Punjab Governor Makhdoom Ahmed Mehmood has decided to step down following the thumping victory of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) in the May 11 elections. He has sent his resignation to President Asif Ali Zardari. However, he’ll continue to serve as governor until his resignation is accepted.
“From now on I’ll stay away from parliamentary politics,” Mehmood told a news conference at the Governor House in Lahore on Monday. “Now, it’s the prerogative of the new government to appoint its own governor in Punjab,” he added.
Mehmood was president of the Punjab chapter of Pakistan Muslim League-Functional before he accepted the governorship of Punjab following a deal with President Asif Ali Zardari in December, last year.
Under the deal, he joined the Pakistan Peoples Party to strengthen the party’s position in South Punjab, particularly in Bahawalpur division. He also withdrew his demand for the restoration of Bahawalpur province and instead supported PPP’s plan for a ‘Bahawalpur-Janoobi Punjab province’.
At Monday’s press conference, Governor Mehmood said the elections were free, fair and transparent. He congratulated the PML-N on its convincing victory as well as the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf over its performance.
He blamed power crisis, inflation and bad governance for PPP’s defeat in South Punjab. However, he quickly added that the PPP’s performance was better than in the 1997 election. “The party will rise with grace again,” he added.
Two of Mehmood’s sons contested the May 11 election for two National Assembly seats, but only one emerged victorious. His sons and his supporters from Rahim Yar Khan district had also joined the PPP along with Mehmood.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 14th, 2013.
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