PESHAWAR–With the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) scrambling to reinvent itself in a desperate bid to stay politically relevant, former prime minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf expressed hope that PPP would form the federal government in future.
In a press conference in Peshawar on Tuesday, Ashraf said PPP is the largest federal party in the country, adding that despite facing ups and downs in its political journey, the party had not cowered down.
As he spoke, charged PPP workers present at the occasion broke out in a fight as they pushed to catch a glimpse of the former premier.
Television footage showed members raucously holding each other by the throat.
Accompanied by former premier Yousuf Raza Gilani and others, Raja said PPP’s representation in the assembly dipped from high to low, but party members came to the fore regardless.
He claimed that during the rule of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, there was a period when an election was stolen from the party and there were only 17 PPP lawmakers in the assembly but the party still formed a final government.
“Even if our representation in the National Assembly is low, our representation in the Senate is the highest. We have governments in AJK and Sindh. Previously we also had a government in Gilgit Baltistan.”
Addressing the workers who scuffled with each other, the PPP leader said everyone had seen their antics and could distinguish them from those who worked for peoples’ welfare.
“PPP is a party of martyrs…it is the party that sheds blood. We are not greedy or lustful.”
He appealed for discipline, adding that it was the basic condition for inclusion in the party.
The PPP has been trying to regain lost political ground. Two days earlier, the party also held a rally in its traditional stronghold Lyari in Karachi where party co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari said the meeting was a beginning of PPP’s new journey for the next elections and such events would also be held in Punjab and other provinces and in Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.
Most PPP leaders and workers in Punjab are of the view that the party may continue to suffer ‘humiliating defeats’ in future elections if its chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari doesn’t care to run its campaign.
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