Najam Sethi denies US role in his appointment as caretaker CM;

Caretaker Punjab Chief Minister Najam Sethi said on Friday that US had played no role in his appointment as the caretaker CM and he never held one-on-one meeting with the US envoy Richard Olson.

Addressing a press conference here at the Punjab House, Najam Sethi made it clear that his job was to conduct free and fair elections, not started development projects or altering the existing ones. He said the caretaker Punjab government will implement every order of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) for the holding of free and fair elections.

The caretaker CM admitted that full implementation of the ECP code of conduct was a very difficult task and it will be very difficult to stop the candidates from carrying the voters in busses to the polling stations. He said a large number of police force was required to implement the ECP code of conduct. “We have requested the administration of ensure implementation of the ECP code of conduct as much as possible,” he said.

Najam Sethi said nowadays some people are making hypothesis that he is close to Asif Zardari and Nawaz Sharif and even Imran Khan. However, he said, it is also a fact that in the past when the Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto governments were dismissed, then allegations were hurled against him of making ‘conspiracy’ against them. He denied any role in any conspiracy and said he always presented truth before the masses.

The caretaker CM said it was for the first time in the history of the country that non-political caretaker governments were formed in the country. He said he never expressed wish to become a caretaker CM.

He said administrative changes will be made where necessary. He said consultations for the caretaker cabinet are continuing, adding that 5 or 6 people will be included in it.

To a question, Sethi said he had three meeting with the ECP officials. He said he has been permitted by the ECP to make transfers in the bureaucracy and administration. He said all the regional police officers and commissioners should be changed.

To another question, the caretaker CM said security would be provided to all the politicians during the election campaign. He said terrorists are more trained while the Pakistani police and army is being given traditional training.