LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Sunday said that an efficient system of accountability was essential for the progress of the country.

“The prime minister, chief ministers, federal ministers, governors, judges, generals and bureaucrats should go through this process,” he observed while addressing the inaugural ceremony of Punjab Higher Education Commission at Arfa Karim Software Technology Park and the concluding session of training workshop for journalists jointly arranged by CPNE, UNDP and Punjab Higher Education Commission.

The Chief Minister believed that the vision of Quaid and Iqbal could be realised only through promotion of an accountability culture in which nobody was above board.

He lamented that justice was being sold in police stations and Kutcheries which had weakened the foundations of the country.

He vowed that Punjab government will root out this culture.

He said that Pakistan was facing terrorism, energy crisis and other serious problems which could be overcome only through collective wisdom.

Referring to the measures taken for the promotion of education in the province, Shahbaz Sharif said that Punjab government was spending billions of rupees for this purpose.

However, he said, the universities and research centers were not performing their responsibilities towards promotion of research in an effective manner.

He said that universities and research centers should play an effective role for the promotion of process of research in agriculture, livestock, industries and other sectors.

He said that Punjab Higher Education Commission had been set up for this purpose and now it will have to play an effective role for bridging the gulf between universities, research centers and social development sectors.

He said that Punjab government had set up first Information Technology University of the country where young generation is being imparted latest technology.

He said that it was not the responsibility of the government to set up industries but it is the responsibility to provide a favourable atmosphere for promotion of investment and strengthening of industrialisation process.

Shahbaz said that he had invited foreign investors to invest in energy sector but no positive response was received upon which Punjab government set up solar project of 100 megawatts with its own resources at Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park Bahawalpur.

He said that though Pakistani investors did not come forward but China helped Pakistan and signed agreements of investment of 46 billion dollars at this difficult time. He said that China through this package had given a strong reply to those who state that there is nothing but terrorism in Pakistan.

He said that national banks also provided resources for the projects aimed at provision of facilities to the citizens.

He said that government was making serious efforts for overcoming energy crisis and problems like poverty, unemployment, ignorance and loadshedding will soon be removed.

He viewed that safarish, corruption and plundering were rampant and a huge loss was caused to the country and the masses through looting billions of rupees of the nation.

He said that had these loans of Rs 250 billion to Rs 300 billion not been got written off, the situation in the country would have been different.

He said that up to 300 megawatts electricity could be generated from this hard earned money of the people while several educational institutions of a high standard could also be set up.

He said that establishment of Higher Education Commission in Punjab was an important step and it is hoped that this institution will efficiently discharge its responsibilities towards capacity building of universities and colleges.

He said that Punjab government had taken revolutionary measures for the promotion of education in the province and enrolment of 100 per cent children in primary schools by 2018 will be ensured.

The CM announced a grant of Rs 2.5 crore for CPNE and said that it is performing its responsibilities for the promotion of responsible journalism in an effective manner.

He said that Higher Education Commission had been set up in Punjab in accordance with the law and it is hoped that it will achieve the purpose for which it has been established.

He congratulated Chairperson Higher Education Commission Dr. Nizamuddin and expressed the hope that he will utilise all his energies and talent for the achievement of the objectives of the institution.

He also congratulated CPNE and UNDP on holding the training workshop.

He said that refresher courses were very important in all sectors of life and CPNE had taken a commendable step by arranging the training workshop. He said that media played an important role in the development of a society and strengthening of social values and he takes guidance from media reports.

He said that Local Bodies elections will be held this year and he believes that Local Bodies system is of vital importance for devolution of powers to grass root level, however, there is a need for its complete implementation.

President CPNE Mujeeb-ur-Rehman Shami and Chairperson Punjab Higher Education Commission Dr. Nizamuddin also spoke on the occasion.

President CPNE, Mujeeb-ur-Rehman Shami while paying tributes to Chief Minister Punjab Mian Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif for his efforts for the progress and prosperity of the province said that he was proud to belong to a province of which Shahbaz Sharif is Chief Minister and was serving the people round the clock. He said that establishment of Higher Education Commission in the province was a good step and he has appointed a talented, competent and hard working person as its chairperson. Chairperson Punjab Higher Education Commission Dr Nizamuddin highlighted the aims and objectives of Punjab Higher Education Commission.

Earlier, the Chief Minister inaugurated the plaque of Punjab Higher Education Commission and offered Dua.

General Secretary of CPNE Dr. Jabbar Khattak, Vice President Iyaz Khan, other office- bearers, Provincial Minister for Education Rana Mashhood Ahmed, Spokesman Punjab government Zaeem Hussain Qadri, Vice Chancellors of universities, educationists and a large number of journalists were present on the occasion.