PESHAWAR: Provincial ministers from the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) drew flak from party leaders and activists at a commemoration ceremony for PPP founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s death anniversary on Wednesday.
PPP Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Information Secretary Ayub Shah even demanded an end to the coalition government with Awami National Party (ANP) in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.
Three functions were organised to mark the former prime minister’s death anniversary, two of which were dominated by leaders who criticised the party’s provincial leadership. Meanwhile, none of the provincial ministers attended the ceremonies held at Peshawar Press Club and in Gulbahar.
The ceremony at Gulbahar was marred by the traditional Jiyala-style ruckus and speeches were continually disrupted by shouting workers, who refused to stay silent despite continuous requests.
The noise and sloganeering led one of the speakers to call the jeering workers “ministers’ agents” who wanted to sabotage the programme. But those shouting refused to quiet down.
In his speech, Shah criticised ministers and said they must sit with party workers and listen to their grievances. “Workers need jobs and the ministers must think about them. Otherwise it will be very difficult for the party to succeed in the upcoming elections.”
Shah said that PPP should end its coalition with the ANP, a suggestion which was received with applause in the otherwise unruly hall.
He said that people who had won the 2008 elections on PPP’s tickets are protecting their family interests after coming into power. He also said that PPP provincial ministers have confined themselves to their offices and homes and were doing nothing for party workers.
At another function organised by the Peoples’ Doctors Forum, PPP leaders lauded ZAB and his services for democracy and the country.
“April 4 is a black day in Pakistan’s history as it changed the course of history and this country was pushed into gloom which continues to this day,” Muzaffar Shah said.
Muzaffar also said that the PPP should be in coalition with other parties but not at the expense of its own interests, adding that it is only the PPP and its leadership that can save Pakistan.
Azam Afridi said that the generals killed ZAB for raising his voice for the underprivileged as they thought that his politics was a threat to them.
PPP’s provincial chapter has been facing dissent in its ranks since the Senate elections as some party leaders, including its general secretary, information secretary and other senior leaders, are unhappy with the party’s decision regarding awarding of tickets. Last month, they staged a protest against their provincial ministers.