Says bureaucrats have become a ‘political party’
Urges govt to suspend and demote Ahad Cheema
LAHORE: The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Friday decided to launch a public campaign against the strike of officers belonging to the District Management Group (DMG) and announced that it would forcefully reopen the offices of those who were protesting in favour of Ahad Cheema.
Opposition leader in the Punjab Assembly and PTI leader Mehmoodur Rashid said that bureaucrats were arrested in Sindh and other provinces but no such drama was staged there.
“The officers who were given out of turn promotions are holding the strike and the Lahore deputy commissioner (DC) is arranging lunch for them. The DMG officers have been called from across the province to hold the strike and the Punjab government is leading the province towards chaos. Cheema was promoted instead of being suspended. All this is being done on the orders of Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif,” he said while speaking at a press conference.
He urged the government to immediately suspend Cheema and demanded that the bureaucrats should follow their oath. “If any bureaucrat goes on strike and locks his or her office, we will come and get it unlocked. The law and constitution do not permit the officers to go on a strike. The National Accountancy Bureau (NAB) has presented all proofs of Cheema’s corruption and illegally acquiring 32 kanals in the Paragon city,” he said.
He also urged Lahore High Court Chief Justice Muhammad Yawar Ali to take a suo motu notice of the DMG officers’ strike.
Referring to NAB Chairman Justice (r) Javed Iqbal’s statement that the Punjab government was not cooperating with NAB in various enquires, he said that the recent reaction of the Punjab government over Cheema’s arrest proved that “NAB chief’s apprehensions were right”.
PTI central leader Ijaz Chaudhry said the bureaucrats “weren’t angels” and should be held accountable.
“Shehbaz Sharif is inciting bureaucrats to go on a strike. He (Shehbaz) fears that Cheema may speak the truth before the NAB regarding his and the Punjab government’s corruption. Therefore, Shehbaz is using bureaucracy to hide his corruption,” he said while alleging that Cheema burnt the records of the metro bus and other projects fearing corruption charges.
PTI central Punjab President Aleem Khan accused CM Shehbaz of “dividing bureaucracy for his own sake”.
“Cheema was Shehbaz’s frontman and looted millions of rupees at his behest. Now, Shehbaz fears that Cheema will reveal everything before the NAB. This is why all of the Punjab government’s machinery is hell bent to secure Cheema and get him released.”
It is pertinent to mention that the DMG officers on Friday locked down their offices in protest against what they called the “unlawful arrest” of former Lahore Development Authority (LDA) director general Ahad Cheema. Reacting to the strike, PTI leader Mehmoodur Rashid accompanied by MPA Ali Raza Drishik, Mumtaz Muharwi, Ijaz Bukhari, Asif Mehmood, Dr Nausheen Hamid, Sunila Ruth, Hafiz Zeeshan and others reached the Civil Secretariat to reopen the offices, upon which the police offered resistance that led to a scuffle.
The NAB had arrested Cheema on Wednesday to interrogate him regarding his alleged involvement in the Ashiana Housing Society corruption scandal.