MULTAN: Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday said that establishment of South Punjab secretariat was a step towards a new beginning as now, the allocated development funds would be spent on the prosperity of the people of this neglected area.

Addressing a groundbreaking ceremony of the South Punjab Secretariat, the prime minister said that according to statistics, the area consisted of 33 per cent population of Punjab province, but in the past only 17 percent of the budget allocation was made.

Due to re-allocation of these uplift funds, about Rs260 billion losses incurred on these areas by the policies of the previous rulers of the province, 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 area would be resolved in the secretariat.

He said “South Punjab secretariat is a historical event, a new beginning for South Punjab province and a transition.”

The ceremony was attended by Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, ministers Khusru Bakhtiar, Fakhar Imam, Zartaj Gul, provincial ministers and other high officials.

Criticizing self-centered policies of former rulers of Takht-e-Lahore especially ex-chief minister Shahbaz Sharif towards the South Punjab people, the prime minister shared that he had entered into politics after witnessing that a small segment, a ruling elite was enjoying all powers and impunity.

“Laws have been different for them as they frequently indulged in corruption, deals and NROs. No law of the land was applicable on them. They lived in palatial houses abroad which they had purchased through money laundering,” he added.

The prime minister said these people 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 brought Chief Minister Usman Buzar so that he could implement his vision over the area.

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 the former ruling elite, the prime minister said they had been 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 lifted the weaker segments of society and lauded chief minister Sardar Usman Buzdar for making efforts in this regard.


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