ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday expressed annoyance over defeat of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insasf (PTI) in recent cantonment boards elections in four major stations — Rawalpindi, Lahore, Peshawar and Multan, sources told Dawn.
The prime minister held an emergency meeting on the issue and directed top PTI office-bearers to ascertain the reasons why the ruling party faced defeat in major cities.
“Although the prime minister expressed satisfaction on overall victory of the PTI in cantonment boards’ elections, he tasked PTI chief organiser Saifullah Niazi and secretary general Amir Mehmood Kiani to analyse the matter,” Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry told Dawn when contacted.
According to unofficial results of the cantonment boards polls held in 41 cantonments last Sunday, the PTI took lead with 63 wards, followed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) which won elections in 59 wards, independents 51 wards, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) 17 wards, Muttahida Qaumi Movement 10, Jamaat-i-Islami 7, Balochistan Awami Party 3, and Awami National Party 2.
Party’s office-bearers urged to ascertain reasons
Chairing the emergency meeting, the prime minister directed the officials to take steps for immediate holding of local bodies elections in Punjab.
Federal ministers Asad Umar, Fawad Chaudhry, Shafqat Mahmood, Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Ghulam Sarwar Khan, Chaudhry Tariq Bashir Cheema and Moonis Elahi, provincial minister of Punjab Abdul Aleem Khan and senior officers attended the meeting.
Minister for Local Bodies of Punjab Mian Mahmoodur Rashid took part in the meeting through video link. The Punjab government briefed the prime minister on the new local government system in Punjab.
PM Khan emphasised that the local government was the basic structure of democracy and reiterated that without a strong local bodies system democracy was incomplete. He asked the relevant officials to ensure direct election of local government representatives.
Transparency in privatisation
In a separate meeting, PM Khan directed to ensure transparency in completion of the privatisation process of various public entities, including Pakistan Steel Mills and Jinnah Convention Centre.
Federal Minister for Privatisation Muhammad Mian Soomro briefed the prime minister on the current status of privatisation of different bodies.
The prime minister was also updated on the encouraging results of the ongoing roadshows, being held on September 13-21, aimed at attracting foreign investors for the revival of Pakistan Steel Mills.
Published in Dawn, September 15th, 2021