LAHORE - Khawaja Ahmad Hassan, who is being tipped as future Mayor of Lahore due to his long association with Sharif family, is still the de facto head of many departments and companies despite being elected unopposed chairman of a union council.

Given his closeness with the ruling elites, it is believed he will continue to hold sway over some key departments even after his election as Lahore Mayor.

Before his candidature for UC chairman, Mr Hassan was serving as the chairman of the BoDs of Lahore Transport Company, Solid Waste Management, Punjab Institute of Cardiology and vice-chairman of Metro Bus Authority besides looking after a couple of other projects in Lahore.

“He officially resigned from all the posts but is still supervising all the projects and other matters in the departments,” official sources told The Nation. They added the Punjab chief minister had complete faith in Khawaja Hassan’s management skills and he was counted among the most trusted men of the Sharif family in Punjab. He also advises the ruling family on their personal businesses, the sources said.

“Khawaja Ahmad Hassan enjoys the same status in Punjab as Ishaq Dar in the centre. He is the key adviser to Punjab CM.

“His unopposed victory is symbolic and message for the opposition parties by the PML-N that he will be the next mayor of Lahore.”

After having served as chairman of Lahore Transport Company for around five years, Hassan could not bring about any significant change in the local transport system. The company, under his chairmanship, badly failed to change the transport environment of the city.

Thousands of unfit Qingqi rickshaws, dilapidated buses and mini vans can still be seen plying on city routes. Many of the routes still lack any transport facility.

Lahore needs around 2000 buses to cater the need of millions of commuters but the company has so far introduced only 450 buses despite years of controlling urban transport sector.

His probable selection as the Lahore Mayor has put question mark on his future performance as the top manager of the city.

Mr Hassan was repeatedly contacted on his cell phone for his input on the story but he did not respond to any of the calls or text messages.