MULTAN: Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar has that south Punjab province will be constituted as promised. “South Punjab province would be constituted as it was part of PTI’s manifesto and we would fulfil our commitment,” he said while addressing journalists at Circuit House Multan on Friday. The governor added that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) had not lost its popularity after losing a few seats in the recently held by-elections. “The government organised free and fair elections. Defeat on a few seats did not mean that the PTI government had failed,” he said. Sarwar said that health, education, rule of law, merit, accountability and eradication of corruption were government’s top priorities. “Our main objective is to promote and enhance exports and discourage imports to minimise the trade deficit. Referring to the education sector, the PTI leader said that he was fully aware of deteriorating standard of education at universities. “Our medical degrees are not entertained abroad. Pakistan needs to work harder to improve education standard if it wants to compete the world,” he said. He said that he would resolve the universities’ issues, including appointment of vice chancellors, deans and professors. “Pakistan has one of the largest and fastest growing youth population in the world, which means it has become more crucial than ever that the country invests in higher education.” He added, “It is encouraging that Pakistan is taking measures to improve its universities but academicians have claimed that progress has been slow,” he said, adding that all the universities would be converted on solar energy to eliminate the challenges of energy crises at education institutions. “We are evolving a comprehensive strategy to get required results and compete with the world universities.” He said that the government was making institutions more powerful but it did not mean that they should not listen to complaints of elected representatives. He said there would be complete check and balance on elected representatives, bureaucracy and technocrats. Criticising the previous Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government, Sarwar said that the previous regime had failed to avail the facilities of GSP+ properly. “We have attained this status in spite of severe opposition by India and other countries but European Union provided us duty-free access to its markets,” he said, and lambasted the policies of previous government for not promoting exports. “They could not pay refund claims of exporters and created a liquidity crunch in the industry,” he alleged and said that the PTI government would provide maximum facilities to the business community. He said that the PTI government had announced to provide an incentive of Rs 50 billion to textile industry by cutting the gas tariff by 50 percent. “Similarly, cheaper electricity would also be provided to make their business viable.” He lamented that two thirds of water filtration plants were dysfunctional despite the fact that former rulers, including Musharraf and Sharif brothers, had launched clean water programmes with billions of rupees. “We have asked NGOs and welfare organisation to submit reports on water plants being run under their supervision.” Talking about the former renowned singer Gul-Bahar Bano, the governor said that it was a duty of the state to look after its heroes, artists, scholars. “We will introduce a policy to provide financial assistance, health care and other facilities to them.” Later, he vowed to address issues of south Punjab and said that work on Multan-Dera Ghazi Khan Road would be completed soon. He also thanked the people of Multan in general and south Punjab in particular for giving a good mandate to the PTI. Published in Daily Times, October 27th 2018.