LAHORE: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday lashed out at an ‘organised mafia’ spreading negativity and crippling positive administrative changes in the country and asserted that the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government would not take any pressure and face all challenges coming its way.
The prime minister directed the Punjab government that the ‘political disconnect’ among elected representatives and civil bureaucracy be eliminated forthwith.
Mr Khan asked the Punjab government that “a comprehensive and effective mechanism be developed for better liaison among elected representatives and civil bureaucracy”.
The prime minister, during his Lahore visit, held a one-on-one meeting with Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar as well as separately met party MNAs and MPAs at chief minister’s secretariat.
Dispelling the “negative propaganda” that CM Buzdar had been weakened and that the chief secretary and provincial police chief were taking guidance from the federal government, Mr Khan said Mr Buzdar would remain a fully-empowered chief minister. “The chief secretary and IG Police should work as team members of CM Buzdar,” he said.
Asks Punjab govt to eliminate ‘political disconnect’ between elected representatives and bureaucracy
A source privy to the meeting said PM Khan hinted at knowing those who were hatching conspiracies against the Punjab CM but did not elaborate on it. “If the incumbent CM will be replaced, the new chief minister will not be able to go along even for a month,” the source said while quoting Mr Khan.
Citing another reason, another source said it would be almost impossible to bring an in-house change, as Mr Buzdar had been elected with one-vote majority even when all PTI MPAs, coalition partners and three independents had overwhelmingly voted for him. “Now the situation of party MPAs and coalition partners is not as smooth as it was,” the source explained.
PM Imran Khan also directed the Punjab government to get ready and hold village council elections in the first phase. The Punjab government has already given its consent to the Election Commission of Pakistan regarding the plan to hold the local government elections, at least village council elections in the first phase. The PM said: “Local government elections will actually help resolve masses’ problems at grassroots level.”
At the meeting, elected representatives shared their concerns with the PM about development works in their respective constituencies and demanded that the government should consult the elected representatives while finalising development programme at divisional level.
After listening to the lawmakers, Mr Khan directed the Punjab government to speed up development works and use the allocated funds in most transparent manner. He said elected representatives must ensure close liaison with the masses in their constituencies and struggle for the resolution of their problems. He also directed the Punjab government to take strict action against the qabza mafia, hoarders and profiteers.
The prime minister directed the provincial ministers to ensure good governance in their respective ministries besides resolving public issues at brisk pace. “The Punjab government should not leave any stone unturned while giving relief to the masses,” he added.
Mr Khan reiterated that the country was stuck in the quagmire of massive debt and facing phenomenon deficit when the PTI government had taken over. “Now the country’s economy has been stabilised and it’s heading in the right direction,” he said, adding that the world at large had started seeing Pakistan as an attractive destination for investment.
Stating that Pakistan was greatly acknowledged at the recent World Economic Forum in Davos, the PM said the world’s largest investment companies’ representatives acknowledged that there were ample opportunities for investment in Pakistan. “The year 2019 was a year to support country’s economy, while the year 2020 will be the year of progress,” he added.
Later, the prime minister also held a meeting with CM Buzdar and Punjab health minister Dr Yasmin Rashid and discussed development projects as well as the distribution of health insurance cards, Insaf Health Cards, among people.
It was learnt that PTI’s chief whip Malik Mohammad Amir Dogar and MNA Amir Mahmood Kiyani have been appointed as coordinators for better coordination among the elected representatives and the Punjab government.
Published in Dawn, January 27th, 2020