KARACHI: Another Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) leader, Pir of Ranipur Niaz Shah Jeelani, has decided to join the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).
“I am joining the PPP along with my family, friends and followers because it is the only democratic party in the country that is struggling for the rights of the people,” Jeelani said, while addressing a press conference on Friday.
Ranipur’s gaddi (spiritual office) is famous in Sindh and its sajjada nashin (caretakers) were originally affiliated with PPP and have family ties with the Bhutto family. However, Jeelani left the party a few years ago following differences with family members who had been allotted PPP tickets for the general elections.
“Since PML-F was a direct rival to the PPP in the district, he decided to join their party,” a senior PPP leader said. “However, he realised his mistake and has decided to come back. We welcome him back with open arms.”
Local government elections
Speaking on the occasion, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah said that people were joining the party because of its popularity among the masses and the work that they have done for democracy in the country.
Speaking about the upcoming local government elections, Shah added that the party still wants to hold the elections in March and are consulting legal and constitutional experts to try and postpone the elections. “No political party is willing to contest the election on January 18,” said the chief minister.
“The Supreme Court and the election commission should keep the wishes of the parties in mind and postpone the elections.”
Shah added that if the elections are carried out without proper planning then they will be susceptible to rigging and disorderly behavior. However, he stated that the party will respect the Supreme Court’s wishes if the elections are not postponed.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 30th, 2013.
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