Khurshid Shah in GB for Party Console
GILGIT: Senior Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) figures, including National Assembly opposition leader Khurshid Shah, arrived in Gilgit-Baltistan (G-B) on Sunday in a bid to consolidate whatever is left of the party after mass defections.
In addition to Shah, former federal information minister Qamar Zaman Kaira and Afzal Nadim Chand reached Gilgit from Skardu on Sunday and held a meeting with party workers. They also attended a public meeting at the PPP secretariat on the same day.
“It is PPP which can resolve the people’s problems,” Shah told the gathering.
Agha Foker, PPP G-B founding member Yahya Shah, and senior members of the party’s ulema wing recently jumped ship to the PML-N. Another PPP stalwart, Wazir Hassan, is set to join the central ruling party in the near future.
Khurshid Shah asked religious figures and other influential people from the area to form a jirga and decide whether or not the PPP had managed to address people’s woes in the region.
Kaira also spoke on the occasion and took the chance to take a jibe at the PML-N’s federal government. He said PPP saved the day for Nawaz Sharif when PTI and Tahirul Qadri’s party launched protests in Islamabad last year.
Earlier, PPP leaders flew to Skardu from Islamabad to chalk out strategy for legislative assembly elections in G-B. The recent defections dealt a significant blow to the party’s reputation in the region.
“PPP is a party that has served the people and will win the elections,” Khurshid Shah told workers in Skardu, the hometown for PPP G-B President and former chief minister Mehdi Shah.
“We will go door to door to win over disgruntled party workers,” added Shah who has been assigned the responsibility by PPP co-chairman Asif Zardari.
The Gilgit chapter leaders of PPP briefed central leaders and voiced concerns over the role of G-B Governor Barjees Tahir, accusing him of meddling in government affairs.
Former G-B finance minister Mohammad Ali Akhtar and PPP ticket hopeful Javed Hussain traded accusations and abusive language during a party meeting to award tickets for Nagar Valley constituency.
According to sources, Akhtar and Javed Hussain rose from their seats to attack each other after exchanging insults. However, they were restrained by party workers.
Akhtar said he would contest polls as an independent candidate even if the party chose to ignore him.
“This is an offshoot of the recent defections which have weighed heavily on the minds of workers,” one of the sources said
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