PESHAWAR: The annoyed workers of Pakistan Peoples Party have rejected the idea to hold intra-party elections only in five districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and suggested that the process should be initiated at one time across the province.
A senior activist told this correspondent here on Sunday that party’s provincial president Khanzada Khan had contacted the ‘ideological senior leaders’ to sit together and resolve the internal issues.
“We had welcomed the provincial president’s gesture and assured him of full cooperation for strengthening of the party, but the negotiations must be aimed at implementation of the democratic culture, Bhutto’s philosophy and PPP manifesto in real sense,” he said.
The source said that holding of intra-party elections was not a big issue, but the sitting office-bearers were not ready to resign, while the workers were not ready to accept them as their leaders on the basis of nominations.
Masood Kausar says workers should be given actual powers
“How can the workers accept the former federal and provincial ministers as their office-bearers who had plundered huge money and did not bother even to meet the workers during the five-year tenure of PPP government in the centre and KP as well?” he asked.
Regarding the intra-party elections, former KP governor Barrister Masood Kausar said that it was the requirement of the party in the current situation as it had no towering leadership now to give a policy to the workers. In the prevailing situation, the workers should be given the powers to elect their office-bearers and devise a plan for strengthening of the party in respective areas, he said.
Mr Kausar, who was also a former provincial president, said that they wanted formation of an organising committee of neutral people to oversee the process of intra-party elections as the sitting office-bearers could not fulfil the requirement. He said that elections should be held across the province after mobilisation of the workers and creating awareness among them.
The veteran politician said that negotiations between the aggrieved people and sitting office-bearers were held and other sessions would also take place, but the demand would be the same for revival of democratic culture in the party.
“We do not consider the elections only for assemblies and Senate as democracy, but actual democracy should start from the political parties,” he said. He claimed that PPP had a distinct position in the country’s political parties which represented the oppressed class and if it failed to follow Bhutto’s philosophy of democracy it would not maintain its position. He said that Bilawal Bhutto Zardari or anyone from the Bhutto’s family should hold the top slots in party symbolically, but the actual powers needed to be given to workers to meet the challenges.
When contacted, provincial secretary information Liaquat Shabab said that the intra-party election had been announced on demand of the annoyed people, but now they themselves were not ready to follow the process.
“We are ready to hold intra-party elections in the entire province, but initially conducting the process in the five districts will be a test case for the party. If this experiment proved successful then it can be replicated even across the country with approval of the central leadership,” he said.
Mr Shabab said that the central leadership would announce a policy for strengthening of the party and future elections on the occasion of PPP’s foundation day ceremony in Lahore on Nov 30 and it would be a guideline for all the workers.
He said that the process of intra-party elections in five districts, including Malakand, Mardan, Lower Dir, Upper Dir and Swabi, would continue as per plan and organising committees would be formed to supervise the elections.
About the short visit of PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to Peshawar and protest of scores of workers for not allowing them to meet him, he said that it was a surprise visit of the party chief only to express his sympathies with the earthquake-affected families in the province. “We had no information about the visit and thus could not inform the workers,” he said.
Published in Dawn, November 9th, 2015