PPP Punjab asks Bilawal to shun reconciliation policy with PML-N

Published July 26, 2015
PPP Punjab President Manzoor Wattoo recommended party leadership abandon its reconciliation policy towards the PML-N. —Online/File
PPP Punjab President Manzoor Wattoo recommended party leadership abandon its reconciliation policy towards the PML-N. —Online/File

LAHORE: Sensing that the PPP has paid enough of a price for its policy of reconciliation towards the PML-N, its Punjab chapter for the first time formally requested Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari and Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari to shun the policy and take back its space it conceded to Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI).

PPP Punjab President Manzoor Wattoo on Saturday recommended the party leadership abandon its reconciliation policy towards the PML-N and play an effective role of opposition across the country. He made this recommendation on behalf of the party’s provincial chapter office-bearers after a series of meetings with them.

“There has been consensus among office-bearers of all districts of Punjab that it is the right time for the party to shun its policy of reconciliation towards the PML-N and play an active and vibrant role of opposition,” Wattoo told Dawn.

He said the provincial party leaders and workers were of the view that the PPP could not afford a reconciliation policy towards the PML-N at this stage.

“The PTI has suffered a setback in the wake of the Judicial Commission’s report on the allegations of rigging in 2013 elections, thus leaving an opportunity for the PPP to take back its space from the PTI,” he said.

“There has been a lot of pressure from every worker to review the party’s policy of reconciliation,” he added. “We have also requested Mr Bilawal to start active politics, especially in Punjab, to lift the party. He will find the youth behind him. He will emerge as the most popular leader after actively stepping into politics.”

Former information minister and PPP stalwart from Sialkot, Firdous Ashiq Awan, and almost all other leaders who called on Bilawal in Karachi demanded the same.

“We must stop acting like a B-team of the PML-N. It’s time to regain our individuality and play an effective role of opposition giving tougher time to the PML-N government than the PTI,” Firdous said.

Meanwhile, Wattoo demanded the Election Commission of Pakistan withdraw its petition seeking postponement of the forthcoming local body elections in Punjab and Sindh due to floods.

Talking to reporters after a party meeting, Wattoo said: “If elections can be held in wars, they can be held in floods.”

He asked party office-bearers to check voters’ lists and ensure all legitimate voters were included in them.

Published in Dawn, July 26th, 2015

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