In an inauguration ceremony of the south Punjab civil secretariat on Monday, Prime Minister Imran Khan said that he has a different approach to tackle the blasphemy unlike religious parties’ and he was determined to make it work.
In the address to the public PM Khan said,
“My way is to take heads of all Muslim countries into confidence. Together, we should ask Europe, the European Union and United Nations to stop hurting the feelings of 1.25 billion Muslim like they do not do in case of Jews.”
“I want the Muslim countries to devise a joint line of action over the blasphemy issue with a warning of trade boycott of countries where such incidents will happen. This will be the most effective way to achieve the goal.”
The premier said his government is already working on this issue as Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi had discussed it with the foreign ministers of four Muslim countries.
Mr Khan said the approach adopted by the banned Tehreek-i-Labbaik Pakistan to get the ambassador expelled by pointing a gun at the government was never a workable solution to the issue.
The prime minister added that the population of south Punjab was 33% of the total population of the province but during the Shahbaz Sharif government the budget allocation for the region was only 17 per cent. He said during the last seven years of the Shabaz Sharif government, a sum of Rs260 billion meant for south Punjab was diverted to other regions.
“The people of this area were also discriminated against in the distribution of government jobs as well and because of this discrimination, the people of this area were demanding a separate province. The people of this area will now get a 33% job quota as per its population and size. The establishment of the secretariat is the beginning, in the next step south Punjab will become a separate province with a constitutional amendment. I have inaugurated the secretariat in Multan and will also inaugurate the secretariat in Bahawalpur as well,” PM said.
The south Punjab secretariats in Multan and Bahawalpur were launched last year. The PM’s visit, according to the administration, was an official launch of the initiative and foundation stone laying of the secretariat’s own building.
Lauding the performance of Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, the prime minister said that he selected him for the office keeping in view his background.
“Dera Ghazi Khan is the most underdeveloped area of the province while the tribal area from where Buzdar belongs to is the most underdeveloped area of Dera Ghazi Khan. A person who is from an underdeveloped area can better understand the sufferings of the people of the area. I selected Buzdar as I was looking for a person who could run the province in a way I think,” he said.
The PM launched health card for the province and said by September each family of Punjab would have this card.