LAHORE: Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has yet again stripped prisons minister Fayyazul Hassan Chohan of his portfolio of official spokesperson for the Punjab government in a matter of two months and handed over the slot to the newly-appointed special assistant on information and special initiatives Hasaan Khawar.

The chief minister’s office on Wednesday superseded it’s August 13 order, and gave the provincial government’s official spokesperson portfolio to Mr Khawar, ‘politely’ showing the door to Mr Chohan.

Mr Chohan was informed about the development as he was addressing a press conference on the Governor House lawns as government’s official spokesperson with regard to his initiative of holding a cricket match between the treasury and opposition MPAs.

Mr Chohan was also unaware of his second removal when he was serving as information minister.

Azma ‘regrets the hat-trick’

Upon his third-time removal, PML-N Punjab spokesperson Azma Bukhari quipped that Mr Chohan was always “unlucky” or had “a manufacturing defect”.

“I can simply regret Mr Chohan’s hat-trick,” she jibed and added that in Imran Khan government, Shahbaz Gill, Fayyaz Chohan and Firdous Ashiq Awan had been humiliated.

“The fault does not lie with the spokespersons of CM Usman Buzdar, but Buzdar himself, as no one can defend his poor performance,” she stated.

Addressing PM Imran Khan, she said, students got pass with performance and not prayers alone. “Usman Buzdar is leaving all answer sheets blank and wants cent percent marks,” she said, and commented that not even a single minister in the Punjab cabinet considered Usman Buzdar as his chief minister.

Since induction of Mr Khawar is eighth change in the office of the information department in the three-year rule of the PTI government so far, Mr Chohan was thrice inducted in the information department – first as information and culture minister, then as information minister and finally as spokesman for the Punjab government.

Mr Chohan had taken the treasury-opposition cricket match initiative as a symbolic gesture in the wake of sudden return of the New Zealand team following a “security alert” on Sept 17. The opposition PML-N had, however, declined the ruling PTI’s offer to play a friendly cricket match at the Governor House, scheduled for Oct 9.

PML-N’s Rana Mashhood had stated that his party would not give “all-is-well” gesture to Imran Khan’s PTI, which had been targeting them all these years.

Azma Bukhari had taunted the PPP for showing its readiness to play the friendly match, saying the party had already been playing a “friendly match in the assembly” and could do so outside the house as well, but must not play a “double game” with its colleagues on the opposition benches.

Earlier, at the news conference, Mr Chaohan flanked by PPP’s Ali Haider Gilani said the PML-N parliamentary party in the Punjab Assembly had been stopped by `someone’ from participating in the friendly cricket match as was the case with the New Zealand and England cricket teams.

Mr Chohan yet again called upon the PML-N to play the match “for the cause of Pakistan”.

Mr Gilani said the PPP had many differences with the PTI government, and would continue fighting it on the assembly floors and in political arena, “but the cricket match was purely aimed at restoring the image of Pakistan”.

Published in Dawn, October 7th, 2021

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