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February 7, 2015

Shahbaz switches to video conferences


February 7, 2015

LAHORE: Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, who is known for his mobility from Attock to Rahimyar Khan, has recently restricted his movement quite significantly and switched to video conferences owing to serious security concerns after the terrorist attack on the Army Public School in Peshawar.
The Tehrik-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) had reacted harshly after announcement of ending six-year moratorium on death sentences and had warned Pakistan’s political and military leadership on the social media to be prepared to face consequences. According to BBC, several important personalities including Punjab CM Shahbaz Sharif have been asked to remain careful after the Taliban threat.
There is hardly any area from Attock to Rahimyar Khan which remained out of reach of Shahbaz Sharif during his tenure as chief minister of Punjab. He is famous for reaching out to the victims of terrorism, floods and rape etc to mitigate their sufferings. Being famous for his raid-like visits to the under construction project sites, the chief minister is not seen too often at his office at Shahrah-e-Quaid-i-Azam nowadays and prefers to do most of his work from his Model Town residence. The chief minister, who used to take lift from rickshaw and motorcycle riders and check drainage of rainwater at roads, is currently taking official briefings through video conferences.
Shahbaz Sharif has reduced his activities significantly during last a few weeks. Last time he was seen in public on January 8 at the draws of ‘Apna Rozgar Scheme’ in Lahore. This function was held at his Model Town office. Shahbaz also attended the passing-out parade of Punjab Elite Force a few days ago but Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and COAS General Raheel Sharif were also present in the ceremony and the Army had greater role in providing security for the function.
Even the schedule of daily activities of the chief minister is not being shared with the beat reporters. Only the state-run TV was allowed to

cover the oath-taking ceremony of the newly-elected office bearers of the Lahore Press Club recently. Only a few guests were invited to the function. According to the weekly fact sheet released by the Prime Minister Office, Punjab is at the forefront in implementation of the National Action Plan (NAP) to counter terrorism.Owing to security concerns the reduction of activities by the chief minister is quite understandable, but it has certainly impaired his specific style of rule.

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