LAHORE – Terming the protests against loadshedding and unjust electricity supply to Punjab a natural reaction, Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif still warned the protesters against descending into violence.

“The protest against excruciating loadshedding as well as unfair and unreasonable electricity supply to Punjab is a natural reaction, but violence and arson will not be tolerated,” the chief minister said while presiding over a meeting on law and order in the wake of demonstration against the prolonged power outages, at Tent Office of Minar-e-Pakistan Thursday.

“The public properties are national assets and no patriot will damage them,” he said and called upon the people to mark black sheep in their ranks who descend into violence to thwart the peaceful protest movement.

He directed the authorities concerned to watch out for the people who take the law into their hands.

“The control room should remain active and the personnel concerned should monitor the situation,” the chief minister directed. He appealed to DCOs, police, political leadership, peace committees and religious scholars to play their role in maintaining peace across the province. Coming down hard on the Centre for its failure in providing relief to the masses, Shahbaz said the Punjab people’s protest was against the corrupt rulers, intolerable price-hike and irking loadshedding.

Senator Zulfiqar Ali Khan Khosa, Provincial Ministers Rana Sanaullah, Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman, Ch Abdul Ghafoor, Malik Nadeem Kamran, Punjab IG and other officials were present on the occasion.  Separately speaking at the ceremony of sending anti-dengue brigades to 14 districts of the province, Shahbaz said the government adopted foolproof measures for protection from dengue.  At the event, the CM handed over the keys of anti-dengue brigades to administrators and tehsil municipal officers of the areas concerned. Shahbaz directed them to remain vigilant to cope with possible outbreak of the disease.

The CM said initially, the brigades were being sent to the districts where dengue cases were reported the last year and its operation would be extended to all districts by June 30.

The CM inspected the squad machinery and got briefing from Local Government Secretary Khizer Hayat Gondal on it. The secretary told the chief minister that the latest foggers, imported from Germany had been installed in the vehicles. He said special training was arranged for the brigade personnel in management and professional development department.

He added that the World Bank provided Local Government Department 500 fogger machines, 1,000 spray pumps and 2,100 protective uniform kits for the staff. He also appreciated the services of Punjab Municipal Development Fund Company Chairman Zafar Iqbal Qureshi, Managing Director Amir Nazir and the World Bank in the fight against dengue.