Mystery and intrigue behind Pak Punjab Governor's '72-hr vanishing act'

Written by: Abdul Nisar
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Lahore, Dec 9 (ANI): The whereabouts of Punjab Governor Salman Taseer became a subject of wild speculation in the Pakistani province after sources in the provincial government revealed that he had been 'missing from the system for the past 72 hours'.

Sources said that Taseer "had been abroad since Monday" without having informed the "provincial government or his constitutional successor, the speaker of provincial assembly," the Dawn reported.

Speaking on the floor of the Assembly, Law Minister Rana Sanaullah claimed that the "governor had slipped to Dubai, and was on his way back because the media had noted his absence and the related constitutional questions".

However, a spokesperson for the Governor's House was quick to deny the minister's claim, saying, "The Governor is on a private visit to Sukkur, and will return to Lahore on Wednesday evening after a short stay in Karachi."

But Sanaullah reiterated his claim, saying that he had checked with the District Coordination Officer (DCO) of Sukkur, who had expressed ignorance about the presence of Taseer in his district.

"To the best of my knowledge, the Punjab Governor has been in Dubai," the law minister added.

Earlier, speaking in the House and later to the media outside the Assembly hall, Sanaullah promised that the "provincial government would conduct an inquiry to ascertain why the cabinet secretary did not notify that the governor had gone abroad and why he did not inform the speaker".

"We would also find out if the cabinet secretary was aware of the governor's plans or he was also kept in the dark. It is a violation of the constitution and has some serious consequences," he added.

Meanwhile, the provincial metropolis was buzzing with rumours that Taseer was "on a secret mission to Dubai on behalf of President Asif Ali Zardari." (ANI)

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