PPP scraps April 4 rally amid security concerns

By AFP
Published: April 2, 2013

The PPP had said last week it would kick-start its election campaign with a public rally in Garhi Khuda Bux. PHOTO: AFP/ FILE

ISLAMABAD: In a strange move, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) on Tuesday called off its traditional April 4 public rally in Garhi Khuda Bux, officials said.

The PPP had said last week it would kick-start its election campaign with a public rally in Garhi Khuda Bux on the anniversary of its founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s hanging on April 4, 1979.

But on Tuesday, a party spokesperson in Naudero said the gathering would take place in a hall and would be closed to all but state media. PPP politicians would also hold separate events in other districts, he said.

“We are not organising a big national-level rally this time. Meetings are being held at district level separately,” Ghulam Mustafa Leghari told AFP.

President Asif Ali Zardari will address Thursday’s meeting in Naudero, Leghari said, but he did not confirm whether party chairman Bilawal, who returned from Dubai early on Tuesday, would also attend.

“Only official media will be allowed to cover this meeting. Other media can stand outside and take the feed from Pakistan Television,” Leghari added.

Local party officials denied the rescheduling had anything to do with security concerns and senior spokespersons were not immediately reachable.

“It (the change) is only a technical reason. Our candidates are busy with paperwork, scrutiny and the election campaign,” said Lateef Mughal, PPP information secretary in Karachi.

Last week, main PPP spokesperson Qamar Zaman Kaira told AFP that 24-year-old Bilawal, who is too young to contest a seat, would make few public appearances “due to security concerns”.

The revised arrangements for Thursday stand in stark contrast to the major campaign rallies that the PPP’s main rivals have already held.

On March 25, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz leader Nawaz Sharif attracted tens of thousands in Mansehra.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan has also pulled in crowds of tens of thousands at major public events across the country.

Reader Comments (8)

  • Uncle
    Apr 2, 2013 - 8:27PM

    PPP, ANP or MQM. The only liberal parties of Pakistan which are facing threats from Taliban and extremist forces. Even barring people from participating in their election rallies.

    Sad indeed.

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  • logic europe
    Apr 2, 2013 - 9:44PM

    If you are threatened, than you are likely to win

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  • Zain
    Apr 2, 2013 - 9:46PM

    Real pre-poll rigging done by TTP in favor of PTI, JUI-F, JI, PML-N.

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  • Ahmad
    Apr 2, 2013 - 10:45PM

    Yaawnnnnnnnnnn!

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  • Anon
    Apr 3, 2013 - 12:07AM

    Let me guess, Bilawal will come and say… No! I am not afraid… let the rally go ahead!

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  • PTI Mardan
    Apr 3, 2013 - 12:24AM

    Well Bilawal and co had 5 years to fix the law and order situation but they didnt bother.Ordinary people have been gunned down or blown to pieces on daily basis all over the country.Too bad that wasnt enough for our politicians to do somethiong about it then.Having said that I d wnat every politician to be safe and not to take any chances with their security.

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  • Engineer
    Apr 3, 2013 - 12:39AM

    Local party officials denied the rescheduling had anything to do with security concerns and senior spokespersons were not immediately reachable.
    “It (the change) is only a technical reason. Our candidates are busy with paperwork, scrutiny and the election campaign,” said Lateef Mughal, PPP information secretary in Karachi.

    This totally contradicts with Title

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  • Hataf Shahab
    Apr 3, 2013 - 1:12AM

    exactly, PPP and ANP have genuinely been the the target of ttp. its a shame our media is quiet about it. if this is not rigging then what is?

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