If you can’t swim in Punjab, you drown in Islamabad.




By Wasib Imdad


Usman Buzdar doesn’t seem to get going. He appears oblivious and zoned out. As if everyone speaks the language that he doesn’t get and he mumbles what they feel weird. I don’t know if he is ahead or way behind the popular time zone but what I can figure out is that he just doesn’t fit in.

He simply lacks what it takes to govern the most populous province of the country and perhaps the most problematic. It has proved that time and time again.

The monstrous issues of Punjab: price hike, police reforms, filth over and across, corrupt officials, destroyed institutions, shallow administrative structure, poor facilities, and lack of planning are monsters that are to be faced before sleep for they will continue to prolong the night of suffering, exhausting the already exhausted.

Imran Khan needs to show plasticity where entailed and stiffness where it is right. Flexibility needs to be shown in revisiting the cards that weren’t played right in the first place and stagnancy on the principles which landed him in the power corridors. It’s time that he calls it a day on Buzdar. He shall be replaced by a hotshot who understands the turf of governance and power politics. Political commentators too are tired of changing dates and some have stopped predicting that by when they see Usman Buzdar going home. Not long before, the analytical craving used to be satisfied by predicting a date by when they see the Punjab CM going home and who to follow him. Some predicted Chaudhary Nisar as next, many termed Fawad Chaudhary to sit the CM seat, some guesses revolved around Aleem Khan and some even termed Shah Mehmood to be leading the province. All in all, proved wrong.

Shahbaz Gill has been axed. It is said that even the walls have ears. From walls to walls and corridors to corridors a message has been transferred to the PM house about yet another person exceeding his boots. You may be a critic but what must be acknowledged is that his persona was the perfect oiling for the scrappy grumpy Buzdar engine. It was he, who painted a presentable look of what can be termed as a picture of a dismal most performance. Many say that he is being brought to the center to replace the assistant to PM on Information and Broadcasting: Firdaus Ashiq Awan, to which I certainly have my doubts but a person like Gill who proved that he can keep the media in place while they are pressing upon the government from all sides should have been dealt with caution. Khan needs to understand the rule of Pakistani politics that is: If you can’t swim in Punjab you drown in Islamabad.

Khan had gotten a clear field to mesmerize the audience with his play. What may be said as a set of unfavourable circumstances by him and his allies is said as the right most track to prove his worth by his critics. He came to power when he had completely knocked the Sharifs out of the ring and the Zardaris using first aid bandages on their wounded political physiognomies. He came when even his worst political opponents believed that he is financially un-blotted. He had the uniformed boys by his side; about whom those of the past complain of non-cooperation and interference. He had been given a free hand to charge the way he wants. He, now, has the popular Kashmir front opened, another blessing in disguise to emotionally rob his haters. The cracks within the opposition are deepening with each passing day and they can’t even unite on a single day gathering against his government. He has the power to NAB his rivals under the heading of accountability. Till date, however, he couldn’t cash the scenario. Who thought that by the end of the first year, it will be he gasping for political oxygen? That oxygen will be provided by his United Nations General Assembly speech on the 27th of this month. Matters till then need to be dragged, somehow.

He needs to sort out things and reinforce his stratagem with a clear head. His team needs a strong axe to clear out those who by their thoughts, words and actions seem at bay with the vision of Naya Pakistan. He needs to prioritize a few of the many Herculean tasks in front of him, leap on resolving them and leaving the others out of his ‘to do list’. When too many things are taken up at once, is the time when one is on the path of ending up with doing nothing. He needs a kitchen cabinet, the ‘ready to go’ men who shall be veterans of their fields knowing what to and how to solve. A media team showing the demoralized electorates of work in progress upon their awaited promises is what is the demand of this hour.

When you breed upon the weaknesses of others rather than your strengths, you land up in trouble when given a chance to prove your worth. It is now that people realise that Imran Khan built his vote bank more on the mistakes of Sharifs and Zardaris than selling his game plan of steering the nation out of prevailing crises.

People want the ruthless Khan. The Khan who used to roar on the container about the injustices that prevented the country from rising. The Khan who, daily, used to sketch a vision of Naya Pakistan. The Khan who used to promise bars to the looters and plunderers. The Khan who used to have the strongest zeal when it came to chasing opponents. The Khan who used to send chills across the spines of his rivals. Not the Khan who came into the honey trap of the veiled faces in his cabinet by writing off 208 billion of the poor taxpayers. Not the Khan who hides behind the wrongs by the wrongdoers of the past when asked about the incapability of his team. Not the Khan about whom it is said that he is tiring and doesn’t show up in the office much nowadays. Not the Khan who seems chained by political compromises and bargains. And certainly not the Khan who wishes to undo all his promising speeches and tweets prior to 25th of July past year



The writer is an Islamabad based Broadcast Journalist. He tweets on @wasib25