LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif Sunday said that only transparent elections can put Pakistan on the path of development. However, he was of the view that transparent elections are not possible without providing a level-playing field to all the stakeholders.Talking to a delegation of Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists, Shehbaz Sharif rejected rumours of differences within the party. “There are no differences within the party. Difference of opinion may exist in any democratic party which is a positive thing and helps improve its affairs,” he said, while replying to a question. “Nawaz Sharif was our Quaid, he is our Quaid and he will remain our Quaid in future as well,” he asserted.The chief minister said the dream of development and progress of the country will remain incomplete without fair and across-the-board accountability. He said the Nandipur power project was awarded without any bidding. “Why NAB is silent on it?”he asked. “Babar Awan delayed the matter and court has also held him responsible for the delay,” he added.The chief minister said he is very upset to see the state of affairs in Karachi.“I have deep love for Karachi as we used to visit the city in 60s.But, unfortunately now it has turned into a heap of garbage. It is a city of broken roads where there is no drinking water available,” he said. “When I visited Peshawar, I thought there would be billions oftrees everywhere … there would be power production units, and people would be benefiting from metro bus service. But, I did not find anything like this,” he lamented.The chief minister said when PML-N came to power, the power situation was very pathetic. “But now load shedding is about to be eliminated and all indicators show that economy is in a healthy shape,” he claimed.He said only those nations move forward where individuals and institutions work jointly. “To make Pakistan a country as envisioned by Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal, we need to end provincialism and mutual differences and work for development and progress of all the federating units,” he added.He said there had been no change in PML-N’s stance on the creation of new provinces. “It is only the PML-N which took practical steps on the issue of new provinces by tabling resolutions in assemblies. We increased development budget for southern Punjab to 42% which is much higher when compared with the ratio of the population,” he added.Shehbaz said he was working day and night for development and progress of the country. “Efforts are underway to build state-of-the-art hospitals. To provide medical facilities in remote areas, a mobile medical unit comprising 54 motorbikes has been established. Visit hospitals of Layyah and Bhakkar, and they look like hospitals of the Europe. Clinics have been setup for treatment and prevention of hepatitis. For the treatment of kidney and liver diseases, PKLI Hospital has been established in Lahore where transplantation surgery will also be carried out,” he said. The chief minister said a fraud of Rs 70 billion has been thwarted in the clean drinking water scheme and the matter has been sent to the anti-corruption department. “I feel pain because clean drinking water has not been so far provided to every household in Punjab. Every corrupt person and looter of the national resources should be taken to task,” he added.The chief minister said load shedding had badly damaged the national economy and the business situation in Punjab was in bad shape when the PML-N took over after 2013 general elections. “Nawaz Sharif approved numerous energy projects on my advice despite opposition by the cabinet. By the grace of Allah Almighty, now we have succeeded in overcoming the energy crisis,” he claimed. “Just imagine what the situation would have been if energy projects have not been established in Punjab,” he asked. He said fourth power plant installed by Punjab from its own resources will start production this year.To a question, the chief minister said two power plants of 300 megawatt each have not been functional in Karachi due to mala fide intentions of some quarters and the electricity was being obtained from WAPDA. “I raised objection over it in the meeting of the Council of Common Interest but PPP government did not pay attention to it,” he revealed.He said the Sahiwal coal power plant set up with the support of Chinese investors was completed even before the deadline. To overcome the damage caused by sit-ins and politics of overthrowing elected governments, efforts are being made day and night to complete the ongoing development projects in time, he said.The chief minister said a solar power plant and a wind power plant are being installed in Punjab. He said power projects of 5000MW have been set up in the province with an investment of billions of rupees. Electricity generated by Punjab is being provided to whole of the country, he added.Published in Daily Times, April 16th 2018.