Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Co-chairman President Asif Ali Zardari convened a party meeting of all divisions of Punjab on Monday – but it seems the party’s lawmakers on reserved seats, including women and non-Muslim members, didn’t get the memo.
The president and his son arrived in Lahore on February 8 where they inaugurated the new Bilawal House and summoned party meetings of nine divisions, particularly Central Punjab. According to the PPP, President Zardari and Bilawal had scheduled to hold the meetings in Bilawal House with party office-bearers of various divisions of the Punjab till February 15.
The two have so far met with party office bearers of districts Sheikhupura, Kasor, Nankana and on Monday Faisalabad division. PPP’s office bearers at district Tehsil level, party’s sitting MNAs MPAs, ex-members and even party ticket holders held their meeting with the PPP’s chairman and co-chairman at Bilawal House.
Sources in the PPP told The Express Tribune that both the chairman and the co-chairman denied honouring repeated requests made by lawmakers on reserve seats asking for an invitation to the meetings.
PPP MPA Sajida Mir said each and every political party should give women’s issues priority but added that unfortunately every party is following in the footsteps of the PML-N and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) in this regard.
PPP MPA Pervez Rafique, who belongs to Faisalabad division, said he was not why he was invited to the Bilawal House for a meeting on Monday; however, he defended his party over the rights of minorities, saying their vote bank was key in winning the elections.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 12th, 2013.