After months of bickering, Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) chapter is likely to appoint a new leader. Senior party leaders did not reveal who would lead the PPP in K-P during the upcoming elections, but did confirm that a change would be made after Eid.
However, sources within the PPP said that seasoned politician and K-P assembly lawmaker Anwar Saifullah Khan from Lakki Marwat would head the K-P branch of the party.
Saifullah himself was not immediately available for his comments; however, a PPP insider told The Express Tribune that the decision to appoint Anwar Saifullah Khan had been made and was only awaiting announcement.
“His elevation to the provincial president’s seat is set to be announced after Ramazan,” the source said. He further informed that Saifullah was currently on Umrah, hence the announcement would be made after Eid. The source claimed that there was no opposition towards the decision within the party and all workers were confident that anyone elected to the K-P president’s role would be suitable.
Saifullah is said to have had two meetings with President Asif Ali Zardari in the past as well.
According to the source, the current president of the party’s K-P chapter, Senator Sardar Ali Khan had been asked to work two days a week on party affairs. His failure to do so resulted in the total paralysis of the party’s affairs in K-P, he claimed.
“The party’s president promised to give two days per week to party affairs following workers’ demands... he failed to comply with this, however,” the source maintained, adding that it was disappointing for the party.
Regarding the party’s apparent preference for Saifullah to head its K-P chapter, he claimed the senior leader possessed the influence to win four or five seats for PPP in the upcoming elections on his own. This was especially true since Saifullah’s son has also been elected a senator on PPP’s ticket, the source added.
A senior PPP leader and K-P cabinet minister told The Express Tribune that “a while ago, there was hype that Saifullah would become the new party president... but we have heard nothing since.” Another senior leader from the party also confirmed he heard Saifullah’s name for the new provincial president.
Meanwhile, PPP provincial information secretary Syed Ayub Shah, refused to confirm Saifullah’s appointment as the provincial president. He reiterated that the new president would be announced after Eid.
PPP, which has been a junior partner in the coalition in K-P, has been disrupted by intra-party politics for quite some time. The party’s leadership came under criticism for ignoring party workers during its time in the government.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 16th, 2012.