LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that up to 18 hours loadshedding in Punjab is a result of vindictive thinking of Asif Zardari against the people of the province which the whole nation strongly condemns.

Talking to mediamen at Azadi Chowk during inspection of Metro Bus Service project here on Sunday, the chief minister said the excesses made against his province were due to President Zardari. He said on the orders of Mr Zardari 700 megawatt electricity produced in Punjab was sent outside the province. He said power crisis was badly affecting industry, agriculture, health, education and other sectors. The chief minister said that cancellation of export orders was also causing irreparable loss to economy.  Shahbaz was of the view that step-motherly treatment was meted out to Punjab with regard to loadshedding against which the people were on the streets. He said he was also protesting and raising his voice against the injustice being done to the Punjab people.

He said peaceful protest was the right of the people, however, they should not damage public property as it was a national asset and its protection was a collective responsibility. He complained that federal government had not implemented the decision of uniform loadshedding in the country and the discriminatory treatment to Punjab should now come to an end.

Shahbaz said Metro Bus Service was a unique project in the history of the country and every effort would be made for its completion during the current year. He said it would be ensured that flow of traffic should not be affected by the construction work so that the citizens should not face any difficulty. He said the project was for the masses and would provide a great relief to them. Shahbaz was hopeful that traffic flow would ease up after completion of the project. He said the problems being faced by the people due to this project were temporary while the relief and benefits on the completion of the project would be long-lasting.

He said metro bus service was a splendid project which would result in speedy and comfortable travelling facilities to the masses.

He said work on the project was in progress round-the-clock and an eight kilometre-long flyover was also being constructed under this project.

Director General LDA Ahad Cheema gave a detailed briefing to the chief minister regarding pace of work.