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Change has become necessary to restore people’s confidence: PESA

Admiral Fasih BokhariLahore: The Pakistan Ex-Servicemen Association (PESA) expressed grave concern about the prevailing conditions in the country which has diminished confidence of the masses in the present Government.

This was observed in a meeting of the Executive Council of PESA with Senior Vice President, Vice Admiral Ahmad Tasnim, S.J. & Bar (Retd) in chair. Admiral Fasih Bokhari, Lt Gen Naeem Akbar, Air Marshal Masood Akhtar, Brig Mian Mahmud, Mr Salim Nawaz Gandapur, Brig Simon Sharaf, Naik Muhammad Fazil and Brig Masud ul Hassan were also present on the occasion.

The meeting expressed concern over strong allegations of conflict of interest made in the media about certain ministers. Serious note was also taken on government’s inaction on recommendations of the Judicial Commission Report about Model Town Lahore massacre.

The former military leaders said that a change has, therefore, become necessary to restore peoples’ hopes and confidence for a better future. Local bodies are the fundamental basis of any democratic system which calls for holding local bodies’ elections without further delay. Development funds, presently allocated to MNAs and MPAs should, thereafter, be allocated to local bodies.

Great satisfaction was expressed over the progress of on-going operation in North Waziristan and glowing tribute were paid to the soldiers who have sacrificed their lives for defence of the country.  They were, however, of the opinion that civil intelligence agencies have to do a lot of work to break the terrorist’s network in urban areas.

It said that due to disturbed political situation, mismanagement and acute shortages of the necessities of life has caused total loss of faith in the present government to deliver in almost all the sectors.

They said that the deteriorating standard of governance is reflected by performance of various departments as the Government cannot take refuge by merely ‘taking notice’ and suspending some officials to absolve itself of all the responsibilities.

Amid petrol crisis, conflicting statements of ministers and talk of conspiracy theories has given strength to allegations against the government, the added.

PESA members stressed upon the government to remove unauthorized camping and settlements of Afghan refugees and confine them to the authorized camps. Movement in and out of the camps should also be screened and recorded. At the same time, efforts must be made for their repatriation at the earliest. It was also decided to finalize arrangements of PESA’s support in resettlement of IDPs when they return to their homes.

Members were of the view that mere change of Chief Election Commissioner was not enough. Complete overhaul of the Election Commission was required. Appointment of Judicial Commission to carry out thorough investigation of the alleged irregularities of the last elections should not be delayed any further. Electoral reforms must also be completed at the earliest.

A Chapter of PESA has been opened in Gilgit-Baltistan and Major Zafar Jang (Retd) has been appointed as organiser.

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