Won’t allow bureaucrats to meddle with elections: Najam Sethi

Published: March 27, 2013
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Najam Sethi. PHOTO: ATHER KHAN/EXPRESS/FILE

Najam Sethi. PHOTO: ATHER KHAN/EXPRESS/FILE

LAHORE: Senior journalist Najam Sethi took oath as the caretaker chief minister of Punjab on Wednesday, reported Express News.

Speaking to the media after taking oath, Sethi said he will not allow any bureaucrat in Punjab to meddle with the election process or create hurdles in holding free and fair elections.

“This is my message to the administration and bureaucrats in Punjab: let us hold free and fair elections. And if we get to know, through the media or other means, that some bureaucrat is involved in illegal actions, he will have to deal with me,” said Sethi.

The interim CM further emphasised that he would work to resolve the deteriorating law and order situation of the province during his tenure.

“Elections can’t be held amid terrorism. We will do everything we can and tackle it with bravery… We will also not tolerate sectarianism and violence against minorities at any cost,” he said, adding that he would talk to police officials and the Lahore High Court chief justice with regards to security.

When asked about the protocol he will receive as interim CM, Sethi said that he would opt for minimal security and minimal disturbance to civil life.

Being a journalist

Sethi said that people consider journalists to be “mere critics” who do not know how things are actually run in the government.

“Now, we [journalists] are inside and we will show you what we can do.”

He also asked the people to send in constructive criticism to his setup so that they meet their standards.

“We have only one agenda: to hold free and fair elections in the country on the orders of the Supreme Court and the election commission,” he said.

Sethi, who was nominated by the Pakistan Peoples Party, is the editor-in-chief of the English weekly The Friday Times.

The senior journalist was unanimously selected for the post by a six-member parliamentary committee, consisting of representatives from the ruling government and opposition in Punjab, on Tuesday.

The entire political environment will now be swiftly geared towards holding the elections on May 11 with real powers to be exercised by the Election Commission of Pakistan and caretakers playing second fiddle to the former.

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Reader Comments (43)

  • Syed
    Mar 27, 2013 - 4:36PM

    “Elections can’t be held amid terrorism. We will do everything we can and tackle it with bravery… We will also not tolerate sectarianism and violence against minorities at any cost,”

    Thank you Thank you Thank you! Terrorism is the biggest problem facing Pakistan. I really hope you don’t ignore this critical problem and make a positive change. Root of this cancer lies in Punjab. Hopefully Sethi can damage that money tunnel from Aale Saud.

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  • Mar 27, 2013 - 4:38PM

    I pray and wish you all the success Sethi Sahib

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  • Bhatti
    Mar 27, 2013 - 4:40PM

    Sethi Boy!! U Rock!!

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  • Abbas
    Mar 27, 2013 - 4:40PM

    Reminds me of the bollywood movie Nayak(2001), I hope Mr Sethi sets an example as Anil Kapoor did in the film

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  • Rafi
    Mar 27, 2013 - 4:42PM

    What a heartening attitude!
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    Good luck sir!

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  • Sonia K
    Mar 27, 2013 - 4:45PM

    His words are really hollow!!! Lets see what storms turn up in the power province by his SILENT election :)

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  • Enlightened
    Mar 27, 2013 - 4:46PM

    Wonderful, Najam Sethi is making it crystal clear to the spoiled bureaucrats that it is no longer Aapas ki baat on a TV channel but he is the boss and they will have to take the orders from him as well carry out explicitly.

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  • Adnan
    Mar 27, 2013 - 4:46PM

    Why we only get learned, educated and upright people in care taker set up. There may be two views on that, one that learned, educated and upright cannot succeed as politicians in Pakistan and second that once in politic for a while in Pakistan, wisdom, education and upright values suddenly disappear.
    One lighter side by become care taker CM will Muneeb be redundant for two months, in that case you should include him in your cabinet!!!

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  • Mohammad
    Mar 27, 2013 - 4:47PM

    sad day for me.. so many eligible candidates in one of the largest populated Punjab for CTCM and both thug parties have chosen this clown..

    can we please make sure, none of PMLN or PPP comes into power.. not even in opposition.

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  • Usman
    Mar 27, 2013 - 4:47PM

    Mr. Sethi, you were appointed with NAB after BB’s second government and from memory, your performance was less than satisfactory. Your eagerness to speak on behalf of all journalists is admirable but only time will tell how honest you are in these intentions. Please note, don’t try to fool the public, we are all watching you.
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    Free and fair elections please. End of story.

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  • donnydarko
    Mar 27, 2013 - 4:47PM

    for some reasons, i like this man! he should actually join politics! welcome CT-CM!!Recommend

  • sami
    Mar 27, 2013 - 4:48PM

    what you mean” now we are inside”. Dark day for journalism. Thats not your job. Sethi,you should be there as CM. As army wants role in governance now judges and journalists also want power.A retired judge is PM while a journalist (even so called) has become CM. These people have no right to talk against National Security Council

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  • ADEEL
    Mar 27, 2013 - 4:58PM

    Best of LuckRecommend

  • Yeahh
    Mar 27, 2013 - 5:01PM

    Ma man. \m/

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  • raheel
    Mar 27, 2013 - 5:10PM

    “Now, we [journalists] are inside and we will show you what we can do.”

    That’s the way to start. Kudos N.S.

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  • Kamran
    Mar 27, 2013 - 5:11PM

    This man has ability to handle the things & to hold free & fair elections. m fully confident in him…

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  • Tahir
    Mar 27, 2013 - 5:14PM

    Why dont we disqualify all tex evaders and those who have not paid their phone,gas,electricity bills from contesting the elections.
    They dont deserve to run for an office .

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  • Kaleem
    Mar 27, 2013 - 5:20PM

    Regardless, I am happy, my country has passed this democratic test. InshaAllah leading towards more mature democracy.

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  • Jibran
    Mar 27, 2013 - 5:23PM

    Clear message to the bureaucracy, police, and extremist elements, which Mr. Shobaz never did. Glad he is out. Minorities will take a sigh of relief.

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  • Indian
    Mar 27, 2013 - 5:27PM

    I am big fan of this guy. He speaks truth no matter what. The best Pakistan has got. I envy, to be honest.

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  • sabi
    Mar 27, 2013 - 5:28PM

    If you can set exampals curbing sectarian voilance,eliminating punjabi talibans,coming govt will have no excuse to remain silent on terrorism.Sethi pls set example and show us that liberals are capable to end this mess.Let punjab police learn to end tamashas instead of seeing tamasha.
    Wish you all the succes.

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  • Optimist
    Mar 27, 2013 - 5:30PM

    I remember Najam Sethi (as NAB in Farooq Leghari govt) telling BBC how Benazir did corruption.
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    He was very clearly saying that BB & Zardari was using post it notes on files to order and then remove them after the illegal orders worked (leaving no trace).
    .
    Now PPP appointed him?

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  • Reality
    Mar 27, 2013 - 5:40PM

    Now its time for those who talked so much ..will see how they workRecommend

  • Fauzan
    Mar 27, 2013 - 6:07PM

    Great attitude. I hope he stays true to his word.

    Walk the talk Mr. Sethi and you will be remembered!

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  • braver
    Mar 27, 2013 - 6:16PM

    The Rise of the Liberal. Deliver the task, Najam. You can do it

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  • ashar
    Mar 27, 2013 - 6:20PM

    najam suppose to be interm prime minster rather chief minister punjab. he seems to me more energetic .

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  • Speaker
    Mar 27, 2013 - 6:20PM

    I love to have him as Care taker prime minister.

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  • RZ
    Mar 27, 2013 - 6:28PM

    Go Najam Sethi!

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  • LOK
    Mar 27, 2013 - 6:32PM

    Many congratulations Sethi Saab. With you busy with caretaker setup in Punjab, could we please have your ‘chirya’ replace you on ‘Aapas ki baat’?

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  • Nasir Mahmood
    Mar 27, 2013 - 6:37PM

    As analyst he was criticizing the performance of the governments, now it our chance to analyze his performance.

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  • asim
    Mar 27, 2013 - 6:57PM

    “All laws apply to the poor” ………………this is proved now as Najam sethi himself admitted on TV that he does not meet article 62 of the constitution if applied. However he has been appointed as care taker CM.

    How would he ensure the compliance of this article once he himself does not satisfy it.
    Wake up CJ?

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  • Shahbaz Khan
    Mar 27, 2013 - 9:40PM

    A strange choice! He does not impress me as a person of high integrity.
    Anyway, let’s hope he is able to manage the day to day affairs of the province adequately and does not prove to be a disaster.

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  • just_someone
    Mar 27, 2013 - 9:58PM

    Can we just make Najam the CM for the next 5 years :)

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  • Watching
    Mar 27, 2013 - 10:38PM

    Your repute and the repute of Cambridge is on the line. Lets see you deliver.

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  • rj-Canada
    Mar 27, 2013 - 10:40PM

    Dear Mr. Sethi,
    You have a tough job ahead. I wish luck and I know you will do your best to make a positive change in the small window of opportunity that you have. Please show Pakistan what honesty is and being a real gentleman is all about.

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  • Rao
    Mar 27, 2013 - 10:45PM

    Najam Sethi is no doubt an ideal choice. Let us hope he won’t encounter problems by burocrats or others who are known for their crafty tricks. World is watching Pakistan for conducting free and fair election and a democratic turn, but let us hope and keep fingers crossed , for Sethi is not a politicians but a phiolosopher. History has shown philosopher kings usually fail. So keep praying for his success as caretaken CM.

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  • Ahsen Tanoli
    Mar 27, 2013 - 10:57PM

    I wish that you keep your words as your Past is lustrous by platonic expeditions.

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  • Zabandraz
    Mar 27, 2013 - 11:12PM

    Mr.Sethi why haven’t you paid your taxes??? If tax evaders cannot contest election how can one become CTCM????

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  • Najeebullah
    Mar 27, 2013 - 11:16PM

    If the fearless and competent people like Najam Sethi and Asma Jahangir are allowed to run the country for only two years I swear the situation of Pakistan will change dramatically.

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  • Qasimq
    Mar 28, 2013 - 12:33AM

    He is biased Anchor and have in favor of status co parties.

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  • Nahmed
    Mar 28, 2013 - 10:14AM

    Because he will do this himself. This pro-indian and pro-american gentleman is from the bunch of people who have been thrown on Pakistan politic by their foreign masters and feudal lords of this country.

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  • Anugrah
    Mar 28, 2013 - 11:39AM

    Mr.Najam Sethi, Best of luck from India. I remember your interview with our ex Election Commissioner Mr. Gill. We know you will pull it through.

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  • Sana
    Mar 28, 2013 - 9:42PM

    Ex CM Punjab did great job, but he lacks in segregation of duties. lack of good governance in Punjab. He was not the CM of Lahore, he was the CM of whole Punjab. Unfortunately he belongs to PML(N) not PML(Shehbaz). Means he has to do what he is told to do by Nawaz. And Nawaz is a big liar. All his family is in the higher position of party and PML(n) members are record holders of fake degrees. Fake degrees does not mean that they are un-educated, it means they have already deceived the public of Pakistan. And if you vote for them you will be the biggest fool.

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