LONDON/LAHORE: Chief Minister Punjab’s office has issued a clarification regarding a story published by The Pakistan Daily pertaining to the expenses incurred during Usman Buzdar’s visit to Sahiwal in an exclusive conversation with this correspondent.
Aftab Ahmed, who serves as CM Usman Buzdar’s focal person for Overseas Pakistanis reached out to The Pakistan Daily and clarified that the food and accommodation for Usman Buzdar’s guests from his hometown Dera Ghazi Khan were paid by local PTI parliamentarian, Rai Hassan Nawaz.
“This was a baseless news published by some news outlets. There is a pattern of a targeted campaign against Chief Minister Usman Buzdar, fuelled by the opposition.
“It’s the right of CM Punjab to have food and accommodation for his own security and staff. People are forgetting the time when Shehbaz Sharif had seven camp offices, all paid for by the national exchequer.”
Aftab Ahmed claimed that Rai Hassan Nawaz, who owned thousands of acres in Sahiwal had paid for Usman Buzdar’s special guests from his own pocket.
A spokesperson from Sahiwal District Administration also claimed that the district administration only provided food and accommodation to Usman Buzdar’s security and staff, while the expenses for the VIP guests from Buzdar’s hometown were bourn privately.
Sahiwal District Administration further claimed that no helicopter was used during this trip and that one new helipad was built in Harrapa as a precaution.
When The Pakistan Daily asked the Chief Minister’s office regarding the true amount spent on the trip, they did not provide a number but reiterated the fact that no money was wasted and that Chief Minister Usman Buzdar was quite frugal in regards to the national exchequer.
The Pakistan Daily stands by its original story with confirmed intelligence including names of the guests and details of the hotels and caterers, however, since the Chief Minister’s office has clarified that the money was not spent from the national exchequer, this particular detail has been changed in the original story.