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Punjab Assembly session adjourned till April 6

Updated 03 Apr, 2022
The federal government on Sunday appointed party leader Omar Sarfraz Cheema as the new Punjab governor after removing Chaudhry Sarwar from the post for his alleged backdoor talks with the PML-N leadership amid the election of the new provincial CM in the Punjab Assembly. Photo via Twitter
The federal government on Sunday appointed party leader Omar Sarfraz Cheema as the new Punjab governor after removing Chaudhry Sarwar from the post for his alleged backdoor talks with the PML-N leadership amid the election of the new provincial CM in the Punjab Assembly. Photo via Twitter
A combination of file photo shows Umar Sarfraz Cheema (L) and Chaudhry Sarwar (R).
A combination of file photo shows Umar Sarfraz Cheema (L) and Chaudhry Sarwar (R).
“The new governor of Punjab will be announced later. According to the constitution, the deputy speaker will be the acting governor,” Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said in a tweet. APP/File
“The new governor of Punjab will be announced later. According to the constitution, the deputy speaker will be the acting governor,” Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said in a tweet. APP/File

The Punjab Assembly session was adjourned till April 6 without any proceedings, Aaj News reported.

The federal government on Sunday appointed party leader Omar Sarfraz Cheema as the new Punjab governor after removing Chaudhry Sarwar from the post for his alleged backdoor talks with the PML-N leadership amid the election of the new provincial CM in the Punjab Assembly.

The development was shared by Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry in a tweet.

Earlier in the morning, the federal government removed Chaudhry Sarwar from the Punjab governor post, hours before the provincial assembly session where the new chief minister would be elected after Usman Buzdar's resignation.

The development was announced by Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry in a tweet. “The new governor of Punjab will be announced later. According to the constitution, the deputy speaker will be the acting governor,” it read.

Sources told Aaj News that Sarwar had backdoor talks with the PML-N leadership and a soft corner for the rival opposition party. They added that PM Imran was not “happy” with the former Punjab governor’s relationship with the PML-N.

Moreover, a few days back PML-N leader Khawaja Saad Rafique while talking to reporters in Lahore had urged Sarwar to work as per the law as the latter had been part of the N-league in the past. In addition to this, Aaj News reported that the former Punjab governor, who had also served in the same capacity for a brief period from the N-league, had expedited his contacts with the PML-N leadership over the last 48 hours and in the past 24 hours he also had telephonic conversations with them -- including people in London, UK -- which apparently irked PM Imran especially at a time when the province was going to elect a new CM.

According to sources, Sarwar in such calls had demanded of the PML-N "adjust" its lawmakers in the next elections and the opposition party assured him of fulfilling such a request. They added that PML-Q leader Parvez Elahi had also no "cordial ties" with the former governor.

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday also urged party MPAs in the Punjab Assembly to ensure they vote for Chaudhry Parvez Elahi in the CM Punjab election.

"Any PTI MPA going against party direction, including abstaining from vote, will be disqualified and will face strict disciplinary action," he said in a tweet.

The move comes as the Punjab Assembly meets today to pick the new chief minister of Punjab. The decision had come after a brief provincial assembly session on Saturday after four hours of delays and amid sloganeering from both opposition and treasury benches. The session was adjourned till 11:30am today.

JKT group endorses Hamza Shehbaz for Punjab CM slot

Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar on Friday accepted the resignation of CM Usman Buzdar amid the government’s efforts to lure the coalition partners and summoned the provincial assembly session.

The ruling party PTI and the PML-Q have nominated Chaudhry Parvez Elahi as its candidate who will be up against Hamza Shehbaz, PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif's son, for the coveted seat. As per the House rules, the winning candidate needs the support of as many as 186 lawmakers in the 371-member assembly to secure his/her position.

Separately, in a major blow to the PTI, the Jahangir Khan Tareen faction of the ruling party on Saturday announced its support for Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz candidate Hamza Shehbaz in the run-up to the Punjab chief minister seat for the “betterment of the country”, giving another blow to the ruling party in the province considered by many as the primary battleground of Pakistan's political landscape.

“We informed Jehangir Khan Tareen [about our meetings] and in the wee hours of Saturday at around 3am our leader announced his support for PML-N candidate Hamza Shehbaz in the Punjab CM election,” estranged PTI leader Nauman Langrial had said in a press conference in Lahore where he was accompanied by Hamza Shehbaz. PTI lawmaker Asad Khokhar on Saturday also announced his decision to cast vote in favour of the PML-N candidate.

Such a development prompted Moonis Elahi, Parvez Elahi's son, to contact the Jahangir Khan Tareen lawmakers. According to sources, some MPAs also met the PML-Q leader in an effort to break the opposition vote bank.