Islamabad - Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Lahore on Saturday has shut the rumour mills speculating about the replacement of Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar for his unsatisfactory performance.  Contrary to speculations, Imran Khan expressed his satisfaction over the performance of Punjab Chief Minister.

According to official sources, the Prime Minister met the Punjab Chief Minister and the two discussed implementation of smart lockdown strategy amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Imran Khan appreciated not only the Punjab government’s measures for curbing the virus but also acknowledged relief efforts of the provincial government for the public, thus bringing an end to the rumours.

Chief Minister Buzdar has been facing such allegations ever since he was nominated for the prestigious post governing the most populous province, yet Imran Khan has continued to side with him unflinchingly.

Recently, CM Buzdar survived the most serious challenge to his position, when he was alleged to have links with the sugar and wheat scam.

Speculations about the removal of Buzdar as Chief Minister were rife again ahead of the Prime Minister’s visit to Lahore, but the Prime Minister has not only supported him but also appreciated his efforts in combating coronavirus and the relief measures he provided for the people of the Punjab.

A day earlier, Punjab Minister for Information and Culture Fayyaz ul Hassan Chohan, while commenting on the unverified reports, had stated that CM Buzdar was not going anywhere and will continue as Chief Minister of Punjab.

During background discussions with PTI leaders it is revealed that some elements within the ruling PTI are equally responsible for such speculations, aimed at keeping the Chief Minister under pressure.

Some also blamed the PTI’s key coalition partner, PML-Q; considering their power sharing in the provincial government.

On the other hand, sources close to CM Buzdar are of the firm view that the Chief Minister is making all out efforts to do away with the sense of deprivation of the people of Southern Punjab. According to them, Usman Buzdar is first Chief Minister who is making sincere efforts for the welfare of the people of southern Punjab.

They believed this is the reason he is enjoying total confidence of the Prime Minister. Others confirming this also added that CM Buzdar is looking after the political issues relating to southern districts of Punjab while Haleem Khan has been assigned the task to look after political matters of Central Punjab and districts of Potohar region.