CM DELIVERS KEYNOTE ADDRESS AT CONFERENCE OF OVER 60 ENVOYS

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SAYS PAKISTAN IS PEACE LOVING COUNTRY; POLITICAL LEADERSHIP SHOULD MAKE CONSENSUS ON ECONOMIC ROADMAP; ECONOMIC AGENDA SHOULD NOT CHANGE WITH CHANGE IN GOVERNMENTS; PROMOTION OF TIES WITH NEIGHBOURING COUNTRIES WILL BE FOCUS OF FOREIGN POLICY IF WE WIN 2018 POLLS; SAVING OF BILLIONS OF RUPEES DONE IN DEVELOPMENT PROJECTS DURING LAST NINE YEARS; THANKFUL FOR COOPERATION OF FRIENDLY COUNTRIES TO END POWER CRISIS; PEACE IN PAKISTAN IS LINKED TO PEACE IN AFGHANISTAN; PAKISTAN HOSTING 40 LAKH AFGHAN REFUGEES FOR LAST MANY DECADES; PAKISTAN AND INDIA SHOULD SPENT RESOURCES ON ELIMINATION OF POVERTY, UNEMPLOYMENT AND ILLITERACY; PAKISTAN AND INDIA SHOULD RESOLVE ISSUE THROUGH TALKS

Chief Minister Punjab and President of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz Mohammad Shehbaz Sharif has said that Pakistan is peace loving country and Pakistani people are wonderful, hard working and peace lovers. It needs leadership which has the determination to serve the people and resolve their problems. The Pakistani political leadership needs to have consensus on the economic roadmap. Parties and governments come and go but the economic agenda of the nation should not be changed. If yes PML-N gets victory in the 2018 elections and given chance to serve the people, then we will advance the agenda of development and progress of the country. The promotion of tiles with neighbouring countries will be the important ingredient of our foreign policy and we will advance the agenda of strengthening the economy. Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif expressed these views while addressing a conference. The Punjab Conference was participated by ambassadors, counsellors and senior officers from economic institutions from more than 60 countries. In his keynote speech at the conference, CM Shehbaz Sharif said addressing ambassadors from all over world is an honour for me. The objective of making this contact after being elected as the President of PML-N is to tell the world about the performance of the past and vision of the future. He said the PML-N is working on the ideology of the founder of Pakistan and Allama Iqbal and it is moving forward while acting up on their vision. He said Pakistan had faced difficult circumstances in 1979 and it became a frontline state in a big war. Pakistan became a frontline state again in 2002 in the war against terrorism and in this war Pakistan gave sacrifice of more than 70,000 lives which include officers and soldiers of Pak army and security institutions and common Pakistani even children. Pakistan played the status of frontline state in the cold war. He said in the 21st century Pakistan is again the frontline state in the war against terrorism and extremism. The Pakistani nation displayed determination and encourage in this war. He said the success in this war is the result of consensus between military and political leadership. In the Swat operation of 2009, Zarb-e-Azab of 2014, and the current operation Rad-ul-Fasad, political and military leaderships are on the same page. He said Pakistan Army have rendered great sacrifices in the war against terrorism started after the 9/11. Pakistan discharged the duty of keeping largest number of refugee population. He said Pakistan has a long history of as a responsible state at international level and we have always respected the resolutions of the United Nations and international treaties. Ensuring peace and having good relations is our top priority. Pakistan has a long history of relationship with Islamic countries while Pakistan also has strong and consistent relationship with western countries. We are proceeding forward while getting benefits after experiments of friendly countries and are thankful for the economic cooperation of these countries. He said the government of PML-N has taken concrete measures to strengthen our economy due to which our economy is strong enough and the GDP reached 5.8 percent which is highest in the last 13 years. Similarly the ratio of agriculture progress remained 3.8%. We are facing the challenges of deficit and we have to resolve it by promoting trade not by taking loans. The net of taxes needs to be increased and additional resources needs to be created. We have to utilise natural resources for progress and development of the nation. 60% population of Pakistan is consisted of youth and we should impart it latest skills to change the fate of the nation. The PML-N government is striving to prepare skilled manpower as per needs of the market. For the promotion of education, health and technical education, we are thankful to World Bank, DFID and other donor institutions and countries. The chief minister said the PML-N government has done the savings of billions of rupees in development projects during the last 9 and a half years and this amount is being spent on education and health projects. He said investment of billions of rupees has been made in education and health sectors. He said the scholarship of 17 billion rupees have been given to brilliant students from needy families under Punjab Education Endowment Fund. Thousands of girl and boy students have been able to get jobs after getting professional education and serving the nation as doctors, engineers and adopting other profession and they are sharing the burden of their families and are a helping hand of the society. He said we have promoted merit and 2 lakh teachers recruited on the merit. He said enrolment is 95% and third party audit has also been carried out. He said revolution has been brought about in health and education sectors. Culture of hospitals has been changed and CT machines of foreign countries have been installed at all district headquarter hospitals. The machines installed with public private partnership are working round-the-clock. We have learnt from the experiments of various countries.

We have learnt from experiments of various countries and installed electricity projects under public private partnership. Power Crisis which had badly disturbed the national economy was overcome with the help of neighbouring countries. Hectic effects of PML-N government has resulted fruit and power crisis has been controlled. He said China made the investment of billions of rupees under CPEC in the power projects. We are working on the vision to make Pakistan a moderate, consolidated and developing countries. All citizens have same rights under the constitution of Pakistan. We are struggling for a bright future instead of looking towards past. The foreign policy of Pakistan is working on principles given by the father of the nation. He said believes peace process is drastically needed in Afghanistan. Peace in Pakistan is directly linked to peace and stability in Afghanistan. He said CPEC is the best example of economic cooperation in neighbouring countries. He said we are thankful to China for supporting Pakistan. He said Pakistan and China are working on the belt and road vision of the Chinese president for the economic cooperation between both countries. He said new horizons of cooperation are being explored in the sectors of energy, communication, pipelines, ports, and others under CPEC. He said South Asia should say goodbye to race for weapons for the bright future. He said a large population of South Asia is suffering economic instability due to arms race. The Founder of Pakistan wanted to see the Pak-India relationships smooth as relationships between US and Canada. He said both neighbouring countries should live on the principles of independence, respect and equality. Answering questions of ambassadors, CM Shehbaz Sharif said our foreign policy will be based on peace, development and economic cooperation so that countries of the region could benefit from resources. He said we have wasted a lot of precious time in this regard and now it is the time to compensate for this loss. He said India conducted atomic and Pakistan made atomic explosion in this response to make its defence strong. Our measure was not aggressive while it was defensive.

Answering a question of an ambassador, CM Shehbaz Sharif said Punjab government has provided jobs to 15 lakh youth and 65 per cent of population lives in rural areas and its employment is linked to agriculture. He said we have invested billions of rupees to strengthen infrastructure in rural areas and made top quality road to link fields with markets. Our measures have improved living in rural areas.

In the same way best health and education facilities have been provided in rural areas. Mobile hospitals provide health facilities to the rural population at their doorsteps in remote areas. Interest-free loans worth billions of rupees have been provided to small farmers. The youth has been provided interest free loans for self-employment. Under the Land Record Information Management System record of ruler lands have computerized. This measure has benefited small farmers.

In reply to a question asked by the Chinese ambassador, CM Shehbaz Sharif said China is the all-weather and sincere friend of Pakistan and it has made investment of billions of rupees under CPEC. In same way DFID is also our partner. In reply to another question, he said lakhs of Pakistanis live in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, and other countries and this is a CPEC of its type. To a question asked by the Tajik ambassador, he said TAPI and CASA are wonderful projects and these projects are promoting ties between both countries and this cooperation is also a type of CPEC. To another question, he said we need to speed up industrial development and end difference between imports and exports. We need to take development rate to 7 or 8 from 5.8 by focusing on industries of export items. Replying question of the Afghan ambassador, CM Shehbaz Sharif said both countries have similar religious and cultural ties and we are hosting 40 lakhs of Afghan refugees from decades. Peace in Afghanistan is drastically needed for peace in Pakistan. Replying to question of the ambassador of Austria, he said we have taken revolutionary measures to protect cultural heritage and Greater Iqbal Park and other similar projects are the part of these measures. To yet another question, he said Pakistan and India are atomic powers and both countries should spend their resources for elimination of poverty, unemployment and illiteracy. He said unfortunately the people of the India occupied Kashmir are facing worst brutality and their blood is being spilled. Time demands that the Kashmir issue should be resolved as per resolutions of UN. Pakistan and India should sit together to resolve their matters through talks and international community should provide help in this regard. He said increase in population is a big challenge and it should be controlled. Bangladesh and Malaysia have controlled this issue. He said we need to take measures to face problems of shortage of water due to global warming. To another question, he said the PML-N government has taken revolutionary measures for the development of women and their empowerment and first centre to end harassment against women has been set up in Multan and women have been provided all facilities of redress of their problems under one roof. Women have also been included in all schemes of interest-free loans, educational funds and other welfare schemes. Ambassadors from more than 60 countries including China, Saudi Arabia, UAE, UK, Canada, India, France, Germany, Indonesia, Iran, Italy, Japan, Korea and Malaysia attended the Punjab Conference.

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