Lahore: Punjab Chief Minister, Najam Sethi has said that competent and professional officers have been posted throughout the province in accordance with the instructions of the Election Commission. He directed administration and police officers to perform their duties without caring for any political pressure as the fair and peaceful conduct of general elections is the top priority of the government and the appointment of impartial officers has been made for this purpose.
The Chief Minister issued instructions for evolving a comprehensive security plan for general elections keeping all aspects in view. He directed that all necessary measures should be taken for ensuring law and order and security and the concerned authorities should take immediate safety measures in case of any untoward incident. He said that special attention should be paid to sensitive polling stations and effective coordination between the concerned institutions should be ensured.
He was presiding over a high level meeting at Chief Minister’s Secretariat today which was attended by Provincial Home Minister, Chief Secretary Punjab, Secretary Home, Inspector General Police Punjab, all divisional commissioners and regional police officers.
Addressing the meeting, Chief Minister Najam Sethi said that a completely non-political and impartial administrative machinery has been posted at the lower level on the pattern of the neutral caretaker setup at the provincial level so that there is no doubt about the transparency of general elections which is a national responsibility of caretaker government.
He said that Chief Secretary and Inspector General Police Punjab have been given a free hand with regard to postings and transfers in the province for the purpose of achieving the objective of fair and transparent conduct of elections. He directed newly posted officers to perform their duties in an impartial and professional manner and Safarish culture and nepotism should be discouraged.
He further directed that all officers should discharge their responsibilities in accordance with rules and regulations and pay no attention to political or administrative pressure. He said that caretaker government will not take any step in contravention of law nor allow anyone to do so. He said that all out cooperation will be extended to Election Commission for the conduct of transparent elections. He said that general elections are of utmost importance for the nation and a test case for the new administration and police officers of Punjab who will have to come up to the expectations at any cost.
He said for the purpose of maintaining a direct contact with Election Commission, a cell is being established at Chief Minister’s Secretariat which will convey the guidelines of the Election Commission to the concerned authorities.
The Chief Minister further directed that special attention should be paid to terrorism, sectarianism and other aspects while evolving a security plan and all out measures should be taken for the security of political leaders as well as election meetings and rallies as the goal of peaceful conduct of elections can only be achieved by maintaining law and order.
Najam Sethi said that provision of security cover to political leaders is the responsibility of the government and it will spare no effort in this regard. He said that emergency planning should be made for elimination of religious dissension and stern action should be taken under the law against the elements spreading religious hatred.
He expressed the confidence that due to the measures being taken by the caretaker Punjab government, the aim of peaceful and transparent conduct of elections will be achieved. Provincial Home Minister, Chief Secretary Punjab, Secretary Home and Inspector General Police also addressed the meeting.