LAHORE - PPP-P Chairman Makhdoom Amin Fahim says the party should be run in consultation with the central executive committee, which should formulate all policies in line with the party principles. Talking to The Nation from Dubai on Monday, the veteran leader said the party should keep a watchful eye on the policies of the government and oppose whatever was in conflict with the supreme national interest.

Makhdoom has almost fully recovered after receiving treatment for cancer in London for many months. He is expected to return to Pakistan next month, provided the power outages are not as agonising as at present. About the departure of senior leaders from the party, Makhdoom said it was a routine affair. He recalled that even during the days of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto many important leaders had parted ways. But, he said, defections did not mean the party was over.

“Parties don’t get organised overnight and they don’t vanish overnight. Ups and downs are a routine and nobody should be alarmed by some defections. The PPP has a bright future as long as people support it,” he said. It may be pointed out that some senior leaders from Okara have left the PPP and joined hands with the PTI, a party which they think stands a better future. Some TV channels reported on Monday that the Gujranwala chapter of the PPP has decided to follow suit.

Those leaving the PPP allege that people at the helm have made the party what they call B-Team of the ruling PML-N. However, Makhdoom doesn’t agree with this assertion. He said the PPP had supported the PML-N government at a time when the latter faced a serious threat because of the PTI-PAT sit-ins in Islamabad last year. The support to the ruling party at the time was in fact support to the democratic system and the need of the hour. But, he made it clear, this doesn’t mean the PPP would play the same role in the future.

Positive acts of the government would be supported and others strongly resisted, Makhdoom said, refuting the impression of blanket support to the government. He said now it was the responsibility of the PPP leadership to repair the damage caused by defections. He said he was glad to know that Bilawal had already started playing this role.

Asked if there was a need for the change of party leadership in Punjab, the PPP-P chairman said having been out of the country for the past six months he would not like to say anything on the subject. But, he said, he would certainly advise the leaders to pay more attention on Punjab as it was the biggest province and had an important role in country’s politics. When it was pointed out that even the PPP people were not satisfied with the performance of the Sindh government, Makhdoom said the impression had been created by the electronic media. The Sindh government, he claimed, was doing well. However, he said, weaknesses, if any, should be addressed.