LAHORE: Punjab senior minister Aleem Khan dismissed the notion that he is playing the role of the provincial chief minister on the sidelines.
In an interview with BBC Urdu, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader clarified the impression that he is the ‘real’ Punjab chief minister and Usman Buzdar is not in the lead.
“I do have a lot of responsibilities but the Punjab chief minister has entrusted me with them,” Aleem said.
Aleem, who is currently in charge of local government and community development (LG&CD) department explained, “If tomorrow I ask you to chair a meeting on local government, it does not mean that you have become the minister for that department.”
“Buzdar asked me to overlook the province’s 100-day plan and to check the performance of departments,” he added.
He further said that the Punjab CM asked him to lead the plan for a clean Punjab, adding that “the responsibility has been given to me by him and if he did not give it to me they would have assigned it to someone else”.
Regarding a new local government system, Aleem Khan said that his ministry has “prepared a draft of recommendations which will be forwarded to Prime Minister Imran Khan for approval this week”.
Criticising the previous government, Aleem said, “The former Punjab chief minister kept all the powers with himself and the mayors of the cities had no authority.”
“Under the new local government system, local representatives will have complete administrative and economic authority,” he said.
Aleem further added that this will be the first time that councils will be established according to the neighbourhoods in the cities and districts making it easier for the people to raise their concerns.
“The mayors will be in charge of all matters pertaining to their cities and all institutions will work under them,” the PTI leader further said.
The senior minister also shared that mayors will be elected by the people. “The people of Lahore will elect their mayor themselves.”