Shahbaz vows to make Karachi ‘like Lahore’

Punjab chief minister critical of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s role in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa

Karachi: Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif yesterday vowed his party would work day and night to make Karachi and Peshawar like Lahore if the PML-N was voted into power in the upcoming general election, Dawn online reported yesterday.

Speaking at a rally in Lahore, the CM Punjab was fiercely critical of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and its role in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa over the past few years.

Five years ago, Imran Khan told journalist Hamid Mir during an interview following the 2013 election that he would bring electricity to all of KP and the rest of the country, Shahbaz claimed.

“After all this time, Imran Khan has not brought even 1 Watt of electricity,” he claimed. “He said he would plant 1 billion trees, then asked patwaris to count both the existing trees and those that do not exist,” the Punjab CM alleged.

“When there was a dengue outbreak in Lahore and Punjab in 2010, 2011, myself, Saad Rafique, all MNAs and MPAs in Lahore, doctors, bureaucrats and experts made efforts to fight against dengue. And Imran Khan called us the ‘Dengue Brothers’,” he added.

Dengue outbreak

“When there is a dengue outbreak in Peshawar, we send our doctors, mobiles, medicines and nurses there. Day and night, they treat dengue patients,” the CM said.

“Nawaz Sharif released federal funds for the metro bus in Karachi. But in Peshawar, Imran Khan said if he got funds from the centre he would use them on education and hospitals. Four and a half years later, he took an Asian Development Bank loan and set the foundation of the Peshawar Metro Bus. But not a single brick has been laid, and the election is near,” he said.

He added that despite all the criticism the Lahore and Islamabad Metros had received from Khan, the PTI chief was building the same project in Peshawar. However, he said, instead of it being cheaper as promised, the cost of the Peshawar Metro Bus came to Rs51 billion (Dh1.68 billion) compared to the Rs30 billion spent on the Islamabad Metro Bus.

The only answer to these people is to make Sindh, KP, Balochistan and [Pakistan-administered] Jammu and Kashmir like we made Punjab, he said.

“Today, to the people of Karachi and Peshawar, I promise that if you choose to vote for us in the next election, we will work night and day to develop Karachi, Peshawar, Sindh, KP, Balochistan the way Lahore and Punjab are.”

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