PESHAWAR: The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leaders from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa would be attending a meeting with Faryal Talpur in Islamabad today (Monday) to discuss the worrying state of the party affairs in the province.
Informed party sources said the meeting would discuss generally the PPP affairs in the province and in particular focus on Mardan, once likened to Larkana due to the strong support for the party in the district. The party leadership had reportedly discussed the PPP position in Malakand and Peshawar divisions earlier.
Those invited to the Islamabad meeting include the PPP provincial President Senator Sardar Ali Khan, former president and presently health minister Syed Zahir Ali Shah, another former president Rahimdad Khan who is nowadays a senior minister in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, former provincial assembly speaker Abdul Akbar Khan, former federal ministers Najmuddin and Anwar Saifullah Khan and Senator Ahmad Hasan Khan.
This group of party elders doesn’t have a convener or coordinator. Sardar Ali Khan should have held this position as the provincial president of the party, but surprisingly this wasn’t done. He was made the provincial president of the PPP in place of Zahir Ali Shah in the hope that he would revitalize the party, but most observers believe this has yet to happen.
Faryal Talpur, who is running the PPP affairs on behalf of the party co-chairman President Asif Ali Zardari, has increasingly become involved in managing the affairs of the party in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The PPP workers have been feeling demoralized and many dissidents in its ranks have been protesting the unhelpful attitude of party leaders and ministers. Many PPP activists believe the ANP as the senior coalition partner in the provincial government had monopolized power and sanctioned projects and spent funds to oblige its own workers.
Former Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani’s recent visit to Mardan before his ouster helped revitalize the PPP in Mardan to some extent, but he disappointed them and the common people when he failed to announce any development project for the district. PPP MNA from Mardan, Khanzada Khan claimed to have invited the then Prime Minister to pay his first visit to any district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa during the past more than four years of his rule. The general feeling in Mardan was that the ANP and its Chief Minister, Ameer Haider Hoti who belongs to the district, had served his native area well by undertaking record development projects there.
The PPP activists also feel that Governor Masood Kausar had failed to strengthen the party in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (Fata), which has 20 seats in the Parliament, including 12 in the National Assembly and eight in the Senate. The Governor, who is a veteran PPP leader, was expected to play a role in strengthening the party in both KP and Fata.
The apparent slide in the PPP fortunes in KP and Fata has also been a cause of worry for the ANP, which too would have to work hard to win the number of votes and assembly seats that it obtained in the 2008 general election. The two allied parties are come under increasing pressure from the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), the PML-N and the Islamic parties, JUI-F and Jamaat-i-Islami.