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Shahbaz offers to quit if role in Davisí release proved

29 March, 2011

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LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Monday said that he stands by his word that if the allegations against him regarding the release of Raymond Davis, contacting the families of the deceased for payment of blood money or influencing the court were proved, he will not only resign but will also apologise to the nation.

He said that the Punjab government or the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) played no direct or indirect role in Davisí release. Shahbaz said that the Punjab government had taken a firm stand in the court on this issue.

The chief minister said that time had come for the whole nation to unite against the drone attacks, and he along with PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif would play a vanguard role in this regard. Shahbaz said that political freedom was not possible without economic independence and there was a need for the nation to stand on its own feet and shed the habit of reliance on foreign aid. The chief minister said that if the practice of begging was not given up and a lesson was not learnt, Davis like incidents would continue to occur.

He said this while giving details to the media regarding the Raymond Davis case at the Chief Ministerís Secretariat. Opposition leader in National Assembly Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan, Senator Pervaiz Rashid, Provincial Law Minister Rana Sanaullah Khan and members of the National and Provincial Assemblies were also present at the occasion. The chief minister said that he had been talking about self-reliance and getting rid of foreign loans for the last two years, so that Pakistan could regain its lost status. He said that it was better to die with honour than to survive on foreign loans and assistance.

Shahbaz said that if incidents like the Davis incident were to be avoided, dependence on others would have to be stopped.

He said that a nuclear power is not supposed to beg and there is a need to develop indigenous resources in the interest of national sovereignty and independence. The chief minister said that the time had come to follow the teachings of Islam, the holy Prophet (PBUH) and the principles of Quaid-e-Azam and Allama Iqbal to make Pakistan a welfare state in the real sense and to rise as a nation against the drone attacks.

He said that after the Davis incident, he had declared in unequivocal terms that the blood of every Pakistani is as precious as that of the citizen of any other country. Shahbaz said that he had also said that no expedience or pressure will be allowed to become a hurdle in taking action against the offenders and every decision should be taken in accordance with the law and the constitution of Pakistan.

The chief minister said that Pakistan was an independent and sovereign country and anyone committing a crime on this land should be punished under the Pakistani law. He said that he was happy that enlightened people, intellectuals and journalists had rejected the negative propaganda against him and his government regarding the Raymond Davis incident.

Shahbaz said that people knew very well that these were the same elements, which had supported former president General (r) Pervez Musharraf for eight years and their hands were stained with the blood of countless of innocent Pakistanis. The chief minister said that it was an open secret that these shameful politicians, who were mourning the death of two innocent citizens, had extended their full support to Musharraf in the Lal Masjid and Bajaur tragedies.

End.

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