LAHORE: The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Q (PML-Q) coalition government has no threat from within as both parties had jointly won seats in the general election and are now complementing each other, says Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar.
“The Chaudhrys of Gujrat have assured us that they will stay loyal to the PTI government,” he said.
Speaking to a select group of media persons at Governor House on Wednesday, Mr Sarwar said the PTI-PML-Q coalition was formed much before the general election and the coalition had won seats in the polls.
“The Chaudhrys are seasoned politicians and cannot go for an irresponsible reaction,” he said while responding to a question regarding Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry’s statement targeting the coalition partner. The minister had already apologised for his uncalled for statement, he added.
Answering a question whether Pervaiz Elahi’s son Moonis Elahi was being elevated as a federal minister, the governor said he did not know as any such decision would be taken by Prime Minister Imran Khan.
KARTARPUR CORRIDOR: The governor said the prime minister’s decision to open the Kartarpur Corridor had delighted the Sikh community the world over but the Indian government did not respond in a befitting manner.
“The Indian government’s attitude remains negative,” he lamented.
He said he had recently visited the USA and other countries and received an overwhelming response from the Sikh community and they now wanted that their quota of visas be enhanced besides increasing visa duration from 14 days to one month. He said the Sikh community wanted to come to Pakistan and invest to upgrade their religious sites as well as establish Baba Guru Nanak University.
“Pakistan needs to take advantage of their willingness to invest,” he added.
SAHIWAL TRAGEDY: The governor said the government would have to give solid evidence to the nation, if it would declare someone terrorist in the CTD operation in Sahiwal. He said the case was currently at an investigation stage and it would be better to comment after the arrival of the final report fixing responsibility.
ENERGY: He said he had directed the vice chancellors of the universities to begin taking measures to shift institutions on solar energy.
“The country needs to focus more on energy efficiency and replace lights with more energy efficient lights,” he said and added that the outer world could help to do it without any cost.
He said the universities had also been asked to establish filtration plants and provide clean drinking water to the students and employees. “The varsities should store every drop of water and use the wastewater for irrigation purposes,” he said.
WATER AUTHORITY: The governor said the upcoming Aab-e-Pak Authority should not be made controversial as it was aimed at offering clean drinking water to the masses.
“Being a governor, I can be the patron-in-chief of any project and play my advisory role for the benefit of the masses,” he said and added that everything would be done within the framework of law.
The governor said around three million people die because of waterborne diseases and added that 50pc patients in hospitals were suffering from hepatitis. He said 20pc policemen were suffering from hepatitis, according to examination conducted in some districts. In some localities, he said, the incidence had risen to 30pc.
Mr Chaudhry said he was motivating NGOs to invest in the clean drinking water sector and added that he visited foreign countries and collected funds for the establishment of 150 water filtration plants within a week.
As for the operational cost of the filtration plants, the governor suggested that Re1 to Rs2 for a gallon clean drinking water could make the project viable. It would also generate 50,000 or so jobs, he added.
He said the cut in gas prices would revive the mills and offer jobs to millions of people.
The governor said the prime minister was in contact with former UK prime minister Gordon Brown to bring $1.8 billion in the education sector in the country.
Published in Dawn, January 24th, 2019