Farhatullah Babar was on Wednesday removed as the spokesperson for the PPP and for the party's co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, sources told DawnNewsTV, a day after the outgoing PPP Senator criticised his own party in a farewell speech.
However, PPP leaders and Babar himself said that he had "resigned" as Zardari's spokesman, and the resignation was accepted by the former president.
"Yes, I resigned this morning as spokesperson of AAZ [Asif Ali Zardari] sb," Babar said in a statement to DawnNewsTV.
In what was his last speech in Senate before his term expires, Babar had on Tuesday warned against the "judicialisation of politics and politicisation of the judiciary" and the existence of a "state within state".
Babar had said he was distressed that all political parties, including the PPP, initially demanded across-the-board accountability — a suggestion for bringing judges and generals under the purview of accountability laws — but suddenly backtracked on it.
The Senator's criticism of his party in the speech had angered Zardari, party sources earlier said, adding that Babar was subsequently removed as the spokesman.
PPP MNA Nafisa Shah told DawnNewsTV that Babar had voluntarily resigned from the spokesperson's post, which Zardari accepted. She said Babar would continue to hold the position of PPP's general secretary.
PPP's U-turn on Babar's proposal
Babar — an outspoken parliamentarian known for his stance on issues related to the military and establishment — had last year presented a proposal to bring members of the judiciary and military within the ambit of accountability laws.
However, all parties had subsequently rejected the proposal at a meeting of the parliamentary committee on NAB laws.
PPP, which had been one of the staunch advocates of the proposal, took a U-turn and agreed that the judges and generals would not be treated under accountability laws.
Interestingly, the PPP had withdrawn the proposal at the 16th meeting of the committee when its mover, Senator Babar, was absent and Naveed Qamar represented the party in his place.
Sources in the PPP had then told Dawn that Senator Babar had not been taken into confidence by the PPP before changing its stance.