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Thursday January 27, 2022

Punjab Governor Sarwar: I didn’t want this position

Mohammad Sarwar says he has been sidelined by the PTI

November 30, 2021
Punjab Governor Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar speaking to media in London.
Punjab Governor Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar speaking to media in London.  

LONDON: Punjab Governor Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar has said that he didn’t want to become the Governor of Punjab but was asked by PTI to take up the ceremonial position and later realised that he has been sidelined. He was speaking to Pakistani media here and spoke at length about failure of the current system which, he said, is rotten and not delivering to the needs of the people.

“I was a member of the Senate. I didn’t want the position of governor. This was given to me. When you are in a party, you have to accept the party's decision and you cannot rebel. This was our party’s unanimous decision.”

When asked by a reporter if this was done in order to side-line him, the Punjab governor said: “I came to know this later.” He said he could have delivered if he was given another role but added that he was doing his best to fulfil his duty in areas which have been given to him such as the clean drinking water project and universities portfolio. The Punjab governor said that “so far we have failed to bring judicial and police reforms”.

Sarwar said that it’s a “tragedy of Pakistan that we have not strengthened our institutions. Successive governments have failed. We run after the personalities and don’t think about strengthening institutions. We turned 1122 into a great rescue service and its system is better than the UK because this service was initiated and trained from Scottish expertise. When Shehbaz was Punjab CM and Nawaz was PM, we launched Overseas Punjab Commission, which is delivering well. It had 1,800 cases of overseas Pakistanis and it has resolved 8,000 cases.”

Sarwar said the current whole system needed reforms and radical changes or nothing will change. He said the police and judiciary need complete and wholesale reforms. He said the justice system was denying justice because it was not delivering justice. “We need wholesale reforms in police, judiciary and prosecution. Criminal justice system has four components.

“First comes investigation and our judges say that our prosecution system has faults. There is no system of prosecution. The judiciary doesn’t decide on cases for years on end. Our prison services are so rotten that people involved in petty crimes go to prisons and come out as hardened criminals. We need reforms in all these areas and only then things will improve.”

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