KARACHI, Aug 21: The Pakistan People’s Party has decided to introduce new faces in the general elections to protect its power base in the city, it is learnt.
The decision has been taken by the party high command in view of the growing criticism by the Young Turks in the party who have been openly opposing the policies of the old guards and pressing the higher leadership of the party to replace them.
The situation has reached to such a point that they formed a separate group with the nomenclature “Workers Group,” and launched a campaign against the old guards by bringing out leaflets and wall-chalking.
The high command has taken serious notice of the situation and has decided to field new candidates in the forthcoming elections who have a professional background and a good record of service to the party.
The party has decided to field one advocate and a medical doctor for the two provincial assembly seats in Lyari Town.
One of the likely candidates is Rafiq, advocate, popularly known as Rafiq Engineer, who was also a coordinator on civic problems in the former district South when Fahimuzzaman Khan was the head of the defunct KMC.
Another likely candidate is Dr Saleem Hingora, who is also a popular figure in his community and has been associated with the party for many years.
The party also decided to field former deputy speaker of the Sindh Assembly, Sardar Nabil Gabol, for the National Assembly seat from the Town.
According to party sources, Mr Gabol is the most suitable candidate and there is also consensus on his candidature among all factions of the party.
An important reason why old guards are being dropped from the contest and new faces are to be brought in is the graduation qualification. The graduation requirement has forced the party leadership to change policy.
Moreover, all these candidates have their strong local support bases and have remained loyal to the party at the time of crisis.
The party’s support base shrank in the past two elections. The PPP lost a provincial assembly seat, and its National Assembly candidate, Waja Karimdad, had won with a margin of only 300 votes against a PML (Nawaz) candidate.
However, the PPP is likely to face a tough time because of increasing economic problems: price rise, water shortage, sewerage, unemployment besides encroachment problem. All these problems remain unsolved.
The common man in Chawkiwara, Kalakot, Baghdadi, Shah Beg Lane, Kalri and Khadda-Nawababad, who always voted for the party, openly criticize the performance of the party’s local bodies because of their failure to address their civic problems.
However, the party’s is still in a better position because there is no other alternative for the voters.