PPP split over attending Qadri’s APC

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) is still indecisive about participating in the all-parties conference convened by Canada-based cleric Tahirul Qadri, as confusion prevails in the ranks of the party over it. According to sources in the PPP, the party is divided in two camps, with staunch rivals of Sharifs in favour of attending the APC that has been convened by Qadri on the Model Town, Lahore, incident. However, those with a neutral stance are not in favour of giving any weight to Qadri, as they believe it would further help him promote his agenda which, according to them, is anti-democratic and being pursued on the whims of some hidden forces. The PPP leaders, however, sympathised with Qadri over the loss of lives of his party’s workers when Punjab Police fired at them last week at the Minhajul Quran Secretariat. “Sympathy is something different from politics. We condemned the incident in strongest possible words, but to shape up the political strategy is done at the political needs of the party,” one senior party leader remarked when contacted on the phone. The indecisiveness of PPP on this APC is also reflected when Daily Times contacted Central Information Secretary PPP Qamar Zaman Kaira who showed his complete ignorance about any decision in this regard. “I have no idea and information about APC and party’s participation in it”, Kaira stated. PPP sources, however said that party is not in support of the agenda of Qadri and if APC is merely called to discuss the Model Town incident, it might attend it for the sake of showing solidarity with the slain workers of Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT) headed by Qadri. But PPP would participate it on low key by sending some second-tier party leadership from Lahore or Punjab as to send the delegation comprising the senior leadership would give new colours to Qadri’s agenda and he might exploit it. Sources also pointed out that PPP is yet to receive a formal invitation for APC and has so far learnt from media reports that such a gathering would be held on June 29, 2014. 

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