CM Punjab cancels Punjab Overseas Convention over differences


Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar speaks during a meeting. Photo: APP
Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar speaks during a meeting. Photo: APP
  • CM Punjab shown evidences that many people attending the event had defamed Buzdar on social media, WhatsApp. 
  • Buzdar ordered cancellation as event was being used for political purposes, personal projections, say sources. 
  • Nearly 1,000 overseas Pakistanis from UK, Europe, America and Middle East were to attend the event. 

LONDON: Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar ordered the cancellation of the first ‘Overseas Global Convention’ of overseas Pakistanis living around the world, scheduled to be held at the Governor’s House on December 23, over differences within the PTI’s groups.

The organisers said Wednesday that the convention was being cancelled due to “security reasons” but a trusted source in the CM Office told this reporter that the Punjab chief minister ordered the event to be cancelled due to the differences over the way the event was being used for political purposes and personal projection.

A spokesman of the Overseas Punjab Commission shared that nearly 1,000 overseas Pakistanis from the UK, Europe, America and the Middle East were expected to attend the event – the first of its kind.

The source close to the Punjab chief minister said that affairs related to the event were being used for the projection of a “few groups” and that many who had travelled to Pakistan were considered close to Governor Punjab Muhammad Sarwar. 

The source said that the Governor House was running affairs in a way which is contrary to the policies of Usman Buzdar and only “like-minded people” were invited from overseas for personal projection.

“The Punjab Chief Minister gets intelligence reports from various sources. Evidence was shown to him that many people who were invited as main guests of the event defamed the Punjab Chief Minister in WhatsApp groups and social media,” revealed the source. 

“They belong to a particular group which doesn’t align ideologically with the PTI and criticises Usman Buzdar’s policies, who has the full trust of Prime Minister Imran Khan. The governor’s remarks in London about the IMF taking over Pakistan have not gone down well with the power circles.”

Overseas Pakistani Commission Punjab Vice Chairman Syed Makhdoom Tariq Ul Hassan met Prime Minister Imran Khan last week and invited him to attend the convention. The prime minister had accepted the invitation and assured him that he will address the convention. 

When asked if PM Khan was aware that the convention had been cancelled at the last minute, costing tens of thousands of dollars in expenses to hundreds who had travelled to Lahore to attend the convention, the Punjab government source said that the chief minister takes decisions on his own and later, takes the premier into confidence when needed.

The source said that Makhdoom Tariq Ul Hassan had done a great job since taking over around three months ago and that the event’s cancellation had nothing to do with him and his department. The cancellation, said the source, has everything to do with some people trying to hijack the event to promote a certain group.

A source close to governor Punjab rejected the allegations and said that the event at the Governor House was booked by “the OPC and the Chief Minister Office” and this was not an initiative of the Governor House.

The source said that on Wednesday they were informed that the event has been cancelled without giving any reasons. “The Governor House is one of the most secure places in the country, we have no idea what the security issue was. A dinner event at the Governor House will be organised for those who have travelled to Pakistan from overseas as the convention has been cancelled,” the source said.

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