LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif presided over a meeting of the provincial cabinet here on Tuesday, which gave approval to a comprehensive programme for the training of 30,000 police officers and jawans on modern lines as well as decided to strictly implement the ban on display of firearms in the province.
The chief minister said that effective measures should be taken against illegal weapons and the cabinet committee should submit final recommendations for a vigorous crackdown on illicit weapons in the province.
The cabinet also approved a resolution expressing gratitude to the Chinese leadership.
It was observed in the resolution that the historic package of investment by China for Pakistan was reflective of the confidence of the Chinese leadership in Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and the provincial cabinet expressed its gratitude to the Chinese government and the people for their complete trust in the leadership of Pakistan and Punjab.
Addressing the cabinet meeting, Shahbaz Sharif said that nothing could be more important than maintenance of law and order, and in view of the present situation, every effort should be made to ensure safety of the life and property of the citizens.
He said that Pakistan was passing through a critical phase and there was a need to promote tolerance, restraint, brotherhood and a spirit of sacrifice. He said that whole nation would have to unite for the survival of the country. The chief minister directed the police and other law enforcement agencies to make foolproof security arrangements in the province. He said that comprehensive planning be made for curbing mobile SMSs based on religious hatred, while intelligence sharing system should also be improved.
He said that the ban on wall chalking and misuse of loudspeakers should be strictly enforced. He said that the programme of training of police force on modern lines would be carried out expeditiously and modern training would be arranged for 30,000 police officers and jawans under this phased programme. He further said that the design of the integrated command-and-control centre had been prepared, and funds of Rs 250 million had been released for the centre. The chief minister said that recommendations regarding computerisation of police stations for their capacity building should be given a final shape at the earliest. Referring to the performance and sacrifices of police and other security institutions for the elimination of terrorism, Shahbaz said that the blood of martyrs would not go waste. He said that the army, police and common citizens had made supreme sacrifices for the country. He said that eradication of extremism and sectarianism, which had shaken the foundations of the country, was of vital importance. He said that the police force should utilise all its energies for rooting out criminals and anti-social elements from society.
Referring to his successful visit to China, the chief minister informed the cabinet that love, sincerity and hospitality shown by the Chinese leadership during the visit was unparalleled in history. He said that the recent visit to China was the most important and encouraging experience of his entire political career, during which the Chinese leadership – expressing complete confidence in the leadership of Nawaz Sharif – announced a massive package of investment of $30 billion. He said this initiative was a living proof of the unswerving friendship of China with Pakistan.
He said that under this big package, energy projects of 20,000 megawatts would be set up in the country and he believed that it was the most important gift of the Chinese leadership to Pakistan in the current circumstances. He said that the recent visit to China had also proved that Sino-Pak friendship was higher than Himalayas, deeper than oceans, sweeter than honey and stronger than steel.
He said that the Chinese cooperation would help in overcoming the energy crisis in the country, including Punjab. He said that besides the energy sector, China had also expressed willingness for investment in the transport sector and given approval to $1.7 billion for the Orange Line in Lahore.
He said that his visit to China in the company of President Mamnoon Hussain had been highly successful. He said that China had proved to be a sincere friend of Pakistan, and that it was important to take full benefit from the Chinese offer and load shedding and darkness be turned into light and brightness by working day and night.
He said that history had given a big opportunity to Pakistan and it was time to change the course of history and put an end to 68 years’ deprivations. He said that there was a need for collective efforts to overcome the energy crisis. He said that the Pakistani leadership would come up to the expectations of the Chinese government. He said that destiny of the nation would be changed through continuous efforts.
The Punjab cabinet on this occasion gave a unanimous approval to a resolution of expressing gratitude. The cabinet expressed its profound appreciation to the people and government of China and felicitated the president and the prime minister of Pakistan on the historic economic package offered by the brotherly country.
The cabinet observed that this package of economic felicitation offered by China was made possible due to the hard work, good governance and transparency of the government of Nawaz Sharif. The cabinet expressed its complete confidence that this special package would be materialised to the fullest and resolved that no stone would be left unturned in the pursuit of development for the people of Pakistan and the province.
The cabinet was given a detailed briefing by the Punjab Police inspector general and the home secretary on the situation of law and order, and by the additional chief secretary (energy) on the visit to China.
Earlier, Shahbaz presided over a high-level meeting to review the situation of law and order in the province. Addressing the meeting, the chief minister said that protection of life and property of citizens was the prime responsibility of the government. He said that police should perform its duty with efficiency and commitment as no negligence or laxity would be tolerated in this regard. He directed that strict monitoring of entry and exit points of the province be ensured.
He said that the cabinet committee should review the measures taken for maintenance of law and order twice a week. He said that steps were being taken expeditiously for the setting up of the anti-terrorism force and the process of recruitment was being completed in a transparent manner.
He said that posting in the anti-terrorism department had been declared field posting. The chief minister directed that the cabinet committee should itself review security measures at the entry and exit points of the province, and submit proposals for further improvement in the arrangements. He said that security arrangements at prisons should be made foolproof while the process of installation of signal jammers at jails should be accelerated.
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