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BAHAWALPUR/SARGODHA: Chief Minister Usman Buzdar says the establishment of the South Punjab secretariat awaits a ‘political consultation’.

Talking to media outside the new central jail here during his visit on Eid day (Monday), the chief minister [instead of elaborating his political consultation remarks] claimed that all administrative arrangements for setting up of the secretariat had been made. In this connection, he also went on to say that necessary funds had already been allocated in the provincial budget and the names of additional chief secretary (ACS) and other officials were also finalised. However, the CM didn’t share with the media the quantum of the allocated funds and the names of ACS and other officials to be posted to the secretariat.

Buzdar said with the recommendations of the local lawmakers, the Punjab government would announce a development package for Bahawalpur.

Regarding his claims of the development in the province in the health sector, the chief minister said for the first time allocation was increased by 27 per cent in the current fiscal. He said nine new hospitals were being established while 10,000 doctors had been appointed across the province’s health facilities.

Visits central jail in Bahawalpur, lays wreath at Yadgar-i-Shuhada in Sargodha, meets patients at Sialkot hospital

Earlier, the CM during his inspection of the jail announced a two-month remission for all the inmates except those involved in heinous crime like terrorism and others. He inspected the new central jail and visited various portions. He also distributed sweets among the prisoners with whom he also ate meal.

Later, the chief minister presided over a high-level meeting at the committee room of the commissioner’s office. It was attended by Commissioner Nayyar Iqbal, RPO Imran Mehmood, DC Shozeb Saeed and others who reviewed development projects in the Bahawalpur division. On the occasion, Punjab Food Minister Samiullah Chaudhry briefed the CM about the uplift projects.

In Sargohda, Buzdar laid a floral wreath at Yadgar-i-Shuhada and paid rich tributes to police martyrs.

He also met the families of martyrs, presented gifts to them and highlighted the courage of martyrs.

He also spent some time with the police officials present on the occasion and while Regional Police officer Kausar Afzaal hosted lunch.

The chief minister also visited Daarul Amman and Daarul Falah, distributed gifts among the inmates and announced Rs100,000 Eidi from his pocket.

Buzdar checked cleanliness arrangements while the administration kept journalists away from the chief minister; however, a group of newsmen stopped his vehicle and told him that the administration presented a rosy picture whereas the actual position is different.

The area of Municipal Corporation and Cantonment Board was not cleaned as claimed by the administration.

During the visit, the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf local leadership was unaware of the CM’s visit whereas Minster for Labour and Human Resource Ansar Majeed Khan, MNA Amir Sultan Cheema, spokesperson to CM Punjab Shahbaz Gill and officers of the local administration accompanied Mr Buzdar.

In Sialkot, the CM handed over a financial compensation of Rs5 million to the family of martyred police constable Ansar Javaid during a special ceremony held at Civil Rest House on Eid Day.

On Aug 9, four armed dacoits shot dead Ansar Javaid as he tried to stop their car at a police picket near New Sabzi Mandi, Sialkot.

Buzdar also visited children and gynae departments at Government Allama Iqbal Memorial Teaching Hospital, met the patients and inquired about the provision of medical treatment and medicines there. The CM also distributed Eid gifts among the patients.

Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Youth Affairs Usman Dar and Minister for Special Education Chaudhry Muhammad Ikhlaq were also present on the occasion.

Published in Dawn, August 14th, 2019