ISLAMABAD - Former president and PPP Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari on Saturday asked the senior party leaders to visit Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) in connection with upcoming LB polls, besides arranging meetings with party workers to ascertain their views on one hand and to address their grievances on the other.

Zardari, chairing the PPP's KPK office-bearers meeting at Zardari House, emphasised upon vigorous campaigning for the local bodies' polls to retrieve the ground that the party lost in the last general elections. 

Spokesperson to the former President Senator Farhatullah Babar said Zardari directed PPP Secretary General Raja Pervez Ashraf and Additional Secretary General Raza Rabbani to visit Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for on ground meetings with party workers.

The 50-member delegation of senior party leaders led by provincial President Khanzada Khan included former President Anwar Saifullah Khan, former ministers and MPs Arbab Alamgir Khan, Humayun Khan, Liaquat Shabab, Najmuddin Khan, Lal Khan and Tariq Khattak. Former Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf and Senator Raza Rabbani also attended the meeting.

The meeting reviewed organisational matters of the party, discussed strategy about the forthcoming local bodies' polls and outlined party's policies on issues confronting the nation. About the local bodies' polls, the former President advised whatever arrangements were made it must be based on broad based consultations within the party and keeping in view the principles for which the party had sacrificed so much. The former President asked the party leaders to keep an eye on the privatisation policies of government and raise voice against crony capitalism, lack of transparency and throwing out of workers from jobs. The party must not permit any policy that throws labourers out of jobs, he said.

Asif Ali Zardari also advised the party cadres to give attention to the membership drive as well as completing the party's organisations at various tiers. The former President said that despite obvious manipulations in the May 2013 elections the party accepted its results so that democracy continued to flourish and non-democratic forces did not get an opportunity to derail the entire system.

He said politicians' infighting had in the past provided an excuse to the undemocratic forces to intervene and hijack political power. This must not be allowed to happen. However, not destabilising the system should not be taken to mean that the party should abandon its political and democratic role to keep a check on the excesses and misdoings of the government, which must be challenged and brought into the open and rectified.

Zardari said that he regarded the party as a sacred trust in his hands and will do his utmost to rise to the challenges to rejuvenate the party.

Participants of the meeting paid tributes to the former President for bowing down before the majesty of law and appearing before the court on Thursday. They also expressed grave concern over the non-recovery of Ali Haider Gillani, the son of former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani who was abducted from Multan on the occasion on May 2013 electioneering. The meeting reiterated its resolve to continue to stand by the side of the Gillani family in its hour of trial and called upon the government to secure the release of Ali Haider Gillani from the captivity of abductors.

He said that the former President emphasised upon vigorous campaigning for the local bodies' polls to retrieve the ground that the party was made to lose in the last general elections through calculated manoeuvring. The former President paid tributes to the party workers and other democratic workers who sacrificed so much in this fight against militancy adding, 'their sacrifices will not go in vain'. He paid special tributes to the Hangu school student Aitizaz Hasan.

The former President said that the PPP was the party of martyrs and it will give a tough fight to the extremists and militants. Nowhere in the world had two successive chairpersons of a party laid down their lives for the cause as had been done by the PPP, he added.