Nawaz tours Sindh: Bhutto’s ‘talented cousin’ merges his Sindh National Front with PML-N

Published: May 10, 2012
Nawaz welcomes Mumtaz Bhutto in his party; again hits out at PPP-led govt, Gilani.

Nawaz welcomes Mumtaz Bhutto in his party; again hits out at PPP-led govt, Gilani.

Nawaz welcomes Mumtaz Bhutto in his party; again hits out at PPP-led govt, Gilani. Nawaz welcomes Mumtaz Bhutto in his party; again hits out at PPP-led govt, Gilani.

The Sindh National Front (SNF) has merged with the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) to offer the latter the much-needed support in rural Sindh where it has not been able to make inroads.

SNF chief Mumtaz Bhutto, who is also a first cousin of PPP founding chairperson Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, made the formal announcement about the merger of his party with the PML-N at a public rally in Ratodero on Wednesday.

“Mumtaz sahib has said that he has merged his party with ours. But let me say that the PML-N has merged with his party,” Nawaz Sharif told the rally amidst thunderous applause.

Describing Mumtaz’s decision as ‘historic’, Nawaz said that the two parties have common views on the issue of provincial autonomy. “I was pleasantly surprised to know that Mumtaz sahib and me have the same stance on making the provinces more powerful,” he added.

The SNF chief said that his decision to merge his party with the PML-N was not whimsical. “I made this decision after consulting my party’s executive committee and my friends,” he added.

He heaped praise on the PML-N and said that Nawaz Sharif achieved much during his two incomplete stints in power than the incumbent ruling party – Pakistan Peoples Party.

Mumtaz also criticised the PPP government for its ‘failure’ to unmask the assassins of its slain chairperson Benazir Bhutto.

The PML-N supremo said the people of Sindh should have given ‘sympathy votes’ to his party instead of President Asif Ali Zardari in the 2008 parliamentary election. “It was me who signed the Charter of Democracy with the Mohtarma which was aimed at ushering in a new era of prosperity in the country,” he added.

Nawaz recalled that he was the first to reach the Rawalpindi hospital where Benazir was taken to after being shot at Liaquat Bagh following a public rally in December 2007. He added that at the hospital he had promised to PPP supporters that if voted to power, the PML-N would unmask the plotters of Benazir’s assassination.

Supreme Court’s detailed verdict

The PML-N chief mocked the PPP government’s claims of respecting national institutions. Referring to the apex court’s detailed verdict in the prime minister contempt case, Nawaz said that now Gilani has no justification to hang onto power.

Before his address to the rally, Nawaz visited the residence of Bashir Qureshi, the late chairperson of the nationalist Jeay Sindh Qaumi Mahaz, offering condolences to his family.

He also criticised the Sindh government for not sending viscera of Bashir Qureshi, the late JSQM chief, to the United Kingdom for tests and alleged that the government was dilly-dallying on the issue.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 10th, 2012.

%�gnP �e in;margin-bottom:.0001pt;text-align: justify;text-indent:5.65pt;line-height:9.9pt;mso-layout-grid-align:none; text-autospace:none;vertical-align:middle’>When contacted, head of the commission Justice Javed Iqbal and other members of the commission were not available for comments.


The commission was due to submit its report by the end of last year and its mandate was to ascertain facts regarding the presence of Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan, following his killing by US Navy Seals in May 2, 2011.

Justice Iqbal is heading the commission, which includes Lt Gen (retd) Nadeem Ahmed, former Inspector General of Police Abbas Khan and former ambassador Ashraf Jahangir Qazi. Cabinet Secretary Nargis Sethi has been working as the secretary of the commission.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 10th, 2012.

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