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Caretaker Chief Minister Najam Sethi on Tuesday announced undertaking reshuffle in Punjab administration to make the coming elections free and transparent.
“Homework has been completed for the transfer of officers from SHO up to Secretary level to ensure fair and free elections”, he said while talking to media men at the residence of a leader of Pakistan People Party and former opposition leader in Punjab Assembly Raja Riaz Ahmed, here on Tuesday.
President PPP central Punjab Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo and other leaders were also present on the occasion. He said that changes in bureaucracy will be made after the posting of new Chief Secretary and such a team will be formed about which no one has any complaint
The Chief Minister Najam Sethi said that reshuffle in administration will be made in the light of the orders of Election Commission of Pakistan and this process will be conducted in such a manner that no political party should have any complaint.
He said that Inspector General Police Punjab Aftab Sultan was a dutiful and hardworking officer and his posting had been welcomed by everyone. He said that the process of changes in bureaucracy will be completed in a transparent manner. He said that everyone can make mistakes but every effort will be made to form the best team with mutual consultation.
He said that his meetings and consultations with the leaders of political parties had been very useful and yielded positive results with regard to holding of fair and transparent elections.
He said every political leader he had met asked that caretaker setup should ensure free and fair elections and assured that he would make no Safarash for the posting of any specific officer.
He said that free and transparent conduct of general elections is the national responsibility of caretaker setup and it will be discharged efficiently. He said that Punjab was the heart of Pakistan and failure to hold transparent elections in the province might cause damage to the whole country.
He said that caretaker setup will fulfill its responsibility of holding free and fair elections as a national obligation and elections will be conducted in such a manner that there will be no doubt about their transparency.
In reply to a question about celebrating Basant, Najam Sethi said that no decision has been made in this regard so far, however, consultations were underway and a final decision will be taken within next two to three days. He said that nation was facing despondency and depression and it was necessary to bring smile to the faces of the people in these conditions.
He said that during his meeting with journalists in Islamabad, he sought their views about Basant and they were of the opinion that if the incidents like slitting of throats with kite string can be curbed then there is nothing wrong with celebrating Basant.
Sethi said that political leaders had also expressed the same view. He said that all these proposals were being considered. He said that he wanted that Basant celebrations should not be limited to kite flying only but festivals, musical shows, Mushairas, and firework displays and other recreational activities should also be held throughout the province in which local administration and the people should fully participate.
The chief minister said that if Punjab government could prevent Basant-related accidents then there was nothing wrong with celebrating this festival. However, he said, final decision in this regard will be made with complete consultation. He said that he was a Lahorite and wanted recreational activities but he will make no emotional decision in this regard.
Replying a question about changes in policy, Najam Sethi said that responsibility of caretaker setup was holding of general elections, and it was not building new roads or metro projects. He said that policies were a trust of the nation and only elected representatives had the right to evolve policies.
Answering a question about cabinet, he said that three new ministers will soon take oath of their offices. He said that a number of officers had been sidelined and among them there must be some honest and hardworking officers.
He said that departments had been issued instructions to provide information about good officers. He said that such a team will be formed with mutual consultation as will be helpful in holding of transparent elections.
President PPP Central Punjab Manzoor Wattoo welcomed the appointment of Najam Sethi as chief minister and said that he was a neutral person by nature. He said that as a senior journalist Najam Sethi had played an impartial and dignified role.