Buzdar feels betrayed by PTI leaders

By Fakhar Durrani
June 05, 2023

ISLAMABAD: The PTI leadership never supported and backed Sardar Usman Buzdar even when he was the chief minister and ditched him to face the music afterwards whereas he continued to stand by Imran Khan, his family sources said. In a long interview with The News, the family sources of the former chief minister of Punjab narrated the toxic party politics against the leader from south Punjab, complained of being discriminated against and abandoned in the face of persecution, whereas he stood by loyally with Imran Khan. They said the former chief minister was under no pressure and chose to quit politics instead of disassociating from Imran.


Buzdar’s family sources claimed, “He had only two choices, either to leave Imran Khan or quit politics and he chose the latter and announced without any pressure.” Reacting to criticism at the former chief minister after he announced quitting politics, family sources close to Sardar Usman Buzdar told The News, “He always obeyed what Imran Khan asked him to do. He never ditched or deceived Khan at any moment. Even when Khan told him that he had decided to appoint Chaudhry Pervez Elahi as Chief Minister Punjab, Buzdar acted upon his decision faithfully and backed his decision with absolute loyalty.” Despite all this, he is the only one being scorned. They asked has anyone criticized Pervez Khattak or any other PTI leaders who have left the party at this crucial juncture. Why is the accusing finger being pointed only at Usman Buzdar; is it because he is a soft target? They also said over the last 14 months, the family has been politically victimized and Usman Buzdar is facing cases in different cities of Punjab but even then, they stood by with Imran Khan. “Not a single party member ever supported Usman or even accompanied him to the courts for hearings and we never complained. The former chief minister faced these cases all alone without any moral help from PTI. None of the party workers or leaders expressed solidarity with him or raised their voice that he was being politically victimized,” said Buzdar’s family sources.

“Sardar Buzdar faced discrimination throughout his tenure even from within the party as well as outside and the media. He was targeted because he belonged to south Punjab and he was a Baloch. The party members conspired against him, even the local leadership including Zartaj Gul always remained at odds with him. “But Buzdar acted with dignity and never held a grudge against any of them. Now it is purely his own decision to quit politics, and he is sacrificing his political career for Imran Khan,” commented the family sources.

It is easier to disparage anyone, but it is difficult to face the pressure that he underwent in the last 14 months. He was subjected to criticism from the media, his colleagues, aspirants and party workers. “Even when Imran Khan awarded him a party ticket for the Punjab elections in 2023, the party leaders again started to lobby against him as if he was going to become the CM again,” they said. About the reasons for holding the press conference in Quetta, the family sources said that Sardar Usman was not in contact with them for the last many days and they do not know how he reached there. He was not in tribal areas but was rather staying in Lahore when the last time he spoke with the family. He has some relatives there (Quetta) and he might be staying with them.

To a question whether Usman Buzdar quit the party to get relief in cases being tried in courts, the family sources said: “Our houses were raided and police continues to conduct raids at our residences. But there was no pressure on us regarding May 9 incidents. It is his personal decision to quit politics.” They pledged to face cases and inquiries resolutely as, according to them, all the allegations are baseless. When Sardar Usman was elected in 2018, his father was alive who was chief of the Buzdar tribe and owned 14,000 kanal inherited land but he was wrongly portrayed as a shepherd. Later upon his death, all his properties were transferred to his children including Usman Buzdar, so there is no question of him indulging in corruption of any sort, the family added.