Friday August 19, 2022

Imran reposes confidence in Usman Buzdar

August 19, 2018

ISLAMABAD: The Prime Minister, Imran Khan, on Saturday came forward strongly in defence of his nominee for Punjab chief minister Sardar Usman Buzdar.

The newly-elected prime minister took to Twitter to assert that he has done his “due diligence over the past two weeks and have found him (Buzdar) to be an honest man”. He also tweeted that Buzdar has integrity and stands by his vision and ideology of Naya Pakistan. “Usman comes from one of the most backward areas of Punjab -- the tribal area of DG Khan Division. It is an area that has no electricity, water or a doctor for over 200,000 people. He understands the problems of the people of neglected areas and will be able to ensure their uplift as CM,” he tweeted a day earlier about his party nominee.

Imran’s statement came on the heels of a wave of reports on Buzdar, particularly in the broadcast media, regarding his alleged involvement in corruption and criminal activities. It was reported that the PTI candidate for the top job in Punjab allegedly paid blood money to resolve a murder case against him after a court found him and his companions guilty in January, 2000. The prime minister wrote: “He (Buzdar) belongs to an area of Punjab that is the most backward, people there have no water or electricity or hospital.” "The special thing about Sardar Usman is that he is well acquainted with how people live in those areas and secondly, he is aware of how the poor lead their lives. When he will assume the office of the chief minister, he will know the nature of the plight that faces the underprivileged people of Pakistan," he had written. Imran wrote: “This is the first time Punjab will have a CM from such a neglected area who is acutely aware of what has to be done there. I fully back him all the way.”

The PTI Information Secretary, Fawad Chaudhry, the Information Minister-designate, issued a video clip to clarify the position on Buzdar. He contradicted the propaganda underway against the PTI nominee, saying there is no NAB case against Buzdar. Nor Buzdar faced a murder trial, because he was nominated in the case without being present at the time of the incident. “It is a typical political case which the contesting candidates have to face. Firing took place at a polling station and it was alleged that it was done at the behest of our rival. The matter fizzled out afterwards. Such cases are part of our rural politics,” he contended. On that basis, it would be improper to say that the PTI nominee is not suited for chief minister. “There is nothing against his character. Buzdar is from the middle class and as per his vision, Imran Khan has picked him up. This should be appreciated instead of resorting to propaganda without investigation,” Fawad said.