March 07 , 2017

I dedicate success of PSL final to country’s martyrs: Shahbaz

LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif said he dedicates the success of holding the historic mega event of PSL final to those who have sacrificed their lives for the country in fighting terrorism and extremism.

The PSL final was not just a cricket match but a contest between a peaceful and progressive Pakistan versus its enemies which former won with the prayers of the nation and the collective efforts of every department of the state, he added.

Addressing a press conference on Monday at the Chief Minister Secretariat Model Town, the chief minister said the mega event was a wish of the masses and it was an absolute honour to have been able to successfully deliver this tremendous gift to the nation. The chief minister said this event sent a message to all those looking to subdue and box a vibrant nation that we are perfectly capable of living with freedom as a nation. Not only that, the event proved to be an agent of national integration as the entire country came together as an undefeatable unit, he added. He said from Peshawar to Karachi, the entire country united under love, people from all over country came to Lahore, intermingled, enjoyed side by side. This, he said, is the kind of Pakistan Allama Iqbal and Quaid-i-Azam wished for. The people of Lahore and Karachi were supporting teams of Peshawar and Quetta, yet all of them filled with the love of Pakistan, this, he said is the living definition of unity with diversity that this event has developed in the nation. The chief minister shared that he was advised against holding this event by many that are very close to him, and they were wary of what hung in the balance. However, I believed that this was the time of action. The decision to hold this event was made in consultation with the prime minister, the COAS, Lahore Corps Commander and all the security agencies, he added. Shahbaz said while discussing the complexities and challenges of this event I told my team that ‘victory has many fathers and defeat is an orphan’, and they were pumped up and committed and told me to lead the way.

He criticised PTI chief Imran Khan in a subtle manner without naming him. He said that ‘the biggest critic of this event’ could have shown more maturity considering the fact that he has such passion and experience in the sport of cricket, but I guess he got scared. He should have stood by the nation as a symbol of positivity instead of being an agent of discouragement. The chief minister did not comment on Asif Zardari’s opposition to the event and said the press conference had no political agenda.

He thanked PSL chairman Najam Sethi and lauded his tireless and dogged efforts that resulted in the success of the League and brought cricket home. He lauded foreign players especially Viv Richards and Darren Sammy for being amazing ambassadors of the PSL. He thanked the premier, COAS and the interior minister for providing helicopters. He also thanked Lahore CCPO, DIG Police Lahore, sensitive agencies, DC, Commissioner, mayor, deputy mayor and the entire nation.

Regarding more of cultural events vis-à-vis Basant Festival, he said he cannot give permission of that just as yet. He, however, said he is open to suggestions and if there can be a SOP that can be sorted out ensuring that no lives will be lost, he would be more than happy to allow it.



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