The much-contested position of the Chief Minister (CM) of Punjab has finally been awarded to Usman Buzdar - a Pakistan Tehreek-in-Insaaf (PTI) leader almost unknown to the public eye. He belongs to the tribal area of Barthi in Dera Ghazi Khan. This decision has taken many by surprise because the former CM, Shahbaz Sharif, has set a very high precedent to fulfil the role, however, the fact that Usman Buzdar’s political background is lesser known and he has a clean slate, there is a chance that the selected leader will perform as per to the requirements of the role.
It is quite evident as to why he might have been the perfect candidate for the job. A man with a lesser known background, whom party chief Imran Khan personally prefers due to his, as Khan says, middle-class status and the fact that he has witnessed the problems of the people first hand. Khan is of the belief that a person like Buzdar is going to perform because he has witnessed the pain of the nation along with them.
There is no doubt about the fact that the population at this point is extremely disenfranchised by the mainstream politicians. They want to see new faces to make them believe that a significant change is taking place. Usman Buzdar will be a refreshing sight in the Punjab Assembly, although a lot of responsibility lies on his shoulders because Punjab is the epicentre of all governments. You impress and win Punjab, you are most likely to form a government. It will be a huge test for Usman Buzdar to convert Punjab into a PTI centric region. Understanding the politics of this province alone requires a lot of political acumen and statesmanship.
PTI is going to be under a lot of pressure, especially with its efforts to field new candidates. There is a lot at stake in choosing new political workers. This means that they have to be adept in lobbying, handling the pressure from the opposition parties and able to deliver the manifesto of the party in the amount of time allotted. While the population at this point is hopeful and excited to see new faces, what will matter at the end of the day is delivery. Many are hopeful that these new faces in the polity will bring about a positive push and actually fill the void that past leaders of Punjab have created.