Askari, Marri sworn in as Punjab, Balochistan caretaker CMs

LAHORE/Quetta – Prof Hasan Askari Rizvi took oath of the office of caretaker chief minister of the Punjab at the Governor’s House here Friday. In Quetta Alauddin Marri took oath as interim chief minister of Balochistan.

In Lahore, the ceremony was held at the Governor’s House where Punjab Governor Malik Rafique Rajwana took oath from Hasan Askari. Earlier, Hasan Askari Rizvi held a meeting with Rafique Rajwana. No one from the PML-N side, including former Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif, was present at the oath-taking ceremony.

Hasan Askari Rizvi was presented a guard of honour on his arrival at the Chief Minister’s Office after taking oath of the office. A smartly-turned contingent of police presented him the guard of honour.

Later, he held meetings with officers and other staff members at the Chief Minister’s Office.

In a statement issued here, Punjab Caretaker Chief Minister Hasan Askari Rizvi reiterated his commitment to holding free and fair elections in the province.

Askari said conducting free, fair and transparent elections was his top priority and responsibility. He affirmed provision of a level-playing field to all would be ensured and the administration would play its role in an impartial manner. He said his mandate was to hold transparent elections and he would discharge this obligation as a duty. He asserted all resources would be utilised for this purpose. “I know my obligations and all-out efforts will be made to achieve this objective,” Rizvi concluded.

In Quetta, Balochistan Governor Muhammad Khan Achakzai administered oath to the caretaker chief minister at a ceremony also attended by former Balochistan chief minister Abdul Quddus Bizenjo, Inspector General of Police Moazzam Jah Ansari, bureaucrats and senior lawyers.

Alauddin Marri was chosen by the Election Commission of Pakistan after the Opposition and the government failed to reach consensus on any name for the interim chief minister.

After oath-taking ceremony, the interim chief minister for Balochistan Alauddin Marri talking to APP said that conducting free and fair elections in Balochistan province was his top priority. He urged citizens to fully cooperate with the interim government in that regard.

He said the government’s major concern was to increase the voters’ turnout during the general election across the province. He said the caretaker government would take all possible measures for conducting general election 2018 in a peaceful and pleasant environment.

The caretaker chief minister said he was fully cognizant of the public issues and assured to resolve the problems within his constitutional powers.

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