LAHORE: The Punjab caretaker government is likely to announce a massive administrative reshuffle in the next 48 hours to, what Chief Secretary Akbar Hussain Durrani told media on Tuesday, ensure free and fair general elections.
Officials concerned were expecting the reshuffle on Tuesday evening, but later said it had been postponed.
They did not cite any reason.
Insiders said that in the first instance top-level officials like secretaries, divisional commissioners and deputy commissioners would be changed.
They said the lists of the officials to be changed and their replacements had already been received from the federal government. The lists were prepared in consultation with the Election Commission of Pakistan under the law.
An official said there could be minor changes in the lists if required, otherwise these would be followed.
The chief secretary, talking to media, had said it was necessary to reshuffle the administrative machinery to ensure free and fair elections.
The changes would be made in a day or two as the government had already completed the homework for this.
Meanwhile, Prosecution Secretary Ali Murtaza Shah has been given additional charge of the post of home secretary. Housing Secretary Khurram Agha is already working as secretary to the caretaker chief minister.
CM: Holding of transparent elections will be ensured at all cost and voters will be provided a peaceful environment to exercise their right to franchise.
Punjab Caretaker Chief Minister Dr Hasan Askari said this during a meeting with Chief Secretary Akbar Durani and police IG Kalim Imam at the chief minister’s office here on Tuesday.
According to the directions of Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) and in line with relevant rules and regulations, best arrangements were being made for the upcoming elections, he added.
He said administration and police would play a neutral role in Punjab and all the political parties would be provided a level playing field in the general elections.
Dr Askari said police and administration should discharge their duty in a professional manner and no pressure or interference of any sort should be tolerated.
He said impartiality of administration and police would be a proof of their best performance.
Holding of elections was a national obligation and every official would have to play his or her role in this regard, he said.
Published in Dawn, June 20th, 2018