Governor Punjab Latif Khosa talking to the media men during his visit to the Nine Zero.—Online

KARACHI: Making a veiled criticism levelled at the PML-N-led government in Punjab, Muttahida Qaumi Movement chief Altaf Hussain has asked Punjab Governor Latif Khosa to use his constitutional position to curb incidents of crimes and improve the overall law and order situation in the country’s largest province.

Mr Hussain said this while talking to the newly appointed governor of Punjab over the telephone during the latter’s visit to the MQM headquarters, commonly known as Nine Zero, here on Sunday.Governor Khosa, a Pakistan People’s Party stalwart, along with Sindh ministers Pir Mazhar-ul-Haq and Ayaz Soomro reached the MQM headquarters where they was accorded a warm welcome. He held a meeting with the senior leadership of the MQM and also spoke to Mr Hussain over the telephone.

Mr Hussain congratulated the governor on his new assignment and expressed the hope that he would play his role to curb the incidents of crimes as well as kidnapping for ransom and injustices with women.

Admitting the fact that the people of Pakistan would have to face difficulties if the government took tough measures to improve the country’s worsening economic condition, the MQM chief urged the governor that the rulers should curtail at least 90 per cent of their non-development expenditures and adopt an austerity policy.

Mr Hussain said that in Punjab there was no one to care about the poor and expressed the hope that Mr Khosa would not disappoint the poor and the doors of the Punjab Governor’s House would remain open for them.

Governor Khosa told Mr Hussain that he would take all-out measures for the rule of law and elimination of crimes in Punjab.

Later, the governor told newsmen that Mr Hussain praised the government when he informed him that Rs100 billion in the non-development expenditure had been curtailed.

He said Karachi was the economic and commercial hub of Pakistan and “we have to restore peace and adopt the policy of reconciliation”.

He said that the doors of the Punjab Governor’s House were always open for everyone and he was there to serve the people. He also thanked the MQM leadership for giving him a warm reception.

Later, MQM leader Dr Farooq Sattar said that Governor Khosa welcomed the MQM in Punjab and appreciated its work. “He has assured us that he would extend his full cooperation if the MQM faces any hurdle in discharging its democratic and constitutional role [in Punjab].”

He said that there was a complete consensus regarding promotion of democratic norms, welfare of the people, and elimination of extremism, terrorism, unemployment, poverty, loadshedding, etc.

He said that incidents of terrorism, kidnapping for ransom and other crimes were increasing in Punjab and in this regard the MQM chief expressed the hope that Governor Khosa, in view of his constitutional position, would play a special role to help improve the law and order situation.

Dr Sattar, who is the deputy convener of the MQM coordination committee, said that at a time when conspiracies were being hatched to create misgivings among provinces, the Punjab governor also assured that he would take every possible step to curb such misgivings.

Dr Sattar said the Punjab governor had appreciated the increasing popularity of the MQM in the province.

Visit to CM’s House

Punjab Governor Latif Khosa called on Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah on Sunday at the Chief Minister’s House and exchanged views on different issues of mutual interest, including over-all political situation in Sindh.

Welcoming the governor who was on a visit of Sindh for the first time after assuming the office of the Governor of Punjab, the chief minister said that the people of both the provinces would continue to play their role in the progress and prosperity of the country.

The chief minister paid tributes to Governor Khosa for his political and administrative acumen and expressed the hope that in his leadership a new chapter of political harmony, development and prosperity would start in Punjab.

Later the chief minister gave a luncheon in his honour at the CM’s House.

Senior Minister Pir Mazhar-ul-Haq, Law Minister Ayaz Soomro, Agricultural Minister Syed Ali Nawaz Shah, advisers to CM Rashid Rabbani, Abu Bhai and special assistant Syed Waqar Mehdi were also present.

Political harmony

Punjab Governor Latif Khosa said that only unity and harmony among all political parties can check anti-democratic forces and end vendetta politics in the country.

He said this while talking to a group of journalists after laying a wreath and offering Fateha at the mausoleum of the Quaid-i-Azam here on Saturday.

He said in order to promote a political harmony, just after taking the oath of governorship, he met the leadership of PML-N, Mian Nawaz Sharif and Mian Shehbaz Sharif, and emphasised the need to shun differences for the betterment of the people.

“To run the affairs of the country with unity Mian Nawaz Sharif’s response was positive,” he said.

He said former Governor Salman Taseer did his best for the coordination among the workers of the PPP and the PML-N in the province and at present their working relationship on national issues was going well.

He also called a good step to have an agreement between the PML-Q and the MQM.

He said that being a representative of the federation, he would perform his constitutional obligations in the best interest of the country.

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