Throne of Punjab
Who shall win the tug of war?
That Punjab with a population of over 120 million people was politically important was no secret to anyone. When after the previous general elections, PTI was able to garner enough support to cobble together a government there it was literally over the moon. They were ecstatic that they were able to break the 30 year long hold of PMLN over the province.
While there were so many eligible candidates for the slot of chief ministership, the PTI chief had some other ideas. Granting the all important post to a usual suspect would have created a slew of problems for Imran Khan. He went for an out of the box solution by opting to send an unknown and loyal man to the CM office. While it has been a safe choice for the party, they have fallen short of delivering on the promises. Like it or not, in Shehbaz Sharif the people of Punjab had an able and untiring chief minister who brought about so many reforms and made the bureaucracy efficient and accountable. In health and education he was able to bring much improvement. In transport, he was second to none.
Buzdar’s performance is below par and he has been found wanting in many areas. Take the example of dengue that was literally exterminated in the province is back and there are thousands of cases reported across the province. Polio is another area. So far in the year five cases have been reported. The prices of medical tests in hospitals have gone up. Fares of the metro buses have been jacked up. They do not know how to handle the bureaucracy and instead of ensuring tenured postings for top officials they have been shuffled like a pack of cards. There is uncertainty and chaos. Within PTI, there are voices for change but seemingly Khan is sticking to his guns. Many say he is playing safe but at the cost of precious votes in the most important province.