Sethi plans a small non-political cabinet

Sethi plans a small non-political cabinet

LAHORE: The caretaker government is a non-political set-up with no political agenda and no authority of policy-making, said the caretaker chief minister of Punjab, Najam Sethi, after being sworn in here on Wednesday.

The well-known journalist and TV anchor was administered the oath of his office by Governor Makhdoom Ahmed Mahmood at the Governor House.Talking to reporters, Mr Sethi said his cabinet would be small and without any political figure. He said he disapproved of protocol or the act of stopping vehicular traffic for dignitaries and that he would like to travel with minimum security.

Mr Sethi said: “As a caretaker chief minister, I have no friend or relative and nobody should misuse my name for taking any benefit. Otherwise action will be taken against him.”He said the conduct of free and fair elections was the top priority of the caretaker government and added that he would seek guidance from the judiciary and the Election Commission.

Mr Sethi urged the provincial bureaucracy to ensure that elections were held in a transparent manner. “Corruption and nepotism will not be tolerated,” he vowed, warning that stern action would be taken against any official against whom a complaint was received.He said there was a perception that government officials tried to conceal facts. “I request the media to cooperate with me in this regard. I have been associated with the media and analysing (political) situation (in the country). Now I am in government and will see from where threats are received and what is written on the files and practical steps will be taken accordingly.”

People involved in inciting masses against minorities would not be spared, Mr Sethi made it clear.He promised measures to improve law and order situation and said he would hold a meeting with the chief justice of Lahore High Court to seek guidance.In reply to a question, he said his ‘sparrow’ — a reference to his popular television programme — was still free and anyone could catch it if he could.“I am thankful to the former government and opposition for reposing confidence in me.

The caretaker government will come up to the expectations of the people and efficiently discharge its responsibility of holding transparent elections.”Former legislators Rana Sanaullah, Chaudhry Zaheeruddin, Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman, Shaukat Basra, Raja Riaz and Manzoor Wattoo were present on the occasion. – Dawn