LAHORE - The Punjab governor-designate, Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar, supports the construction of Kalabagh Dam, but says the ball is now in the court of PTI Chairman Imran Khan whose party is in power in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, a staunch opponent of the multi-billion dollar project.
In an interview to WaqtNews, conducted by TheNation Editor Salim Bokhari here on Thursday, he said it was regrettable that such an important project had been politicised, although KPK and Sindh would have been its major beneficiaries.
He said he had been working for the project in the past and former WAPDA Chairman Shamsul Mulk was a witness to his efforts.
Referring to the objections that he was an imported governor, Chaudhry Sarwar said he had surrendered British nationality for good and now he would stay in Pakistan even when he was not holding the office.
Answering a question, he said he would be people’s governor and the doors of his office would be open to everyone.
Refuting the impression that the gubernatorial office had been bestowed upon him in return for the services he had rendered to the Sharif family in London, Chaudhry Sarwar said in fact he had been rewarded for his services to Pakistanis in Britain. He said his family would continue to serve the Pakistanis in UK.
He was all praise for the tireless work done by Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif for the province and his services in the field of health and education. He praised the idea of Danish Schools. But, he regretted that the police culture had not changed despite the fact that the police had been given facilities and resources.
He said he would try to change the police culture in a way that the poor got justice. Anybody committing a crime must be brought to justice at most in two years, he said.
Responding to a question, the governor-designate said that as a member of British parliament he had raised voice for Palestine, Kashmir, Afghanistan and other Islamic countries. He said he could have become a minister in Britain if he had not opposed the war against Iraq, in which thousands of people had been killed.
He said the US and British point of view about the Iraq war proved wrong.
It was regrettable, he said, that the US was holding talks with the Taliban but was stopping Pakistan from pursuing the same policy.
Chaudhry Sarwar said it was because of his efforts that today about half a dozen Pakistanis were members of the British parliament.
Answering another question, he said as a British MP he had proved that Pakistan was not involved in the 9/11 tragedy or other terrorist activities.
He recalled that Pakistanis in Britain faced a very difficult situation after 7/7 attacks on a train in London. However, he said, he tried to convince everyone that terrorists had no religion and the crime should not be attributed to Pakistanis.
He was of the view that drone attacks were not solution to terrorism. In fact, he said, these attacks were causing a surge in terrorist activities. Also, he said, these attacks were in violation of the international law.
Asked about the creation of a separate province in South Punjab, the governor-designate said the matter should be decided in consultation with all relevant political forces.
He made it clear that as the constitutional head of the province, he would not take any salary and would run the governor’s house from his own pocket.
At present he is staying at a hotel on Egerton Road. He is expected to be sworn in during the next few days.