PPP gives up on Punjab
The Pakistan Peoples Party’s hopes of making a comeback in Punjab seem to have waned, as its leader claims that the only saving grace for the party will be to welcome electables into the fold to improve their position in the province generally, saying that this election-cum-selection process will only be to put the PML-N on the throne.
Acting Central Punjab President Rana Farooq Saeed termed the party’s decision to accord its stamp of approval to the digital census a “grave mistake”, asserting that they too would bear the brunt of this blunder.
Another PPP leader, on the condition of anonymity, said their party leaders both Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari camped in Lahore several times in the recent past with a singular aim of improving the party’s position in the province.
He said that initially it was thought that they would be able to cash in on the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s fall at the hands of the establishment by bringing the PTI’s electables into the party. However, later when the Istehkam-e-Pakistan Party was formed, they believed that given the PTI and IPP would be shooting fish in the same barrel and with the PML-N’s popularity at its lowest, they would have some space to gain ground in Punjab. Even that hoped now was lost, after witnessing that the establishment was bending over backwards to help the PML-N win back the government and with the PTI practically banned from politics by the powers that be.
He said that the PPP did try to go toe to toe with other parties in reeling in electables, so there was no failure on its part.
He said that the decision of the Islamabad High Court sent shock waves in all political parties especially thier’s. He said that this decision was enough to tell them, that Nawaz Sharif was being made the prime minister for the fourth time by the establishment.
He said that initially they had hoped to improve their position from seven provincial seats to around 50, but with the establishment by their side, the chances of that happening were nonexistent.
He said that with Saudi Arabia their guarantors, the chances of any foul play by the establishment were also very slim, at least for now.
He said that the reason behind the establishment’s all out support for the PML-N was PTI. He said powers that be wanted to undo the PTI, which was why they were squarely banking on the PML-N. He said, “The PML-N seems to have convinced the bosses that the only way to undo Imran Khan’s popularity is to allow Nawaz Sharif to become the PM and re-continue his spending spree on wasteful construction projects on borrowed money.”
He said the establishment would not stop at just providing a exclusive field to the PML-N, there would be massive rigging during the elections.
When asked about the elections, he admitted that with the decision of the IHC that refreshes the memories of Justice (retd) Abdul Qayyum, contrary to his belief earlier, they now believed that the election would be held.
He said that IPP would meet the same fate as the Pak Sarzameen Party.
An office bearer, when asked if the PPP was conceding its defeat in Punjab, said that indeed the understanding in the party’s ranks and files was that the party would not be able to gain any ground in Punjab and that the efforts of their leadership would not pay any dividends in the upcoming elections.
The acting central Punjab president said, “We have not lost hope though it is clear as day that they (the establishment) wants to obliterate the law of the land and Constitution to make way for Nawaz Sharif.”
Saeed said that Nawaz was being brought to power at any cost, adding that sidestepping the Constitution would put unity of state in danger.
The PPP leader said that the PPP had faced such challenges before and was ready this time to combat this as well.
When asked if the PPP rues approving the census during the CCI meeting, he said the decision to accord approval to it was a grave mistake, some might say even a crime.
“This decision will have consequences for all even us.” He said they regret taking that decision, adding that no one had expected the PPP to become a party to that crime.