LAHORE – Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif has said that Pakistan should renounce such aid as is linked with conditionalities which are against the interest of the country.
He said that the youths are being equipped with the vocational education which would help remove the charity of Aghyaar and they would be able to stand on their own feet.
Addressing the inaugural ceremony of a three-day Hunarmand Mela under the aegis of Punjab Skills Development Programme at Dring Stadium Bahawalpur, Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif lamented that unfortunately all governments ignored the education particularly the technical education during the last 64 years which resulted in the fact that now unskilled Pakistanis were working abroad whereas the skilled persons of Philippines, Sri Lanka and other countries had grabbed that place.
He said that the foreign exchange sent by the unskilled persons is almost half as compared to that of the other countries. Had the people been motivated to technical education in the past, our income would have been three times and foreign exchange, too, had been increased, he added. The Chief Minister said that it is lamentable that due to corruption, the country could not be put on the road to progress. The main reason of load-shedding being faced by the country was corruption, he opined.
The rulers were more concerned about filling their pockets instead of providing opportunities to the poor to earn their livelihood due to which country is facing energy crisis and industries are getting closed.
Had the projects of energy corruption-free, there would have been no load-shedding even for a minute, he added. He said that Punjab government made a beginning of every worthwhile and mega project from Southern Punjab and that was why that three-day Hunarmand Mela had also been organized there.
He expressed hope that due to the programme, Pakistan would become a developed and prosperous country in the real sense and would stand in the rank of developed countries like China, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. He said that during first phase, 17 thousand persons would be provided technical education and 80 thousand youths would be made skilful in the coming years and they were also being provided interest-free loans from Rs. 20 to 50 thousand each. He said that funds of one billion rupees had been allocated under Akhuwat Programme.
The Chief Minister lauding the provision of funds by the British government for that programme said that besides restoration of democracy, UK has always provided all possible assistance for education, health and the completion of other welfare programmes and Pakistan enjoyed strong goodwill ties with that country. He said there was nothing insulting in that aid as it embodied welfare.
Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif said that we had given preference to development projects in Southern Punjab and not only projects worth billions of rupees have been completed there but also mega future projects were under completion.
He said that when dengue was playing havoc in Lahore, the federal government turned a deaf ear to it. He said apart from the challenges of education and health, Pakistan was also facing the problems of corruption, terrorism and unemployment. He vowed to devise robust projects to steer out of those problems.
He said that Pakistan was beng a poor country, no red carpet and sofa sets had been arranged for that function. Chief Minister Punjab gave away cheques of Rs. 35 thousand each to two youths, Ayesha Shaukat and Muhammad Saleem for starting their business and also gave appointment orders of a job to a skilled woman Noreen Fayyaz at a monthly salary of Rs. 20 thousand.
Incharge of International Fund of UK, George Tarkington addressing on that occasion said that best friendly relations existed between Pakistan and Britain. He said that a strong and prosperous Pakistan desirous of peaceful
relations with its neighbours. He disclosed that Britain would provide assistance for primary education and other welfare projects in future.
Member National Assembly Baligh-ur-Rehman said that the three-day Hunarmand Mela would encourage the local people and this programme of Chief Minister Punjab is a welcoming step. Chief Executive Officer of the project Ali.