US Ambassador Donald Blome met with Chief Minister Punjab Chaudhry Parvez Elahi and former federal minister Moonis Elahi at Chief Minister’s Office and discussed matters of mutual interest. Hussain Elahi MNA was also present. It was agreed to promote partnership in population planning, alternate energy, agriculture and water management sectors.
The CM briefed about public welfare initiatives and legislation for saving campuses from drugs and thanked him for extending support to Pakistan during the corona pandemic. Pakistan gives special importance to its relations with the US; he said and noted that reforms were being introduced in different sectors. In this regard, US technical assistance would be welcomed, he said.
The CM pointed out that the education reforms program of his last tenure was globally recognized and added that degree-level education, as well as textbooks, have been made free for the students. Meanwhile, the legislation would be enacted to rid the educational institutions of drugs and American assistance would be beneficial in this regard, he added. The CM stated that a special anti-narcotics force would be established and those giving information about the sale and purchase of drugs would be rewarded. Similarly, special courts would be set up to hold a daily trial of drug pushers.
The CM stated that the Punjab government welcomes US collaboration with regard to the elimination of drugs and added that the water management program was started in 2002 and was abandoned by the successive government.
Now, the incumbent government has resumed the channelization of Koh-e-Suleman water. Small dams would be constructed and a plan has been devised to construct two major dams on the Chenab River. He hoped that US assistance in R&D would yield positive results to increase agri productivity while its cooperation in the new cotton seed would sufficiently increase cotton production. It is hoped that partnership between the Punjab government and the US would be promoted as the provincial government was following a public-centric agenda, the CM concluded.
The ambassador said that America gives great importance to its relations with Pakistan and that cooperation with the Punjab government would be further promoted. US Consul General Mr William K. Makaneole, Political and Economic Chief Ms Kathleen Gibilisco, former P&D chairman Salman Ghani, chief secretary, Chairman PBIT Fazeel Asif and others were present.