Islamabad: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has barred ministries and autonomous bodies from publishing congratulatory advertisements at government expense on his assumption of the office, officials said.
Already, show-case notices have been issued to a state-run bank and the head of the motorway police for publishing such congratulatory ads.
In a directive the prime minister has said national resources should not be wasted and warned that strict action will be taken against any violation and the head of the department concerned will pay the amount spent, official source said. No more congratulations, new Pakistan PM says. A statement from Sharif’s office said he had ordered the National Bank of Pakistan and the National Highway and Motorway Police to explain why they took out full-colour adverts praising the new premier.
“The Prime Minister acknowledges and values the love, affection of the nation and emotions of his supporters and urges them to concentrate on nation-building rather than sending congratulatory messages to him,” the statement released on Friday said.
Public life in Pakistan is beset by corruption and cronyism, and many saw the adverts, which appeared in English and Urdu papers, as an effort to curry favour with the new leader.
Sharif, who won an unprecedented third term in office in the May 11 general election, pledged to tackle graft in his first speech as PM on Thursday, saying “the doors for favouritism and corruption are closed from today onwards”.
— WITH INPUTS FROM AFP