“The largest party in opposition today, the PML-N is as quick and nimble as their election sign, the Lion when it comes whipping a rumpus against Government and ballyhooing about their government in Punjab and their Chief Minister, Shahbaz Sharif’s administrative control and qualities. While it is agreeable that they highlight their achievements, it is equally important that they keep an eye over their Government which seems to be in complete contrast with their claims.
Just recently, it was published of the CM Secretariat having a phone bill costing 16 lakh for its 313 phones for the month of May (See Waqt Report).
Daily Waqt report about telephone bills of Rs 1.6 million
It is also reported that the bill of majority of phones in the Secretariat have bills exceeding 20,000 on a monthly basis. And when Pervaiz Rasheed of PML-N was contacted over this report, one is left to marvel at the level of his innocence and simplicity as his answer to it all was that maybe in the preparation of the budget the phone was used a ‘little more’. It is surprising that the phone posed as the only mean of communication in preparing the budget, wasn’t it the managerial responsibility of the officials to oversee and arrange the preparation in a manner that would not be costly? Couldn’t regular meetings have been co-coordinated and organized instead?
Another of the surprising actions of CM Sharif’s is his appointment of the Country Head of Coke as the Chairman of The Punjab Board of Investment, letting him continue to work in both offices. One wonders with what audacity they create a racket against President Zardari holding the offices in the Presidency and as the Head of PPP when they themselves practice it?
This news isn’t new in the string of reports and events that surround the Punjab Government. From paying his own media team from Government funds to the news of this provincial government going bankrupt.
While Shahbaz Sharif had decreed an increase in the salaries of the Police, his Government has failed to prevent terrorist attacks in the province which he had stated would be and could have been halted had he been in control on 3rd March 2009, on the day the Sri Lankan Team was attacked in Lahore. From the assault on Jamia Naeemia to the assailment on the places of worship for the Ahmedis, the Punjab Police has failed terribly despite being warned and informed beforehand of the events.
On the other hand, Nawaz Sharif’s personal Media Team was being paid out of Government funds including the PML-N Chief’s Public Relations Officer (PRO) Rai Riaz, his secretary, the cameraman and the photographer.
The salary of his PRO and personal secretary is said to be Rs 75,000 each, while his photographer and cameraman are being paid Rs 35,000 each.
It is also stated by a newspaper that the Punjab Government has been defying implementation of the orders of the Lahore High Court (LHC) in a case against a sugar mill, owned by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s nephew.
“The LHC had ordered attachment of sugar stocks of Haseeb Waqas Sugar Mills and Gojra-Samundri Sugar Mills on April 26, 2010, in the 17 writ petitions. The Gojra-Samundri Sugar Mills had gone in appeal while the government has not taken any action against the Haseeb Waqas Sugar Mills so far, ignoring the court orders.
Later, the same Judge of the LHC — Iqbal Hameedur Rehman — in other five writ petitions issued the same orders against the sugar mills, but the Punjab Government kept mum on it as well. The Haseeb Waqas Sugar Mills, which was owned by the Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s nephew Mian Waqas Riaz, who is one of the biggest defaulters of sugarcane growers.
The mill owed over Rs 210 million to sugarcane growers and is intentionally delaying the payments, knowing the fact the provincial government will not take action against them being the relative of the Punjab CM.”
From the CM’s son importing a rare Siberian Tiger from Canada and planning of building a chilled enclosure for it at their Raiwind Estate last year to the Punjab Government’s accommodation for a certain favourite officer of a lesser grade by providing him the perks and privileges and the salaries of a higher grade, it should be accepted that the PML-N and its Government needs to gauge their own position and flaws and work to shed the fabric of hypocrisy that they wear. For is said that “Those who criticize others aren’t perfect themselves either” and this is certainly the case with the PML-N who doesn’t seem to waste a second in pointing a finger at the Federal Government of PPP for insignificant matters while over-looking the pattern of their actions.