City News Editor's Picks Pakistan

Calls for the replacement of Buzdar in PTI

LAHORE: The appointment of the Chief Executive of the Punjab is becoming clearer even within the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) because of the growing concern about the ‘ failure ‘ of Chief Minister Usman Buzdar to deal with the affairs of the most important province.

Although none of the party leaders will publicly comment against the Punjab set-up, in background discussions they would agree that their government is failing to administer the province. “Indeed, we are dissatisfied with Mr Buzdar’s success so far and a majority within the PTI wants him to be replaced by a stronger and more involved political figure, but the question is: how? a senior leader of the ruling party confided to Daily Dawn

“Since there are a number of pressure groups with­in the party itself and ambitions of the allies [the PML-Q] are no more hidden, there seems no way out to bring the desired change,” he said.

Requesting anonymity, the PTI leader said there were various groups of party leaders like ex-secretary general Jahangir Khan Tareen, Punjab governor Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar, former provincial minister Abdul Aleem Khan and Punjab Information Minister Mian Aslam Iqbal.

In this situation, he said it was very difficult to bring all the groups on one page and build consensus on a single name for the coveted post.

Similarly, the PML-Q clearly stated on several occasions that it would reconsider its support to the PTI government in Punjab if the incumbent chief minister was replaced.

A source in the PTI’s core committee, which met in Islamabad on Sunday and discussed administrative failures in Punjab, said the issue had been raised in top party circles a couple of times. But, he added, such meetings and discussions were chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan just to have a feeling of the undercurrents in the party cadre but not for taking decisions. “The decisions are taken solely by Imran Khan whether these are discussed in the core committee or central executive committee or not,” he explained.

Sources said PM Khan met CM Buzdar after the core committee meeting in Islamabad. While no official word on the meeting was released to the media, some TV channels reported that the PM expressed his annoyance over his ‘poor governance in Punjab’ and asked him to deliver even if he had to change any bureaucrat.

A provincial leader, however, claimed that this time some ministers would be shown the door while portfolios of the powerful ones would be changed if not removed altogether from the cabinet.

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