Former senator and veteran politician Enver Baig announced his decision to quit the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) on Saturday without offering any explanation to the party leadership or contesting his suspension. He indicated, however, that he and others like him associated with former chairperson Benazir Bhutto risk being severed from the party.
“After [Benazir Bhutto’s] tragic demise … people like me who worked closely with her, find it extremely difficult to continue our association with the party,” Baig stated in his resignation letter addressed to PPP secretary general Jahangir Badar. The outspoken former senator, who retired three years ago, was elected from Sindh, but his basic membership was suspended by the party’s Islamabad chapter on August 4 for ‘violation of party discipline’. However, Baig was suspended by the party’s Islamabad chapter on August 4 for ‘violation of party discipline’. However, Baig opted not to give any explanation and said: “I consider it below my dignity to appeal against the suspension.”
Expressing best wishes for the party and gratitude for his supporters in the PPP, he wrote: “I tender my resignation from the basic membership of the party and request that my resignation be accepted with immediate effect.”
Baig paid homage to the former chairperson saying, “After the founder of our party Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, she remained the flaming thread of scarlet in the otherwise dull and drab fabric of our party. A remarkable lady of bold colours and no pastels, she aroused strong passions on our political canvass, and delighted as much in the fury of her foes as in the adoration of her friends. With her worldly wisdom and matchless political acumen, she brought to the task of running both party and government a repertoire of superb accomplishment which endeared her and the party to the people.”
Referring to the suspension letter issued by PPP Islamabad president Nayyer Hussain Bokhari, he said: “The letter is indeed a peerless gem of a connoisseur’s collection in as much as it is amusingly vague, levels no specific charges against me, and could even be questioned on grounds of procedural impropriety.”
In his conversation with The Express Tribune, he said he did not intend to challenge it because he had more “substantive issues” on his mind.
Interestingly, the suspension letter gives no details of any particular incident of violation of party discipline. Baig’s meeting with PML-N president Nawaz Sharif at his Lahore residence is perhaps the only violation he committed. Former foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, was also censured by the PPP after his meeting with the elder Sharif.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 7th, 2011.