LAHORE - Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif has stressed the need for collective efforts against anti-state elements in Muharram.

“Interfaith harmony must be promoted and sectarianism must be discouraged to maintain peace in the holy month,” the CM said while presiding over a meeting of provincial cabinet committee on Muharram security steps yesterday.

“Indiscriminate action should be taken over objectionable speeches, publication and distribution of literature based on religious hatred and violation of code of conduct and Amplifier Act,” he directed.

He also warned that there is no room for laxity and negligence in the existing situation.

“Lawmen have rendered glorious services for maintenance of law and order and protection of life and property of citizens. However, there is a need to make even better security arrangements for Muharram,” Shehbaz stressed.

He said that law enforcement agencies should maintain a close coordination and remain fully alert to meet any untoward situation. The CM said that modern technology should be fully utilised for implementation and monitoring of the security plan while a watchful eye should be kept on the activities of anti-social elements.

He said that senior police officers would be responsible for implementation of security plan and maintenance of law and order in their respective areas and they will have to make strenuous efforts for this purpose. He said police officers should remain in the field and keep a vigilant eye on the performance of the force. He said cabinet committee should monitor the measures for the implementation of security plan and measures for protection of life and property of the masses in the province. He said that timings fixed for Majalis and processions should be strictly observed.

Giving instructions for provision of food and other facilities to police force deputed for Muharram, the CM said that best food should be served on time to police personnel performing their duty for maintaining peace and while soft drinks should also be provided in accordance with weather condition.

He directed the IGP to ensure implementation of his instructions throughout the province and no complaint should be received in this regard. The home secretary and IGP gave a detailed briefing on measures for maintaining law and order.

The CCPO briefed the meeting about the steps taken in the provincial metropolis for ensuring peace and harmony. Law Minister Rana Sanaullah, Punjab Government Spokesman Zaeem Hussain Qadri, Jehangir Khanzada, Rana Maqbool Ahmed and officials concerned attended the meeting.

Separately addressing a meeting on Punjab Safe Cities Authority, the Chief Minister said the project is of vital importance for protection of life and property of people, maintenance of peace and elimination of crime. He said that Safe City project would help achieve the goal of a safe, peaceful and prosperous Punjab and directed that this splendid public welfare project should be implemented speedily and in a professional manner so that the targets fixed for this purpose could be achieved in time.

The Chief Minister said that timely completion of development projects while maintaining transparency and standard is the policy of Punjab government and Safe City project would also be completed under the same policy. He said that Safe City project will be an example of transparency like other development projects of Punjab government and a saving of four billion rupees has also been made in this project. The Chief Minister directed that third party audit policy should be also implemented with regard to Safe City project.

He said that with the completion of this project, an automatic traffic management system would come into existence besides carrying out of relief activities in any emergent situation would also be possible. He further stated that Safe City project is of vital importance for implementation of law.