LAHORE: At least six Punjab Assembly members belonging to the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz and one to the Pakistan Peoples Party called on the Punjab chief minister here on Tuesday, exposing fault lines among opposition ranks.
Those who met Usman Buzdar included Nishat Ahmed Daha (PP-206, Khanewal), Abu Hafas Ghayasuddin (PP-47, Narowal), Chaudhry Ashraf (PP-57, Gujranwala), Faisal Niazi (PP-209, Khanewal), Mohammad Arshad (PP-244, Bahawalnagar) and Azhar Abbas (PP-269, Muzaffargarh) of the PML-N, and Ghazanfar Ali Khan (PP-225, Rahim Yar Khan) of the PPP.
Leaders of both opposition parties say they have taken notice of the violation of party discipline and sought explanation from the violators.
CM office says MPAs reposed their trust in Imran’s leadership, announced support for government
Opposition and parliamentary leader of the PML-N Hamza Shahbaz, who is in NAB custody but attending assembly session on the speaker’s production orders, says the issue will be discussed in the internal party meeting to decide an appropriate action against the lawmakers.
Apparently not convinced that the ‘dissidents’ would dodge the party, he said the N-League was not an assembly of ‘borrowed’ men that its members could be swayed by any temptation and recalled that some botched attempts to make inroads into the N-League had been made in the past (a reference to almost the same MPAs’ meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan last year).
Party MPA from Lahore Samiullah Khan demands disciplinary action against the legislators, who called on the chief minister without taking on board party leadership.
Mr Daha says that they have met the chief minister to seek development funds for their respective constituencies.
Denying that he has left the party, he says he is not afraid of being kicked out the party for seeking development of his constituency. He claims that he has had differences of opinion with Hamza Shahbaz for the last many months.
PPP parliamentary leader Syed Hassan Murtaza says he also sought explanation from the party MPA who met Mr Buzdar without permission of the leadership.
Meanwhile, a press release issued by the CM’s office says that former MNA Tahir Bashir Cheema also accompanied the MPAs, who “reposed their complete trust in the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief Minister Sardar Usman Buzdar and announced continuing lending their unconditional support to the government.”
It says that matters pertaining to the current political situation and other important issues came under discussion during the meeting and it was decided to continue working jointly in order to serve people of the province.
Mr Buzdar says that assembly members are highly respectable to him and their genuine works will be done at all costs.
Published in Dawn, March 11th, 2020