LAHORE, Sept 18: Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Tuesday asked the people of Punjab to protest against the profane movie like a living nation but urged them to remain non-violent and avoid damaging public property.
The chief minister was addressing matriculation examination top position holders from all education boards in Punjab as well as toppers from Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Gilgit-Baltistan at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat. As many as 133 top position holders received some Rs55 million as cash prizes at the ceremony.
Shahbaz Sharif regretted there were different ‘Pakistans’ for the elite and for the downtrodden. He said the elite including “myself” were enjoying best possible treatment abroad, while the poor were running from pillar to post for simple medical help.
He said that he pushed back Aitchisonians and Grammarians and brought forward orphans and other underprivileged children. He said he established 16 Daanish Schools – eight each for boys and girls – with a total cost of Rs4 billion. “Now Daanishians will outclass Aitchisonians,” he committed.
“Everybody is happy that position holders were being given hundreds of thousands of rupees as prize money and only a handful people were jealous of them,” he added.
He announced a house in Aashiyana Scheme for Muhammad Naeem, a top position holder of Multan board who had informed the chief minister and the audience that his house was razed due to heavy rain on Monday. Shahbaz reiterated that billions of rupees were being plundered by the federal government that was also discriminating against Punjab with regard to power load shedding.
He alleged Punjab’s industry and agriculture had been purposely harmed by the federal government. “In Punjab, we saved Rs50 billion from corruption,” he claimed. The chief minister said the Lahore Bus Rapid Transport Service was launched with a total cost of Rs30 billion, which did not include even a single penny from the federal government.
Referring to criticism against his anti-dengue efforts, he said the Punjab government’s hard work had considerably lowered dengue threat in the province as compared to the crisis witnessed last year.
Top position holders Mashriq Khan from Balochistan; Muhammad Saad Ayubi from Sindh; Sunaina Mir from Gilgit-Baltistan; Hamna Arshad from Khyber Pakhtunkhawa; Hasilpur Daanish School Class-VII topper Saeed Anwar and Multan board topper Muhammad Naeem also spoke on the occasion.
Each of the top-three position holders in different education boards were given Rs0.4, Rs0.3 and Rs0.2 million, respectively. The heads of institutions that clinched top three positions were also given Rs200,000, Rs150,000 and Rs100,000, cash prizes, respectively.
Published in The Dawn, September 19th, 2012.