Hounding Buzadar out of job


Rumors are doing the rounds about the possible ouster of Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar in the media. Lengthy news articles, aided with anonymous sources – called old guards of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) – have started a countdown. Since his inception as the chief minister in 2018, Mr Buzdar has been getting exit deadlines almost every day. The messengers (read seasoned journalists) of gloom and doom wake up every morning thinking this is the last day of an introverted chief minister in the chief minister house. At sunset, they give the next day’s deadline hoping for a breakthrough in their fake-news career. This is insane and should be stopped. The media’s role as watchdog cannot be undermined but when the media becomes a player in the politicians’ power game, it only hurts the standards of journalism, not the politicians. Media, by becoming the voice of the public, can question Buzdar’s government’s capability to carry out governance functions and meet the manifesto of the ruling party. The ruling setup in Punjab is not, of course, run by saints, as the Punjab government has failed the party’s progressive manifesto on many fronts. Similarly, the government has achieved many milestones in the last two years, which deserve appreciation.
The change of faces in power corridors is a normal thing and all over the world, ruling parties keep on changing faces for better delivery. In the case of Mr Buzdar, it is not the matter of governance. He belongs to the most underdeveloped area of Punjab. His own hometown lacked electricity when he was made the chief minister. This leaves a question mark on the performance of previous regimes, which have been showering development funds on major cities in central and upper Punjab regions over the years. Under the Buzdar-government, now 70 percent of the constituency of the chief minister has got power connections. Being the most familiar person to the problems of the least developed areas of Punjab, Mr Buzdar has allocated dedicated funds for south Punjab. On the other side, Mr Buzdar has not shown any political acumen to keep the political side in the swim. He cannot face the media; he has failed to launch any project which can be called a flagship programme of his government. He has not been able to stem the tide of dissenters within the party, and every time, Prime Minister Imran Khan has to intervene to fend off crises. That is, however, a PTI problem, and the media’s job is to report them, not to become a force to oust Mr Buzdar.