LAHORE – Caretaker Chief Minister Najam Sethi on Thursday held separate meetings with the leaders of PML-N, PML-Q and JI, and assured them of holding free and fair election.

Sethi reached the residence of Shairfs in Model Town where he met PML-N President Nawaz Sharif and former chief minister Shahbaz Sharif. The Sharifs assured Sethi of all-out support for holding transparent elections. They hoped the caretaker chief minister will live up to the public aspirations of transparent elections.

Shahbaz greeted Sethi on taking over as the caretaker CM and hoped that the development projects initiated by his government would be carried on.

Separately, Sethi held meeting with JI chief Syed Munawar Hasan at Mansoora, followed by his visit to the Gulberg residence of Chaudhrys where he held talks with Shujaat Hussain and Pervaiz Elahi. These leaders also assured the chief minister of their cooperation in holding free polls.

Hasan said the appointment of Sethi as caretaker chief minister is very important. He said people have confidence in Najam Sethi who is an able and hardworking person and will discharge his responsibilities efficiently.

Elahi stressed the need for replacing the existing administration in Punjab to ensure fair polls and the chief minister vowed his concern.

Following the meetings, Sethi said the purpose of his parleys with the political leaders was to seek their views about honest and hardworking officers.  He said the appointment of a permanent Punjab IGP was also being mulled. Sethi said he consulted the chief election commissioner on telephone about the changes in bureaucracy and this process would be completed within a week.

He said the caretaker cabinet, comprising up to six ministers, will be set up in a couple of days. He said that the members of caretaker cabinet will not be of any political party. Reiterating his resolve to hold impartial elections, Sethi said he would discharge this responsibility with honesty. He said political leaders suggested posting taking forward honest officers and such proposal would be considered to create an atmosphere conducive to fair votes. The caretaker chief minister will meet PTI chief Imran Khan today (Friday).