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Withdrawal of terror clause from FIR against PML-N workers suggested: minister

By Moayyed Jafri
August 10, 2018

LAHORE: The outgoing caretaker Punjab Home Minister Shaukat Javed has said the Punjab Home Ministry has suggested the police to withdraw terrorism clause from the FIR’s registered against PML-N workers.

In an interview with The News, the minister said the caretaker government could only suggest the police department and not order it, as it was a matter under investigation. He said he still hopes that the terrorism clause 7-ATA would be withdrawn. The respective police officers or the Inspector General Punjab Police have the authority to order withdrawal of terrorism clause.

The Election code of conduct was formulated by the political parties themselves, our job was only to implement it. Those who were arrested were in violation of the code of conduct defines by their own political leadership, he said. The minister rejected the claim of PML-N that thousands of their workers were arrested, and said that only a little over 100 were arrested on the July 12 and 13 and all of them were released before 36 hours of detention. He, however, mentioned that there was an FIR registered against some 12,000 people who were deemed as a threat to public order at the rally, but they were never arrested.

Talking about the governance of the province over the past decade, he said: “I’ve witnessed that at the managerial level, a lot of improvement is visible in Punjab’s governance over the past nine years through the involvement of IT systems, however, the system suffers due to excessive centralization.”

The minister said after his retirement in 2009, got an opportunity to peep into the system once again after nine years as the caretaker, and observed a marked improvement in the system. “The chief minister isn’t willing to share power with the ministers, ministers are not willing to give secretaries the power, the secretaries are not willing to transfer power to their divisional officers because everyone wants to control the workings of the “Thaanedar and Patwaari”, he said and praised the KPK model of devolution.