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Mardan PPP - Ex general secretary Zahir Shah Toru likely to switch loyalties - joining #PTI

پیپلز پارٹی بکھر گئی: ایک  کے بعد ایک لیڈر چھوڑ
 جارہا ہے۔ مردان سے اہم رہنما ظاہر شاہ توری بھی جلد تحریک انصاف کے ہوجائیں گے

PESHAWAR: Former deputy general secretary of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Zahir Shah Toru is one of the party dissidents in Mardan district who may announce quitting the party and joining the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI).

Zahir Shah Toru, however, said that he had not yet decided to quit the party or make contacts with the PTI. But he did not reject the reports that many PPP workers who spent much time and energies in the party were disappointed.

Sitting under a poster carrying picture of the party’s co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Zahir Shah Toru opined that all the three pillars of a political party, including organizational structure, ideology and political programme, had been shattered.

He felt the party leadership had lost the confidence of the workers and people and had no commitment with the party’s manifesto, constitution and ideology.

“The party workers who had been observing the situation since long and raising these problems at every forum were disappointed,” he maintained.

Zahir Shah Toru, who during his college days was a student leader of the People’s Students Federation (PSF), said that he would take a decision about his next political course after consulting his friends and supporters.

He said the workers loved their respective parties’ constitution and manifesto and also keenly observed if the party leadership is committed to the party’s programme.

“The lack of the leadership’s commitment to party programme shatters the workers’ confidence,” he observed.

He pointed out that the PPP’s organisational structure was announced after nine years and this too was contrary to the ground realities.

“Sixty percent of the party’s youth were ignored and only lip-service was paid to the young people. Not a single step was taken at any forum to satisfy the workers who raised genuine questions about the party affairs,” Zahir Shah Toru argued.

He said the members of the party’s central executive council could face the music if they raised questions against the wishes of the leadership.

Zahir Shah Toru had joined the party in 1976 when he was a student of Class-8 and his cousin, late Sattar Khan, contested election on the PPP ticket from the Mardan-Swabi assembly seat.

He remained president of PSF unit at the Agriculture University in 1985-86 and later became the PSF’s provincial general secretary.

He also served as PSF chairman ad hoc committee in 1988 and became the first elected president in 1990 in its history.

He remained provincial president People’s Youth Organisation (PYO) in 1992, project director People’s Works Programme in 1995 and is now serving as in-charge of the party’s central secretariat.

Zahir Shah Toru recalled that Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had established such a solid party that it could win seven to eight assembly seats in the province easily even if the sitting PPP leaders imposed ban on intra-party elections and distributed party tickets through courier service. In reply to a question, he said it was not right to say that he was leaving the party because he could be denied the PPP ticket to contest the coming general election from the provincial assembly constituency, PK-24 Mardan.

He clarified that he had not accepted the party decision when he was offered office of the divisional general secretary in Mardan as it was not a constitutional office and was meant to block his entry in decision-making bodies.

“We can’t stay aloof from politics and will definitely select a party but that will be done in consultation with workers and supporters,” he said. 

“Has any parliamentary board been constituted and party tickets distributed so far?” he asked while arguing that his decision to to leave the PPP would not be based on denial of party ticket to him.

“We are not considered eligible for party tickets even though we were eligible for working on people’s platform,” he said, adding: “For how long this situation will continue?ـ

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