LAHORE – The Punjab government Saturday came under fire over its mistreatment to dignitaries from two smaller provinces who visited Lahore to attend passing out parade of a new batch of Rescuers.
Gilgit Baltistan Chief Minister Syed Mehdi Shah and Senator Khwa Azam Khan Hoti of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, who led the delegates from their respective provinces to the ceremony, expressed their utmost annoyance over this misbehavior of Punjab rulers.
Unfortunately, no one from the provincial setup bothered to welcome the notables on the 16th passing out parade of more than 726 rescuers belonging to Gilgit Baltistan, KPK (Peshawar and Mardan) and South Punjab (Taunsa and Rojhan) at the Emergency Services Academy, Lahore.
Mehdi Shah and Hoti said it was highly unbecoming for the PML-N led government to violate the official protocol and disregard the norms of hospitality. Hoti fulminated at the Punjab chief minister for not sending even any representative from the Punjab government for receiving them.
Senator Azam Hoti said the Punjab government should have expressed sense of responsibility since such events provide an opportunity for fostering brotherly relations among the provinces. Some tight-lipped senior officials of the Rescue-1122 were also observed whispering and terming it a highly uncalled for act of the Punjab government.
“Political point scoring by the politicians is understandable but it is regrettable that even the officials smoked off provincialism through their conduct at the ceremony. No one, including the Rescue-1122 DG, the academy administrator and the drill instructor, took pains to deliver a message of inter-provincial harmony to the rescuers who are to be dispatched to different areas of the country,” a participant of the ceremony opinioned.
The Rescue-1122 spokesman was the only official chanting slogans and giving gestures of brotherhood and harmony. He, however, ignored the plight of poor rescuers, who were made to stand for over a couple of hours under the searing sun.
The ceremony was also attended by GB Chief Secretary Sajjad Saleem Hotiyana, First Muslim British Parliamentarian Ch Sarwar and other dignitaries from different government and non-government organisations.
Senator Azam Hoti, however, appreciated the role of Shahbaz Sharif for his achievements in social development and strategic coordination. He also thanked the CM and the people of the Punjab for providing opportunity to replicate international standard emergency services in other provinces.