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March 7, 2019

Samsam sworn in as Punjab Information Minister

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March 7, 2019

LAHORE: PTI MPA Syed Samsam Ali Bokhari and a renowned politician of Okara took oath as Punjab information and culture minister Wednesday.

The oath-taking ceremony was held at the Governor’s House, where Governor Ch Sarwar administered oath to the new minister. Punjab Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar, his cabinet members including Mohsin Leghari, Mian Aslam Iqbal, Nouman Langrial, Ch Zaheeruddin, Ajmal Cheema, CM’s spokesperson Shahbaz Gill, senior civil and military officials attended the ceremony.

Samsam Bokhari was nominated minister Tuesday after receiving a go ahead from Prime Minister Imran Khan following the controversial remarks by former minister Fayyazul Hassan Chohan against the Hindus.

Samsam belongs to Okara district and previously served as state minister for information and broadcasting in 2008 after getting elected as MNA on the PPP ticket.

He contested the first general elections in 2002 as an independent candidate and lost to PML-Q’s Syed Gulzar Sibtain Shah with a very narrow margin. He was fielded on the PPP ticket from the same constituency and won the polls with a big margin defeating PML-Q’s Syed Gulzar Sibtain Shah.

He served as state minister for information from 2008 to 2013, and remained at the forefront to defend PPP government and the then president Asif Ali Zardari. He suffered defeat from the same NA seat in 2013 general elections.

Later in 2016, he joined Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf and was made secretary information of PTI Punjab chapter, the office he held for more than a year. He was pitched on the PTI ticket from NA-141 where he lost to PML-N’s Nadeem Abbas with a big margin.

However, he was fortunate the get the PTI ticket from a vacant Punjab Assembly seat of Sahiwal, the district adjacent to Okara, his hometown. In the by-poll, Samsam won comfortably and took oath as MPA.

This is noteworthy that Samsam Bokhari, owing to his spiritual following in Okara also has good relationships with the family of First Lady Bushra Bibi. Besides, he also has good ties with PPP leaders like Khursheed Shah and Qamar Zaman Kaira.

Punjab Information and Culture Minister Syed Samsam Bukhari while addressing a press conference at the DGPR Office Wednesday said the way present Pakistani leadership has highlighted the Kashmir issue during the recent Pakistan-India conflict in the comity of nations is unprecedented.

Paying tributes to Pakistan’s armed forces for safeguarding the geographical boundaries of the country successfully, he said message has been delivered to the enemy that as a united nation Pakistan is an invincible country. He said we are united in the country including minorities, adding the white colour in Pakistani flag represents minorities. To a question, he said Prime Minister Imran Khan has proved that minorities have a prominent place in Pakistan. He said this will be harmful for the nation if media and information department are not on the same page. He added that it was imperative that media and information department should remain on the same page with regard to national issues. Constructive criticism by media would be welcomed by the government, he further added.

“We expect appreciation from the media on the good performance of our government. Pakistani media discharged their obligation in a responsible manner during Pakistan-India confrontation, he added. On the other hand, Indian media has been exposed to the world due to its concocted narrative.

He said media should pinpoint if there is any negligence on our part so that we will rectify it. He said revolutionary steps were being taken by the PTI government for the country.

To another question, he maintained that it is easy to defend the government when it performs better. He said the PTI has expressed confidence in him and he will discharge his responsibility in an effective manner. He said the information department plays role of bridge between government and media. He said criticising the government is the right of Opposition, if they criticise for the sake of criticism then we know how to respond. While responding to another question regarding Nawaz Sharif, the minister stated that it is up to the former premier either he goes to the hospital or not; the PIC is the best hospital for heart patients. He said measures will be taken for the betterment of information department. He said he has started visiting media houses for resolving journalists’ problems.

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