LAHORE: Special Assistant to Prime Minister on political communication Dr Shahbaz Gill says Prime Minister Imran Khan has cornered the entire opposition with a commitment that no looter of public money will be spared.

“Being afraid of the accountability process, PML-N leaders including Maryam Nawaz and Shehbaz Sharif are on silent mode,” he said.

Speaking at a news conference at the PID offices here on Sunday, Dr Gill pitied the PML-N leaders for being pushed against the wall at a time when they were supposed to be highly active and criticising the government ahead of the annual budget.

He said the PML-N had led this country to the path of bankruptcy and now they knew they would be held accountable for all the corruption and loot during the past three decades. “Wherever the looters go, Prime Minister Imran Khan will be there to hold them accountable,” he said.

Gill says Ali Zafar’s report on Tareen will be made public at an appropriate time

Dr Gill said this government would make all out efforts to bring back the absconders and those who looted national wealth beside ensuring that none of the wanted could escape from the country. “The wings of the corrupt have been cut. They will stay free here but will not be able to fly (out of the country),” he commented.

The prime minister’s spokesman said the PTI government had revived agriculture in and now focus was on livestock to ensure better supply of milk and meat in the market.

Giving figures of current account deficit, exports and foreign reserves during the PML-N government and the incumbent PTI government, the prime minister’s spokesman claimed the country’s economy was booming at present as record high petroleum products were sold in the month of May. He stated that 1.692 million tonnes of petroleum products were sold in May that include 762,000 tonnes diesel and 730,000 tonnes petrol. “Media should ask the PML-N leaders that who is using these petroleum products if economy is not booming,” Mr Gill asked.

The PM’s aide also chided the previous Shehbaz Sharif government for focusing on metro trains, underpasses and flyovers and added that 13 per cent agriculture land was converted into concrete as Lahore exponentially grew horizontally. He said the Lahore’s water table had gone down, with river Ravi turning into a waste water disposal pond.

“In order to save Lahore, the prime minister has decided to go ahead with the River Ravi project, which was originally conceived in 1950s and 1960s and was also in active consideration during Gen Musharraf’s regime,” he said. Dr Gill said the new Ravi City would serve as lungs for Lahore.

The PM’s spokesman said the Punjab government was working on master plans of cities in the province and added that 100 per cent work had been completed in Multan, 95 per cent in Faisalabad, 25 per cent in Gujranwala and 15 per cent each in Lahore and Rawalpindi. He said the master plans for intermediary cities and secondary cities with less population would also be brought under the master plans – for planned development and expansion.

Mr Gill also said that country’s GDP had reached 4.5 per cent, while its GNP would touch around seven per cent.

In order to give relief to farmers and consumers, he said the government wanted to bring a balance in the prices of commodities so that the farmers should get their due and the customers were not over-charged.

Answering a question, Dr Gill said the Barrister Ali Zafar’s report on sugar scam was being prepared and would be made public at an appropriate time.

Published in Dawn, June 7th, 2021

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