LAHORE: The Punjab cabinet meeting on Tuesday had an “unusual scene” when Chief Minister Usman Buzdar snubbed School Education Minister Murad Raas, telling him that he would no longer tolerate “indiscipline and insubordination” which happened right in the middle of the meeting.
Sources said Murad earned the chief ministerial ire when he objected to the removal of Punjab School Education Department Secretary Sara Aslam, saying she was transferred a day earlier without taking him into confidence.
Uncharacteristically, the chief minister responded in a harsh tone.
“Is the issue big enough to raise in the cabinet meeting, especially when it was not on the agenda?” Buzdar reportedly asked.
“It was not only her but four other senior bureaucrats, attending the senior management course, were also made officers on special duty as it was a procedural requirement. My own principal secretary (Iftikhar Sahu) is transferred on the same ground. Still, if you feel so concerned, you could have taken it up after the meeting — with me, privately.”
Continuing, the chief minister sounded a strong warning when he told his cabinet that he was “aware of who was doing what and who is conspiring against whom. I am being forced to act like a (strict) chief minister and now that is what you people are going to get.”
According to reports, Ansar Majeed Niazi — minister for labour and human resource — also got his share of scolding for crossing lines with CM Usman Buzdar.
The incident prompted a quick reaction from spokesperson for PML-N Azma Bukhari who said two provincial ministers had publicly questioned Chief Minister Buzdar and his governance.
“It is more of a no-confidence in his performance. The PML-N has been saying it from the day one that Buzdar was not a chief minister stuff. Now, even his cabinet colleagues are realising it. And they are not alone as over 20 members of the assembly led by three ministers are active against the chief minister and ready to lead the revolt,” she claimed in a statement.