LAHORE - Without suspecting intentions of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, it has been observed that no action is taken on the notices taken by him on serious offences and incidents over the years.
The prompt notice taken by Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif on an incident in which laxity, negligence, delinquency or inefficiency of public servants, public departments or authorities concerned is involved reflects how much he is concerned about public grievances and their problems at the grassroots. And with this spirit he wants abrupt action to rectify things and take the culprits to task without any fear or favour. This also raises the public hopes about some good coming forth through the strict action against offenders on the CM’s orders that would also serve as an example for others to stop them from following that path. But to sheer disappointment, the CM’s notices go unnoticed in the end as the departments and officers who are either directly or indirectly involved are tasked to take action.
Whatever orders the CM issues to police or an administrative department, the media highlights them, but the outcome hardly reaches the public for unknown reasons. The police register a case after the CM takes notice of the offence though it is their prime responsibility to do so under the law.
The CM’s notices appear not more than lip service or an exercise to hush up the matter on the contention that notice has been taken and an inquiry ordered. Almost every time the CM does not specify time frame for report and action, which keeps the media in limbo along with the general public.
This trend also puts a question mark on the notices and orders of the chief minister in the context whether they mean business or eyewash and if the CM seriously wants to hold the culprits accountable, why no action is taken.
The record shows that the chief minister takes notices and passes orders for reports, arrest and actions on an average of 18 serious incidents in a month. They range from molestation, gang-rape, firing, kidnapping, murder, eruption of fire and firing at media teams to unavailability of petrol.
In the recent days the CM took notice of the dance party of nurses of Ganga Ram Hospital, self-immolation of women in Muzaffargarh, stone falling on a motorcyclist from Pindi Metro, a threatening message to a female MPA of his party, murder of a mother and her two daughters in district Sargodha, abuse of a nine-year-old boy in Mandi Bahauddin, death of three people from spurious medicines in Kamoke, abuse and making of nude movies of children in Hafizabad, cutting of ears of a labourer by an influential in Pindi, falling of children into a well in Jaranwala, collapse of a section of the Ravi bridge, death due to dengue in Rawalpindi, girl students going unconscious due to anti-dengue spray in Attock and Nanka Sahib schools, burying alive of labourers at Margalla Hills, police torture on youth in Rawalpindi, rape and sale of a girl in Shadman and abuse and murder of a six-year-old boy in Shafiqabad. They are just a few of the numerous notices taken by the CM that are unanswered despite lapse of months and years.
A police officer on contact told this scribe that following the CM’s directions, the department sends reports to the government, but it is not known why they are not forwarded to the media for the people’s information. A complaint cell exists in the CM Secretariat to entertain applications from the public, but it appears there is no hard and fast mechanism to convey their outcomes to the complainants and the public.
Observers say incidents at the lowest level of a society serve as a barometer of the actual plight of the people. They say in the civilized world strict action is taken on such happenings. The CM’s intentions, they add, may be good, but it is no more than a joke unless concrete action is taken and made known to the general public with a view to taking them into confidence over government performance and serving them sincerely.