If the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) is not reorganised in time, its fate in Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) will not be any different from the rest of Pakistan after the May 11 general elections, said senior leader Amjad Hussain.
The general elections saw PPP shrinking from a national party to a regional party as it could only win from its stronghold, Sindh, that too not without being accused of rigging. Although the PPP blamed ‘international players’ for its defeat, independent observers said it lost because of the poor performance and rampant corruption during its five-year term.
“The central leadership must take immediate measures before it is too late,” said Hussain, adding the party revolves around Mehdi Shah (CM and PPP president in G-B) who makes decisions singlehandedly. Hussain is also the chairman of the standing committee in G-B Council.
In G-B’s general elections held in 2009, PPP won by a two-thirds majority, leaving other parties far behind. However, over the months, several PPP leaders shifted to the PML-N.
Explaining possible solutions to revamp the party, Hussain said their first step should be replacing the party’s leader in G-B. “Shah should be replaced with someone who can run the party’s affairs effectively. Let him remain chief minister but the party head should be someone else,” he said, adding the party should be reorganised at grassroot levels across the region.
Hussain attributed PPP’s win in 2009 to the Empowerment and Self-Governance Order 2009, which renamed the erstwhile Northern Areas Gilgit-Baltistan, and introduced a chief minister and governor in the region for the first time.
He also called for setting up an anti -corruption cell in G-B, adding corruption was rampant in government departments in the region.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 7th, 2013.
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