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PPP fails to launch membership drive, hold intra-party polls

Updated September 01, 2013

PESHAWAR, Aug 31: The provincial chapter of Pakistan People’s Party has failed get a go-ahead signal from the central leadership to launch a membership drive and hold intra-party elections on the pattern of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Some members of the provincial council of PPP said that a proposal had been sent to the central leadership to get permission for new membership and intra-party elections but they got no response. That’s why all the activities of the party had come to a standstill, they said.

“We have been in the party since student life and faced all kinds of hardship for its strength in the province, especially during the martial laws. We were in hot water during the martial law of Gen Ziaul Haq but the workers kept their association with the party intact, however, now everyone is disappointed,” they told Dawn.

The senior workers of the party said that PPP was facing a leadership crisis as all powers were retained by President Asif Ali Zardari and no one except him had the authority to issue an order regarding the party affairs.

“A former provincial president and some other senior leaders tried repeatedly to get appointment from Mr Zardari to discuss issues pertaining to defeat in the elections, reorganization of the party, intra-party elections and future line of action with him but he didn’t even respond to them,” they said.

However, they said that when Awami National Party approached PPP leadership for getting support in the by-elections on NA-1 Peshawar then Mr Zardari and his sister Faryal Talpur contacted PPP leaders in Peshawar to tell them to vote for the ANP candidate.

The party sources said that most of the problems faced by PPP were owing to its coalition government with ANP in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. “Now again Mr Zardari is giving weight to the rival party,” they said, adding that PPP had committed a blunder by withdrawing its candidate from the by-elections.

The PPP provincial chapter, they said, would feel embarrassment if the central leadership did not endorse its decisions about reorganisation of the party and intra-party elections as the workers had already welcomed the proposals.

The new membership and intra-party elections, they said, could reactivate the disgruntled workers as they were disappointed due to the indifferent behaviour of the former ministers of the party.

“Had Mr Zardari any sympathies with the party workers in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa he would have visited Peshawar and met them in Governor’s House. Parties can’t be run with irresponsible attitude,” they said.

The workers said that PPP provincial president Anwar Saifullah was also not interested to work any longer because he was also fed up with the behaviour of central leadership.

They claimed that his view point regarding alliance with ANP was quite different from that of Mr Zardari because it was ANP that opposed a proposal about Mr Saifullah’s appointment as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governor.

A spokesperson for PPP provincial president MPA Nighat Yasmeen Orakzai, when contacted, said that PPP provincial president was abroad on a private visit and would soon return to resume his charge as party head in the province.

However, PPP acting provincial president Azam Afridi avoided to discuss the issue of membership and intra-party elections and attitude of central leadership of the party.

“I don’t have anything in this regard because I was not invited to attend meetings at central level,” he said and added that provincial president would soon return and he would be in a position to respond to such queries.

Efforts were also made to talk to PPP provincial secretary information Liaquat Shabab and provincial general secretary Eng Mohammad Humayun Khan but they did not attend the telephone calls.