LAHORE: US Ambassador Donald Blome met Parvez Elahi at chief minister’s office and agreed to promote partnership in population planning, alternate energy, agriculture and water management sectors.

The chief minister briefed the ambassador about public welfare initiatives and legislation for saving campuses from drugs and thanked him for extending support to Pakistan during the corona pandemic.

He said Pakistan gave special importance to its relations with the US and added that reforms were being introduced in different sectors. In this regard, he said, the US technical assistance would be welcomed.

Mr Elahi said the education reforms programme of his last tenure was globally recognised and added that degree-level education, as well as textbooks, have been made free for the students. He said legislation would be enacted to rid the educational institutions of drugs and American assistance would be beneficial in this regard.

He said a special anti-narcotics force would be established and those giving information about the sale and purchase of drugs would be rewarded. Similarly, he said, special courts would be set up to hold a daily trial of drug pushers.

The chief minister said the Punjab government welcomed US collaboration with regard to the elimination of drugs and added that the water management programme was started in 2002 and was abandoned by the successive governments. Now, the incumbent government had resumed the channelisation of Koh-e-Suleman water. Small dams would be constructed and a plan had been devised to construct two major dams on the Chenab River.

The ambassador said the US gave great importance to its relations with Pakistan and that cooperation with the Punjab government would be further promoted.

Published in Dawn, September 29th, 2022

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