–Askari for settlement of polls-related issues in consultation with all political players
–Seeks cooperation of political parties to deal with terror threats, maintain law and order
LAHORE: Punjab Caretaker Chief Minister Dr Hasan Askari Rizvi on Wednesday said that best possible security arrangements were being made in wake of terror threats ahead of the forthcoming polls.
Speaking to a delegation of All Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS), led by its Secretary General Sarmad Ali, the chief minister said that any speculations regarding holding of the elections were unnecessary and totally baseless.
“Matters related to the polls and other relevant issues will be settled with mutual understanding and in consultation with the political parties,” he said.
“The caretaker government is facing the triangular challenge of elections, security and day to day issues. District administration is responsible for election-related matters and their arrangements at the grassroots. The caretaker government will prove its neutrality with its actions,” said CM Askari, adding that the caretaker government was committed to ensuring law and order during the polls.
“Everyone has to play their role in the elimination of terrorism. Equal opportunities will be provided to the political parties and a peaceful atmosphere will be arranged for the people during elections.”
He said that the government was not oblivious to problems of the newspapers industry and had sympathies towards media workers. “Merit and transparency will be ensured in the distribution of advertisements. Payments of outstanding dues of the advertisements will be made soon,” he assured.
APNS Secretary General Sarmad Ali, at the occasion, said that DGPR Department of the Punjab government was the most organised and Punjab had the unique honour of appointing a female as the DGPR.
During the meeting, prayers were offered for the martyrs of the Peshawar tragedy and earliest recovery of the injured. Death of Awami National Party (ANP) leader, Haroon Bilour, was also condemned.
Separately, a high-level meeting with representatives of different political parties was held at the Chief Minister’s Office.
Matters related to the implementation of the election code of conduct and arrangements made for the security of the candidates and leading political leaders came under discussion.
Chairing the meeting, CM Askari said that security of political leaders, candidates as well as the people was the first priority of the government and added that cooperation of political parties and their candidates was essential to deal with the threat of terrorism.
“It’s a sensitive occasion and the time to remain sane instead of becoming emotional,” said the chief minister.
He said that candidates could contact him, ministers or the local administration in case of any issues or complaints. “The caretaker government is making utmost efforts for the solution of every complaint and is fully alert to perform its duties,” he said.
Provincial Home Minister Shaukat Javed, at the occasion, said that anti-Pakistan elements were bent upon ruining the peaceful atmosphere. “Past few days were crucial and implementation of the election code of conduct is essential to ensure security.”
Representatives of the political parties said that cooperation would be extended to the government to ensure peaceful holding of the elections. They also assured to follow the code of conduct.
Representatives of political parties participating in the polls, provincial ministers including Syed Zia Haider Rizvi, Shaukat Javed, Ahmed Waqas Riaz, Zafar Mehmood, chief secretary, ACS (Home), IGP, Information secretary and others concerned attended the meeting.