PESHAWAR: Pakistan Peoples Party’s district leadership has decided to walk out of the tripartite alliance of opposition parties in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Assembly. The party had revived its alliance with Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam-Fazl and Awami National Party to contest the local government elections held on May 30. However, cracks have gradually emerged after PPP leaders in Peshawar complained ANP violated its agreement. PPP has decided not to participate in the June 16 protest against alleged rigging in the LG elections unless their reservations have been addressed.
Speaking at a news conference at Peshawar Press Club on Sunday, PPP leader Zulfiqar Afghani accused ANP of violating the agreement by contesting elections from areas where only PPP could contest.
Afghani said district leaders would not be part of the alliance unless its reservations about ANP’s violation of the agreement are resolved.
Furthermore, the district leaders have voiced concerns about PPP’s provincial leadership following the LG polls.
“The party’s central leadership should sack the provincial leadership of the party,” he said. “A vibrant leadership should be elected in its place through intra-party elections so PPP can restore its image in the province.”
Speaking on the occasion, PPP leader Syed Zahir Ali Shah threw his weight behind Afghani’s suggestion. He urged PPP’s central leadership to dismiss its provincial leaders, saying they had resulted in the party’s defeat in the LG polls as well as the 2013 general elections.
“Our K-P leadership is not as strong as it should be,” he said. “As a result, PPP’s image in the province has been damaged. The central leadership should sack them as they are responsible for PPP’s poor performances both elections.”
This was resonated by party workers and leaders who, during the meeting, shouted slogans against the party’s leadership in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa. A majority of leaders said they had informed the party’s co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari that they do not have confidence in PPP’s K-P leadership. However, no action has been taken against them.
Echoing Afghani’s sentiments, Shah insisted there should be intra-party elections to elect a new leadership for the party in K-P and restore its position in the province.
“If our party’s central leadership does not take any steps against provincial leaders, we will have no choice but to take matters into our own hands,” he added.
Action and reaction
Shah also urged the election commission to take notice of alleged rigging and mismanagement in the LG elections and declare the results null and void. “The LG elections in May were badly mismanaged,” Shah said.
Afghani also raised concerns about the PTI-led government’s alleged involvement in rigging the polls.
“However, before we can point fingers at other parties, we rectify problems within our own leadership,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 15th, 2015.
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