ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Imran Khan Saturday defended his decision to nominate Sardar Usman Buzdar as the party’s candidate for the slot of Punjab chief minister.

In the wake of some news reports and discussions on the social media about Buzdar’s alleged corrupt and criminal activities, the newly-elected prime minister took to Twitter and said that he stood by his party’s nominee Usman Buzdar for the Punjab CM.

“I have done my due diligence over the past two weeks and have found him to be an honest man. He has an integrity and stands by my vision and ideology of Naya Pakistan,” Khan wrote through Twitter.

In his second Tweet, the PM said: “Usman comes from one of the most backward areas of Punjab - the tribal area of DG Khan Division. It is an area that has no electricity, water or a doctor for over 200,000 ppl. He understands the problems of the ppl of neglected areas & will be able to ensure their uplift as CM.”

In his third consecutive Tweet, the PM said that this was the first time that Punjab would have a chief minister from such a neglected area “who is acutely aware of what to be done there.” He added: “I fully back him all the way,” he said

Some media reports said on Saturday that PTI’s nominee for CM Punjab had allegedly paid blood-money to resolve a murder case against him after a court convicted him and his companions in January 2000.

Later in the evening, PTI spokesperson and information minister-designate Fawad Chaudhry also issued a video statement to clarify the accusations levelled against Buzdar were baseless and concocted.

Chaudhry said that propaganda was underway that PTI’s CM Punjab nominee had been involved in a murder case or perhaps he was facing corruption case in the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). He clarified that Buzdar was not facing any NAB case.

Regarding the murder case, PTI spokesperson said that if anyone would take some pain to go through FIR registered against Buzdar, he would know he was not even present on the crime scene.

“It was a typical political case and electoral candidates have to face such cases. A firing incident had taken place as a polling station and it was claimed in the FIR that this was done on the behest of opposite candidate (Buzdar),” he added.

Chaudhry said that these political cases were part of the rural politics but it was wrong to say that he was not eligible for the slot. 

Buzdar belongs to a middle class family and Prime Minister Imran Khan was promoting him under his vision. He concluded that this nomination should be appreciated rather they should launch propaganda against anyone without proper investigation. He hoped that Buzdar would prove himself as the most successful chief minister Punjab.

 

Staff Reporter from Lahore adds: Imran Khan said nomination of Buzdar has been made in the best interest of the province.

Addressing the PTI parliamentary party at a local hotel in Lahore on phone yesterday, the prime minister said his party is determined to improve life of the people of the Punjab and will change its destiny. He asked the party parliamentarians and the workers to act diligently and efficiently for the betterment of the people of the province.

Prime Minster Imran Khan said they had decided Usman Buzdar’s candidature after consultations of two weeks. Buzdar is honest and a person of strong character. He belongs to a humble family and under-developed part of the Punjab, he said, adding he is fit to deliver.

The meeting which was also attended by Senator Ch Sarwar discussed strategy for the Punjab chief minister’s election Sunday (today).

Speaking on this occasion, Ch Sarwar said problems are so many and can be solved through concerted efforts. He said the people of the Punjab do not have even potable drinking water let alone any other facility to them. Ch Sawar said they are going to introduce a local government system which will devolve powers to union councils in a true sense.

“Take up issues with us and we will resolve them with joint efforts,” Ch Sarwar said, inviting others to facilitate the PTI in the discharge of its responsibilities instead of creating hurdles.