Punjab CM vows to develop Karachi, Peshawar like Lahore

  • Shehbaz criticizes PTI, its role in Pakhtunkhwa over past few years
  • ‘PML-N ready to complete metro bus project in Peshawar in one year’


LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader and Punjab Chief Minister (CM) Shehbaz Sharif has vowed that his party would work tirelessly to make Karachi and Peshawar like Lahore if given a chance and voted to power in the upcoming general elections.

Addressing a rally in Lahore on Sunday, the chief minister took a jibe at the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf-led (PTI) government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) over the past few years.

“Five years ago, PTI chief Imran Khan told journalist Hamid Mir during an interview, following the 2013 elections, that he would bring electricity to all of KP and the rest of the country,” Shahbaz said, and claimed that after all this time, Imran Khan has not brought even a single watt of electricity.

The PML-N leader went on to say that when there was a dengue outbreak in Lahore and Punjab in 2010-2011, he, along with [Railways Minister] Saad Rafique, all MNAs and MPAs in Lahore, doctors, bureaucrats and experts, fought against the deadly disease. He lamented that Imran Khan called them the ‘Dengue Brothers’.

Shehbaz further said, “When there is a dengue outbreak in Peshawar, we send our doctors, mobiles, medicines and nurses there and they treat dengue patients day and night.”

He also said that PML-N President and his brother Nawaz Sharif released federal funds for the metro bus in Karachi. “But in Peshawar, Imran Khan said if he got funds from the centre he would use them on education and hospitals. Four and a half years later, he took a loan from Asian Development Bank and set the foundation of the Peshawar Metro Bus. But not a single brick has been laid, and the election is near,” he alleged.

The Punjab CM also said that despite all the criticism the Lahore and Islamabad Metros had received from Khan, the PTI chief was building the same project in Peshawar. However, he said, instead of it being cheaper as promised by the PTI chief, the cost of the Peshawar Metro Bus came to Rs51 billion compared to the Rs30bn spent on the Islamabad Metro Bus.

He also lambasted the actions of Khan and those who shut down Mall Road on January 17 “calling for resignations”.

The only answer to these people is to make Sindh, KP, Balochistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir like we made Punjab, he said.

“Today, to the people of Karachi and Peshawar, I promise that if you choose to vote for us [PML-N] in the next election, we will work day and night to develop Karachi, Peshawar, Sindh, KP, Balochistan the way Lahore and Punjab are.”

“If my party and Nawaz Sharif are permitted by you and given this responsibility, then I will come to your areas myself and oversee projects the way I oversee projects in Punjab, whether it is 6 am or midnight,” he promised.

He assured the people not to worry about where the funds for such projects will come from. “The way we spent money in Punjab and didn’t ask for loans, and didn’t let corruption happen, we will do the same there,” he claimed.

“I am telling you, the people of Peshawar, they [PTI] will not be able to do anything. If you give us the opportunity, we will complete the Peshawar Metro Bus in one year,” he vowed.

Taking a shot at former president Asif Zardari, CM Shehbaz vowed that he will bring all the money back that Zardari had looted from the people of Pakistan. He added that he will go to the ends of the earth to bring that money back and use it to help the people.

He also said that NAB has summoned him and he will bring real face of NAB before media with evidence, and added that NAB Chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal is expressing his love by sending him notices.

“But I will bring the facts before the public,” he said.

He further said that billions of rupees have been looted in NICL, OGRA, Rental Power, Nandipur and Chichuki Malian but there is no one to hold them accountable. He said, “When they failed to prove anything, they requested to open Hudabiya Mill case.”

The chief minister also claimed that if even a single penny worth of corruption is proven against him, the people should not forgive him. “For nine-and-a-half years, I have served you day and night. If you can prove one penny of corruption against me until I am in my grave, then don’t forgive me,” he said.

Shehbaz Sharif also termed the January 17 rally by opposition parties on the Mall Road a “big farce”, where political goons from all across the country gathered.

He also said that Imran put allegations on him but failed to prove them. “On my notices, Imran seeks new date every time,” he said.


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