PESHAWAR: After facing a crushing defeat in the July 25 general election, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in its first meeting on Thursday rejected the election results and formed a two-member committee to probe the reasons for its poor performance and to take action against all those who violated party discipline.
PPP provincial President Humayun Khan had called the party’s candidates to the meeting at Peshawar to discuss the reasons of the defeat and draw future line of action.
The party’s deputy information secretary Gohar Inqilabi said the two-member committee comprising Senator Behramand Tangi and general secretary Faisal Karim Kundi was assigned the task to prepare a report so that the central leadership could take action against those who violated the party discipline in the election.
It was announced later that the participants shared their experiences that their polling agents were expelled from the polling stations before announcement of the final results.
Terming the polls as rigged, the participants asked the Election Commission of Pakistan to hold the election afresh so that the people could transparently elect their representatives. They vowed to continue struggle for the acceptance of their demands.
A former parliamentarian told The News that like other political parties, the PPP also has serious reservations over the election results. At the same time, he said the party workers had reservations over the role of central and provincial leadership that had never bothered to take any action to improve the party affairs.
He said the disinterest of the leadership could be gauged from the fact that the candidates of other parties were protesting against the alleged rigging in the province except the PPP.
He termed the recent meeting of the PPP candidates as mere eyewash and a failed attempt of the inefficient leaders who have pushed the party towards the present situation.
Majority of the seniors, who were invited, avoided attending the meeting. Among those absent were former federal ministers and party candidates for NA-5 and NA-6, Najmuddin Khan and Ahmad Hasan Khan, from Upper Dir and Lower Dir, respectively, Dr Afsarul Mulk from Shangla and Khwaja Mohammad Khan Hoti and Aurangzeb Khan Hoti from Mardan.
One of the participants said that the party had nominated wife of the late speaker Abdul Akbar Khan to contest election from PK-49 Mardan, but none of the family members was present.
Former PPP KP president and provincial minister, Syed Zahir Ali Shah who was the candidate on PK-77 Peshawar, his sister Rubina Khalid who is a former senator and presently provincial secretary information, former assembly speaker and candidate from PK-66 Peshawar Kiramatullah Khan, his brother Razaullah Khan who contested election from PK-67 Peshawar also didn’t attend the meeting.
Former federal minister Arbab Alamgir Khan, his wife Asma Alamgir Khan, their son Arbab Zarak, who were the party’s nominees on NA-27, NA-30 and PK-7, respectively, and the provincial president women wing and former MPA Nighat Orakzai were also absent. None of the party candidates from the former tribal agencies, including Kurram tribal district, Sajid Hussain Turi who won the election, attended the meeting.
Pleading anonymity, a candidate who faced defeat at the hands of PTI, blamed it on wrong policies of the party leadership, saying his was the only party that left its candidates in lurch.
The party, he said had allotted tickets in violation of merit. He said the candidates were required to do everything on their own.
The leaders of other parties had launched campaign for their respective candidates but PPP leadership wasn’t bothered. “The result was expected and the people rejected them, giving a message to all the major political parties to concentrate on people’s welfare programmes instead of promoting their personal interest,” he added.
Another candidate asked the PPP’s central leaders to concentrate on reorganising the party, resolving differences and taking the workers into confidence before taking decisions.
He said the leadership should activate all wings of the party, take action against corrupt elements and ensure intra-party elections to bring forward real leadership to face future challenges.