Askari calls his caretaker setup in Punjab ‘impartial’

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  • Caretaker CM says containers placed to prevent any mishaps by political workers

LAHORE: Caretaker Chief Minister of Punjab Hassan Askari on Friday said that the provincial government was impartial and that permission was not granted for the Pakistan Muslim League-N’s (PML-N) rally in Lahore, yet routes are being accessed by the party members.

Talking to journalists, he said that measures taken now were the same measures taken by the previous governments. “We are not taking sides. The containers have been placed to prevent any mishaps by the political workers,” he said.

The chief minister said that different political leaders were making statements, alleging “our support” to a particular party. “We are only here to implement the law,” he said, adding responsibility for the arrest belongs to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), and security measures at the airport were the responsibility of the Civil Aviation Authority.

He said that the Punjab government officials were only there to support them (NAB and CAA). “The cut-off point is Abdullah Gul interchange, anyone who tries to cross that will be dealt with strictly. We are receiving threat alerts and are communicating the same to the political leaders,” he said.

Chief Minister Askari said that 134 people had been detained but no candidate was included among them. “The high court has passed a ruling and we will act accordingly.” He went on to say that the PML-N leadership told the administration they would opt for the canal route to reach the airport.

To a question, he said that accusations have been made from both the sides. “People were previously saying that the caretaker chief minister and its cabinet were siding with the PML-N. Now, speculations have reversed,” he concluded.

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