Zardari halves PPP Punjab

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In a significant development to cope with new challenges following the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) showdown to capture Punjab and probably to stir up the Seraiki movement, the PPP central leadership has divided the PPP Punjab into two parts – PPP Central Punjab and PPP South Punjab.
PPP Co-chairman President Asif Ali Zardari appointed Minister for Textiles Makhdoom Shahbuddin has been appointed the president of the PPP South Punjab. Imtiaz Safdar Warraich, who was earlier the president of PPP Punjab, has automatically taken charge of PPP central Punjab presidency.
Other appointments for various offices in PPP South Punjab would be made in couple of days. PPP Central Punjab organisation would remain intact. Analysts portend the move as an unprecedented step, likely to be followed by other political parties, to tighten the full grip on Punjab ahead of the coming election. The decision was taken during a meeting chaired by President Asif Ali Zardari the president camp office in Bilawal House, Karachi on Friday.
The meeting was attended by Punjab Governor Sardar Latif Khosa, Jahangir Badr, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Babar Awan and other leaders of PPP Punjab chapter. Sources said the PPP Punjab leaders apprised the president of political situation following two massive rallies organised by the PML-N and the PTI.
They also asked the president to form a counter-strategy against the activities of the PML-N and other forces in the province, sources said.
With the new division, the PPP South Punjab would constitute DG Khan, Multan and Bahawalpur. The remaining province will fall under the PPP central Punjab. President’s Coordinator in Punjab Naveed Chaudhry told Pakistan Today that the division was part of a long-awaited plan and was done on administrative ground, dispelling an impression that it was in connection with Seraiki movement.
He said Punjab was a bigger province and the division would help the PPP to serve the people better. The twist in political chessboard is also seen as PPP’s roadmap to break Punjab into smaller provinces in order to improve administration and governance. According to reports surfacing a couple of weeks ago, Federal Minister for Kashmir Affairs and Gilgit-Baltistan Manzoor Ahmad Wattoo proposed the division of Punjab into three provinces. “Lahore, Gujranwala and Rawalpindi should comprise one province, Faisalabad, Sahiwal and Sargodha another and Bhawalpur, Multan and Dera Ghazi Khan as the third one,” Wattoo had said.