RAWALPINDI: Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar paid a surprise visit to the district courts, commissioner’s office and city police officer’s (CPO) office without protocol on Monday and expressed displeasure with the absence of the commissioner, CPO and other senior officials at their offices while complainants waited outside for them.
The commissioner, Additional Deputy Commissioner Mian Buzdar Adil, assistant commissioners city and Saddar Naeem Afzal and Sadar Umar Iftikhari Sherizi, and the registrar, superintendent and CPO were unaware of his visit.
During his visit to the district courts, Mr Buzdar noticed that neither of the assistant commissioners were at their offices and asked about them. Deputy Commissioner Dr Umer Jahangir told him both assistant commissioners were on duty in the field.
Mr Buzdar then asked both assistant commissioners to send him their locations on the messaging application Whatsapp so he could see whether they were telling the truth. He also directed the deputy commissioner to place whiteboards outside their offices to inform the people waiting outside for them of their availability, as nobody was present to tell people when the assistant commissioners would be available.
The chief minister then made his way to the office of CPO Abbas Ahsan at around 10am, where he found the CPO was also unavailable.
He asked the wireless operator to locate the CPO, and was satisfied after he learned that Mr Ahsan was at a law and order meeting about Muharram at the commissioner’s office. Since the commission is on leave, the meeting was chaired by the deputy commissioner as the acting commissioner.
The deputy commissioners of Attock, Jhelum and Chakwal as well as district police officers were also at the meeting.
Mr Buzdar was displeased during his visit to the CPO’s office to see barriers inside the main gate of Police Lines Headquarters, and directed that these be removed.
According to sources, Mr Buzdar also spoke with the deputy commissioner of Chakwal at the commissioner’s office. He asked the deputy commissioner about issues regarding political pressure, and said he should have spoken to him rather than writing to anyone else about political pressure.
Raja Amjad Iqbal, an expatriate who said he has been visiting the commissioner’s office for several days and was also waiting for him on Monday because he was seeking to invest funds in Pakistan, also met with the chief minister and complained about the district administration’s attitude.
The chief minister directed the deputy commissioner to address Mr Iqbal’s issue immediately, and directed the district administration to remove all unnecessary barriers for public convenience. He also issued directives to the concerned officials to address public complaints he received during his visit.
He left for Benazir Bhutto International Airport at around 10:15am to depart for Lahore.
Through his Twitter account, Mr Buzdar also ordered action against all government officials and staff members who were absent from their offices when he visited.
Published in Dawn, September 11th, 2018