the Indian experience after improvement in bilateral relations, he added.

He said preserving the national heritage and promoting tourism could help the country overcome the current account deficit, citing Turkey and Malaysia, which earned billions of dollars through tourism. Turkey earned 40 billion dollars through tourism economy. Pakistan was great tourist destination, he added.

The prime minister said the government had divided tourism into different sections, including architectural, nature and religious. Pakistan was home to the oldest Bhuddist, Hindu, Sikh and Islamic civilisations.

India, he said, would be a great tourism client as the relations between the two neighbouring countries were destined to improve. Similarly, there was immense interest from China, Japan, Korea and other countries and it was a good omen for the country's tourism industry.

He also stressed the need to explore Sufi tourism. He said the Northern Areas of Pakistan were double in size than Switzerland and all remained unexplored. He said no hill resorts were developed after the British departed in 1947. His government was developing 30 new hill resorts, he added.

He said the government would allocate funds for the development and preservation of heritage and nature.

The prime minister also hinted at preserving the historic palaces in the country and turning them into hotels on Indian model. It could earn precious foreign exchange.

Imran Khan acknowledged the role of Kamran Lashari in preserving the historical heritage in Lahore and tasked him to work for the preservation of Bala Hisar Fort and the ancient old city of Peshawar.

Earlier, Director General (DG) Walled City of Lahore Authority (WCLA) Kamran Lashari briefed the prime minister on the preservation of various parts of the Lahore Fort and other heritage sites in the city. He thanked Agha Khan Foundation, USAID and donor countries, including Norway, for supporting the preservation work in the country.

Lashari said the Picture Wall was the largest preserved heritage wall in the world and more work was being undertaken to preserve rest of the wall.

Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Khan Buzdar, Special Assistant to the PM on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Federal Education Minister Shafqat Mehmood, politicians, foreign diplomats, including Norwegian Ambassador Kjell-Gunnar Eriksen and Canadian Deputy High Commissioner Elizabeth Baldwin-Jones and a large number of people attended the ceremony.

Later, the prime minister laid bare the Mughal-era Picture Wall plaque. He was shown round the different preserved sites of the Lahore Fort, including the Royal Kitchen. A Sufi music night followed by a dinner was also arranged for the guests.