Former Sindh home minister Zulfiqar Mirza is on a mission as he lobbies with his party members, trying to get them to back his stand against the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and Interior Minister Rehman Malik.
Not only are the Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) local leadership and its workers in close contact with Mirza, the party’s legislators also visit him every day to discuss “future strategy”, sources within the party revealed. “Around 25 PPP MPAs of the Sindh Assembly have expressed full support and are looking forward to future line of action by Dr Mirza,” a sitting MPA of the ruling party told The Express Tribune on condition of anonymity.
The MPA said, “We don’t care whether Mirza has taken this stand on President [Asif Ali] Zardari’s instigation. What we do know is that he is a brave man and his version is the voice of our voters.”
“The chief minister (CM) has had no time to listen to us. We are thankful to Dr Mirza who has always helped us out,” said another MPA who met Mirza at his residence on Monday.
When asked whether they would support Mirza openly, he said, “We are ready to back him up, but he refuses, saying it will ‘create differences’ within the ranks of the party.”
“We don’t believe Mirza had any serious differences with our leadership. He has made sacrifices for the party and can resume charge because everything is possible in politics,” said MNA Ghani Talpur.
Some believe Mirza’s press conference was pre-planned and President Zardari had asked him to meet the Inter-Services Intelligence chief so he could be briefed about the activities of the MQM.
The PPP has accepted Mirza’s resignation as senior vice-president, but a decision regarding his ministry and MPA seat is yet to be made.
Sources said the CM has accepted Mirza’s resignation as minister for works and services, as well as senior minister, and has sent a summary to the governor for approval.
There were reports that the PPP had decided to suspend Mirza’s basic membership, but Mirza retorted, “I am a Jiyala [diehard worker] of the PPP and no one can take away my right to be a member of the party,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 6th, 2011.