PESHAWAR: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz has decided to hold public meetings in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in collaboration with Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl to show its strength and counter the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf’s activities in the province, especially with regard to Panama Papers issue.
A senior leader of the party told this correspondent that PML-N was facing serious problems in its ranks due to groupings and its main reason was the party’s failure to pay attention to solution of the workers’ problems.
Many of the workers, the source said, had either joined opposition parties or opted to sit silent while some of the activists had formed their own ‘ideological group’ and continued to hold meetings to maintain contacts for taking any sort of en bloc decision in future.
However, the source said that with the replacement of governor Sardar Mahtab Ahmad Khan the situation for the disgruntled activists changed altogether as they were the first to meet the newly-appointed governor, Iqbal Zafar Jhagra, in Islamabad even before his taking oath of the office.
Senior leader says move aimed at countering PTI in the province
“During the time of Mahtab Khan the workers of Hazara division were happy, but he did not pay any attention to workers of the Pakhtun belt,” the source said and added that unrest among Pakhtuns was fast spreading because the federal ministers were not solving their problems rather avoiding giving them time for any meeting.
The source said that Mr Jhagra had close contacts with the disgruntled workers and he was trying to woo them so that they could extend cooperation and make future plans of the party a success. The source claimed that that the governor wished his son to contest elections from NA-4, Peshawar, in future and for this purpose his contacts with the disgruntled workers were necessary.
Party’s provincial president Pir Sabir Shah, he revealed, was also called to the Prime Minister’s House a few days ago to devise a plan for countering PTI’s activities in the province. However, Mr Shah conveyed reservations of the annoyed workers and stressed the need for paying attention to their demands.
It was learnt that next public meetings of the prime minister would be held in Swat, Dera Ismail Khan and probably in Karak where JUI-F also has a major vote bank.
When contacted, one of the disgruntled leaders, Waqif Khan, said that the annoyed workers had no personal demands and they always worked for the welfare of party. “We served the party when our leadership was forced to leave the country by Pervez Musharraf,” he said.
He said that all the disgruntled workers were united and would work sincerely if Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif agreed to address a public meeting in Peshawar. He said that the workers’ demands pertained to connections of natural gas, financial assistance from Pakistan Baitul Mal, reconstruction of roads and ending excessive power loadshedding in their respective areas.
PML-N provincial secretary information Nasir Khan Musazai, however, said that there was no grouping and the disgruntled workers had no status in the party. “Every worker has the right to visit Islamabad and meet the party leaders and ministers in connection with solution of their problems. We have approved power transformers to be installed in different areas on the outskirts of Peshawar to facilitate the consumers,” he claimed. However, he said that for time being there was no information about the visit of prime minister to Peshawar.
Mr Musazai said that he had worked hard in NA-4 and enabled the party to win maximum seats in Town-4. He also appreciated Amir Muqam, adviser to the prime minister, for extending his full cooperation to resolve workers’ issues and hoped that PML-N would also win the election from NA-4 in future.