Shahbaz tells Zardari to watch out for long march

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Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Shahbaz Sharif vented his fury on the government on Sunday by declaring he did not acknowledge President Asif Ali Zardari as the legal president of Pakistan and would launch a long march if the federal government continued load shedding.
Despite the federal government’s refusal to provide him a helicopter, Shahbaz went by road to the house of an Intermediate student who was gang-raped in in Shahkot, Nankana Sahib, on Sunday to express his sorrow to the family over the tragic incident.
The CM, who has several security threats, had personally requested the federal government to provide a helicopter for him but was turned down. He persevered nonetheless and reached the victim’s house by car and assured the provision of justice to the family. He said the perpetrators of this barbaric act would be taken to task and he would not rest until they were punished.
Shahbaz said a committee had been constituted to investigate the inhuman and heart rending incident, which would submit its report after considering all aspects of the case. He urged the 16-year-old girl to not be discouraged and continue her studies, which he said the Punjab government would bear all future expenses for. He said she would get to go to educational institutions of her own choice, while other necessities of the affected family would also be taken care of.
He said legislation would be made to curb such incidents in future and if there was any flaw in the law, it would be removed so that the culprits of such heinous crimes could not escape punishment.
ZARDARI: Later, Shahbaz told reporters that the federal government had been asked to provide him a helicopter to go to Nankana Sahib in the light of security threats, but it was not provided. He said President Zardari’s government could not stop him from reaching the oppressed and poor people by refusing a helicopter, and he would face every difficulty in order to share the grief of the poor and oppressed.
He said the fleet of helicopters in Islamabad was not anyone’s personal property, and that the helicopters worth billion of rupees were not for recreational visits of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leaders but assets of the people.
To a question that he had come by road despite a backache, the CM said that being Khadim-e-Punjab, it was his responsibility to heal the wounds of the people and no obstacles could be created in his way.
Later, speaking at a seminar to create awareness about dengue fever, CM Sharif said President Zardari was the root cause of all ills in the country and his corruption and plundering had increased the people’s difficulties manifold.
LONG MARCH: The CM said Lahore was being deliberately targeted by 12 hours of load shedding every day, which had resulted in damage to machinery worth millions of rupees and the deaths of patients, and the time had come to start a long march against those responsible for it. He said there was no shortage of power generation capacity but the power producers were not being paid, while the federal government filled its pockets through corruption. Shahbaz said the people of Lahore were already harassed by the dengue epidemic and excessive load shedding was adding to their misery. The chief minister said had no bone of contention with the president but he “is the king of corruption” and had deposited his assets in Swiss banks. “In the worst time when we are fighting against dengue, the Zardari government has put Punjab, especially Lahore, under darkness through massive power outages to turn our win against dengue into a failure,” he said. The CM then led a round of sloganeering against the president.
NAWAZ: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) President Nawaz Sharif also enforced his brother’s remarks, saying load-shedding was the result of malpractices, inefficiency and self-motivated policies of the federal government, and those who had ruled the country for three and a half years could not shirk the blame for the power crisis. He said the power generation projects of the country could still meet the local energy demands provided the government gave precedence to public interests over its “narrow selfish ends”.
He said while on the one hand industrial activity had ground to a halt because of power shortage, on the other hand power generation units were rusting at the Karachi port. He said power generation units were either lying closed because of fuel shortage or were operating below their capacity.
The PML-N chief said if the federal government showed sense and eliminated corruption, it could provide Rs 500 billion to Rs 600 billion to operate the units to their full capacity and reduce the power shortage.
FIRDOUS: Federal Information Minister Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan later responded to Shahbaz’s remarks while talking to a private TV channel, saying it did not matter if someone accepted Asif Ali Zardari as president or not, even if it was Shahbaz Sharif. She said Shahbaz and his party had fully opposed President Zardari in the presidential election but he had succeeded by a big margin nevertheless. Replying to a question, the minister said that whenever, the Punjab chief minister demanded a helicopter, the federal government provided him one, but he kept criticising the top leadership in his speeches. This time, however, the four helicopters which were under the use of the prime minister and federal cabinet were grounded for maintenance, she said.

15 COMMENTS

  1. I am from Bahawalnagar city. In last 48 hours, i calculated 41 hour without electricity. It has disturbed the life of the people. Business has been badly affected. Water shortage has made the people to cry. There is great rush on the water supply reservoir for having few botels of water. Ugliest load shedding especially at the time when the government is showing its muscle to US is really very funny. Only good governance in the country is strength of muscles not harsh and nonsense statements. Mr Shehbaz's call of long march must be appreciated because load shedding is real issue, and we must talk of real issues. We have listened much about non issues. It is too much. We have tired of nonsense statements of the leaders.

  2. It is shocking to watcu how indifferent PPP Punjab leaders and representative are todays people of their own province to appease AZ. Whereas no Sindhi or other leaders would against their province interest at the cost of sycophancy.

  3. During second tenure of Benazir Bhutto, the government aggressively pursued policy of setting-up energy projects. Nawaz Sharif strongly criticised and scandalised the policy. When he came to power in 1997, he completely ignored energy sector. Musharraf did the same during his power. We were being constantly told by Nawaz & Musharraf that Pakistan had surplus electricity and projects approved and set-up during Benazir's second tenure were for the sake of commissions.

    Just imagine, if those projects had not been set-up, where would we be standing today?

    Present mess is the direct result of PPP-bashing by Nawaz & Musharraf. They have misled public to such an extent that whatever the present government tries to do for the better, it is scandalised. Media is also tilted in one direction. Otherwise, if they start paying attention to mega-corruption of Sharifs, they will find a much higher level of corruption.

  4. Whether you like the Punjab CM or not, it’s clear that the federal government is hell bent on making life misery for him. The massive increase in loadshedding is a prime example of this insidious act of theirs. Hopefully it will backfire on the federal government creeps.

  5. Mr. Zard Aree has really rotten the fundamental integrity of our beloved country. Such a devastating power outage is not going to be acceptable by us. Mr. Shahbaz Sharif is right in saying about long march, as there is no way out , unfortunately. It is time to stand against corrupt government otherwise we have to pay the price in the form of further deterioration of our beloved Pakistan.

  6. During second tenure of Benazir Bhutto, the government aggressively pursued policy of setting-up energy projects. Nawaz Sharif strongly criticised and scandalised the policy. When he came to power in 1997, he completely ignored energy sector. Musharraf did the same during his power. We were being constantly told by Nawaz & Musharraf that Pakistan had surplus electricity and projects approved and set-up during Benazir's second tenure were for the sake of commissions.

    Now just imagine, if those projects had not been set-up, where would we be standing today?

    By the way, as far as threat of Long March issued by Shahbaz Sharif is concerned, he is too busy with new and newer marriages. He will never have the time for it.

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