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Gilani family’s predicament remains unexplained

Published Nov 15, 2012 10:01pm

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Former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and his son Abdul Qadir Gilani. — File Photo

ISLAMABAD: It appears that all routes for former prime minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to come out of the political wilderness are being blocked. Besides losing the premiership, he has been disqualified for the next general elections for committing contempt of court in the NRO verdict implementation case. Now his party also appears to be turning its back on him.

Many in the PPP are agog over the latest episode of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) serving notices on him and his elder son for their alleged role in the Haj corruption case.

Talking to Dawn, a senior PPP minister said: “This is simply beyond my understanding why the FIA which by all means falls under the administrative control of our government is haunting the Gilani family. It simply looks absurd to say the least.” He said Interior Minister Rehman Malik could be the best person to say why the FIA was after the Gilanis.

On Wednesday, Abdul Qadir Gilani threatened to resign along with his younger brother from the National Assembly if the FIA didn’t withdraw notices served on them for the investigation.

In a fiery speech in the National Assembly, he said the interior minister had refused to help him and his father, saying: “The FIA is out of my control.” The National Assembly asked the standing committee on rules of procedure and privileges to settle the matter within 48 hours.

When asked if reports about differences between President Asif Ali Zardari and Mr Gilani, who is senior vice chairman of the party, were correct, the minister said on the face it all looked fine, “but in politics everything is possible”.

After his sacking in June, the former prime minister moved to the presidency where he resided until the first week of last month when he left the place following reports of a rift between him and the party leadership.

After a week of heated debate in media over the political future of Mr Gilani in the event of his parting ways with the PPP, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf personally drove to the Islamabad Club and took him back to the presidency.

But during the first week of this month Mr Gilani again left the presidency and shifted to the nearby Sindh House. This time, he reportedly shifted because his family wanted more space.

Talking to Dawn, a PPP source close to the Gilanis said the family was not happy over the way it had been treated by the PPP leadership in general and government in particular.

If the source is to be believed, Mr Gilani had of late held a detailed meeting with the party co-chairman during which he spoke his heart out about how and he and his family were being marginalised.

“It’s really a great mystery, why the former prime minister who throughout followed the party guidelines and even sacrificed his job in the process is being sidelined,” said the source.

He said there were reports that President Zardari might turn up in Multan soon to assuage Mr Gilani’s concerns, because at the moment the Gilani family was feeling down and out and desperately needs a pat on the back.

Another PPP source said that with no chance of contesting the next elections unless the Supreme Court reviewed its judgment which led to his sacking and disqualification, Mr Gilani was not only disturbed about his political future but also about his sons who were facing corruption charges in various cases.

“The Gilani family appears to have had its time and challenges to their political careers appear to be getting tougher by the day.” Neither PPP spokesman Qamar Zaman Kaira not Mr Malik was available for comments.