LAHORE: Punjab Home Minister Shaukat Javed has disclosed that the caretaker provincial government in the wake of suicide attacks at KP and Quetta has taken foolproof stringent measures on war footings to upgrade security protocol of all top political leaderships including PTI chief Imran Khan, Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto and President PML-N Shahbaz Sharif in par with Prime Minister during election campaigns in the province.
Talking to media persons at his office here on Tuesday, Shaukat Javed ensured that the electoral candidates and leadership of entire political parties will be provided proper security cover during their electioneering. He made it crystal clear that there is no compromise on law and order and security of the political leadership.
He was of the opinion that it is the responsibility of the Punjab government to not only arrange for fair, free and impartial elections but also to provide security to all participating in the upcoming polls.
The Home Minister Punjab said that foolproof security will be exclusively provided to those candidates or political leaders of major political parties; having serious life threats. He further that it is the responsibility of the interim provincial government to offer the voters with a peaceful, conducive and favorable environment on the polling day. He said that it will be ensured that both their lives and property be protected by all means and at every cost.
Responding to a question, Shaukat Javed said the Punjab government July 13 security plan was made on merit to avoid any untoward incident in Lahore on the eve of Mian Nawaz Sharif arrival at airport and criticism from different corners of the society against Punjab government is clubbed with vested interest and unwarranted as well as unjust. “Our prime responsibility is to protect the lives and properties of the common people and we were succeeded to do this by the grace of Allah,” he added.
The Home Minister said about 143 PML-N workers were detained lawfully by the competent authority on July 13 and all of them were released immediately as soon as Mian Nawaz Sharif was taken to Islamabad. He said that the caretaker government had no plan to detain any political worker unlawfully, adding that action would only be taken against those who would violate rules and laws.
Shaukat Javed said it is wrong notion that the interim government is targeting one or another specific political party. He said we are not victimizing any one as our prime responsibility is to conduct fair and transparent elections giving level playing field to all candidates without any discrimination.
The Home Minister said our all activities are neutral and impartial in regard of conducting elections. However, he said our government will utilize all available resources to implement Election Commission’s Code of Conduct with its true letter and spirit and anyone involved in violation of code of conduct will be strictly handled. He said the interim government has taken legal actions against as many as 52 PTI candidates for violating election’s code of conduct whereas 48 candidates hailing from PML-N were charged with violation of code of conduct while 3 from PPP and 73 from other political parties were booked in this regard.
Shaukat Javed said that divisional and district administration and police are directed to take immediate step against the violation of the code of conduct. “Everybody should discharge their duties with honesty and dedication. We will be able to discharge our national duty in an effective manner, if we work with honesty and dedication. The interim government is taking all possible measures with consultation,” he added.
He said good quality CCTV cameras should be used in a professional manner and directed that there should be no complaint regarding any malfunctioning. He said the security plan for rallies and public gatherings should be strictly implemented. He said the system of intelligence-sharing should be made more effective, and political parties should avoid confrontation and clashes, and keep the general environment peaceful.