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Holding of free, fair and transparent elections is the top priority :Najam Sethi

Lahore: Chief Minister Punjab Najam Sethi has said that holding of free, fair and transparent elections is the top priority of the caretaker government and completely neutral and non-political persons have been inducted in the cabinet. He said that he believes that government affairs can be managed with eight ministers. He said that four to five departments will be assigned to each minister.

He said that posting of new Chief Secretary and Inspector General Police has been made in Punjab while the process of reshuffling of bureaucracy will soon be completed. He said that completely impartial officers will be posted and in accordance with the procedure evolved by the Election Commission, changes will be made from SHO to senior officer level. He said that no decision has yet been taken to celebrate Basant.
He said that it is the right of the people to take part in recreational activities but no decision will be made against the public interest.

He was talking to the owners of newspapers and TV channels, editors, anchors and senior journalists at Chief Minister’s Secretariat, here today. Chief Minister Najam Sethi said that a clean and impartial administration is essential for the conduct of elections in a fair and transparent manner. He said that it is not for the caretaker government to change policies but it is responsible only for holding general elections.

He said that no one has raised any objection or expressed reservations about new Chief Secretary or IG Punjab. He said that accountability of politicians is not the job of caretaker setup but of the masses. He said that the ongoing projects will be continued and there is no shortage of funds. He said that a number of steps have been taken for improvement of law and order and ensuring foolproof security. He said that police patrolling during the night hours will be intensified for checking crimes.

He said protection of life and property of the people is the responsibility of police. He said that security cover will be given to rallies and public meetings during general elections and the caretaker government is taking steps after keeping in view all aspects. He said that measures are being taken for providing maximum health facilities to the patients in hospitals. He said that ministers have been directed to make every effort for the benefit of the masses. He said that arrangements have been finalized to check possible outbreak of dengue virus and the action plan of anti-dengue campaign is being fully implemented.

In reply to a question, Najam Sethi said that he will talk to the federal government for controlling unscheduled load-shedding in Punjab. He said that caretaker government does not want to involve itself in any controversial issue and it will take no irresponsible decision. He said that he does not want to take such a person in the provincial cabinet whose any relative is contesting general elections. He said that he wants to pay surprise visits to hospitals and institutions providing public service to gain firsthand knowledge about the factual position.

He said that process of preparation of the new budget is continuing and the future government will have to make only minor amendments. During the meeting, senior journalists, while expressing their views on Basant, said that it is a seasonal festival and has nothing to do with religion. They were of the view that if government wants to celebrate Basant it should adopt all protective measures and provide safety wires to motorcyclists to avoid accidents.

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