LAHORE: The Chaudhrys of Gujrat on Thursday met the ‘beleaguered’ Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and assured him that they were not withdrawing their support for him.
The PML-Q leaders - Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, Federal Minister Tariq Bashir Cheema and MNA Moonis Elahi – called on Buzdar at his office and discussed controversy surrounding the party (PML-Q) that it’s no more a committed ally of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government.
“Mr Elahi told CM Buzdar that he is enjoying the same support from the PML-Q like he did in the past and there is not any change in it. You feel yourself secure as we are fully supporting you,” a party source told Dawn after their meeting. Mr Elahi said no conspiracy theory to create differences among the allies would succeed and those behind the bid will fail
The PML-Q leaders also discussed with him the issues its lawmakers were facing in their constituencies regarding the problems of their voters. The chief minister assured them that he would personally look into the matter to redress their grievances.
There are question marks on the performance of Mr Buzdar as he has completely failed to deliver according to the opposition. Besides, there are reports that Prime Minister Imran Khan is facing pressure from different [power] quarters to replace him (Buzdar) for better delivery.
The rumours of Buzdar’s replacement started doing the rounds in the wake of saga involving ailing former prime minister Nawaz Sharif’s departure to London for his medical treatment that he (Buzdar) was next to go (not London) but home. It is said PM Khan may have to succumb to the pressure soon to replace Buzdar as without good governance in Punjab the PTI government will be criticised from all quarters.
There were reports that if Mr Khan did not replace Mr Buzdar (with someone from his party or ally) opposition PML-N may enter the arena to dislodge him with the help of PML-Q. In a recent meeting Buzdar faced a volley of criticisms from party MPAs at a PTI parliamentary party meeting as they expressed dissatisfaction over the performance of the Punjab government during the past 15 months.
Similarly, there have been reports that some elements in the PTI are conspiring against Mr Buzdar and want PM Khan to replace him with a ‘right person’ so that the province could be run smoothly. A few months ago, PM Khan had clipped the wings of Governor Chaudhry Sarwar Khan on complaints of his ‘constant intervention’ in the affairs of the Buzdar administration.
When contacted, PML-Q’s Moonis Elahi said his party had assured CM Buzdar its full support.
To a question whether Pervaiz Elahi was a potential candidate for the chief minister slot, Mr Moonis said: “Let me make it very clear that we are not for the CM slot.”
When asked about any possibility of joining hands with the PML-N in the changing circumstances, the PML-Q lawmaker said: “We had the offer of chief minister slot from the PML-N in the past which we rejected outright.”
Published in Dawn, November 22nd, 2019