• Sardar Usman Buzdar elected Punjab chief minister

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    • Published in Punjab
    Sardar Usman Buzdar File photo Sardar Usman Buzdar

    Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate Sardar Usman Buzdar was elected chief minister of Punjab on Sunday.

    Buzdar, who was nominated for the coveted post on Friday, received 186 votes to defeat Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) nominee Hamza Shehbaz, who got 159 votes.

    The newly elected chief minister is an advocate and a landlord by profession. Born in May 1969, in the tribal stretch of Dera Ghazi Khan in Punjab, Buzdar is the eldest of five brothers and sisters. He received his early education from his family village, Barthi, and later enrolled at Multan’s Bahauddin Zakariya University for a masters in political science and then completed an LLB.

    Sardar Fateh Muhammad Khan Buzdar, his father, served as a Grade 14 teacher at a local school, but soon took a liking for politics. He was elected to the provincial assembly three times from DG Khan – 1985-88, 2002-2007 and 2008-2013 – as a member of the Pakistan Muslim League-Q.

    The younger Buzdar, in August 2001 when Pakistan held local bodies election under General Pervez Musharraf, managed to secure the position of nazim (local elected official) twice and stayed affiliated with his father’s party. But in the 2013 general polls, he contested for a provincial assembly constituency, from the PML-N platform, and lost.

    In May, Buzdar switched parties again. Using the Janoobi Punjab Suba Mahaz movement, he and several other South Punjab members of national and provincial assembly defected from the PML-N to its rival PTI. On July 25, he won PP-286 (DG Khan) with over 26,000 votes.

    Prime Minister Imran Khan earlier reposed his confidence in Buzdar for the post of CM Punjab via a video message. Explaining his decision, the PTI chief said that Buzdar hailed from the most impoverished area of Punjab and he had decided on him as the party's candidate after due diligence.

    'Unfair match'

    The start of Sunday's Punjab Assembly session was overshadowed by protests from members of the opposition, who chanted slogans and wore black armbands.

    Before the session began, Hamza Shehbaz, the son of Shehbaz Sharif and PML-N's nominee for Punjab chief minister, slammed PTI for coming to power through unfair means, calling it an "unfair match".

    "We are only taking oaths because we want the process of democracy to continue," he told reporters.

    He demanded a parliamentary commission to probe the electoral process, and said his party will play its constitutional role.

    "We will not [resort] to climbing on containers and hurling abuses."

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