LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said the country is passing through a critical phase due to extremism and energy shortage but the PML-N government is committed to meet these challenges with wisdom and concerted efforts.

He said the trends of extremism cannot be eliminated only through gun but can also be controlled through promotion of education, provision of health facilities and job opportunities. He said the army has full capabilities to ensure security situation and eliminate extremism in the country. He said that socio-economic measures are of utmost necessity for eliminating trends of extremism and Swat operation is one of its examples where the army conducted operation successfully and the people were empowered through socio-economic measures.

He expressed these views while addressing the function of 2nd Convocation 2014 of CMH Medical College & Institute of Dentistry and later talking to media men here on Saturday.

Federal Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafique, Corps Commander Lahore Lt Gen Naveed Zaman, Vice Chancellor University of Health Sciences Maj Gen (r) Prof Muhammad Aslam, Principal CMH Medical College Lt Gen (r) Syed Afzaal Ahmad and others.

The chief minister gave away gold medals to graduate doctors and congratulated them and also announced a grant of Rs five crore for the College.

The chief minister said the army has always rendered commendable services during flood, earthquake and natural calamities and the medical college of the army is also rendering invaluable services in the relevant field.

Shahbaz said the army has made marvellous achievement by setting up CMH Medical College in Lahore for serving ailing humanity upon which the army deserves appreciation. He said the concerned institutions of the army have equally joined hands with civilian institutions for the development of the country.

He said the army has rendered invaluable services with civilians during the worst flood of 2010 or earthquake or any other natural calamities and the entire nation is proud of it.

The CM said the people associated with medical profession belonged to a very respectable profession and their oath demands that they should serve the ailing humanity without any discrimination. He said the teachings of Holy Quran and Holy Prophet (PBUH) also stress upon service to ailing humanity. Shahbaz said Punjab is the only province of the country where salaries of the people associated with medical profession are the highest.

He said only healthy society progresses whereas sick society lags behind the development race.

The CM said with the view to make the society progressive and developed, the Punjab government is spending billions of rupees on improving education and health sectors. He said doctors and paramedical staff of the army discharged their duties in the hospitals of the province at a time when the doctors of these hospitals were on strike. Shahbaz said he is very pleased to say that doctors and paramedical staff of the army have served the ailing humanity in the hospitals with devotion and dedication.

While talking to media, Shahbaz said the government is making round the clock efforts for the development of education and health sectors. He said steps are being taken for the promotion of sentiments of tolerance and unity in the society. He said that socio-economic measures are essential for eradicating trends of extremism.

The chief minister stressed the need for changing that mindset which pushes the people to extremism. He said in 1940 Muslims of the sub-continent struggled for a separate homeland setting aside sectarianism and a glorious example of unity and brotherhood was witnessed.

He said some forces are trying to weaken the basic foundation of unity and solidarity of the country but we have to purge the society of extremism collectively.