I can build Diamer, Bunji dams in five years:
By Our Correspondent..
ISLAMABAD: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has said if he was given the chance, he would resolve the power crisis in the country by constructing the Diamer and Bunji dams within five years. He stated this during a meeting with PML-N Gilgit-Baltistan chief Hafiz Hafizur Rehman here. Mr Sharif also said that if the PML-N comes to power in the forthcoming elections, he would like to be inducted as minister for water and power so that he can work for the resolution of the power crisis by constructing dams which Pakistan has plenty of potential to build. He said after resolving the power crisis, he would be ready to retire from politics. The chief minister said that Gilgit-Baltistan was a strategically important region but the PPP government had ignored it during the last about five years. He said if his party comes to power, he would launch unprecedented development schemes in the region. He regretted that despite given the offer of establishment of a cardiac hospital, the government of Gilgit-Baltistan did not take interest. On the other hand, the governments of KPK and Balochistan approached the provincial government of Punjab requesting it to set up cardiac hospitals in their provinces. On their requests, we established two hospitals one in each province at a cost of two billion rupees, he added. He said he was planning to set up cardiac hospitals in Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir. The chief minister of Punjab also said that his government would set up a children hospital in Gilgit-Baltistan. On this occasion, the chief minister also sanctioned Rs500 million for the educational expenses of 65 students from Gilgit-Baltistan who are studying in technical colleges of Punjab. Like medical colleges, he also ordered that the quota of Gilgit-Baltistan students in all the engineering colleges in the province should be doubled. However, he added, that the Punjab Engineering Council had raised objection to this direction and he was going to talk to the prime minister of Pakistan to get the order implemented. After doubling of the seats, the number of students from GB would reach 28, he added. The chief minister said that 70 students from Gilgit-Baltistan were studying in medical colleges of Punjab and all their expenses were being footed by the Punjab government. He added that 1200 students from Gilgit-Baltistan have so far been given laptops by the provincial government of Punjab. He also said that 800 students from GB who would obtain 800 or more marks in the SSC and FSc exams would be provided free education in the educational institutions of Punjab. He said the GB government had already been informed about this offer of the Punjab government. On this occasion, the PML-N leader from Gilgit-Baltistan briefed the chief minister about the political situation in the region. He also thanked him for providing facilities to the students from GB in the province.