Qureshi’s departure: dent in PPP unrealistic
By Raja Riaz
LAHORE: Divorcing his second ‘mother’ party, the PPP, Makhdoomzada Shah Mehmood Qureshi, trained his all guns at the co-chairperson of the party, Asif Ali Zardari, depicting him a corrupt, incompetent and subversive of the Bhutto’s philosophy.
The main allegation he levelled on the PPP leadership was that the new pact of the party with the PML-Q against the charter of democracy. He also alleged indirectly that the latter was involved in the killing of Benazir Bhutto.
It is not the first betrayal of the Qureshi of Multan from a party as he has parted ways with Mian Nawaz Sharif as well. Look at the political life of Shah Mehmood Qureshi —
Shah Mehmood Hussain Qureshi, Makhdoomzada, MA (Law), MA (History from Cambridge University) was first elected from PP-164 (Multan) in 1985, the elections held under the umbrella of a dictatorial regime on non-party basis and joined the Muslim League, political party revitalised by General Ziaul Haq having members from the legislators from the Senate, national and provincial assemblies. Pertinent to mention here is that Qureshi’s father was a close aide of dictator Ziaul Haq and was a member of the Senate and was made governor of the Punjab by General Ziaul Haq and remained in the office from December 1985 to December 1988.
The young Qureshi returned to Punjab legislature on a PML-N ticket from PP-166 (Multan) and served in the cabinet of Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif as minister for Planning and Development from November 30, 1988 to August 6, 1990.
He was a returned candidate also in 1990 elections from the same constituency but with changed loyalties as he had parted ways with the PML and served in Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo’s cabinet as the finance minister. He held this office till June 28, 1993. After this period the Qureshi of Multan challenged throughout his career Makhdoom Javed Hashmi, a towering leader of the PML-N, defeated him in the National Assembly elections.
This former colleague of Mian Nawaz Sharif developed differences with his leadership in current year. The men privy to affairs claim that he was annoyed because of not getting the ministry of foreign affairs, the office he was running before reshuffling of the cabinet. He, however, denies it with full voice and in public meetings claimed that Raymond Davis matter forced him not to continue with those who ‘compromised the national interest and pride’.
The Qureshi of Multan then decided to resign from his party and join another political entity. At first he met PML-N central leader and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif in midnight at the latter’s third wife, Tehmina Durrani’s Gulberg residence in the month of May. Qureshi held a press conference after the meeting and demanded resignation of his party leadership from the offices of the president and the prime minister. This move was indicating that Qureshi would join the PML-N in near future.
But the scriptwriter perhaps wrote another role for him at another place as Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Chief Imran Khan has said that his party would hold a massive public meeting in Ghotki that would be attended by more than 0.1 million people. Imran Khan said that the former foreign minister and the PTI are one and he would announce his decision to join the party in that gathering.
Though Qureshi is very optimistic about his political future but if one sees the history of the political dissident it looks bleak. Look at history — the first two notable names are Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi and Ghulam Mustafa Khar. One served as the chief minister in Sindh and the other as governor and the chief minister in Punjab. When they parted ways with the PPP they became zero from the hero. Ghulam Mustafa Jatoi even lost his election from his ancestral seat. The fate of second is the same as he lost election in the recent years to an ordinary worker of the PPP — Jamshed Dasti. Another big name is Farooq Khan Leghari who lost his political career after dislodging the PPP government led by Benazir Bhutto. Dr Mubashar Hasan and some other also have the same story.
The Qureshi of Multan is hopeful that he would make a big dent in the PPP but the history tells a different story. He may be a person who could win his own seat but getting steering of a political force looks unrealistic.