President PML-N Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif has maintained that the nation is
divided into two classes, as one segment puts its signature on files in offices and gets a house from the national exchequer, while another of workers, labourers, cultivators and marginalised persons who do not have even a two-Marla house.
“It is the responsibility of the state to safeguard the rights of the poor. The PML-N has started welfare projects for the poor people in its every tenure, but certain elements always thwarted its efforts,” he said, while addressing the ceremony held on Tuesday at Saroba Atari for the distribution of allotment letters to the lucky recipients of houses allotted to them through transparent balloting in the first Aashiyana Housing Project. Nawaz Sharif was the chief guest on the occasion. Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif, Senior Advisor to CM Sirdar Zulfiqar Ali Khan Khosa, Senator Pervaiz Rashid, Muslim League leaders Zafar Iqbal Jhagra, Mushahid Ullah Khan, members of national and provincial assemblies, provincial ministers, columnists, intellectuals and a large number of people were present on the occasion. Earlier, Chairman Punjab Land Development Company Sheikh Alauddin gave a briefing about the Aashiyana Housing Project. Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif inspected houses also. Later they gave allotment letters to the lucky winners.
Nawaz Sharif assured that he would safeguard the rights of the people and would even go to the extent of a long march for this purpose, if needed. “Pakistan is not for only a few but of 180 million people. Rights will be granted to the people at their doorstep. The promise made to the people on August 14 will be honoured and destiny of Pakistan will be changed through collective efforts. Time will come when Pakistan will become a prosperous country and every effort will be made for this purpose,” he assured.
While talking about his last term as prime minister, Nawaz Sharif mentioned that a project was started for the provision of five lakh houses under the Mera Ghar Scheme, and lamented that General Musharraf immediately after coming into power sold all the plots at a throwaway prices, but no one held him accountable. He added that besides Mera Ghar Scheme in the last tenure of the Muslim League, lands were also distributed among landless cultivators in Sindh, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa while proprietary rights were granted to lakhs of dwellers of kachi Abadies. “The yellow cabs have also been given during this period and the same welfare projects are still continuing in Punjab,” he said, adding that provision of shelter to the shelterless was a big achievement of Shahbaz Sharif and the project started by him for the poor would be extended and the time would come when every Pakistani would have his own house. “Shahbaz Sharif has started the Aashiyana for the poor and lakhs of people will have become owners of houses through these schemes by the next general elections,” he said.
He cited that in addition to Lahore, work was also in progress expeditiously on the Aashiyana schemes in six other districts, and mentioned that the Schemes would be started in 18 other districts this year and the scope of the project would be extended to the whole province. “Even better civic amenities than the residential colonies of the rich have been provided in the Aashiyana, which is an abode of the common and poor Pakistanis. Had such schemes been started 64 years ago, the situation of the country would have been different,” he wished, while asserting that the Project was closely linked with August 14, and this was the most transparent and corruption-free project in the history of the country. He added that the founder of Pakistan Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah had given the message of hard work and acting upon his principle, this project had been completed by working round-the-clock. “The forefathers of the country had a dream on March 23, 1940 which was realised in 1947 after an epic struggle under the leadership of the Quaid-e-Azam and Pakistan came into existence. They had envisioned such a land where there would be justice and every citizen would have basic rights as well as equal opportunities. However, the 65th independence day of Pakistan poses a big question why this dream of the founding fathers of Pakistan has still not been realised?” he exclaimed.