PPP executive body rejects turncoats
By Mubasher Bukhari
LAHORE: A weekly meeting of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Punjab’s executive committee on Wednesday proved to be a morale booster for Qasim Zia and his group, who are engaged in a tug of war with PPP Secretary General Jehangir Bader. Dozens of party leaders attended the meeting and demanded Benazir Bhutto not reject turncoats from the party.
Later, briefing journalists, PPP Punjab Information Secretary Naveed Chaudhry said the meeting asked Ms Bhutto not to welcome deserters back into the party. Without naming Mr Bader, he said that the party’s workers were united against those trying to damage the party by supporting turncoats.
Replying to a question about the status of the Bhutto World Foundation (BWF) founded by Mr Bader, Rana Shaukat Mehmood and others, he said that the BWF had nothing to do with the PPP or its policies. “It is an independent forum, set up by certain people in their own capacity,” Mr Chaudhry added.
He said that every PPP worker knew about the late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s political doctrine and didn’t need education in this regard.
He said the PPP rejected the National Finance Commission’s Award and believed that the government was giving incorrect figures to deceive the public. He said the government should give relief to the provinces on debt servicing and should announce loans for them so they could pay off their liabilities. He said some officials were raising the issue of distributing funds on the basis of resources, which was a “nefarious bid” to please Muttahida Qaumi Movement and to trigger differences amongst the provinces.
Mr Chaudhry condemned the debriefing of the Kahota Research Laboratories scientists and said the government was indirectly discouraging the youth of Pakistan from being scientists. The meeting passed resolutions demanding the release of Asif Ali Zardari, the return of Ms Bhutto and a reduction in petrol prices.
PPP Additional Secretary General and Member of the National Assembly (MNA) Raja Pervez Ashraf, PPP Gujranwala President and MNA Imtiaz Safdar Warraich, former finance minister Makhdoom Shahabuddin, PPP MNA Mumtaz Matiana, PPP Punjab Secretary General and Member of the Punjab Assembly Rana Aftab Ahmad Khan, Naveed Chaudhry, Aurangzeb Barki, Mian Misbahur Rehman and many other MNAs, MPAs and officials attended the meeting presided over by Mr Zia.