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June 3, 2018

No chance of delay in elections: caretaker CM


June 3, 2018

Sindh’s caretaker chief minister said on Saturday that he does not see any chance of delay in the general elections scheduled to be conducted across the country on July 25.

During an informal conversation with the media after taking oath of office at the Governor House, Fazal-ur-Rehman expressed hope that the polls will be held on time, as is the view of all the other relevant quarters in the country.

Rehman said that the names of his cabinet members will be announced in a day or two, as he wishes to constitute the caretaker cabinet in the most balanced manner.

He thanked the ruling as well as the opposition political parties of the province for having confidence in him and choosing him as the caretaker chief executive.

Later, Rehman and Governor Mohammad Zubair held a meeting to review the steps being taken to conduct the elections in a fair manner, the provision of a level playing field to all the contesting political parties, the maintenance of law and order on polling day and other similar issues.

Zubair expressed hope that Rehman will perform his duties in the best manner and meet the expectations of the people regarding the issues of governance in the province. The governor said the elections will prove to be the most important milestone in the political history of the country.

“This is because the elections are being held at such a juncture when in the past five years several concrete steps were taken for restoring law and order and for economic prosperity and development of the country.”

He said the Pakistan of the present day is more peaceful and stronger in terms of economy as compared to the state of the country in 2013. The polls will further determine the direction of the country towards achieving more economic prosperity and development, he added.

Zubair said it is a good sign that the ruling and the opposition political parties reached consensus on the appointment of the caretaker CM of the province, as the decision was arrived at in accordance with democratic norms.

The governor said that all the political parties deserve praise because after the federal government, Sindh also arrived at consensus for installing a caretaker set-up. Rehman expressed his gratitude to all the political parties and the people of the province for their trust in him. He resolved that he will take the utmost measures to conduct the general elections in the province in a transparent manner.

Earlier in the day, Zubair administered the oath of office to Rehman, a former Sindh chief secretary, in the presence of outgoing CM Syed Murad Ali Shah during a ceremony that took place in the Darbar Hall of the Governor House. Chief Secretary Rizwan Memon conducted the ceremony.

After taking oath, Rehman met each of the guests, which included Sindh Assembly Speaker Agha Siraj Khan Durrani, Deputy Speaker Shehla Raza, Sindh Rangers Director General Mohammad Saeed, Sindh Inspector General of Police AD Khowaja, Karachi Mayor Wasim Akhtar, Senator Saleem Zia, Sindh Ombudsman Asad Ashraf Malik, members of the recently dissolved Sindh cabinet Nisar Khuhro, Saeed Ghani, Nasir Hussain and Shamim Mumtaz, provincial government secretaries and other dignitaries.

Later, Rehman reached the CM House to formally take charge of the office of the provincial chief executive for an interim period of around two months. He also met with the officials of the CM’s Secretariat. A contingent of the Sindh police presented him with the guard of honour in the lawns of the CM House.

Principal secretary

In a related development, the principal secretary to the Sindh CM was changed a day before the caretaker chief executive assumed his office. Ejaz Ahmed Khan, the Karachi commissioner and a grade-21 government official, was posted as the new principal secretary, replacing Sohail Rajput, another grade-21 official.

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