LAHORE: Caretaker Punjab cabinet meeting was held at the Chief Minister’s office here on Monday with Caretaker Punjab Chief Minister Prof Dr. Hasan Askari Rizvi in the chair.
The meeting expressed its strong commitment to ensure holding of free, fair and peaceful elections in the province. Chief Secretary Capt (Retd) Zahid Saeed gave a briefing on different matters pertaining to the government affairs, working of the public sector departments and their infrastructure.
The meeting was also apprised about rules of business. Caretaker ministers, Chief Secretary, IG Police and others attended the meeting. Addressing the meeting, the chief minister said the caretaker setup is meant for a limited period of time and its scope of work is also limited adding that fundamental responsibility of the caretaker government is to hold transparent and impartial elections.
He said we have to fulfill our responsibility of holding transparent elections in a specific period of time, he said, adding that facilities will be provided to ensure holding of free and fair elections under the instructions of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
Dr. Askari said the administration has to fulfill its duties in a neutral way, stressing our time period is limited and we are desirous of doing some public welfare initiatives which could provide relief to the masses and the line departments will have to take the lead in this regard, he said.
The chief minister said his government wanted to set such examples to be emulated by the coming caretaker governments. He said the ministers, administration as well as the police should be totally impartial and apolitical, adding that the ministers are part of my team and we have to work collectively.
Relevant pieces published earlier:
i) Professor Dr. Hasan Askari Rizvi took oath – administered by the Governor – here today as the caretaker chief minister of Punjab. (Published on 8th June, 2018)
ii) Maintaining that its decision apropos Hasan Askari as CM Punjab was in accordance with the Constitution, HEC has rejected PML-N’s objection in this respect. ECP, noting that critic on its decision was unjustified, has further pointed out that the commission took the decision (based on merit) when political parties failed to agree upon a name. (7th of June, 2018)
iii) PML-N has expressed reservations over the name of Dr. Hasan Askari Rizvi chosen by ECP for the post of interim CM of Punjab. Speaking at a Presser here former prime minister has accused that the proposed person was partial: “ECP’s decision has cast doubt over transparency in the upcoming general polls in Punjab. The PML-N will reject the election results if he is made caretaker chief executive of the province”. Former prime minister in order to substantiate his claims pointed towards Askari’s various articles and television programs. (7thof June 2018)
iv) Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) will nominate the chief ministers (CMs) of Punjab and Balochistan as the parliamentary committees of both the assemblies have failed to reach a consensus. The Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Justice Sardar Muhammad Raza has convened the ECP consultative meeting here today to make consultation on the four proposed names for CM Punjab, which were referred by Speaker Punjab Assembly to the ECP that included Prof Hassan Askari Rizvi and Ayaz Ameer from former opposition and Admiral (retd) Muhammad Zakaullah and Justice (retd) Muhammad Sahir Ali from former provincial government.
The matter of nominating caretaker CM Punjab has been referred to the ECP after the failure of the parliamentary committee that met today to reach consensus over the proposed candidates, rather both former government and opposition leveled charges on each other in failing to reach consensus by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).
PTI had proposed the names of news analyst Ayaz Ameer and Defense analyst Dr. Hassan Askari Rizvi for the post of caretaker CM while the PML-N had nominated Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah and Justice (retd) Muhammad Sahir Ali. Similarly, in Balochistan, the former provincial government had suggested the names of Sardar Shaukat Popalzai and Alauddin Marri for the post of the caretaker chief minister while the former opposition had nominated Mohammad Aslam Bhutani and Ashraf Jahangir Qazi.
After the failure of former government and opposition leaders, the parliamentary committee of Balochistan also failed to reach on one name for caretaker CM for Balochistan. Under the legal condition, after failure in reaching a consensus of former CMs and leaders of opposition in Balochistan and Punjab and also a failure of parliamentary committees of both provinces, now the ECP will decide the names of caretaker CMs of both the provinces.
After expiry of tenure of both provincial assemblies on 31st of May, the former CMs and Opposition leaders had timeframe up to June 3 to make consensus on one name for caretaker CM. Later the parliamentary committee had timeframe up to June 6 to finalize one name and then the ECP will have timeframe from June 7 (Thursday) to June 8 to decide the name of caretaker CMs.