LAHORE: Days after his appointment, questions are being raised on the ‘impartiality’ of Punjab caretaker Chief Minister Mohsin Raza Naqvi for making certain appointments in the province and action against the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and its ally PML-Q leaders.

The PML-N, however, defended Mr Naqvi whom the PTI calls ‘a key figure in the regime change plot’.

Mr Naqvi appointed Bilal Sadique Kamayana as Lahore police chief who is disliked the PTI leadership for he led a police crackdown on party workers during the May 25 long march. Hamza Shahbaz had made the first appointment of Kamayana in the Punjab police when he came to power for a brief stint last year.

According to the PTI, Wednesday’s police action against PTI’s senior leader Fawad Chaudhry and registration of FIR against former chief minister Chaudhry Parvez Elahi’s cousin Chaudhry Wajahat Hussain and his (Wajahat) son Musa Elahi in connection with a purported audio `has made Naqvi’s agenda obvious’.

As Mr Naqvi also changed the Anti-Corruption Establishment chief (replacing Nadeem Sarwar with Zaman Wattoo) on Wednesday, the PTI is anticipating intensity in action against its leaders in coming days in the wake of more ‘pro PMLN’ officials posted against important slots.

“Mohsin Naqvi is a puppet…his wish will not prevail but the people of this province,” PTI leader Musarat Cheema said in a tweet. She said the PTI was anticipating further action against its leaders by the Naqvi’s administration but that would not work as Khan’s party would sweep the polls in Punjab.

In a talk with Dawn, PML-N Punjab information secretary Azma Bokhari defended Mr Naqvi saying that he had no role in the arrest of Fawad Chaudhry and other FIRs. “Islamabad police came to Lahore to arrest him for threatening the ECP officials. Similarly, FIR against Wajahat and Musa has been registered for their alleged audio talk regarding plan to abduct and kill a woman parliamentarian. There is no question of Mr Naqvi’s partiality in such matters as the law takes due course,” Ms Bokhari said.

Earlier, PML-Q senior leader and former federal minister Moonis Elahi said Mr Naqvi had come with a “two-point agenda — extend the present set-up’s tenure for a year, and do all that he can to damage the PTI and the families of Chaudhry Parvez Elahi and Chaudhry Wajahat Hussain.”

Published in Dawn, January 26th, 2023

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