KARACHI: The estranged MPA of the Pakistan Peoples Party, who earned the displeasure of the party leadership for his association and friendship with Dr Zulfiqar Mirza, returned here from London on Monday.
Imdad Pitafi was suspended from the party by its chief in Sindh, Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah, on November 17 after he and former information minister Sharjeel Inam Memon left the county with Mirza. Mirza went to London to brief Scotland Yard on the murder of MQM leader Dr Imran Farooq. But an unhappy PPP leadership not just suspended Pitafi but also asked Sharjeel Memon to resign from his ministry.
For his part, however, Pitafi maintains that he has not received any suspension letter and will therefore continue to work as a party worker.
“I am a PPP worker and my affiliation with the party will continue,” he said, adding that he was not being given a chance to explain his position before his basic membership was suspended. “The chief minister has taken unilateral action against me. I will approach my leadership soon to remove the misunderstanding,” he said. “I am confident that my basic membership will be restored.”
An elected representative from Tando Allahyar, Pitafi, said that no one could force him to resign from his seat. When asked about his London tour with Dr Mirza, he said it was a coincidence that he and Mirza travelled on the same fight. “It was not a planned visit. I was going with my family and saw Mirza sahib on the same plane,” he said.
Disputing the suspension, Pitafi said he had not violated party discipline. “I proudly say that Dr Mirza is our friend and mentor and there is nothing wrong with meeting him in the future as well,” he said.
He ruled out the impression that a forward bloc was being created within the party. “We are diehard workers of the PPP and will not let any one split the party. No one can think of it,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 29th, 2011.