Home Global Village Has PM Imran decided to replace Usman Buzdar?

Has PM Imran decided to replace Usman Buzdar?


News Analysis |

According to local media reports, Prime Minister Imran Khan is considering to replace Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar. A local television channel reported on Friday that the prime minister has summoned progress report of the provincial ministers from the Punjab chief minister and has also sought performance report of the Punjab government from various departments. Well-placed sources informed Global Village Space that the change in six provincial ministers’ portfolios is on the cards including, health, prisons, energy, labour, excise, and food.

The Cabinet Reshuffle

The federal cabinet on Thursday saw a major reshuffle with the resignation of Asad Umar, a prominent leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, as finance minister and appointment of noted economist and former finance minister Hafeez Shaikh as advisor to the prime minister on finance. Similarly, Minister of State for Interior Shaheryar Afridi has been made Minister of States and Frontier Regions (SAFRON).

The prime minister not only regretted over the development but also called on Usman Buzdar and reportedly told him to review the bill. The governor was then asked not to sign the bill. 

Moreover, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry was given the Science and Technology portfolio which had been without a minister since December last year after Azam Khan Swati’s resignation. Firdous Aashiq Awan replaced Fawad Chaudhry but as a Special Assistant to the prime minister on information and broadcasting as she is not a parliamentarian.

Performance Comparison: Asad Umar and Usman Buzdar

Social media also demanded that Usman Buzdar should immediately be replaced for not being able to deliver in Punjab. Therefore, Buzdar’s replacement now appears on the cards.  In a talk-show Breaking with Malick anchorperson, Muhammad Malick broke the news that three names are being considered to replace CM Buzdar. Mohsin Langrial, Aslam Iqbal andMakhdoom Hashim Jawan Bakht. “Buzdar has reportedly been given three months to improve his performance otherwise he’ll be replaced,” he added. 

Read more: Is PM Khan considering to change Punjab’s chief minister?

Criticism Over Increase in Salaries of Punjab Lawmakers

Recently, Usman Buzdar had to face severe criticism after he signed a bill seeking an incredible increase in the salaries of provincial lawmakers. The prime minister not only regretted over the development but also called on Usman Buzdar and reportedly told him to review the bill. The governor was then asked not to sign the bill. According to the details of this bill, the speaker’s monthly salary was increased from Rs37,000 to Rs200,000, while his deputy would receive Rs185,000 instead of Rs35,000. The MPAs, who used to earn Rs18,000, would earn Rs80,000 every month. CM Buzdar’s own salary was increased by Rs59,000.

 Analysts on Usman Buzdar’s Performance

After Asad Umar’s resignation over his alleged poor performance, many analysts pointed out if Usman Buzdar was more competent than Umar? Kashif Abbasi, a prominent Pakistani journalist, asked Asad Umar if he was more incompetent than Usman Buzdar? “What can I say?” replied Umar.

Experts and political commentators jointly suggest PM Khan to review the performance of his team members and take the decisions accordingly to transform his idea of change into a concrete reality.

Analysts believe that Prime Minister Khan was clear about what he was up to but he was unable to get a competent team in order to materialize his idea of change. Irshad Bhatti, a prominent analyst, argues that the PM failed to appoint competent individuals in the driving seats in Punjab and KP. “What PM needs to do is very clear. Appoint four to five competent federal ministers and two dynamic and visionary men in Punjab and KPK,” he suggested.

Prominent political commentator and editor Fahd Hussain argues that “make no mistake: there is trouble — serious trouble — in Punjab.” Fahd argues that CM Buzdar has little or no control over police and bureaucracy in the province. “This trouble starts with the chief minister’s control, or lack of it, over the running of the province. Yes he travels regularly across the land suspending an odd official here and a random bureaucrat there, but his grip is weak on the affairs of the domain he lords over,” he wrote months ago.

Read more: Why did Imran Khan replace Asad Umar?

While proposing solutions to ensure better governance in Punjab, Fahd suggests that “now Khan needs to make him (CM Buzdar) un-happen if he wants to return to his original vision. Today Punjab is a mess. Forget competing with Shehbaz; the province is on the brink of a major crisis.”

Public Sentiment Driving PM’s Decision Making

Furthermore, it is argued that joblessness, poverty, inflation, and politicized police along with a joint opposition may prove difficult for the prime minister to manage. As it is reported that it is the credibility of PM Khan which has allowed the government to sustain without any public resentment. Fahd Hussain believes that the PTI must unveil its roadmap to end poverty and strengthen institutions if it is interested to enjoy popular legitimacy in the coming days.

Read more: BACK TO SQUARE ONE? – Imran picks Zardari’s former finance minister…

Experts and political commentators jointly suggest PM Khan to review the performance of his team members and take the decisions accordingly to transform his idea of change into a concrete reality.