Disgruntled PPP workers refuse to attend Karachi public meeting

Source:  Dawn.com Published in Politics on Friday, October 10, 2014

After senior workers in the garrison city refused to attend the October 18 public gathering of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in Karachi, the party leadership has asked the local chapter to convince them within a week-

To make the Karachi public meeting successful and ensure the presence of the old party workers there, the PPP has also asked the party’s former election candidates in the district to bring the old workers to Karachi.

This was decided at a meeting of workers from the Rawalpindi division with former President Asif Ali Zardari at the Bilawal House in Lahore on Thursday.

A senior leader of the PPP told Dawn that the party formed a team, led by former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, to visit all the four districts of the Rawalpindi division and convince the old workers to attend the public gathering.

Party’s Rawalpindi chapter told to persuade old workers within a week

He said the party’s candidates in the 2013 elections were also directed to bring two buses each and also arrange train tickets for the workers. He said the old workers did not want to attend the meetings of the party’s local and Punjab chapters due to their differences with the provincial PPP president, Manzoor Watto.

On the other hand, old workers of the PPP said Asif Ali Zardari wanted them to attend the party public meeting in Karachi where he would Bilawal Bhutto Zardari in active politics.

“The workers were ignored during the last five-year tenure of the PPP government. Due to the indifference of the party leadership, many old and committed workers left the party and joined the PTI,” said a senior leader.

He said former UC naib nazims Imran Hayat of Satellite Town, Chaudhry Majeed of Dhoke Hukamdad and Sajid Abbasi of Sadiqabad left the PPP and joined the PTI.

“The PPP workers and supporters mostly have a liberal and progressive approach in politics and the PTI agenda suited them, so they joined Imran Khan’s party,” he said.

Nasir Mir, a former information secretary of the PPP Rawalpindi chapter, admitted that most of the party workers refused to attend the Karachi public gathering as they were ignored during the last five years.

He said the PPP only invited traders and wealthy workers, who joined the party after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, to different functions and meetings.

When contacted, PPP central executive committee member Sultan Mehmood Qazi said the party would not leave its workers unattended and hold meetings with them to persuade them to play an active role in politics.

“In the past, the party made many mistakes but it started to persuade its workers. We acknowledge that the workers were ignored but this was because of the fact the PPP was busy in protecting democracy and facing court cases.”

He said the PPP workers from Rawalpindi did not join the PTI or other parties as they were committed to working for democracy and the supremacy of parliament.

However, he acknowledged that some party workers, including former naib nazmims of Satellite Town, Dhoke Hukamdad and Sadiqabad, left the PPP. He added that only Chaudhry Majeed was an old and senior worker and faced hardship during Ziaul Haq’s martial law. “We are trying to bring him back to the PPP.”

Mr Sultan said he along with other PPP leaders held a meeting with the party workers of Rawalpindi and Islamabad on the third day of Eid and would also go to Attock, Chakwal and Jhelum for the mobilisation of the workers soon.

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Written by Aamir Yasin

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