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BAHAWALPUR: Three out of four PML-N MNAs from the district along with the chairmen of the district council and municipal committees were conspicuous for their absence on inauguration of a section of National Highway by Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi near Dhoorekote in the sub-tehsil of Uch Sharif on Saturday.

According to the media reports, those absent were Federal Minister for Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) and Sports Mian Riaz Hussain Pirzada, MNA Makhdoom Syed Ali Gilani and MNA Mian Najeebuddin Owaisi. However, MNA Baleeghur Rehman, who is also the federal minister for education and professional training, was present in the ceremony.

From those absent, Mr Pizada had been vocal during the recent months for advocating the transfer in the party leadership from Mian Nawaz Sharif to Shahbaz Sharif. MNA Gilani from Uch Sharif was recently critical of the government regarding release of funds for the uplift projects of his area. Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had summoned him to Lahore where he was assured of the release of funds.

However, the absence of Mian Najeebuddin Owaisi in whose constituency Prime Minister Abbasi paid the visit for the first time raised many eyebrows. A source told Dawn, Mr Owaisi had reportedly left for Canada to attend the marriage ceremony of his daughter and he would return to the country after a few days.

Besides these MNAs, Bahawalpur District Council chairman Sheikh Dilshad Ahmed Qureshi, the father-in law of MNA Gilani and chairmen of municipal committees of Ahmedpur East and Uch Sharif were also absent.

VISUAL PARK: The Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) has developed a visual park at One-Unit Chowk for the general public.

The park built on a mound of sand features statues of the six young boys and girls in the traditional attire of the provinces of Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) in addition to Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) and Kashmir.

In the background of these models, a map of Pakistan has also been displayed.

PHA Director Rana Qaddafi told Dawn the visual park inaugurated by Deputy Commissioner Rana Muhammad Saleem Afzal was developed for the passers-by and motorists. He said special lights to focus on the sculptures during the night had been installed.

Mr Qaddafi said PHA Director General Rana Saleem Afzal had taken the initiative for conversion of this empty place into a visual park with an aim to protect the area from the land grabbers and encroachers.

Published in Dawn, April 16th, 2018