Lahore: Punjab Chief Minister, Najam Sethi has said that caretaker government was not set up to formulate policies or hold accountability but its mandate is to ensure holding of general elections in a transparent and impartial manner. He vowed that every possible step would be taken for ensuring free and fair general elections.
He said that the reshuffling has been started in police and administration and 14 secretaries have been transferred while four secretaries of Finance, Home, Health and Schools Education Departments will continue to work on their posts. He said that government is committed to hold transparent, fair and peaceful elections and impartial administration and police officers are being deputed for this purpose.
Commissioners of all nine divisions and DCOs of 36 districts have also been transferred. However, nine DCOs who were working as DCOs in previous era have been posted to other districts. Nine RPOs have been transferred whereas one RPO who was working as RPO in previous era has been posted in other region. DPOs of 36 districts have been transferred while 18 DPOs who were working as DPOs during previous era have been posted in other districts. Now new commissioners and RPOs will perform their duties in every division/region.
He expressed these views while talking to senior journalists of electronic and print media at Chief Minister’s Secretariat today. Chief Minister informed that he never expressed desire of becoming caretaker chief minister but political parties expressed their confidence in him. He said that it was his endeavor from very beginning to remain impartial and he succeeded in it to a large extent. Najam Sethi said that general elections are very important and the decision of Pakistan has to be taken in Punjab, for which, law and order situation is being further improved in the province.
He said that six ministers have been inducted in the cabinet, however, some departments are still with him. He said that ministers have also been allotted more than one departments. He informed that the work of preparation of budget is continuing, however, we are making outlines of the budget whereas coming government will give final shape to the development budget.
The Chief Minister said that health department has been given seven days to make the government machinery and equipments in working order in hospitals whereas setting up of complaint cells in hospitals is also being considered and these will be linked directly with the cell set up at Chief Minister’s Secretariat. He said that it has been decided to charge parking fee from the vehicles in hospitals and the income generated from it would be spent on the provision of facilities in emergency.
Najam Sethi said that all arrangements regarding protection from dengue are complete and the implementation on the action plan evolved for this purpose is continuing. Similarly, a campaign with regard to protection from measles is also being launched. The Chief Minister said that it is his endeavor that something should be done for improving the living standard of the people during his tenure. He said that instructions have been issued for free treatment of folk singer Raishman whereas Punjab government has also issued orders for providing financial assistance of Rs. five lakh to her.
The Chief Minister disclosed that instructions have been issued to compile the record of common citizens who died during bomb blasts and terrorism and the heirs of such persons will be provided financial assistance on compilation of record. He said that no decision has been taken so far to celebrate Basant, however, there are two opinions and he thinks that decision in this regard will have to be taken very carefully. But it is also the fact that there is great disappointment and uncertainty in the society and the recreational activities are minimum, he added. Najam Sethi said that he never demanded ticket from PML-N for his wife and it is very ridiculous. Replying to a question he said that final shape is being given to the arrangements for free and fair elections and sensitive constituencies and polling stations have been identified and it would be our endeavor that no one would be allowed rigging.
Replying to another question the Chief Minister said that there is a need of special security measures for senior political leaders and political processions whereas security has been provided to Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, Shahbaz Sharif and their families for protection. He said that provision of security to senior political leaders is responsibility of the government and if Imran Khan or any other senior leader will demand security, they would be provided but we have called back 25 percent security from everywhere.
Najam Sethi said that if general elections were postponed due to any unconstitutional step, he will not remain in power even one more day. He said that he does not think that elections would be postponed but elections should not be postponed.
The Chief Minister said that caretaker Punjab government is utilizing all energies for ensuring free, fair and impartial general elections.