Lahore: Caretaker Chief Minister Punjab Najam Aziz Sethi has said that he is thankful to the former government and opposition for reposing confidence in him. He said that the caretaker government will come up to the expectations of the people and efficiently discharge its national responsibility of holding transparent elections. He said that caretaker government is a non-political setup and policy- making is not its reasonability nor it has any political agenda. He said that conduct of free and fair elections is the top priority of caretaker government and he will hold meetings with judiciary and Election Commission and seek their guidance. He said that he will ensure holding of general elections in a free and transparent manner and not allow anyone to take undue advantage. He said through media, he wants to give a message to provincial bureaucracy to make it certain that elections are held in a transparent manner. He said that corruption and nepotism will not be tolerated at all and stern action will be taken if any complaint was received against any bureaucrat of taking undue benefit.
He was talking to media-men after taking oath as caretaker Chief Minister of Punjab at Governor’s House today. Members of Parliamentary Committee Rana Sanaullah Khan, Ch. Zaheer-ud-Din, Mujtaba Shuja ur Rehman, Shaukat Basra besides Raja Riaz, Mian Manzoor Wattoo, Chief Secretary Punjab, Advocate General Punjab, Provincial Secretaries, intellectuals, columnists, journalists and a large number of people from different walks of life were present. Caretaker Chief Minister stated that as long as he is the chief minister, he has no friend or relative and nobody should misuse his name for taking any benefit otherwise stern action will be taken against him. He said that there is a general impression that bureaucracy tries to conceal the factual position. He said that it is his request to media to cooperate with him in this regard and he will also maintain a close contact with the media for this purpose. Replying to a question about changes in bureaucracy, Najam Sethi said that he will hold a meeting with Chief Election Commissioner and his instructions will be fully implemented.
He said that changes in bureaucracy can be made in the interest of conduct of elections in a transparent manner. In response to a question about law and order, the caretaker Chief Minister said that maintenance of civic peace is of utmost importance for him as it is also necessary for the proper holding of general elections. He said that as he is associated with media, he tries to analyze the situation, and now that he is in government, he will see from where threats are received and what is written on the files and practical steps will be taken accordingly. He said that extremism and terrorism will not be tolerated at any cost and this issue will be dealt with courageously. He said that the elements involved in inciting the masses against minorities will not be spared. He said that all out measures will be taken for improving law and order situation and he will hold a meeting with the Chief Justice of Lahore High Court for seeking his guidance.
Replying to a question about caretaker cabinet, Najam Aziz Sethi said that the cabinet will be small and it will have no political figure. He said that existing policies are a sacred trust and will only be reviewed by elected representatives. He said that media is his eyes and ears and he will move forward with its cooperation and guidance. He said that positive criticism of media will be welcomed and he will try to meet its standards. He said that stern action will be taken against anyone who tried to take undue advantage by using his name. He said that he does not like personal protocol or stopping of traffic for him and he will try to travel with minimum security. In reply to another question, he said that his sparrow is still free and anyone can catch it if he can. Earlier, Governor Punjab Syed Ahmed Mehmood administered the oath of office of caretaker Chief Minister Punjab to Najam Aziz Sethi.
Caretaker Chief Minister Punjab, Najam Sethi has said that holding of elections in a peaceful and transparent manner and further improvement of law and order in the province is his top priority. He said that general elections will be conducted in a fair and free atmosphere and effective security arrangements would be made for public meetings and rallies. He said that he will take even tough decisions, if needed, to maintain civic peace.
He was presiding over a high level meeting to review law and order situation in the province at Chief Minister’s Secretariat, here today which was attended by Secretary Home, IG Police Punjab, DIGs and other concerned authorities.
The Caretaker Chief Minister reviewed in detail law and order and security arrangements. He said that he will discharge his responsibility as a national obligation and make his best efforts for the conduct of general elections in an orderly and transparent manner. He directed police to spare no effort for the peaceful conduct of polls. Najam Sethi directed that all out resources should be utilized for improving law and order situation.
The Caretaker Chief Minister was also given briefing regarding law and order situation and security arrangements during general elections.