PPP Punjab wants Aitzaz banished from party

Demands action against party stalwart for ‘supporting Imran’s narrative’

Pakistan People’s Party’s (PPP) Punjab Chapter leadership on Friday strongly condemned the party’s senior leader Aitzaz Ahsan over what they said was his continuous criticism of the party’s policies and support of the narrative of PTI Chairman Imran Khan. The PPP workers demanded the PPP Punjab Chapter Organization take notice of Aitzaz’s continuous criticism, and violation of the party’s discipline and suspend his membership. The demand was made during a worker’s convention headed by PPP Punjab Chapter acting President Rana Farooq Saeed at the party’s secretariat in Model Town on Friday. “Zone-163 and Zone-158 Lahore Presidents demand Chaudhary Aitzaz Ahsan’s suspension from the party,” read a solution carrying signatures of the party’s workers.

Rana Farooq Saeed Khan, Faisal Meer, Aziz-ur-Rehman Chan, Aurangzeb Burki, Chaudhary Nauman Yousuf, Samina Khalid, Nargis Khan and some others signed the resolution demanding action against Aitzaz. The development took place after PPP senior leader Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan a few days ago alleged that the establishment helped the Sharif family get clear from the court cases of corruption against them.

Making an obvious reference to Chief of Army Staff Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa, Ahsan had said: “Bajwa sahib has rescued them (Sharif family) from conviction in cases and he has committed a big crime.” He had expressed these thoughts while talking to the reporters at the Lahore High Court. Ahsan had said the cases against Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz Sharif were open-and-shut and their conviction was certain.

He was of the view that unfortunately National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had been used for political engineering. Answering a question regarding the possibility of a long march by former prime minister Imran Khan, the PPP leader had said that nothing could be predicted in Pakistan except for what had already been done in the past. He had stated that nobody was expecting a few months ago that Imran Khan’s government would be ousted and Nawaz Sharif would be ruling the country.

He also gave credit to Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and ex-president Asif Ali Zardari for their “politics of principles and politeness”. He hailed FM Bhutto for his efforts to bring international help to the flood-affected people in the country. However, Aitzaz’s words were not received well by his own party’s leaders as PPP Punjab Chapter acting President Rana Farooq Saeed lashed out at him over his remarks about the Sharif family and his accusations.

Saeed had said that Barrister Aitzaz Ahsan joined PTI Chairman Imran Khan’s conspiracy to derail democracy in Pakistan. Farooq Saeed said that Aitzaz had been defending Imran Khan’s fraudulent politics for a long time and at the same time he was constantly opposing the leadership and policies of the People’s Party. He lashed out at Ahsan by saying that he supported Imran Khan’s political engineering by remaining silent when Imran Khan arrested President Asif Ali Zardari and Faryal Talpur through NAB and also made false cases against Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

He stated that the whole past of Aitzaz Ahsan proved that he was a part of political engineering against PPP in every period and he used politics only for making money and personal interests. In 1977, when the movement against Bhutto Shaheed started and PPP was in trouble, as a result of political engineering, Aitzaz Ahsan left the People’s Party and joined Asghar Khan’s Tahreek-e-Istaqlal and worked against the People’s Party for many years. In 2007 also Aitzaz Ahsan, he said, became a part of another political engineering and along with Nawaz Sharif and Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry opposed the politics of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto. He also appeared in court as Nawaz Sharif’s lawyer. He said that in 2008, Aitzaz Ahsan opposed the government of President Asif Ali Zardari along with Nawaz Sharif as a result of political engineering and forced President Zardari to make Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry the Chief Justice again.  As a result of the same political engineering of Aitzaz Ahsan, in 2012 Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry disqualified PPP Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani.

Rana Farooq Saeed asked Aitzaz Ahsan where were his ideology and animosities when he ran his entire election campaign on the slogan of “Benazir Bhutto Ka Sipahi, Nawaz Sharif Ka Bhai Aitzaz Ahsan.” He went on to say that the political record of Aitzaz Ahsan proves that his ideology is only money and personal interest. “Anyone can make him a part of any political engineering by paying him a fee of a few crores,” said Saeed, adding that as a result of Aizaz Ahsan’s continuous statements in support of Imran Khan, PPP workers all across Pakistan were angry. A large number of PPP workers in Punjab, he said, were continuously demanding that Aitzaz Ahsan should not only be removed from the central executive committee of the party but also his membership of the party should be cancelled.

The PPP leader said, “I’m representing the aspiration and demands of workers from all across Punjab. Therefore, we are demanding Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, President Asif Ali Zardari and the Central Executive Committee that Aitzaz Ahsan should be removed from membership of the Central Executive Committee of PPP and his basic membership of the party should be suspended”.

He had also added that the workers of the PPP Punjab are demanding to lay siege to the houses of Imran Khan and Aitzaz Ahsan in Zaman Park Lahore against the nexus of Imran Khan and Aitzaz Ahsan, on which the People’s Party Punjab should take a decision.

Fida Hussnain is a correspondent covering judiciary, politics, business and health issues. He is also a feature writer and researcher with major work on freedom of press in Pakistan. He tweets @fidahassanain and can be reached at fidahassanain@gmail.com.

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