LAHORE - Punjab Law Minister Rana Sanaullah has expressed hope that the Local Government elections would not be delayed further and held on January 30. He said the LG polls date was fixed after consensus between the Election Commission of Pakistan and Supreme Court of Pakistan, so there is no chance of further delay in this regard. He said that the sitting Chief Election Commissioner, who would be the next Chief Justice of Pakistan as well, had chaired the meeting that finalised the LG elections date, so there is no chance of changing it.  Addressing a news conference here, the minister ridiculed the PTI’s step of registering a case against the CIA station head on the charges of Hangu drone attack. In a sarcastic vein, he asked the PTI-led KPK government to show courage and visit Washington to arrest the accused.

The law minister recalled that previously a sensitive agency had leaked the name of an American officer who was accused of having role in various attacks and this time round, the PTI has named the CIA station head in the drone attacks. He wondered if the PTI received this name from the same agency. However he added, only the PTI could exactly say on this count.

Criticising the PTI’s move of blocking the Nato supplies, the minister said better the PTI leadership had raised the matter in the Parliament or it had called an All Parties Conference to strike a consensus instead of taking a solo flight on the issue. He said the Nato supplies were hard to be blocked while sitting at the Hayyatabad Toll Plaza for which, he added, a national consensus is essential.

On the Rawalpindi carnage on Ashura, the law minister said the provincial government had received a report and strict action would be taken against the delinquent police officers. Recommendations of the 3-member fact finding committee would be carried out in letter and sprit, he said adding relevant provision of the Police Order 2002 would be invoked against the negligent cops.

In the same breath the minister applauded the role played by media, civil society, religious groups and citizens in connection with the Rawalpindi incident. He said they all have shown sanity and checked the incident from spreading to other areas, which otherwise could have been expanded across the country. He expressed hope the provincial assembly would discuss law and order and suggest various measures to improve the situation.

To a query on price hike, he said the Punjab chief minister himself is chairing meetings to control the menace. He opined that the prices of commodities could not be controlled without maintaining balance in demand and supply mechanism.

Commenting on the selection of new Chief of Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif, he claimed that it was done in accordance with the law and the government must have taken into consideration the sacrifices given by the family of the new Army Chief.