GUJRAT, Dec 29: Political stalwart Nawabzada Ghazanfar Ali Gull has resigned from the membership of the PPP central executive committee but said his ‘commitment’ with the party must be beyond any doubt.

Unlike his two elder brothers, he rules out a handshake with the PML-N.

It is learnt that Mr Gull had tendered his resignation while speaking to a meeting of the CEC at Naudero, Larkana on Thursday night, where the main PPP leadership including President Asif Ali Zardari, Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and former premier Yousuf Raza Gilani were also present. It is yet to be ascertained whether the party leadership has accepted his resignation or not.

Mr Gull told Dawn that ever since his brothers had joined the PML-N, he had been feeling moral pressure to surrender the membership of the CEC -- the only office he had in the party. He said he had told the party leadership that he was only resigning from the CEC membership but would remain a ‘committed’ PPP worker. “Loyalties can be changed in politics, not commitments,” he remarked.

He said since the activation of the core committee as a decision and policy-making body in the PPP, the CEC had lost the role of framing policies.

Ghazanfar Gull, who was first elected MPA in 1988 and then became MNA by defeating Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain back in 1993 on the PPP ticket, has been feeling sidelined in the party affairs as well as in the development schemes of his constituency NA-104 since the inclusion of the Chaudhries in the PPP-led coalition government. He has been opposing the coalition at every forum.

His family had been persuading him to either accept the alliance or leave the PPP but he kept opposing the PML-Q while staying ‘committed’ to the PPP.

His desire to remain a PPP man through thick and thin had already cost him as his two elder brothers -- former MNA Nawabzada Mazhar Ali Khan and ex-MPA Nawabzada Muzaffar Ali Khan – and Nawabzada Tahirul Mulk and Nawabzada Haider Mehdi, the scion of Nawabzada Zafar Mehdi (who was the first member of the family to have joined the PPP in 1973 and remained its district president till last), had switched their loyalties to the PML-N three months ago.

Maj Moin Nawaz Warraich (retired), another close associate of Ghazanfar Gull, had also defected to the PML-N around a week ago.

Analysts believe the day is not far when the PPP old-timer will jump the PML-N bandwagon, along with other family members.

He (Gull) can be a potential PML-N candidate in NA-104 against Chaudhry Wajahat Hussain of the PML-Q. Chaudhry Wajahat had twice defeated Mr Gull in the general elections and may have added support if Gull joins the PML-N.

Mr Gull insists that he will stay with the PPP because the PML-N had not treated him well by creating a rift in his family, something which will not be of any help to the N-League but only serve the interests of the Chaudhries.

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