BADIN/KARACHI: A disgruntled leader of the Pakistan Peoples Party has said there were ‘serious differences’ between party chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and his father, former president and PPP co-chairperson Asif Ali Zardari, over the ‘poor’ performance of the Sindh government — a claim rejected by the party.

“All those sycophants who are denying the differences between the father and the son are telling a lie but I confirm such differences between the two with a big yes,” claimed Dr Zulfikar Mirza — a former provincial home minister and once a close aide to Mr Zardari — while talking to a group of journalists in Golarchi town at his farmhouse in Mourjhar late Monday evening.

Dr Mirza said Mr Bhutto-Zardari was “extremely unhappy and dissatisfied” with the performance of the Sindh government and its “inept, corrupt and incompetent ministers” whom, he alleged, had deviated from the mission envisaged by the slain party leader Benazir Bhutto.

Firing a broadside at provincial ministers, an angry Dr Mirza said, they were “involved in selling jobs by grabbing hefty amounts even from committed party activists”.

“Bilawal wanted to run party affairs like his mother, but he found himself stymied by vested interests,” he added.

He said his ‘forthrightness’ had brought a slew of issues for him.

Dr Mirza said he might take his own way before the next general elections to serve the downtrodden and deprived people of Sindh if his reservations were not addressed by the party leadership.

He said the party had totally been hijacked by “corrupt and opportunistic people who lacked the vision of the founding fathers and martyrs of the party”.

He blamed Dr Babar Awan and Senator Rehman Malik for briefing Mr Zardari ‘incorrectly and misguiding’ him regarding the facts associated with the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

He demanded that both leaders were included in the investigation of the former prime minister’s assassination.

“Holding responsible only a terrorist group for assassination of Benazir Bhutto is not enough,” Dr Mirza added. “Her blood has been terribly compromised for petty interests of the corrupt and inept people.”

Dr Mirza accused the Sindh government of allotment of thousands of acres of land to builders and rendering hundreds of families homeless by using state power.

He vowed that he would retrieve the encroached land and distribute it among the people.

The media adviser to Mr Bhutto-Zardari, meanwhile, rejected all the accusations made by Mr Mirza by saying that it was not the first time the party had dismissed such allegations and rumours.

“There are no differences between the two leaders and we have refuted such claims and rumours many times in the past,” said Jamil Soomro while speaking to Dawn on Tuesday.

Published in Dawn, February 11th, 2015

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