The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has issued show-cause notices to two of its veterans – Benazir Bhutto’s close aide Dr Safdar Abbasi and former information minister Sherry Rehman – for “violation of the party’s discipline”.
The central executive committee (CEC) membership of Dr Abbasi has also been suspended. “Show-cause notices have been issued to Abbasi and Sherry on disciplinary grounds, as both participated in a TV show against the party policy. However, their membership is intact for the time being.
Moreover, whoever violates the party discipline will be dealt with immediately,” PPP Secretary Information MNA Fouzia Wahab told Pakistan Today on Saturday. But contrary to Fouzias’ claim, Abbasi said his CEC membership had been suspended and PPP Secretary General Jehangir Badr had taken the action.
“I was served a show-cause notice by the party following my participation in a private TV channel’s programme, Capital Talk, on October 19. I have already submitted my reply,” he said. Abbasi said if invited, he would participate in the same TV programme again.
And this is the second time that Sherry has been served a show-cause notice for siding with the media. Sherry resigned as the information minister in March last year to protest the government’s blockade of the transmissions of the same TV channel.
Abbasi and his wife Naheed Khan were close associates of Benazir Bhutto, but have remained sidelined ever since President Asif Ali Zardari took over as the party’s co-chairman. Sherry confirmed she had been issued a notice by the Sindh chief minister.
“Apart from the notice, there was a four-hour-long demonstration outside my residence. Some people carrying PPP flags besieged my house,” she added. Sherry said she never visited the media group’s office for. “I only responded to a beeper and defended my party’s stance,” she said. She demanded the government keep an eye on the elements who protested outside her residence.
“I don’t know the true identity of the protestors. I even doubt their affiliation with the PPP,” Sherry added. Talking to Pakistan Today, Abbassi said: I am at complete loss as to when and where the party’s decisions are made. I was issued an explanation notice on the 20th and my CEC membership was terminated before I could respond.”
He said that the party should not bar its members from talking to the media because it would do more harm than good.