South Punjab, once a destitute land, saw an unprecedented growth in human and infrastructure development during both the tenures of the PML- N governance. Health, education, community development and infrastructure projects were conceived and materialized in record time: Khawaja Fareed University of Engineering and Technology Rahim Yar Khan, 410 bed Civil Hospital Bahawalpur, Women University Multan, Metro Bus Multan, Violence against Women’s Center Multan, Ghazi University and Ghazi Medical College D.G Khan, and Khanewal-Lodhran Road to name a few.
One prime example of these projects was the Khadim e Punjab Rural Roads Program. The construction and development of 2400 KMs of farm to market roads was undertaken, in order to promote the agrarian economy of South Punjab.
The PML-N has always paid special attention to South Punjab and its people, which is why the Leader of the Opposition in Punjab, Mian Hamza Shehbaz Sharif paid a visit to the land of the saints as soon as he was freed from a twenty-month long period in jail due to political victimization. On the 2nd of October Mian Hamza Shehbaz Sharif set out on a four-day visit packed with political activities encompassing Multan, Bahawalpur, Lodhran, Khanewal, Rajanpur and Muzaffargarh.
This visit saw influential political stalwarts of the South Punjab joining PMLN. Sultan Mahmood Hanjra, former member of the National Assembly and Sardar Sher Ali Gorchani former deputy speaker of the Punjab Assembly realigned their politics with PML N. From Rajanpur, Dr. Hafeez Dareshak, a former member of the National Assembly also put his trust in Muslim League Nawaz. Jameel Shah, Ishaq Bucha, Akhtar Ali Gopang and Brig (Rtd) Qaiser also joined the ranks of PML-N, sending a clear-cut message to the masses that the incumbent Government of PTI has failed to deliver on its promises and the commitments it made prior to the elections. These were nothing but a deceptive tactic to reach the corridors of power. Mian Hamza Shehbaz addressed three worker’s conventions in Multan, Bahawalpur and Rajanpur. He specifically raised the topic of the abysmal performance of the PTI in South Punjab.
Wherever he went he received an extraordinary reception by the common people. Charged party workers thronged streets and highways to catch a glimpse of their popular leader. Mian Hamza Shehbaz categorically spoke about the rising inflation and lack of infrastructure development despite the PTI’s three and a half years in office. He focused on the problems that the common man was facing and how the promise of a separate province turned out to be another fallacious deception by the PTI.
Tides in South Punjab are shifting. It was evident in the eyes of the people. They looked towards Mian Hamza Shehbaz and the PML-N to resume their development focused, people centric and economy driven agenda. This visit also jolted the PTI causing them to respond with theatrics, misinformation and negative information instead of responding to the pertinent issues raised by Mian Hamza Shehbaz.