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.