Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid (PML-Q), an important ally of the ruling PTI, wants more ‘share’ in top bureaucracy and continuation of chief minister Usman Buzdar. Sources claim that a message has been conveyed that the party is not willing to compromise on ‘some key’ issues it is facing at the moment. The PML-Q has reportedly given one week ultimatum to the PTI’s leadership to address their grievances.
Words like 'governance' and 'grievance' don't change how this is all basically about controlling the levers of state patronage to further the interests of the political elite. The PML-Q's antics are a demonstration of politics-as-usual in Naya Pakistan.https://t.co/aRYGKxI0h5
— Hassan Javid (@HassanJavid_) January 20, 2020
Reliable sources within PML-Q told GVS that Chaudhry brothers are not comfortable after the Prime Minister ordered the top provincial officials to report him on regular basis. The PML-Q is extremely unhappy as more administrative control has been given to the chief secretary and the police chief who reportedly take orders directly from the PM secretariat, leaving Mr Buzdar with a ‘ceremonial’ title of chief executive.
“This week is very important. We will see if a standing order has been conveyed with regard to empowering our ministers and lawmakers. If not, then we will weigh other options we have,” a senior PML-Q leader told Dawn on Sunday.
Political analysts and opinion makers believe that the PML-Q wants two things to be done at the outset; a) Chief Minister Usman Buzdar should not be replaced; b) Prime Minister Imran Khan must not intervene into provincial affairs. If accepted, these two demands will make the PML-Q the most powerful force in Punjab. Previously, there was reported tussle between governor Punjab, Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar, and Chaudhry brothers over who runs the province.
A senior PTI leader who spoke to GVS on the condition of anonymity said “we are losing Punjab as Chaudhrys are claiming it”. He also noted that “a weak and insightless Chief Minister is what suits the PML-Q, not the PTI if we want to materialize our idea of Naya Pakistan”. The leader, however, regretted that “the premier is not willing to listen to anybody for the reasons unknownst”.
a weak and insightless Chief Minister is what suits the PML-Q, not the PTI if we want to materialize our idea of Naya Pakistan
Why Buzdar continues to find PM’s Support?
Sources claim that there are two groups within the PTI and one group reportedly being led by Jahangir Khan Tareen, senior PTI leader who was disqualified by the Supreme Court of Pakistan a year ago and is not willing to let PM Khan replace CM Buzdar.
Senior analyst Haroon Rashid in a local TV program Think Tank claimed that Tareen was not convinced to bring any immediate change in Punjab. Therefore, PM did not issue instructions to change Buzdar. However, some sources also claim that Chaudhary brothers in Punjab are comfortable with CM Buzdar and are pursuing the prime minister not to replace him.
— Pakistani News (@Pakistani_News_) November 30, 2018
The PTI does not enjoy an absolute majority in Punjab rather it had to seek the help of several independents and the PML-Q to form government.
Captain’s incompetent team?
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.
Read more: Is Usman Buzdar trying to be more Powerful?
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.
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.”
— Farah Adeed (@Farah_adeed) September 4, 2019
Similarly, there are other analysts who maintain that Buzdar blunder should immediately be fixed. “Unfortunately, like the former chief minister, the current chief minister of the largest province of Pakistan is also focusing on his personal political development and not on the masses. If anyone wants to see PM Imran’s political romance in Pakistan, there will be no better manifestation than Mr Usman Buzdar. Buzdar, a local MPA who had never been in national politics, was given the task of dealing with the Punjab police and the politicised bureaucracy in Punjab. An unknown Buzdar came in and the renowned Nasir Khan Durrani went out, even though he was there to reform the unruly Punjab Police”.
It is the time that the prime minister takes a bold stand and decides to bring in a powerful and energetic person in Punjab to deal with governance, allies and opposition. Will Prime Minster review his decision?