Sayed Zulfi Bukhari, a close aide of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan, acknowledged at the University of London that appointing Usman Buzdar as the Chief Minister of Punjab was a mistake.
Speaking on the topic “Democracy in Crisis,” Bukhari revealed that Imran Khan soon realized this error but faced limited options for replacement due to internal party politics. During its nearly four-year government, the PTI grappled with various challenges, including Buzdar’s performance and internal power struggles.
Bukhari candidly discussed the complexities within PTI, including various groups vying for power in Punjab. He maintained that Khan’s decision to stick with Buzdar was to prevent intra-party conflict. Furthermore, Bukhari distanced PTI from Farah Gogi amid allegations of corruption, advocating for legal action if the accusations are substantiated. He clarified that Khan’s defence of Gogi stemmed from a lack of awareness about her business dealings.
PTI’s Future Outlook and Political Allegations
Reflecting on the PTI’s tenure, Bukhari expressed regrets over certain decisions, emphasizing that different leadership approaches would be adopted if given another chance. He also referenced personal allegations, citing a conspiracy behind the Ring Road case against him. Additionally, Bukhari spoke of PTI’s readiness to engage with other political parties, including PML-N and PPP, to discuss elections and democracy, highlighting the complex political landscape in Pakistan.
The former special assistant to the PM also commented on the PTI’s evolving relationship with the military, suggesting that advice, rather than dictation, would have been more appropriate from General Bajwa. In the wake of the May 9 attacks on military installations, Bukhari condemned the violence and highlighted the arrest and subsequent release of thousands of PTI activists, underlining the party’s commitment to peaceful democratic processes.”