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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Split in Sindh PPP Imminent; President Offers Aitzaz An Important Position, May Play Prominent Role in Future; Nawaz-Mirza under Pressure for Alliance; Fahmida Mirza Offers to Resign

Aitzaz May Play Prominent Role in Future; How Fasih Bokhari Was Nominated as Chairman NAB?

By Aijaz Ahmed

Islamabad: There seldom comes a cooling off interval in Pakistani politics - at least not these days. With every passing moment, the temperature gets higher and the hectic moves and counter moves by the stakeholders create more and more confusion. Amidst all that, the moves by one of the players, Zulfikar Mirza may soon result in split within his own party.
On his return from Malaysia, Zulfikar Mirza dropped another bombshell; he addressed a press conference along with the leaders of the Peoples Amn Committee and announced that following in the footsteps of Imran Khan, he would carry three suitcases to London, UK, filled with evidence against Altaf Hussain of MQM. The statement of Mirza created another storm in the troubled city of Karachi and prompted MQM demands for his arrest. The rampant political crisis is destined to lead towards a final showdown within the PPP ranks as well as between the PPP and its love-hate partner the MQM.

A group of PPP dissidents from Sindh is getting united with a resolve to fight against any effort for passing the proposed Local Government Ordinance, which was first introduced by military dictator Musharraf and then reintroduced by Babar Awan known as Mr. Tughral in the political circles of Islamabad.

The move is not only to oppose the local government ordinance bill, but the built in opposition to the government-MQM alliance is also coming to the fore. The group emerging around Mirza in Sindh will ultimately gain strength, and the people in the province having sympathies with PPP will by and large go with Mirza team, says a PPP leader from the political team of the president, Zardari.

The central leadership of the party is trying its best to control the damage caused by Mirza, but for the first time in the history of the party, it appears that all the efforts by the leadership are going in vain as dissent in the party is visibly increasing.

The game does not end there; rather another innings of the long and tiring game of politics is being started again, and the umpires of the game have become, as always, the main players of the innings now. There are clear indications that the behind-the-scene players who ‘encouraged’ Mirza to go up in the arms to such an extent where he put his relationship with the president at stake are trying to bring Mirza and Nawaz Sharif closer on some point of mutual interests and that is the opposition of MQM and elimination of corruption, sources in the power circle of Islamabad have revealed.

The anti Zardari policy of Nawaz Sharif and his PML-N is the main cause of concern for Mirza, the sources said, adding that the players are trying to evolve a mutually acceptable position in this regard.

The people and the forces who matter are hectically busy in hatching a deal between the two, but hard line taken by Mirza has been an impediment so far, sources claimed. Mirza does not want to take blame of stabbing in the back his closest friend and mentor, thus he has put some hard conditions. Mirza wants Nawaz Sharif to give up his go Zardari go policy, sources maintained. Mirza also wants Nawaz Sharif and the wheelers behind the move to agree to a mutually acceptable guarantee that his friend will be allowed to complete his present tenure and that if he gets elected as president again, he will be allowed to complete that tenure as well.

On the other hand interesting political developments are taking place in the federal capital. Khursheed Shah, whose residence was used last night by PPP dissidents in Karachi to host dinner for Mirza was enjoying president’s hospitality and was discussing matters related to Sindh. Earlier Dr. Fahmida Mirza, wife of Zulfikar Mirza and Speaker of the National Assembly had offered resignation from her office citing MQM’s nasty behavior, but President strongly rejected her offer, sources maintained. He asked madam speaker to continue as she happens to be the first woman speaker of Asia.

President not only confined himself to reject the resignation of the speaker, but also showed some positive gestures for Mirza. Rehman Malik and Babar Awan have been kept away from the presidency since last two days. Both Awan and Rehman Malik were not invited to the recent PPP Core Committee at Aiwan e Saddar.

It is also revealed that in the last three and half years there was no single incident where president did not consult with Mr. Awan on some important legal matters. It was after the new blast of Mr. Mirza that President did not take a legal opinion from Mr. Awan. Rather Farooq H Naik was consulted on legal and constitutional implication of Supreme Court decision on Karachi.

Another political development was dinner hosted for Aitzaz Ahsan by President after almost six months. Bushra Aitzaz was present in the dinner. Aitzaz was offered an important position but he declined. He is said to be interested to become next Chairman of Senate. It was Aitzaz Ahsan who suggested to the president to appoint Fasih Bokhari as Chairman NAB and the president within no time accepted his suggestion that gives indication of improving relations between the President and Mr. Aitzaz and people may see the legal wizard playing vital role in near future.

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