LAHORE: Chief Minister Punjab Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday said that factual freedom was meaningless in the absence of economic freedom as no one could command economically strong nations. He said that the nation has to move forward by relying on its own resources. The goals of the establishment of Pakistan could not be achieved by just tactics, but practical hard work and collective efforts were also needed, he added.
The chief minister expressed these views while addressing the inauguration ceremony of the book “Governing the Ungovernable” by former Governor of State Bank Dr Ishrat Hussain.
“An economic and social justice system where there are equal opportunities to progress, fair distribution of resources, and no one is worried about basic facilities, is essential for our progress,” he said. The CM added that in order to bring peace and prosperity to the country and to replace despair with happiness, there was a dire need to diminish the gap between the rich and poor.
“We need to make 21 million people of the country prosperous like it was dreamt by Quaid-e-Azam and Iqbal,” he said while adding that it was the only way to stop the bloody revolution in the country.
Shehbaz said that he was honoured to participate in the book launching ceremony and it was a matter of immense pleasure for him. He said that as the title of the book enunciates, Dr Ishrat had written a wonderful book on the situation, issues and challenges faced by Pakistan.
Furthermore, he said, in the 1990s the country was ahead of many neighbouring countries in terms of economic growth and now South Korea had progressed far beyond by adopting Pakistan’s 5-year development plan. “India, Bangladesh and China are far ahead of us today, he said while adding that the country needs to figure out the reason that why despite having the same conditions other countries have progressed far beyond Pakistan. He also said that corruption cases had surfaced in India, Bangladesh and other countries too, but unfortunately it was only Pakistan that was lagging behind on the road to progress.
The chief minister said it was evident that economically strong nations were respected in the world while weak nations always received dictation. Standard human resource was necessary to achieve development goals and objectives could be achieved only through resource development, effective planning and its implementation. An effective system of check and balance was needed in the politicians, bureaucracy and all institutions for the rapid development and the system can only be strengthened economically by opting accountability, he stated.
Shehbaz said that the development process could undeniably be expedited by transferring the powers to the lower level and local body institutions could play an effective role in this regard. No heed was paid on the annual audit of these institutes during the Musharraf’s regime, however, the PML-N-led government had taken great steps to strengthen and bring transparency to the local bodies, he claimed.
He said that the Punjab government had also focused on quality human resources and promoted financial discipline as well as transparency in the province and added that success can be achieved with firm beliefs, strong determination and hard work. He also said the dream of ruling the hearts of people without spending resources for their welfare honestly was nothing more than living in a fool’s paradise.
The chief minister said that the Punjab government had taken unprecedented measures to shrink the differences between the rich and the poor with a fair distribution of resources, and had completed all development projects including those of power generation with transparency and progressive models.
He said that the principles of integrity, hard work and transparency are needed to be adopted for rapid growth, and all political parties, military leadership and the entire nation should make collective efforts to strengthen Pakistan economically. “We need to unite like we did to make Pakistan a nuclear power,” he said.
“It is never too late and if we will learn from our mistakes and move ahead, we will surely get our destination,” he concluded.