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CM Punjab: A simple man with ‘lavish style’


News Analysis |

Sardar Usman Buzdar, Chief Minister of Punjab, is in troubled waters since the day he was nominated by the Prime Minister Imran Khan for the slot of CM. initially, Mr. Buzdar was reportedly involved in a murder case, tax evasion and was accused in a NAB case. The allegations were, however, rejected later on.

After assuming the office of CM Punjab, Mr. Buzdar reaffirmed the agenda of PM Imran Khan and assured the people that there would be rule of law and a zero-tolerance policy for corrupt officers. Contrary to the claims of austerity drive by the government, a few days later, Mr. Buzdar was found using a private jet along with his family. He also traveled to Islamabad from Lahore by helicopter. It made headlines since the PM has been urging his aides and ministers to adopt the policy of simplicity and avoid any unnecessary protocol.

For many analysts in Pakistan, Mr. Buzdar was a poor choice to be elected as CM of the largest province which has its own political significance. It has been argued that since Mr. Buzdar does not understand national politics and has a feudal mentality, it may not be appropriate to let him sit in the driving seat.

Things turned from bad to worse when the CM was allegedly found responsible for the transfer of a DPO who dared to stop the ex. husband of the first lady Ms. Bushra Maneka. According to media reports, the DPO of Pakpattan Mr.Rizwan Gondal was immediately transferred and made Officer on Special Duty (OSD) for allegedly stopping Khawar Maneka.

On August 23, it was reported that a police team led by DPO Rizwan Omar Gondal briefly intercepted Khawar’s car after he didn’t stop when signaled by the police to do so. Khawar was also believed to have misbehaved with the officials. The officer was later directed to visit Maneka Dera, Khawar’s residence, and tender an apology to him for intercepting the vehicle.

Read more: Usman Buzdar in hot waters in first few weeks as CM

The DPO told a meeting called by Chief Minister Usman Buzdar that the police department had only fulfilled its duties and that he won’t apologize to Khawar. Shortly after, the officer was transferred and asked to report to Central Police Office (CPO) in Lahore. Later on, Punjab Information Minister Fayaz-ul-Hasan Chohan said that there was no role of Punjab Chief Minister and Prime Minister Imran Khan in the transfer of D.P.O Pakpattan while addressing a press conference on Tuesday. “There were complaints against the D.P.O from quite a long time. The matter which is police’s internal matter has been resolved,” he said. “Punjab Inspector General is investigating the matter.”

CM Punjab using a Helicopter for his Personal Visits

According to media reports, Mr. Buzdar took the official helicopter of the provincial government to Mian Chanu so that he could extend his condolences to his friend Malik on the latter’s father’s death. It is quite astonishing for many people in the province that despite repeated claims of honesty and professionalism, the CM Punjab has been found following the old traditions.

Mr. Buzdar; A new Feudal Lord in the Town

For many analysts in Pakistan, Mr. Buzdar was a poor choice to be elected as CM of the largest province which has its own political significance. It has been argued that since Mr. Buzdar does not understand national politics and has a feudal mentality, it may not be appropriate to let him sit in the driving seat. But PM Khan made his decision and stood by it. Now it is the responsibility of the CM Punjab to ensure the implementation of the idea of Change and Naya Pakistan.

Read more: Can PTI’s flamboyant Ministers bring a much-needed change in Punjab?

It is quite unjustifiable for many PTI’s workers that a DPO was insulted by a civilian who is allegedly the husband of Ms. Bushra’s friend in front of the CM. similarly, the narrative of the PTI was to de-politicize the police but in its first case, the party leadership in Punjab has proved that the things are moving in the same way.

It is yet to be seen how Mr. Buzdar deals with the existing challenges at home. PTI had always been critical of the protocol culture, the reason austerity drive was launched right away when PM Khan assumed office. It is of crucial importance now that PM Khan keeps an open eye over what happens in Punjab. Since an unstable Punjab will never allow the government sitting in the Center to run the affairs smoothly.