PM Imran says conspirator wants post of CM Punjab for himself
LAHORE: Prime Minister Imran Khan categorically stated Sunday that he will not remove Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, claiming that he knew who the man conspiring against Buzdar was, Geo News reported.
Prime Minister Imran Khan met Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) lawmakers from the Punjab Assembly. The MPAs discussed the problems their constituents were facing. According to sources, PM Imran categorically told them that he will not remove the Punjab chief minister from his post.
"I want to state categorically that we [government] will not come under pressure," he was quoted as saying. "Have always faced challenges and will continue to do so."
Sources said the prime minister was of the view that even if Buzdar was removed, the new chief minister "wouldn't even last 20 days in office".
The premier told the PTI MPAs that he knew who was conspiring against Buzdar, accusing the conspirator of trying to take the post for himself.
PM Imran further added that there was negative propaganda that Buzdar did not have the required authority; however, the chief secretary and inspector-general (IG) of Punjab were new and would work as a part of the CM's team, he added.
The Chief Minister Buzdar controversy has brought discord not only among the coalition parties but in the ruling one as well. Earlier this week, Punjab Information Minister Fayyaz ul Hasan Chohan had said he could "only lament" Science and Technology Minister Fawad Chaudry's criticism of CM Buzdar's governance.
Chohan had said Chaudhry was "keeping himself above discipline [in his] attitude and behaviour", which was "very destructive to any party, institution, group or family". Chaudhry "tries to be a hero" every month, he had added.
"He's my brother, my friend, and he's very competent in some aspects but I believe that he has crossed a boundary in terms of violating [party] discipline.
"One should should think of the benefit of the boat one is in," the provincial information minister said, adding that it was neither Chaudhry's authority or prerogative to form an opinion on the chief minister that he should step down or should be retained.
Earlier, in a meeting of the PTI's core committee, Fawad Chaudhry had lashed out at Buzdar over the latter's “failure to deliver”. He had also reportedly informed the premier that of the Rs350 billion allocated for Punjab's development projects, the provincial government had only utilised Rs77 billion.
Sources had informed Geo News that Chaudhry also accused the Punjab government of not disbursing the finance commission award to the districts. In response to the accusations, PM Imran directed the provincial government to release the award, the sources had added.
The science minister had also criticised the discretionary funds' availability to chief ministers, saying on Twitter they were "against public interest" and a violation of Article 140-A of the Constitution.