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EditorialMustafa Khokhar's resignation

Mustafa Khokhar’s resignation

PPP Senator Mustafa Khokhar has formally resigned from the Senate following his well-publicized declaration that he would be leaving his position in the upper house of parliament. In Pakistani politics, it happens very infrequently that someone consciously decides against towing party lines. Perhaps the younger generation has more knowledge, independence, and options. Khokhar, though, was favoured by the party to be made a senator from a Sindh seat, despite his Punjab domicile, but he often stood out with his independent views, which is not appreciated in political parties.  On Thursday, he tweeted “Today, I formally tendered my resignation. I’m glad for the tremendous response and support across party lines which was much beyond my imagination. I stepped down as a senator because the PPP leadership was unhappy with my political positions.” It is good to see that Khokhar obeyed the party lines at least in the matter of the seat.

For months, Khokhar’s independent views led many PPP members to believe Khokhar’s resignation from the Senate as well as his party role was on the cards. Earlier, he resigned from the crucial role of Bilawal Bhutto’s official spokesperson post in December 2020. At that time, he insisted that he would remain a PPP member but would be freer to speak up and share his ideas without the constraints and accountability that come with serving as a party leader’s spokesperson. This time, it is clear that he has left the PPP as well. This will be a loss to the PPP, which is struggling to keep its rank and file and electable candidates intact ahead of elections. In the 2018 elections, Mr Khokhar bagged a good number of votes on the PPP ticket for a National Assembly seat.

Mr Khokhar was informed through a senior party official the party leadership desired his departure from the Senate because of their displeasure with my political stances. Otherwise, he would have kept the Senate seat before the end of his six-year tenure in March 2024. Mr Khokhar is not a saint as well. Recently, he was seen beating a man at a hotel. This leaves a bad taste in the mouth of the audience. He has yet to offer an apology for his conduct.

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