VOL. 1 NO. 15 DELHI: Ashwin Krishna 10,204. October 9, 1947 FOUR ANNAS
The following passages are taken from a leading article of the Civil & Military Gazette of Lahore which is edited by a British Journalist. The article gives a lurid account of the existing Goonda Raj I West Punjab.
“We have waited in vain for some sign of the West Punjab Government’s asserting itself and giving some overt proof of ability to govern. More than five weeks have passed since the Ministry was formed and rapid deterioration has occurred in every department. Admittedly, the circumstances have been exceptional and difficulty has been piled on difficulty, but the Ministers have not risen to the occasion. Their inexperience would normally have led to nothing more serious tha the entrenchment of the bureaucracy while the Ministers learned their jobs; but in view of the almost complete breakdown of administration this inexperience is proving a tragedy for West Punjab.
Chaotic State of Affairs
“At the moment the province is being ruled, not by Khan Iftikhar Hussian Khan of Mamdot and his colleagues, but by police constables and goondas. New heads of departments find that organization has collapsed and discipline is non-existent. Magistrates and petty officials are discovering, in the absence of broad lines of policy, that it is impossible to implement orders which are ill-conceived and not unoften mutually contradictory. And the public is being ground between the upper milesstone of ignorance and incompetence and the lower one of corruption and self-aggradizement.
“Meanwhile, the Ministers do not know how to do things or hot to get them done and the all too brief course to intensive “cramming” conducted by Mr. Liaquat Ali Khan during his recent visit to Lahore has yet to show results. At the moment the West Punjab Ministers are doing little in public either to allay disorder or to rehabilitate morale, which is at the lowest ebb in recent history. Our advice to them would be to govern or get out-except that the political horizon is at the moment almost bare of pretenders to their portfolios who offer hopes of better things.
Outspoken View of a British Journalist