ISLAMABAD: The ruling Pakistan People's Party described on Monday former Sindh home minister Dr Zulfikar Mirza's tirade against the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, its chief Altaf Hussain and Interior Minister Rehman Malik as an “unacceptable violation of party discipline”, but announced no action against him.“The PPP disowned the accusations made at a press conference by former provincial senior minister Dr Zulfikar Mirza in Karachi on Sunday,” presidential spokesman Farhatullah Khan Babar told reporters after a meeting of Sindh PPP leaders, presided over by President Asif Ali Zardari at the Presidency.
“The PPP termed it an unacceptable violation of the party discipline and contrary to the well thought-out policy of reconciliation and taking of all political forces on board as envisaged by Shaheed Benazir Bhutto,” Mr Babar said. He said the meeting had reiterated its resolve to continue the policy of reconciliation to collectively face the myriad challenges facing the country.
“There may have been pauses in the process, but there shall be no break in the purpose,” Mr Babar quoted President Zardari as having said at the meeting.
Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, provincial assembly speaker Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, ministers Pir Mazharul Haq, Mir Nadir Magsi, Sharjeel Memon, Manzoor Hussain Wasan, Muhammad Ayaz Soomro and Agha Siraj Durrani, Abdul Qadir Patel, Federal Minister for Religious Affairs Syed Khursheed Shah, PPP secretary general Qamar Zaman Kaira, political secretary to the PPP co-chairman Rukhsana Bangash and Farhatullah Babar attended the meeting.
Mr Babar said the President had convened the meeting to discuss the situation in the aftermath of Dr Mirza's unprecedented news conference.
Qaim Ali Shah, who heads the party's provincial chapter, informed the President that he had already taken action against Dr Mirza by accepting his resignations as senior vice-president of the party and senior provincial minister.
It is not clear what directives have been given to Speaker Khuhro about the resignation of Dr Mirza as member of the provincial assembly from Badin.
The chief minister briefed the meeting on the ongoing operation against criminals in Karachi and steps taken so far and plans for future. He highlighted results of the operation launched last week.
Mr Babar said the participants of the meeting had endorsed the steps taken by the provincial government and called upon all political forces and citizens to support them. He said the meeting reiterated the government's resolve to maintain law and order in Karachi at all cost and rid the city of extortionists, criminal and lawless elements regardless of their political affiliation.
He said the operation would continue till the restoration of peace in the city.
On Sunday, Mr Babar had rejected a perception that Dr Mirza had levelled allegations against the MQM, Altaf Hussain and Rehman Malik after getting a green signal from President Zardari. “How is this possible? President Zardari wants to take the MQM on board with him, whereas Dr Mirza is speaking against it,” he said.
Meanwhile, in a TV interview on Monday, Dr Mirza disclosed that President Zardari had kept calling him on Sunday to stop him from holding the news conference, but he intentionally avoided receiving the calls.
He said Khurshid Shah, Qaim Ali Shah and Sharjeel Memon had made several attempts to prevent him from going to the Karachi Press Club, but he declined their requests because he had already made up his mind.
Dr Mirza said he had not even consulted his wife Dr Fehmida Mirza, Speaker of the National Assembly, or any member of his family. He said he was ready to face any consequences and was even ready to go to jail on charges of disclosing official documents.
The President had summoned Dr Mirza to Islamabad after taking exception to his remarks against Rehman Malik during a special meeting of the provincial cabinet, presided over by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani in Karachi. The president had asked him to refrain from issuing statements against party colleagues.
Dr Mirza, a confidant of President Zardari, had reportedly criticised Mr Malik for his constant intervention in the affairs of the Sindh government and even sought a ban on his entry to Karachi.
Earlier, President Zardari had summoned Dr Mirza on July 14 for issuing controversial and derogatory remarks against the MQM that triggered a wave of violence in Karachi. At that time, the President had barred him from making any political statement, particularly against coalition partners or other political parties.
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