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March 11, 2020

Six PML-N, one PPP MPA meet CM Usman Buzdar, assure support

Top Story

March 11, 2020

LAHORE: A group of opposition MPAs in the Punjab Assembly comprising six from the PML-N and one from the PPP has called on Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and expressed confidence in the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

The MPAs assured ‘unconditional’ support to the Buzdar government, whereas the CM gave them assurance of due respect and dignity. This is the first meeting of a group of opposition MPAs with the chief minister, whose details have been made public, thus giving a clear indication of the formation of a forward bloc in the PML-N as well as in the PPP.

The MPAs who called on Buzdar were Nishat Ahmed Daha (PML-N), Ashraf Ali Ansari (PML-N), Ghiasuddin (PML-N), Faisal Khan Niazi (PML-N), Mohammed Arshed (PML-N), Azhar Abbas (PMLN), and Ghazanfar Ali Khan (PPP). Nishat Ahmed Daha and Faisal Niazi belong to District Khanewal, whereas Ashraf Ali Ansari and Ghiasuddin hail from Gujranwala and Narowal respectively. Mohammed Arshed was elected from Bahawalnagar, Azhar Abbas from Muzaffargarh whereas Ghazanfar Ali was elected on PPP ticket from Rahim Yar Khan.

Ashraf Ansari and Ghiasuddin had already admitted to meeting the PTI leadership and were part of a group that called on the prime minister a few months ago. However, Nishat Daha, Faisal Niazi and Mohammed Arshed, all of whom were elected on PML-N tickets, had this first meeting with any noted figure related to the PTI government and whose details have been made public. Similarly, Ghazanfar Ali Khan is the first PPP MPA out of a total of seven in the Punjab Assembly who has also expressed confidence in the leadership of Imran Khan, thus causing a serious setback to the PPP which already has very thin representation in the PunjabAssembly. The meeting of seven opposition MPAs, the majority of whom belongs to southern belt of Punjab, has raised alarm bells for both the PML-N and the PPP whose leaders are allegedly facing political victimization under the PTI government.

All the MPAs, who called on Buzdar, expressed confidence in his leadership as well in the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, said a press release issued by the Punjab government on Tuesday.

Former MNA Tahir Bashir Cheema was present. “On this occasion, the assembly members while talking with Usman Buzdar assured him that they are siding with him and will continue to do so” said the press release. It was also decided during the meeting to continue working jointly to serve people of the province. Matters pertaining to current political situation and other important issues came under discussion during the meeting.

When Opposition Leader in Punjab Assembly Hamza Shahbaz reached the Punjab Assembly to attend the PA session, he was asked to comment on the development. Responding to a question, he said the party would review the situation and hold consultations over the issue. He said such efforts were also done in the past, which proved futile and added that the PML-N has roots among the masses as it isn’t a selected party.

He said he was directly coming to the PA from jail and if any such development has occurred, the party would discuss it in its cadres, adding that poor people of the country are living in a miserable state under the PTI government whereas it is busy buying loyalties. He said if elections are announced today, everything would become clear as to who possessed strength and popularity.

Syed Hassan Murtaza, PPP parliamentary leader in PA, while talking to the media, said that over the issue of Ghazanfar Ali Khan, the party leadership will serve him with a show cause notice. He said the issue has just come into his notice and very soon, the said MPA would be asked to explain his position.

This is noteworthy that in Punjab, the PTI government is relying on allies to maintain its strength in the house. In the house of 371, the simple majority is attained at 186 whereas the PTI stands at 181. With the help of 10 PML-Q MPAs, its government is intact and the formation of a forward bloc in the PML-N, the party with 167 seats, could at least minimize the chances of any possible no-confidence move against the Buzdar government, though the defection clause still looms on the members who can lose their assembly membership if they cross the floor.