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January 9, 2012

PPP ready to give another fight

National

January 9, 2012

Large turnout of people on the death anniversary of Benazir Bhutto on December 27 and then on the birth anniversary of ZA Bhutto on January 5 has boosted the morale of President Asif Ali Zardari so much so that he categorically said that neither his party nor he himself would bow down to any pressure.
President Zardari declared in an interview to Geo TV that neither the government would write any letter to the Swiss court nor would it allow anyone to conduct a trial on the NRO issue.
The PPP workers and leaders had been wanting someone to stand up to the anti-PPP forces. The party rank and file had proved on December 27 and January 5 that they were still willing to stand by the party as they did in the last more than four decades and this dedication with the party has given its leadership tremendous courage.
The PPP workers had lately been unhappy with the leadership, accusing it of having ignored them in the last four years, but it seems that they have been given a new hope with the stand the president has taken. In the days to come, the PPP will mobilise its rank and file, especially to get the sympathy of the people of Sindh.
The political scene in Sindh, as far as rallies are concerned, is getting livelier. Every political party is getting into its stride in the province and trying to outdo the others.
Imran Khan has started this race of holding rallies and he did succeed in showing his strength. Gen. (retd) Pervez Musharraf’s party, the All Pakistan Muslim League, also held a public meeting in the city on Sunday. It is interesting to note that the MQM and Imran Khan have developed good understanding.
The MQM, which did not allow Khan to land in Karachi three years ago, has now provided space for the PTI to hold a rally. However, the MQM did not respond positively to Musharraf’s party though it was the major beneficiary during the rule of the military dictator.
Political observers believe that the positive response of the MQM to

Khan’s party was a political move. The MQM’s move in the National Assembly for the Seraiki and Hazara provinces will help the party in the elections.
In the 1990s, Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N was the only beneficiary of the Punjabi, Pakhtun, Seraiki and Hazara voters living in Sindh, and the party even managed to form a government in the province. However, it’s a whole new ball game now for Nawaz Sharif whose party seems to have lost the support of these communities.
The provincial PML-N has been in disarray for the last decade. The party leadership appeared to be uninterested in recapturing its stronghold in Sindh. Shahbaz Sharif did not bother to respond to the desperate pleas of the provincial leadership for reorganizing the party in the province. But now Nawaz Sharif has decided to reorganize the party in Sindh. And so he nominated Syed Ghous Ali Shah as the provincial party chief and Salim Zia as the secretary general. Political observers say that the party leadership had been under tremendous pressure after the exit of Makhdoom Javed Hashmi. There were some reports that Ghous Ali Shah had warned the party leadership that he would follow Javed Hashmi if the party ignored him. This warning brought Nawaz Sharif to Karachi to save the party and nominate Shah as party chief in Sindh. However, Sharif has come under a lot of pressure over this decision.
The party leaders said that Sharif had been caught off guard and his statement regarding the formation of military courts in the city was the result of an unsettling situation. The gist of the matter now is that the situation in Sindh is against Nawaz Sharif, and this statement has damaged the efforts by the N League for a patch-up with the MQM.
The relationship between the MQM and the PPP is still good, and Altaf Hussain and Asif Zardari have good understanding that will definitely help the two parties in the next elections.
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