MULTAN: Prime Minister Imran Khan said the establishment of South Punjab Secretariat was a step towards new beginning as now, the allocated development funds would be spent on the prosperity of the people of this neglected region.
Addressing a groundbreaking ceremony of South Punjab Secretariat Monday, he said according to statistics, the region consisted of 33 per cent population of the Punjab province, but in the past only 17 per cent of the budget allocation was made to it.
Due to re-allocation of uplift funds, about Rs260 billion losses were incurred in these areas due to poor policies of the previous provincial governments, he added.
The prime minister said they had also decided that South Punjab would get its due job quota according to its size and population. All the issues of the region would be resolved in the secretariat, he added.
He said, “South Punjab Secretariat is a historical event, a new beginning for South Punjab province and a transition.”
The ceremony was attended by the ministers including Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Khusru Bakhtiar, Fakhar Imam, Zartaj Gul, provincial ministers and other high officials.
Criticizing self-centered policies of former ruler of Takht-e-Lahore Shehbaz Sharif towards the South Punjab people, the prime minister said he had entered into politics after witnessing that a small segment of ruling elite was enjoying all powers and impunity.
“No law of the land was applicable on them as they frequently indulged in corruption, deals and national reconciliation ordinance. They lived in palatial houses abroad which they purchased through money laundering,” he added.
The prime minister said the ruling elite class had been living in posh areas of London where even a British minister could not afford to purchase a property.
About the deprivation and poverty of South Punjab, the prime minister said he had brought Chief Minister Usman Buzar so that he could implement his vision in the region.
He wanted a person who preferred to live and die in Pakistan and understood the sufferings of common man and did not go to London on sojourns, he added.
In a veiled reference to former ruling elite, the prime minister said they were doing politics in Pakistan and making investment abroad.
The prime minister said performance of a chief minister was judged on the basis of how much he had elevated the weaker segments of the society and lauded Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar for making efforts in that regard.