LAHORE: Apparently following in the footsteps of Shehbaz Sharif, Maryam Nawaz paid a surprise visit to a police station in the city hours after swearing in as chief minister on Monday and held two back to back administrative meetings to kick start her stint as first woman chief executive of the province.

In the first day at office, Ms Nawaz presided over two meetings – one with the police top brass led by IGP Dr Usman Anwar and other with Chief Secretary Zahid Akhtar Zaman and other officers on the law and order and the price control issues.

In both meetings, Pervaiz Rashid, who is close to Nawaz Sharif and Maryam, was also present.

According to the PMLN, in the meeting with the police, she was briefed on the law and order situation. “Ms Nawaz was also given a detailed briefing on the Punjab police. She directed the IGP to ensure merit in the department. She said the police need to change their behaviour as changing the infrastructure is not enough,” it said.

Seeks separate dept to check rates of essential items

She also pledged to end the “culture of bribery” in police and enhance the network of the Safe City project in the province. She said she appreciated dedicated police officers and she would like to meet ASP Syeda Sheharbano Naqvi who rescued a girl facing threat from a charged crowd on blasphemy allegations in Ichhra Bazaar on Sunday.

In another meeting, she ordered the establishment of a separate department for price control in the province. Ms Nawaz said temporary measures are not enough to control prices of daily use items. “To control the price-hike is one of the top priorities of my government,” she said.

After attending the meetings, she paid a ‘surprise’ visit to Shalamar police station along with the IGP. The IGP briefed her on the front desk functioning. She also asked some questions from the duty officials present at the front desk of the police station.

Sources believe that Ms Nawaz may not go for immediate reshuffle in the bureaucracy in the province as most of the officers serving on top positions had already been posted during the caretaker setup in consultation with the Sharif family.

Uzma Kardar episode

Maryam’s ‘snub’ to PML-N MPA Uzma Kardar, a former PTI stalwart, took the social media by storm.

Ms Kardar rose from her seat in the Punjab Assembly and tried to hug Maryam Nawaz. Ms Nawaz shrugged Kardar’s hand off her shoulder. As the clip went viral on social media, Ms Kardar released a video message explaining the incident. “Actually my hands were oily since I was taking breakfast but I realised and withdrew (my hand) from Maryam Nawaz’s shoulder,” she said.

Published in Dawn, February 27th, 2024

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