LAHORE: Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed the Punjab chief minister and his cabinet members to rein in the corrupt and land grabbers besides coming up to people’s expectations in terms of relief and service delivery.
Presiding over a meeting of Punjab cabinet members alongside Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar at the CM secretariat on Saturday, Mr Khan said it was a matter of concern for the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government that mafias and the influential continued to usurp the rights of have-nots, who ran from pillar to post for their due rights.
“Immediately launch an anti-encroachment drive and action against land grabbers across the province,” he directed the government and assured it of his full support.
“People have attached high hopes with the PTI government and they must not be disappointed,” the prime minister said. He, however, stressed that the chief minister should be allowed at least three months to show result before criticism was directed at him.
PM says he doesn’t want Shahbaz-like ‘one-man show’ in country’s most populous province
The prime minister also said that all mega projects being run on subsidy in Punjab should be audited.
Mr Khan, who was on his first visit to Lahore after becoming chief executive of the country, said that the police should be made independent of political and elite pressure and asked to deal with issues on merit.
Explaining his 100-day agenda of ‘change’, the prime minister said a huge responsibility was on the shoulders of the chief minister and provincial ministers to deliver with the sole objective of serving the poor and downtrodden. “I want that each of the 23 ministers should work hard and emerge as stars,” he said, adding he did not want a one-man show as was in the case of the Shahbaz Sharif government.
Emphasising the need for making the police a result-oriented force, the prime minister claimed that reforms in the police department as well as health and education sectors in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had helped the PTI get re-elected in the province. “KP’s health and education ministers did not need to make much effort to get re-elected just because of their unparalleled performance,” he added.
Mr Khan said he would frequently visit the province and remain at the forefront to oversee the 100-day change agenda. He reiterated his resolve of observing simplicity and urged the cabinet members to set examples by shunning extravagance on taxpayers’ money. The ministers should use only one official car and auction the additional vehicles. “When we will start saving, every penny will count,” he stressed.
The premier said the government would focus on investing state resources on human development, adding that Pakistan ranked low on Human Development Index in the region.
The chief minister and cabinet members assured the prime minister of their commitment to implementing the PTI’s reforms and development agenda. The ministers also shared their ideas concerning their departments.
Earlier, Prime Minister Khan held a meeting with Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and planted a sapling upon arrival at the chief minister’s secretariat.
Published in Dawn, September 2nd, 2018