Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan on Sunday refuted claims about things going awry for the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI) in Punjab, adding that all MPAs have voiced their confidence in the leadership of Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar.
Addressing a press conference in Sialkot on Sunday, Awan said that for the past one week, there have been certain reports about a forward bloc in Punjab, reservations expressed by the government's coalition partners, and Buzdar's leadership.
Read more: 'Disgruntled' lawmakers appear in PTI ranks
Commenting on Buzdar’s meeting with MPAs on Saturday, Awan said: “After voicing all of their concerns and reservations, all MPAs in Punjab have once again expressed their confidence in Buzdar's leadership. This is surely not good news for ‘trend-setters’ and ‘agenda-setters’ in the media and in the opposition."
She added that "our [the government's] coalition partners are standing shoulder-to-shoulder with the government. Whether it is the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q) or other political parties, they are determined to put the country on the road to progress."
Calling out Shehbaz Sharif, Awan said: “The people of the country want Pakistan to progress. For the country to progress, it is necessary that the parties which have been given a mandate by the people for five years, play their constitutional role in legislating."
She maintained that during the prime minister's visit to Lahore on Sunday, Imran will meet lawmakers and review ongoing development projects in the province as well as give orders to fasttrack certain schemes.
"Ultimately, the people’s government is answerable to the people. Eventually, through the prime minister's reform agenda, you will see that each new day will bring some betterment to the country and each attack by the opposition to make the government fail, will backfire.
"Instead of speaking out against the government, and trying to lead the people astray, the opposition should fulfill their role in parliament and help the government in legislating," she stressed.
The PM's aide ended her address by calling on the opposition to participate in the events the government has planned for Kashmir Solidarity Day on Feb 5.
"Politics will always be ongoing. Right now the country needs you."
In a bid to silence dissenting voices, the Punjab chief minister had held a meeting with 20 disgruntled MPAs from southern, central and northern parts of the province on Saturday, assuring them that their respect and honour would be protected at all costs and their genuine issues would be resolved on a priority basis.
Though the disgruntled group’s leader Sardar Shahabuddin had confirmed to Dawn that the government had committed to them Rs100 million to Rs150m each for their respective constituencies, no such announcement was made after the meeting.
“The chief minister assured us that all genuine issues of the MPAs would be resolved on a priority basis and he promised to allocate development funds for their respective constituencies in the next Annual Development Programme,” a group member and MPA from Hafizabad Mamoon Tarar had told Dawn after the meeting.
He had said that Buzdar had explained that there was a paucity of funds because the country was on the threshold of bankruptcy when the PTI took over.
In the meeting, Buzdar had stressed that the whole PTI party, including MNAs and MPAs, needed to serve the masses in unison and fail all propagandists.
“We are also taking along all our allies with respect and honour,” he said.