LAHORE - The tetra glazing of PPP, necessitated in 2002 due to a legal problem, is most likely to continue for long, also for the same reason.

The issue of PPP keeping two separate political identities simultaneously came to limelight when president of the PPP-P Makhdoom Amin Fahim was visibly at odds with Asif Ali Zardari over some appointments in his party reportedly made without his consultation.

At present, two parallel political organisations, the Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarians (PPP-P) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) exist simultaneously with two different political heads. The two parties have different officebearers as both are registered with the Election Commission of Pakistan as separate political entities.

The PPP-P which is headed by Amin Fahim is in electoral politics since 2002 under the guidance of PPP which works under the supervision of former president Asif Ali Zardari though the latter is yet to be made as its co-chairman in the official documents submitted with the Election Commission.

PPP’s Secretary General Sardar Latif Khan Khosa does not see an immediate merger of the two parties owing to legal complications. The matter of ownership of the PPP is sub-judice, he told this scribe, adding that a petition filed by Naheed Khan, former political secretary to Benazir Bhutto, claiming to be the rightful heir to this title was still pending in the court for decision.

Secondly, the PPP-P has its representation in the Parliament as well as in the provincial assemblies and disbanding this party at this stage may have its legal implications, he further elaborated.  

Talking about the rationale behind formation of PPP-P in 2002, Latif Khosa said that it had to be created when the former military ruler General Pervez Musharraf through an amendment in Political Parties Order made it binding on every contestant for the National Assembly seat to appear in person before the returning officer at the time of filing of his/her nomination papers.

“Since the then Chairman of PPP, Benazir Bhutto, was in exile at that time and feared her prosecution under the military regime on return, it was decided to make a new party with the nomenclature of PPP-P with Amin Fahim as its president,” he maintained.

Asked why Bilawal Bhutto has been designated as patron-in-chief of the PPP and not the chairman, Khosa replied that when he got this party registered with the Election Commission, Bilawal had not attained the age of 25 which was a legal requirement. Similarly, he added, Asif Ali Zardari was not assigned any political office in the official documents due to a legal bar as he was president at the time.

He said a new list of officebearers would have to be sent to the commission to change the designations. “But it has already been decided in a party’s CEC meeting that Bilawal would be chairman of the party while Asif Zardari would act a co-chairman,” he informed.

The PPP secretary general was confident that the issue of PPP doing with two separate parties would be resolved by the next general elections.