GUJRAT: With Nawabzada Ghazanfar Ali Gul’s recent appointment as a senior advisor to the Pakistan People’s Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, along with three other veteran loyalists, the party seems to have recognised the services of old guards who have apparently been sidelined since Benazir Bhutto’s assassination.

Besides Mr Gul, at least three other party veterans – Jahangir Badar, Bashir Riaz and Barrister Masood Kousar -- have been appointed advisers by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

All the four appointees had once been considered very close to their slain chairperson Benazir Bhutto and stood by the party through thick and thin.

Mr Gul, a member of PPP central executive, feels elated with the appointment. His appointment is believed to have been made in recognition of his longstanding and unwavering commitment to Benazir Bhutto and the party as he had refused to join the PML-N along with other members of his family when the PPP was at its lowest ebb.

“This is a befitting reward to him (Mr Gul) at a time when he is thought to have been sidelined by the party leadership,” said a local PPP worker while commenting on the appointment by the chairman.

The appointments had surely been made in consultation with the party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, a source said.

Mr Gul had never demanded any assignment or office in the party and the appointment came as a surprise to him as there was no such indication during his recent visit to Garrhi Khuda Bux where he went to attend Benazir’s death anniversary, the source added.

Mr Gul was not informed of the appointment in advance either, he said, adding that Bilawal Bhutto Zardari talked to him (Gul) on telephone late on Saturday and told him about the assignment.

Bilawal told Gul that he would be visiting Punjab soon and he intended to learn a lot politically from the veteran party leader, the source said.

Commenting on his appointment as advisor to party chairman, Gul said it was an honour for him and that he felt his commitment to the party had been recognised.

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