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Governor tries to ‘restore’ Buzdar and cabinet, terms ex-CM’s resignation constitutionally invalid
• CM meets Tareen, discusses cabinet formation

LAHORE: After weeks of uncertainty and court cases, PML-N’s Hamza Shehbaz on Saturday finally managed to take oath as the 21st chief minister of Punjab following court orders in this regard, while the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) remains in denial mode, calling the CM’s election “unconstitutional and disputed” and insisting Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s son cannot be accepted as the chief executive of the province.

Soon after Hamza was sworn in and assumed his office at 8-Club Road (CM secretariat), the Punjab chief secretary notified that interim chief minister Usman Buzdar ceased to hold office with immediate effect. Hamza was presented with a guard of honour on his maiden visit to the secretariat.

As he left his Model Town residence for the Governor House to take oath from National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, Punjab Governor Omar Sarfraz Cheema restored Mr Buzdar as a full-fledged CM along with his entire cabinet. However, the Services and General Administration Department (S&GAD) did not notify the move.

Buzdar, on the other hand, called a meeting of his ‘restored’ cabinet at the Punjab Assembly and declared Hamza’s election illegal.

Security was beefed up in and outside Governor House for the swearing-in of the chief minister since the civil administration had completely realigned itself with the new coalition government, while Governor Cheema continued tweeting against the ‘forced takeover’ of the premises and holding of the ceremony.

The governor also reques­ted the chief justice of Pakistan to take note of the “hooliganism” in Governor House. He even called Rangers personnel but they did not come to his rescue.

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