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January 22, 2020

PML-Q takes over Punjab CM’s slot virtually

Top Story

January 22, 2020

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) has taken over the Punjab chief minister-slot practically, though Sardar Usman Buzdar would continue as the chief minister.

According to sources, PML-Q leader Moonis Elahi has held a crucial meeting with Punjab Chief Secretary Azam Suleman Khan and prepared a roadmap for power-sharing and distribution of development funds. Moonis had hinted at it in Geo News programme Capital Talk while talking to anchorperson Hamid Mir recently.

The power-sharing decision has seriously disturbed CM Buzdar, who has complained to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf senior leader Jehangir Tareen in this regard, according to sources. According to information made available to the reporter by the sources, Rs20 billion development funds would be released for the PML-Q parliamentarians’ constituencies, and the PML-Q would be authorised to give instructions to the bureaucracy directly. Recently, a PML-Q delegation, led by Moonis Elahi, held a meeting with the PTI leaders including Jehangir Tareen, Pervez Khattak and Usman Buzdar. Punjab Chief Secretary Azam Suleman was also present in the meeting.

Sources said Jehangir Tareen accepted all PML-Q demands about power-sharing in the meeting and directed the Punjab chief secretary to prepare a roadmap in this regard, with the help of Moonis Elahi. Sources said the changing situation has badly disturbed Usman Buzdar, as the PML-Q directly giving instructions to the bureaucracy would reduce his powers to almost zero. In his simple style, he reportedly complained to Jehangir Tareen, “I even could not sleep the whole night because of this worrying situation”.

On the other hand, the PML-Q office-bearers say it is just the beginning. Let’s see whether it happens as per promise and the written agreement, or there will be another hurdle and the developments stop. They said: “We don’t want to remove Usman Buzdar, but we can’t sacrifice the whole party and voters for this friendship. So we will try our level best to maintain each other’s integrity.”

Chief Secretary Azam Suleman is an upright officer and is behind the development works, done during Shahbaz Sharif’s government. He enjoys respect in political circles for his honesty and on-time jobs. Imran Khan’s aides say it is due to the strict attitude of Pervez Khattak in the last KPK government that the prime minister had to bring forth people like Usman Buzdar and Mahmood Khattak. But it is a fact that the performance of Pervez Khattak resulted in the success of the PTI again; otherwise, no party had ever returned to power in successive elections in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa in the past.

The PTI sources say Imran Khan is perhaps frightened to remove Usman Buzdar, because there is a little margin of votes in the Punjab Assembly. If someone does not vote for the PTI’s next chief minister, it will also destroy the federal setup. It is because of this reason that efforts are being made to make Fawad Chaudhry an advisor.

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