LAHORE: The PML-N has come up with serious allegations against the Buzdar administration which, it alleges, is appointing bureaucrats on top positions in the province after taking bribes, questioning whether the Intelligence Bureau (IB) is keeping Prime Minister Imran Khan in the dark.
Addressing PM Khan, PML-N Punjab president Rana Sanaullah said: “Are you blind to what is happening in Punjab. The Chief Minister House has become a hub of corruption. For the first time in the history of Punjab, deputy commissioners (DCs) and superintendents of police (SPs) are getting postings of their choice by giving a bribe of Rs20 million each to the CM House.”
The outspoken leader of the PML-N went on to say that Chief Minister Usman Buzdar had his touts, a former minister and an official, who had been receiving bribe money at his behest and doling away government positions. “And those bureaucrats who do not give bribe cannot stay on one position for three months,” he said and added that for the first time secretary-level postings were also being ‘put on sale’.
Sanaullah asked the premier why he was acting as a ‘silent spectator’. “Don’t you (Imran Khan) get reports about this corruption on transfers and postings in Punjab from the IB and other agencies,” he asked. The ‘inept and incompetent’ PTI government, he said, had drowned Punjab in corruption.
Punjab govt spokesman hints at moving court against the PML-N leader
Earlier, the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Lahore had opened investigations against Usman Buzdar regarding acquiring property mostly in south Punjab in the names of his relatives and others. He is also facing the allegation of receiving Rs50 million in bribe to force the Excise and Taxation Department to issue a liquor licence to a hotel in Lahore in violation of the law. “No clean chit has been given to CM Buzdar in this investigation so far,” an official source told Dawn Saturday.
Sanaullah further said: “If this state of affairs continues which has compounded the people’s miseries, the PTI leaders will not be in a position to face the public and campaign in the 2023 polls. But we have information that perhaps one fine morning this man (Imran) would call the election (by dissolving assemblies) to get a majority. “Imran Khan’s corruption and accountability narrative has been exposed,” he said.
The PML-N MNA expressed his surprise over PM Khan’s statement that ‘the opposition wanted the army to topple the PTI government,’ saying “We are not asking anyone in this respect. If they (powers that be) stop backing the Imran Khan government, it will prove a wall of sand.”
Sanaullah also alleged that the accountability court judge (the late Arshad Malik) had ‘instructions’ to award 14-year imprisonment to PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif in both NAB references. “He (Malik) before his death had sought pardon from Mr Sharif and told this to him,” he said.
As for the government offer to have talks with opposition on the electoral reforms, Sanaullah said: “Such talks can be held on the platform of the Election Commission and the PTI government should forward its suggestions to it (ECP).”
A spokesman for the Punjab government told Dawn that it would take Rana Sanaullah to the court of law for his baseless and ill-founded allegations on CM Usman Buzdar. “The Punjab government will issue a legal notice to Rana Sanaullah for maligning the chief minister Punjab,” the spokesman said, asking the PML-N leader to bring forth a single case to support his allegations.
Special Assistant to the CM Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said Rana Sanaullah’s allegations reminded the people of the era of Shehbaz Sharif in which the CM House was a hub of corruption. “Now the CM House under Usman Buzdar has become a source of public welfare,” she said.
Published in Dawn, June 6th, 2021