CM Askari vows to raise bar for future caretaker govts


–Caretaker chief minister says govt responsible to provide healthcare facilities to masses at doorstep


LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Hasan Askari Rizvi on Monday vowed to set examples that would be worth following for upcoming caretaker governments.

Welcoming provincial ministers at the maiden meeting of the caretaker cabinet held at Chief Minister’s Office, Askari said ministers, the administration as well as the police should be totally impartial and apolitical and expressed his resolve to ensure holding free, fair and peaceful elections in the province.

“The ministers are part of my team and we have to work collectively. The caretaker ministers are experts in their fields and are highly capable. They didn’t have any political agenda in the past nor will have one in future,” he said and added that responsibility of public welfare would be fulfilled in accordance with the limitations of a specific period of time and powers.

“The fundamental responsibility of the caretaker government is to hold transparent and impartial elections. We have to fulfill the responsibility of holding transparent elections in a specific period of time,” he said.

He said that facilities would be provided to ensure holding of free and fair elections under the instructions of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and the administration had to fulfill its duties in a neutral way.

“We are desirous to introduce some public welfare initiatives that can provide relief to the masses and the line departments will have to take the lead in this regard,” he further said.

Later, Punjab chief secretary gave a briefing about different matters pertaining to government affairs, working of the public sector departments and infrastructure. The meeting, attended by caretaker ministers, IGP and others concerned, was also apprised about the rules of business.

Separately, the caretaker chief minister said that provision of healthcare facilities to the people at their doorstep was the responsibility of the government and observed that marked improvement had been ensured in health units, tehsil and district headquarters hospitals.

Chairing a meeting during which different matters pertaining to Primary & Secondary Healthcare Department were reviewed, Askari said that improvement was praiseworthy and he would personally monitor the situation by conducting surprise visits of hospitals and health units.

Primary & Secondary Healthcare secretary, on the occasion, gave a briefing about the department and said that attendance of doctors and other staff had been ensured along with the provision of high-quality medicines and medical equipment. P&D chairman, PITB chairman, Health Services DG and others also attended the meeting.