LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said that criticism and allegations against Orange Line Metro Train Project are baseless and a pack of lies.

He was addressing a special seminar with regard to Orange Line Metro Train project at Expo Center Auditorium, yesterday.

He said this criticism is only by those who spend their vacation in Europe and disdain travelling with the common man. He said that a handful of elites opposing Orange Line will automatically get silent after completion of the project.

Shehbaz Sharif vowed to stand like a rock against those who are creating hurdles in this project of public welfare and will risk his life but not allow anyone to usurp the right of common people. He said that he is ready to make any sacrifice in this war against the opponents of Orange Line Metro Train and other projects of public welfare.

He said the fact that Rs 76 billion have been saved in this project is itself an example of its transparency. He said that criticism on Orange Line Metro Train is a conspiracy against the welfare and uplift of the common people and such elements will face the wrath of the masses.

He said that if anti-Metro elements give up their unfriendly attitude to the common man, he is ready to accept their every demand but if they did not do so he will prove to be their biggest enemy. He said that no one will be allowed to usurp the right of the people and he is ready to go to any extreme in this regard. He said that Orange Line Metro Train project will be completed at any cost.

The chief minister said that Orange Line Metro Train will be more reliable than metro bus and will result in provision of safe, dignified and economical transport facilities to the masses. He said that with the completion of Orange Line Metro Train project, the unnecessary and unjustified criticism of a handful of elites will also come to an end. He said these elements are also telling lies that this project will affect historical heritage as they have never visited any historical site in the country and go to Europe and other countries along with their dogs to spend their vacation.

He said that the elements criticizing development projects are enemies of the children of the poor. He said that if the child of an elite falls ill, he reaches the hospital in his car within five minutes but if the child of the poor man goes to hospital by metro bus or metro train it is intolerable for the elites. He said elites want that they continue to travel by luxuries vehicles, live in palaces and their children studying at prestigious educational institutions but 95 percent people remain deprived of basic facilities.

He said that he will not allow this situation to continue and will not permit anyone to usurp the basic right of the poor masses. The Chief Minister said that opposition to Orange Line Metro Train project by a few persons is a conspiracy against Pakistani people including doctors, patients, lawyers, widows, orphans students and workers and the people will foil this conspiracy. He said this handful elites have gone to the court with the excuse that Orange Line Metro Train will damage cultural heritage.

He said that these elements have nothing to do with cultural heritage but are opposing this project only in their enmity to the poor people. He said he is confident that just as the court gave its verdict in favour of the people in dengue case, it will also uphold justice on merit in the case of Orange Line Metro Train. He said that elites have no concern with the problems and issues of the masses.

He said that the delay in Orange Line Metro Train project is causing a loss of Rs six crore daily and Pakistan is not an oil or gas rich country and cannot bear this loss. Shehbaz Sharif said that he has full confidence in judiciary and it will give its decision in accordance with the demands of merit and justice. He said that he would have been happy if instead of relying on the excuse of damage to culture heritage, the elites had gone to the court with regard to its transparency. He said the elites knew that the project was transparent, therefore, it did not go to the court.

Addressing the seminar, Kh Ahmed Hasaan highlighted the importance of orange line metro train project. He said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, before general elections, had said in a meeting that he has no desire to become prime minister but if this responsibility was given to him he will serve the masses to earn blessings of Allah.

He said that orange line metro train and other projects reflect this philosophy. He said that Shehbaz Sharif is implementing this vision of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif. He said that when the people are asleep, Khadim-e-Aala remains awake and keeps an eye on public welfare projects.

He said that Shehbaz Sharif is writing a new history of public service. Chairman Mass Transit Authority Sibtain Fazal Haleem informed about the salient features of orange line metro train project. Prominent TV anchor Sohail Ahmed while addressing the seminar said that no nation can progress without modern communication system and Shehbaz Sharif is fully aware of this fact and is modernizing infrastructure.

He said that the opponents of this project cannot tolerate provision of better transport facilities to the masses. He said that there is a need to support the truth with regard to provision of facilities to the masses. He said that criticism against metro bus came to an end when the project was completed and the same will happen in case of orange line metro train project.