Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan addressing a press conference. — PID/File

LAHORE: Reacting to yesterday’s episode in which she scolded the Assistant Commissioner Sialkot Sonia Sadaf, Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan defended her actions, saying public representatives were answerable to the masses. 

The Punjab chief minister’s advisor spoke on the incident, saying that the attitude by the assistant commissioner was disappointing. She said Chief Minister Usman Buzdar had asked for a report to be submitted on the matter, adding that he had also expressed displeasure over the public having to stand in long queues to buy sugar.

Speaking about the incident, she said, “If implementation is not being done on the coronavirus SOPs fixed by the government, then [it should be understood] that we [public office holders] are accountable to the people.”

She turned her guns towards some media persons, saying that they had distorted the picture yesterday when the incident took place.

The chief minister’s aide said there were a few media persons at the Ramadan bazaar yesterday who “became a party and twisted the narrative” by giving an angle to the episode.

“[They] said I had gotten angry because I was not provided protocol,” she said. Taking a dig at Sonia Sadaf, Dr Awan said any person who does not want to “come out of his/her air-conditioned room” should not get involved seek employment in public service professions.

“These people should look towards easier professions and those who want to tread on the difficult path, should have it in them to bear the burdens that come with it,” she said.

Dr Awan said the women she was fighting for in the Ramadan bazaar neither belonged to her constituency nor were they her relatives. “These were common people for whom we bought sugar from stalls and gave it to them so that the government’s goodwill is maintained,” she said.

The Punjab chief minister’s aide said politicians and those who “have to knock on the people’s doors to seek their votes” have to assess the situation and take measures accordingly in the interest of the masses.

Summarising yesterday’s incident, she said: “Anyone who stands in the way of the Punjab government’s initiative and Usman Buzdar’s roadmap and Prime Minister Imran Khan’s mission, then I want to make it clear that I am the awaam first and then a representative of the awaam,” she said.

She said the facts of the incident from yesterday were deliberately distorted and not communicated properly to the chief secretary Punjab government, which had caused a misunderstanding.

Dr Awan said she had visited a total of 14 Ramadan bazaars and even inspected arrangements at utility stores but “the kind of attitude” she witnessed yesterday was unprecedented. 

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