Punjab’s affairs are worsening: Riaz


LAHORE – In response to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)’s 10-point agenda, Punjab Senior Minister Raja Riaz while presenting a 19-point version has asked Nawaz Sharif to look into the Punjab government affairs as the governance issues are worsening despite the full support of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).
Raja Riaz, also the PPP’s parliamentary leader in the Punjab Assembly, made the demand through a letter, a copy of which he also provided to the media representatives, at a news conference on Thursday. However, he did not give any deadline to accomplish the agenda. He said Nawaz should lead the Punjab government to save the PML-N’s credibility, adding that the Punjab chief minister had failed to ensure the good governance.
“I have also mentioned in the letter that the crime rate in the province has set new record,” he remarked. He said all the issues highlighted in the letter were not his personal or political problems but the issues concerning the people. The PPP, according to Riaz, has suggested holding the local bodies elections at the earliest, sacking the corrupt Punjab ministers, taking the cabinet into confidence on transparent system about the developmental programmes, disposing of all the task forces and release development funds for the female legislators.
The letter urged the PML-N to implement on the Charter of Democracy and discourage the floor-crossing in the provincial assembly. It demands giving powers to all the provincial ministers, regular cabinet meetings, providing development funds to the members following the agreed formula and appointment of honest people in the Zakat and market committees.
The agenda also calls for informing the people about the reasons behind the ‘Sasti Rooti’ and ‘Food Stamp’ schemes, immediate steps to control economic crisis in the province, action against corrupt bureaucrats involved in giving advantage to privileged people in the aftermath of devastation caused by the recent floods, a comprehensive plan to control rising crimes and cancelling the politically-motivated appointments in various departments.
The PPP has asked to activate the government machinery to control prices of essential food items, directing all the DCOs to ensure the minimum wages (Rs7,000) and allotting 10-marla houses to all the provincial ministers. Answering a question about the prime minister’s son Abdul Qadir Gilani MPA, Raja said Qadir had resigned from the chairmanship of the Punjab Public Accounts Committee-II because of some personal reasons, adding that Major (r) Zulfiqar would replace Gilani.
Replying to a question, provincial minister Ashraf Sohna described the PML-Q’s Unification Bloc’s demand for separate seats as undemocratic and unconstitutional. With reference to the Unification Bloc, he said the ball was in the court of Nawaz to decide either to support the democratic efforts of the PPP or the supporters of Musharraf.