LAHORE: Punjab Governor Ch Muhammad Sarwar has said that Pakistan Tehreek e Insaaf (PTI) government is custodian of indiscriminate accountability in the country.
Talking to the Council of Pakistan Newspapers Editors (CPNE) delegation and the senior columnists in separate meetings at the Governor’s House here on Wednesday, he said all and sundry including parliamentarians and the Prime Minister were answerable to the law, adding the government believed in zero tolerance on corruption.
Sarwar said, merit and accountability were the top priority of the PTI government, adding that merit would also be ensured in the distribution of advertisement to the media houses and it would not be used as a tool for opinion making.
Acknowledging the role of Media in strengthening of democracy and democratic institutions, he said the media should guide the government, adding that the government would welcome their criticism with a smile.
To different queries, the Punjab Governor said the government would ensure devolution of power, adding that power would be transferred to the grass-root level and the union councils would be empowered to resolve people’s problems.
He said that 30 percent of the development budget would be allocated to the village councils by the PTI government, claiming Rs 120 billion, out of Rs 400 billion development would be spent by the village councils.
Sarwar said, level playing field would be provided to all political parties in the coming by-elections in Punjab, adding that the district machinery would not influence the by-polls like in the past and Deputy Commissioners and Police officers would remain neutral.
He said that vice chancellors of the public sector universities would be empowered under the PTI government, adding that education standards would be raised in the higher education. He said police reforms in Punjab was a tedious job but the government was committed to reform police.
Senior journalist Arif Nizami expressed the hope that the government would ensure freedom of speech and independence of media. Zia Shahid said the government should also order accountability of journalists, besides the politicians, adding that the CPNE office bearers present themselves for accountability.
Conspicuous among the present were Advisor to Punjab Chief Minsiter Ch Muhamamd Akram, Sohail Warraich, Ayaz Khan, Amjad Islam Amjad, Arifa Saboohi, Hafeez Ullah Niazi, Dr Ajmal Niazi, Mujeeb ur Shami, Saeed Aasi, Ata ur Rehman, Dr Sughra Sadaf, Qudrat Ullah, Salman Ghani and Syed Irshad Arif.
Later, Lord Nazir called on Punjab Governor and felicitated him on assuming the charge for the second term.—NNI