No nation can flourish unless it is provided adequate opportunities to earn freely. Roti, Kapra and Makan is not just a slogan to win votes, they are the very basic needs of every citizen of a country and unless they are provided with opportunities to earn them in a respectable manner a nation cannot progress. While the slogan was used in the past to arouse sentiments of the nation and simply gain attention for political gains, Moonis Elahi and the leadership of PMLQ actually tried to turn this slogan into a reality in the form of Lahore Sports City. Conceived by PMLQ in 2005, it was one such concrete effort to provide the city of Lahore with a sustainable source of decent livelihood. The mega project was not only aimed to further beautify Lahore, but to also provide a huge business opportunity to the city.
Moonis Elahi's Vision on Growth and Development
Moonis Elahi is a Wharton Business School USA graduate and strongly believes in sustainable development through achievable and measurable goals. It was due to his vision for growth and prosperity of the region that he participated actively with his father Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, leader of PMLQ in creating novel and highly profitable ventures and Lahore Sports City was also such venture. The project was put on the table in the parliament and it was agreed that upon completion it would be able to create up to 100,000 annual job opportunities. The project was to be completed by 2011 and aimed to provide 20,000 homes based on contemporary architecture equipped with modern amenities can only be seen in the developed countries.
Foreign Investment To Fund The Project
As Pakistan was progressing at break neck speed in all sectors, but still it suffered backlashes from the doings of previous governments. To make the project a reality, an unprecedented agreement was signed between the Punjab government and the brotherly Islamic country of United Arab Emirates (UAE). UAE agreed to invest Rs. 12 billion in the project which could ultimately make Lahore Sports City Asia's ultra modern housing project. It's proposed site was on the bank of river Ravi and the project spanned over 600 acres of land. The idea to construct it by the historical river was to provide an added attraction and also to preserve the river.
Being a firm supporter of environment preservation, Moonis Elahi played an important role to convince investors to set up a state of the art water purification plant on the river Ravi so as to introduce clean water instead of the sewage falling as of now. PMLQ's efforts had brought peace in Punjab making it a calm and visibly progressive province. Considering the various ongoing projects and their progress in the province, investors were obvious that Punjab was an investment friendly province. To his great disappointment, Moonis Elahi feels PMLN's vindictive policy to dump the project has denied a huge investment opportunity in Lahore.
City Traffic Police is a Public Friendly & Service Oriented initiative, envisioned by the leadership of PMLQ under the Good Governance Program of Punjab Government. Officers of the team were very carefully chosen to be designated "Traffic Wardens Lahore" instead of "Traffic Police" as the word police is intimidating and somewhat considered corrupt in the Pakistani community. Choosing a public friendly name clearly depicts the notion and mission to facilitate the public by PMLQ. The vision behind its conception was to take care of road users instead of policing them. People of Punjab were already fed up by the corrupt and sparsely educated traffic police whose main aim was to take hefty bribes from motorists.
Traffic Police a Symbol of Previous Government's Corruption
Earlier governments of PPP and PMLN had always used the police department to undermine their opponents. Their malpractice of using police for personal gains, wrecked the department's infrastructure and it got deeply involved in corruption. The department was deterred from its main purpose i.e. to protect the public, and was being used for VIP protocols and blackmailing. Hence when Moonis Elahi came into power, the infamous traditional traffic police was recognized as a dishonest and crooked force. The need of the hour was to provide unhindered and non-biased law enforcement institution that would prove to be a public service instead of a force to be used against them.
Moonis Elahi Emphasizes on Recruiting Educated Youth
A state owned law enforcement department has many rights that can prove to be lethal if used negatively. Moonis Elahi was aware of the fact that if uneducated people would be introduced to Traffic Warden force it would soon become shady like its predecessor. Traditional traffic police's entry level was Matric and even lower, but this time the bar was raised to give the educated youth a chance to serve their nation with pride, so entry level education requirement was restricted to be at least graduation. It is believed that 70% of Pakistanis are under the age of 25 years and the announcement was hailed publicly as it created jobs for the educated youth.
Gender Equality and Women Rights
Moonis Elahi has always stood up for women rights. It was already clear to him that the daughters of this nation are courageous and can work well under stress. So, for the very first time, in a department considered only for the male staff, females were inducted giving an equal opportunity. This enlightened a new ray of hope in the females and they enthusiastically applied. As the new force completed its training and were formally deployed on the roads, citizens rejoiced and the traffic soon became organized causing the graph of road accidents and traffic jams to plunge. For the very first time Transparency International Report mentioned in 2009 that Traffic Wardens had proved to be beneficial and the streets of Punjab were made corruption free.
Present Government's Attitude
Replacing traditional traffic police by educated, polite and dutiful traffic wardens was a gift to the nation by PMLQ which was appreciated by the public at large. This noble deed could not be digested by the present government and their vindictive policy to sabotage PMLQ's achievements came in to play. Soon after regaining power, PMLN started ignoring the vital department and began favoring the Punjab Police Department. Their spite was soon revealed when traffic wardens did not receive their salary for months. The department was deprived of funds hence there were no new uniforms and the motorbikes given for patrolling soon started falling off. Moonis Elahi was watching all this very closely and raised his concerns in the provincial assembly which resulted in the wardens having their salaries resumed after many months.
Pakistan, a country abundantly bestowed with every natural resource that a country can dream of does not deserve to be a third world country. Since its creation in 1947, it has been the center of an international political agenda meant to keep it deprived of its own resources as much as possible. Foreign influence and interference have been the reasons behind unstable democratic governments and dictatorships. While there have been different governments which have run it in the past, only one of them can be rightly given credit for taking it towards a better future and that without a doubt is PMLQ.
Since the year 2002 when President Musharraf ousted the corrupt government of Nawaz Sharif, a new political party that could never have had the chance to highlight itself came in the limelight and emerged as the ruling party PMLQ. The son of Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi a dignified personality of Punjab, Moonis Elahi emerged as a person the youth of the nation could follow. Moonis Elahi's vision from the outset of his political career was prominently appreciated even by his opponents of his outstanding leadership abilities during the PMLQ's government.
It was a new era for the country and its people because a corrupt government was ousted and the nation was freed from a man who was deeply involved in embezzlement of the national funds. As the chain of money laundering was broken, the country came on the road to a better future. This was the first time Pakistani people were introduced to what a free nation really feels like. Moonis Elahi worked really hard to initiate development projects in all government sectors with his aptitude to think outside the box. Eventually when PMLQ is no longer in power, Moonis Elahi is the only politician who has advocated for the construction of Kalabagh Dam, one of the most vital hydroelectricity projects that can greatly eliminate the problems of electricity shortfall as well as water storage in the country.
Pakistan is known as an agricultural country due to its fertile soil which has the ability to plant and grow almost every crop on this planet. Under the visionary guidance of Moonis Elahi the agriculture department made tremendous progress in the PMLQ era. Moonis Elahi during that period played an instrumental role in creating new job opportunities for the educated and unemployed youth. This was an ice breaking moment for the nation as literate people actually got the jobs they were deprived of in the past due to favoritism and corrupt hiring processes. Hiring people on merit single handedly changed the mindset of the nation and people were inclined to educate their children. The great contribution of Moonis Elahi and PMLQ to this country cannot be forgotten because it was from 2002 to 2007 that people really felt they were on the road to success and prosperity.
Lahore, the busiest and congested city of Punjab has always been the center of attention of every government. Due to its massive population and overcrowded roads, accidents happen on a daily basis. Lack of proper ambulance system for the injured was a great factor of deaths in road accidents. Newspapers were littered with such news on a daily basis but, the government always paid a deaf ear to it. Although the people demanded it, but it was the least priority of all governments as they were busy looting the country and settling their families abroad.
The idea of Punjab Emergency Service commonly known as Rescue 1122 germinated when Moonis Elahi visited foreign countries with his father to see their emergency services. When PMLQ came into power, the need for a rescue department was raised on the assembly floor under the Punjab Emergency Services Act. Through legislative support and backing of Moonis Elahi, the bill was passed and it soon became clear that Punjab would be gifted with a modern and trustworthy life saving service. The vision was to provide timely care and service to every person without discrimination. With a mission to contribute towards building socially responsible, resilient and safer communities, it soon became the top priority for PMLQ leadership.
During his visits to foreign countries Moonis Elahi met experts to learn about the steps required to make it flawless. Subsequently, security experts from Austria and Australia were called to meet and discuss how the service could be made an exception in the region. With a motive to empower the nation and its youth in every perspective, vehicles were indigenously built in Lahore which ended up saving millions of rupees and also created jobs. The first phase planned was to initiate the service in 36 Districts of Punjab and in the second phase it would be spread to all Tehsils of the province.
Moonis Elahi emphasized in all meetings that educated youth should be recruited on merit and be provided with proper training for induction of the service to enable them to live up to its vision and mission. He regularly visited the Rescue 1122 training academy to inspect training of the newly recruited staff. He watched their performance and progress very closely and held regular discussions with stakeholders to solve any problems that came forth. During his visits to foreign countries, Moonis Elahi observed that the response time of an ambulance was about 15 to 20 minutes. He strongly emphasized that Rescue 1122 reach the affected persons in less than 15 minutes.
It was the result of Moonis Elahi's constant supervision that Rescue 1122 ambulance service was able to reduce its average response time to under 10 minutes. Until its inauguration, it became a daily routine for the authorized staff to report at 8am at the CM house and brief the PMLQ leadership over its progress. In 2004 Rescue 1122 was inaugurated by Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi which, without a doubt is a gift to the nation. Without compromising on the equipments and the vehicles, it was soon accredited to meet all international standards and was termed as one of the top rated emergency services in Asia.
To date, as per the statistics given on their officialwebsite Rescue 1122 states that it has successfully managed to save 7,83,292 people in Lahore alone and a total of 42,98,738 people in the entire Punjab. The step-fatherly treatment meted out by the current government of PMLN to Rescue 1122 is a great concern to Moonis Elahi. Their vindictive approach to undermine all policies and departments set up by PMLQ is not only hurting their credibility but also affecting safety of the people of Punjab. By not providing proper funds, the service has been badly affected but it still continues to serve the public with the same mission and vision instilled in them by Moonis Elahi and Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, the founders of Punjab Emergency Service aka Rescue 1122.