Wattoo meets Zardari; says never left PPP

Published June 24, 2021
This file photo shows  Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo. — APP
This file photo shows Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo. — APP

LAHORE: Former Punjab chief minister Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo called on former president Asif Ali Zardari and inquired after his health here on Wednesday.

The two sides also discussed the political situation prevailing in the country as former prime minister Raja Parvez Ashraf was also present in the meeting, says a press release issued after the meeting.

Sources said Mr Wattoo rejoined the party during the meeting.

Mr Wattoo, however, told Dawn that how he could rejoin a party, which he had not left.

Explaining, he had contested the July 2018 general election as an independent candidate but never embraced any other party.

He said as Zardari, with whom he had very cordial relations, came to Lahore after around two years, he went to the former president not only to inquire after his health but also thank him for sending PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto, ex-prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and Raja Parvez Ashraf as well as Senator Sherry Rehman to condole on the death of his (Wattoo’s) brother.

Mr Wattoo embraced the PPP back in May 2008 around three months after winning as an independent candidate for a National Assembly seat from Okara. He served as federal minister for industries and production and later for Kashmir affairs in the Gilani cabinet.

He tendered his resignation when the party was routed in the 2013 general election but continued working as PPP Punjab chapter chief on the directions of the central leadership.

Earlier, he as Pakistan Muslim League-Jinnah leader worked with the PPP in a coalition government serving as the chief minister in 1993.

Published in Dawn, June 24th, 2021

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