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Buzdar: The man who presages PTI govt’s downfall

"When Imran Khan picked Buzdar for CM-ship, he ignored the reality that controlling Punjab with a weak man has always backfired"

Tumandar of Taunsa Sharif made much noise throughout the last three-year, seven months and 10 days of Punjab Chief Minister-ship and went out without any blare on April Fools’ Day.

When Imran Khan chose Usman Khan in August 2018 as Punjab chief minister, it was no less than a shock to his party, opposition and media. A Tumandar (chief) of Buzdar Baloch tribe, 52-year-old Khan from the tehsil of DG Khan, left the office on Friday after ruling over the biggest province of the country without any major achievement. His close friend, however, told Minute Mirror that Buzdar changed the fate of southern Punjab and the result of next election would prove it.

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The outgoing chief minister, he claimed, executed projects worth billions of rupees, from making universities, hospitals to building roads in the otherwise neglected DG Khan, Bahawalpur, Khanewal, Vehari, Bahawalnagar, Bukkar, Layyah, Jhang and other districts of southern Punjab.

A blue-eyed of the prime minister, Buzdar remained controversial since his appointment, even taking the blame for the overall “failure” and “bad governance” of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government. Khan continued to describe him as Wasim Akram but for the majority of the party-men, he was Mansoor Akhtar, the ideal batsman of captain Imran Khan who never performed when required.

Upon appointment, many claimed he was chosen by the prime minister’s spouse through spiritual rituals while some believed he was Jahangir Tareen’s man. Others thought him close to Parvez Elahi, but the mystery, however, has yet to be resolved. Prime Minister Imran Khan revealed Buzdar’s name for Punjab CM on August 17, 2018, ignoring some powerful contenders including Raja Yasir Hamayoun, Aleem Khan, Mian Aslam Iqbal, Fawad Chaudhry and many others.

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Khan did not consider any of them and picked the newcomer, who had joined PTI months before the general elections of 2018. Observers say it was his blunder which ultimately caused PTI major damage. The damage to a level that it seemed that even Buzdar’s sacrifice at the peak of no-confidence motion against prime minister would hardly bear any fruit. The departure of the PTI government in the Center seems all but certain.

Starting his political career from Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid and serving as tehsil nazim of tribal area Kohe Suleman till 2008, Buzdar also made a quest to be member of provincial assembly in 2013 general elections from the platform of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz but failed to succeed. He joined the  ‘Janoobi Punjab Sooba Mahaz Tehreek’ few months before the 2018 polls. The tehreek merged itself with PTI before the general election.

When Khan picked him for CM-ship, he ignored the reality that experiences of controlling Punjab with a weak man always backfired whether it was in shape of Hanif Ramay in the era of the Pakistan People’s Party glory or Ghulam Hyder Wyne during the climax of the PML-N. Punjab always needs a powerful feudal or wealthy industrialist to be ruled over.

Some media outlets ran a powerful campaign for Buzdar’s removal throughout his tenure but, every time Imran Khan appeared to save and defend him, saying he will stay till his government. He has gone now and perhaps the government too.

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