CM urges president to keep uniform for 5 years
* Tells parents to send children to school or go to jail
* Sets up foundation for PML workers
By Qamar Jabbar
LAHORE: The Pakistan Muslim League (PML) will request President General Pervez Musharraf to stay in uniform for another five years, said Punjab Chief Minister Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi on Sunday.
Addressing the party’s provincial general council meeting at the Muslim League House on Sunday, he urged the PML leaders to support Gen Musharraf as the chief of army staff and the president. “There is a need to motivate public opinion to support his economic and political policies,” he said. The council, earlier, elected Mr Elahi as the PML president in Punjab and other provincial party officials.
Mr Elahi said Mr Musharraf had fulfilled all his promises and it was his prerogative to stay as the president and the army chief.
He said Zulfikar Ali Bhutto imposed civilian martial law in the country. “He dismissed the NWFP government in six months and dissolved the Balochistan Assembly in eight months,” he said. The Mutthidda Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) has been running the NWFP government for the last two years, but the federal government did not interfere in its affairs, he said.
He said the government would improve he irrigation sector to save water. “The federal government has allocated Rs 66 billion to improve watercourses,” he said. “We hope the president will soon take a decision on new dams.”
Mr Elahi said there was a dire need to construct water reservoirs to stave off the imminent water crisis in the country.
Mr Elahi hoped the PML would win the next local bodies elections and urged party nazims and councillors to liaise with the general public.
The chief minister set up a Party Workers Welfare Foundation to give dedicated party workers jobs and houses. He urged the party leaders and parliamentarians to hoist party flags at their houses. “I will visit only houses where I see party flags during my visits to divisions and districts,” he said.
He said a bill would be moved in the provincial assembly to bind parents send their children to schools. “The parents failing to send their children to schools will get six months jail,” he said. “The government will also reform the agriculture and health sectors.”
The newly elected Secretary General in Punjab Chaudhry Zaheerud Din said the party would follow the president’s seven-point agenda for the prosperity and progress of the country.
He said the PML, under Mr Elahi’s leadership, would work for the betterment of the people. Mr Din vowed to end the politics of hatred and victimisation.
The council, through a resolution, praised the president for promoting Pakistan’s image at international level by participating in the war on terror. “The president is a guarantee to the country’s defence and prosperity,” it said.
Through another resolution, the council congratulated the new office bearers. Mian Abdul Sattar, Raja Javed Akhlas, Naseem Lodhi, Iqbal Saqib, Senator Muhammad Ali Durrani and Muhammad Basharat Raja moved the resolutions.