Buzdar’s jibe at Hamza over ‘missing’ finance minister

Published June 12, 2022
This combo photo shows PTI's Usman Buzdar (left) and Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz. — DawnNewsTV
This combo photo shows PTI's Usman Buzdar (left) and Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz. — DawnNewsTV

LAHORE: Former chief minister Usman Buzdar on Saturday issued an “missing alert” on social media to “locate” the Punjab finance minister, who is supposed to prepare and present the provincial budget for 2022-23 on Monday (tomorrow).

Sharing a mock advertisement on his Twitter account, in which the picture’s space was left bank, Mr Buzdar asked the readers to “contact the Punjab Assembly, if you have any information about the finance minister”, who has been “missing since April this year”.

Through the tweet, Mr Buzdar has tried to settle scores with the PML-N politicians, now in the government, who had been calling him a “puppet” whose Punjab government was being run from Bani Gala (Imran Khan’s private residence).

Since Hamza Shehbaz was elected as chief minister on April 16, the PML-N government is under the PTI scanner and was being bashed time to time.

The PTI alleges that because of the PML-N’s internal difference the party was unable to award portfolios to the members of its “so-far small” cabinet despite passage of 11 days since the ministers took the oath of their office.

In response to PML-N’s taunts that the Buzdar government was being run from Bani Gala, the PTI Punjab president Dr Yasmin Rashid says the PML-N set up was being controlled from Jati Umra (Maryam Nawaz’s residence) and London, equating it with the rule of East India Company.

She says PML-N vice-president Maryam Nawaz is practically running the Punjab government of Hamza Shehbaz and she is even intervening in the award of portfolios to ministers, besides officers’ transfers and postings.

Recently, in a leaked audio clip being attributed to Maryam Nawaz, the PML-N vice president could be heard saying that she was looking after the government’s media affairs.

Referring to the PML-N’s criticism that former governor Umer Sarfraz Cheema was not ready to administer oath to the ministers, delaying the cabinet formation for almost two weeks, the PTI leaders argue that the task was still unfinished despite PML-N having its now governor, attributing it to rifts within the PML-N and with its coalition partner, especially the PPP.

A PML-N insider says the party’s vice-president Maryam Nawaz wants to have her say in the cabinet formation, especially allocating portfolios. Citing an example, the source claims Ms Nawaz wants information ministry for her favourite Azma Bokhari, while CM Hamza wants Attaullah Tarar in the seat.

Similarly, the source says, the PPP with seven seats in the Punjab Assembly is interested in portfolios of the finance and communication & works, but the junior Sharif desires to keep these important offices within his party.

Another source in the PML-N on Saturday told Dawn that the issue of finance ministry has been resolved with the PPP and the former has been allowed to take the portfolio. “Mian Mujtaba Shujaur Rehman is likely to be the finance minister, and will present budget on Monday,” the source said and added that a notification in this regard was expected anytime soon.

Punjab Governor Balighur Rehman has notified that the Punjab annual budget for the financial year 2022-23 and the supplementary budget for current fiscal 2021-22 will be presented on June 13 (Monday) during the ongoing 40th session of the Punjab Assembly.

Published in Dawn, June 12th, 2022

Opinion

Editorial

More leaks
Updated 29 Sep, 2022

More leaks

Recent leaks look more like an inside job than the work of a foreign power.
A depressing winter
29 Sep, 2022

A depressing winter

WINTER is on its way, with a massive gas crunch looming as elevated global LNG prices have eroded the cash-strapped...
Great expectations
29 Sep, 2022

Great expectations

CONSIDERING that the Afghan Taliban have been in the saddle for over a year now, the UN has expressed frustration...
The whole truth
28 Sep, 2022

The whole truth

THE war on truth has never been more relentless than it is today. Authoritarianism is on the rise and purveyors of...
Real-world trolls
Updated 28 Sep, 2022

Real-world trolls

It's reprehensible how PTI supporters now seem convinced that politicians from opposing camps aren't entitled to basic dignity.
Islamabad wildlife
28 Sep, 2022

Islamabad wildlife

PRESERVING biodiversity is low on the list of priorities of both state and society. However, successful attempts at...