Jahangir Khan Tareen group formally announce support for Hamza Shahbaz as CM Punjab candidate
LAHORE ( Web News )
The Jahangir Khan Tareen group on Saturday formally announced to support the joint Opposition’s candidate, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Vice President and Leader of the Opposition in Punjab Assembly Muhammad Hamza Shahbaz Sharif for Punjab’s chief minister slot, after the assembly session scheduled to pick Sardar Usman Buzdar’s replacement began after a delay of almost four hours on Saturday but was adjourned till today (Sunday).
Addressing a joint press conference, Jahangir Tareen Khan group’s senior leader Malik Nauman Ahmed Khan Langriyal made the official announcement, adding that Hamza Shahbaz will serve the people of the province.
He further added that all the decisions have been taken by estranged PTI leader Sardar Jahangir Khan Tareen and all members of his group agree with the decision.
He said the group — which comprises PTI dissidents — made its decision based on “honesty, sincerity and for the country’s sake”, adding that the group hoped Hamza would serve the province well.
Langrial said the group would “fully support” Hamza but also point out any “wrongdoings and also try to stop them”.
The JKT group leader lashed out at outgoing chief minister Buzdar, alleging that he had promoted corruption and damaged the PTI.
On the occasion, Hamza Shahbaz thanks Jahangir Tareen for his support and claimed that joint opposition will emerge victorious in Centre as well as Punjab. We will put the province back on track of development and progress with the help of the group, he added.
Prior to this PML-N leader Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar took to Twitter to share the big political development and thanked Tareen for announcing his support for Hamza Shahbaz.
“Had a fruitful final round of discussion with Mr Jehangir Khan Tareen. Mutually concluded that #JKT_Group will support joint Opposition’s candidate, Mr Hamza Shehbaz Sharif, for the slot of Chief Minister, Punjab. Deeply appreciate the support of #JKT and #JKT_Group,” Ishaq Dar Tweeted.
Punjab Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Pervez Elahi, who is from the PML-Q but is the PTI’s candidate for the vacant chief minister slot, is presiding the session. Hamza Shehbaz — the PML-N’s candidate — is also in attendance.
Elahi, upon his arrival at the assembly, responded in the affirmative when asked by reporters if he would be able to secure more votes in the battle for Punjab chief ministry.
On the other hand, Hamza said securing the chief ministry was not the ultimate purpose of the opposition’s efforts, adding that a roadmap would be built for the province’s overall betterment.
The top ministerial slot of the largest province fell vacant with the acceptance of Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar’s resignation by Governor Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar on Friday, followed by an immediate summoning of the PA session for today in order to elect the new provincial chief.
However, Punjab Assembly Secretary Muhammad Khan Bhatti on Saturday said voting to elect the new Punjab chief minister would not take place today. Talking to the media in Lahore, Bhatti said only the schedule would be issued in today’s assembly session and “there will be no [other] proceeding.”
Bhatti did not give a reason why the voting would not be held today but did say that it was the assembly speaker’s right whether he set the vote for Sunday or Monday.
He said the business advisory committee would meet today to decide when the chief minister would be elected.
The Punjab government had de-notified CM Buzdar after the acceptance of his resignation but in the same notification allowed him “to continue to hold office until his successor enters upon the office”. In an array of notifications, the provincial government had also denotified all the 37 provincial ministers, five advisers to the chief minister and five special assistants to the chief minister.
Buzdar had presented his resignation to Prime Minister Imran Khan on March 28 after a delegation of senior lawmakers had submitted a no-trust motion against him with Punjab Assembly Secretary Muhammad Khan Bhatti on the same day.