Gilani acts to repair damage from Qureshi’s departure | Pakistan Today

Gilani acts to repair damage from Qureshi’s departure

Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani is making hectic efforts as part of damage control measures adopted by the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) to counter the blow it suffered after former foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi revolted against the party.
In the traditionally strong PPP support base South Punjab, Gilani is planning to field candidates in each constituency to replace those who left with Qureshi.
While the PPP has already announced Ali Musa Gilani, the younger son of the prime minister, will contest the by-election from NA-148, Qureshi seems in two minds on whether or not to field his candidate, giving a clear lead to the PPP nominee in this fight.
“Prime Minister Gilani is making efforts to repair the damage done to the PPP by the resignation and initiative of Qureshi in Sindh against the PPP. Gilani has put all his horses in the race to win the by-polls from the home constituency of Qureshi,” said a source privy to the developments. The source said Ali Musa enjoyed full support from the Punjab government under a silentt deal with the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) leadership as Nawaz Sharif wants to teach Qureshi a lesson for joining the PTI. Makhdoom Javed Hashmi has put his support behind Gilani to dent Qureshi’s plans since Hashmi’s daughter is married to one of Gilani’s relatives.
He said initially, the prime minister had succeeded in winning the support of Makhdoom Murid Hussain Qureshi, the younger brother of Shah Mahmood, who was annoyed with his elder brother for fielding Zain Qureshi for the NA-148 by-polls. “However, the elder Qureshi has now been able to mend fences with his brother Murid who has considerable influence in the NA-148,” added the source.
“The government is working hard to win support of major political players of Qureshi’s constituency, however, despite initial success, the ground is yet not favourable for a win for the prime minister’s son,” a PPP leader told Pakistan Today, adding that the premier had resolved to defeat the candidate of Shah Mahmood Qureshi at all cost, which would be a major dent to Qureshi as well as the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf (PTI). The source said the Punjab government had directed the Multan district police officer (DPO) and city police officer (CPO) to help the Gilani’s nail down Qureshi’s candidate in the by-polls. Moreover, the Election Commission of Pakistan has also yet not announced by-election schedule for NA-148 as Qureshi’s resignation has not been accepted. Malik Abbas Raan, leader of a PPP rebel group in the Punjab Assembly and a close confidant of Shah Mahmood Qureshi, alleged government resources were being utilised by the PM in Multan to win the by-elections. Asked whether or not Dr Akhtar Malik, another MPA from the area, was with Qureshi, Raan said he was loyal to the group while dozens of MPAs in Punjab Assembly were with them. However, a PM’s House spokesman rejected Raan’s allegations that the PM’s focus was limited to Southern Punjab.
“Nothing fishy is going on in Multan and the by-elections will be held free, fair and in a transparent manner,” he said. Meanwhile, a PPP leader from Multan said the PM had already made up his mind to introduce his older son Abdul Qadir Gilani from his constituency who had already launched his campaign from NA-151, the constituency where Prime Minister Gilani had won the election. “Recently, Qadir Gilani held his first public meeting in Suraj Miani Multan and announced to contest in place of his father. While the PM is weighing options but it is likely that he would contest future polls from NA-152 or NA-153,” said the source. NA-152 falls in Shujaabad from where Nawab Liaquat Ali Khan had won polls on a PPP ticket while Deewan Syed Ashiq Hussain Bukhari had won from NA-153 on a PML-Q ticket.

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  1. Dar said:

    I hope the PPP are stamped into the ground by Mr Qureshi. Then maybe they would actually care about the 'awam' they so shamelessly exploit.

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