LAHORE -  PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari is clearly in a dilemma over how to take the most difficult decision about the nomination of party’s new Lahore President, an office lying vacant since April 2016, it has been learnt.

Party sources confided to The Nation that Chairman Bilawal was facing a sticky situation as the party men he wanted to nominate were not willing to take this responsibility; while most of the aspirants he interviewed are dilettante as far as real politics is concerned.

The sources further revealed that PPP’s former Punjab President Qasim Zia was the first choice before Bilawal but he declined to accept this office when indirectly approached to know his consent.

Party men close to Qasim Zia said that how could he work on such a relegated position after having led the entire province during the time of Benazir Bhutto.   Bushra Aitzaz, wife of Senator Aitzaz Ahsen was also offered this position but she too expressed her inability to work as party’s Lahore President.

The reason is quite obvious. The new Lahore President will be facing the great challenge of party’s revival in the presence of a well-entrenched PML-N, and another emerging political force, the PTI which is being seen a potential threat to the PPP. In the given situation, the party has to choose a leader who is capable of making a political turnaround for the party which is really in a bad shape with next elections only a year away.

Currently, the PPP has no representation from Lahore neither in Punjab Assembly nor the National Assembly which speaks volumes about its sorry state of affairs in the provincial capital.

Selection of PPP’s Lahore President has never been as difficult for the top leadership as is at this moment in history. The political importance of the provincial capital for any party can be gauged by the fact that it elects 13 MNAs for the National Assembly and 27 MPAs for the provincial legislature.

Once a stronghold of the PPP, Lahore has now become the fortress of the ruling PML-N which is controlling its politics for the last over two decades.

A number of candidates are vying for the coveted slot including some old PPP guards.

A new brand of young politicians who got political training in the last five years, are also in the race. From amongst the old party men, Samina Ghurki, Aslam Gill, Navid Ch and Haji Azizur Rehman Chan are lobbying for the Lahore office. Except Navid Ch, who completed a successful term as party’s Punjab Secretary Information in the early 2000s, the rest of three politicians have already served as party’s Lahore President in the past.

The leadership is also considering Barrister Amir Hasan and Faisal Mir as the potential candidates for this office.

They are young, educated and most vibrant party stalwarts in the City. Both are not only active in the field, they are also seen defending their party at TV talk shows almost on daily basis. Babar Butt, an old party activist, is also a candidate.

 

 

MUBASHIR HASSAN