Pagara-led grand alliance against PPP likely to end?



While it is being assumed that the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F)-led ten party grand alliance will give a tough time to the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), the situation on the ground is changing, as the alliance is set to come to its end within a few days, Pakistan Today has learnt.

Though millions of people of Sindh who look towards the Pir Pagara-led PML-F for a real change of faces, insiders opined the PML-F was under pressure from nationalists and was sidelining its own leaders.

Interestingly, the Hurs and those engaged in provincial politics are being sidelined by the PML-F leadership and the move would not help the people see Pagara’s leadership as a PPP replacement.

This attitude would also likely help the former rulers to secure majority in the upcoming elections.

Nearly all political parties, excluding the ruling PPP and MQM, had gathered under the umbrella of PML-F to form an electoral alliance in Sindh to give a tough time to the PPP-led ruling coalition.

The alliance, which consisted of 10 political parties, was to field joint candidates to against the PPP and MQM.

The grand alliance included PML-F, PML-N, JUI-F, JI, Pakistan Sunni Tehreek, Jamiat Ulema-e-Pakistan (JUP), National People’s Party (NPP), Sindh United Party (SUP), Sindh Tarraqqi Pasand Party (STPP) and Awami Tehreek (AT).

Interestingly, when Pakistan Today visited the Functional House of the PML-F on Wednesday, it was witnessed that old faces of the PML-F came out with long faces, as their devotion and sincerity was sidelined by the PML-F leadership.

Insiders said two meetings were held at the Functional House that were attended by Mohammad Hussain Mehnati of JI, Liaquat Jatoi, Saleem Zia and Nehal Hashmi of the PML-N, Syed Jalal Mehmood Shah and Zain Shah of Sindh United Party.

Syed Jalal Mehmood Shah of SUP secured support for his seat from Jamshoro, however, he also succeeded in securing another seat of PS-27 Sakrand (district Shaheed Benazirabad), sidelining the PML-F leader Ghulam Irtaza alias Shahrukh Unar.

PML-F sources said SUP leader Syed Jalal Mehmood Shah wanted to bring his close relative Syed Zain Shah from PS-27 Sakrand due to it being a stronghold of PML-F. However, PML-F leader Ghulam Irtaza alias Shahrukh was the most potential candidate as he had more than 8,000 votes of his tribe and 15,000 votes of PML-F die-heart supporters.

Interestingly, PML-F President Syed Zahid Shah also attended the meeting to support Ghulam Irtaza Unar, however, Imtiaz Shaikh shut him up during the meeting, forcing him to leave the meeting.

The senior leaders, who wished not to be named, told Pakistan Today that Yasir Shah, nephew of Pir Pagara, and Imtiaz Shaikh were also at loggerheads over distribution of party tickets.

“This is why Yasir Shah avoided attending the meeting as he was in favour of fielding PML-F leaders on majority of seats, however, Imtiaz was trying to please nationalists to get popularity instead of providing the masses with replacement of PPP in shape of Pir Pagara-led leadership,” they said.

It was noticed that the local leadership was also against the grand alliance with nationalist parties, as they feared the PML-F would loose its growing popularity.

Furthermore, the sources said Pir Pagara had called an emergency meeting of all heads of the 10-party alliance today (Wednesday) to know about the future of the alliance and it was expected that the alliance would reach its end there.



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