News Analysis |
Prime Minister Imran Khan has reached Lahore today [Sunday] to meet the Punjab CM Usman Buzdar and other cabinet members to get an update on the progress report on party’s 100-Day Agenda in the provincial capital. In a day-long visit, the Senior Minister Abdul Aleem Khan will brief the premier on the progression made under the new government in Punjab.
Later, PM Khan will chair a meeting of Punjab cabinet. Meanwhile, protesters have gathered outside the Khan’s residence at Zaman Park to protest against the fraud in the corrupt housing schemes–where people were deprived of their lawful right. According to the media reports, Health Minister Dr. Yasmin Rashid, Tourism Minister Yasir Humayun, Forest Minister Muhammad Sibtain Khan, and Chairman Punjab Commission on Police Reforms Nasir Khan Durrani will also brief the PM on the progress regarding the ongoing project.
Similarly, PTI chairman Khan opted to keep his Mianwali seat. Khan had marginally defeated the PML-N candidate Khawaja Saad in NA-131, and once again, it is going to be an interesting contest.
The ministers are expected to receive the approval on mega projects. PM Khan will also meet the local leaders of Lahore to discuss the forthcoming October by-polls. PTI had presented an overwhelmingly ambitious agenda for its first 100-day in power. PM Imran prior to elections had vowed to start the process of change from Lahore.
The previous regime spent the bulk of the budget on Lahore and failed to develop the Southern Punjab belt, in particular, in spite of countless promises. After forming the government, PM Khan installed a completely unknown entity from Southern Punjab as the Punjab CM—in an attempt to make a strong statement, Khan faced barrage of criticism from all quarters including within PTI. The direction of Punjab government is less obvious, unlike the center. Khan installed refreshing new faces in Punjab.
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The Federal cabinet was more of a compromise. The countdown to PTI’s first 100 days and its much-publicized agenda has already started. People expectations have skyrocketed, after Khan’s maiden address to the nation, and Punjab remains key to realize the dream of ‘Naya Pakistan’.
Being a most populous province, Punjab remains central to the electability of any government in Pakistan. In July 25 elections, PML-N and ruling PTI had won in NA-124 Lahore-II and NA-131 Lahore-IX. After the elections, PML-N’s opposition leader in Punjab, Hamza Shehbaz had vacated his seat in Lahore. Similarly, PTI chairman Khan opted to keep his Mianwali seat. Khan had marginally defeated the PML-N candidate Khawaja Saad in NA-131, and once again, it is going to be an interesting contest.
Despite, being in government, PTI will find it extremely hard to win the NA-124, because of three factors. One, PML-N had won the seat with an exceedingly high margin—which PTI, despite in government, would find hard to cover. Secondly, after the release of Nawaz and Maryam, PML-N voters feel rejuvenated. And finally, the sentiments of the people will be high especially after the propaganda against Begum Kalsoom’s illness, and her eventual death in London.