Elected MPA on the Pakistan Muslim League – Nawaz’s (PML-N) ticket, Ismail Rahu who joined the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) last month submitted his resignation to the Sindh Assembly secretariat on Tuesday.
Also appointed president of PML-N Sindh, Rahu resigned from the post on the occasion of PPP founder Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s death anniversary on April 4, and announced joining the PPP.
A formal announcement of his joining the PPP is, however, likely to be made at the party’s Badin jalsa scheduled to be held on Friday. The public gathering is also to be attended by PPP patron-in-chief and former president, Asif Ali Zardari.
Rahu also endorsed that he would formally announce joining PPP in Zardari’s presence at the Badin public procession.
Rahu was elected on PS-59 seat in a by-election by defeating PPP candidate Nawaz Chandio.
A veteran Muslim Leaguer, Ismail Rahu, resigned from the post of PML-N Sindh’s president citing personal reasons and submitted his resignation with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in person.
The PM accepted his resignation and immediately appointed Larkana District Bar President Babu Sarfaraz Khan Jatoi on Rahu’s post.
Rahu was appointed on the post in July 2014, whereas Shah Mohammed Shah was appointed as the party’s central vice president.
Belonging to a family popular for their role in movements waged for rights of peasants in Sindh, Rahu left his father’s party the Awami Tehreek (Rahu group) to join the PML-N in 1996.
His father, Fazil Rahu, was a popular peasant leader and was assassinated in 1987 in his village Rahuki, Badin.
“I initially attempted to pursue my father’s mission on a socialist party’s platform, but the situation changed after the disintegration of the Soviet Union, so I joined a mainstream political party,” Rahu told The News.
He contested his first election in 1988, and lost to a PPP candidate. He, however, won the provincial assembly seat for the first time in 1991 as an independent and joined the Jam Sadiq-led cabinet as minister for mines, minerals and livestock.
He lost the seat in 1993 but won it again in 1997 as a PML-N candidate. Soon after winning the polls, the PML-N formed a coalition government in Sindh and Rahu was given the excise and taxation portfolio in the Liaquat Jatoi-led cabinet.
After the 1999 coup, as the PML-N leadership left the country, Rahu, among several others, was jailed for two years. He was also detained by the National Accountability Bureau.
“My father dedicated his life for the poor, especially the peasants, and rendered the greatest sacrifice – that of his life. His devotion can be measured from the fact that he allotted his own land to the poor and facilitated the landless haris to acquire government land,” he said.
Rahu added that the people of his constituency still love his family because of his father’s struggle for the less-privileged. “I am also trying to follow into my father’s footsteps in my own capacity,” he explained.