A grand alliance prepares to take PPP head-on in rural Sindh, checkmate its foray in Karachi

Irshad Salim — An anti-Pakistan Peoples Party coalition called ‘The Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA)’, has become activate with an all-out plan to challenge PPP across Sindh in the upcoming elections — weeks after Bhutto’s party attempted to flex muscles in Punjab – PML-N’s bastion of power, but failed to make any significant headway protesting against massive loadshedding and demanding equal political rights for PPP in the largest province where PM Nawaz Sharif’s party, the PML-N rules for the last 8 years with his younger brother Shahbaz as CM.

Sources privy to the development told local media that the decision was taken during a meeting of PPP rival parties and groups at the residence of Pir Pagara in Karachi — capital of Sindh and Pakistan’s financial hub, on Friday.

Ex-Sindh chief ministers Arbab Ghulam Rahim and Ghous Ali Shah, former home minister Dr Zulfiqar Mirza, Ayaz Latif Palijo of Qaumi Awami Tehreek (QAT), Ayaz Shah Sheerazi and Shafqat Shah Sheerazi of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), leaders of Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) and one of the PPP sitting provincial ministers also attended the meeting, reported The Express Tribune.

The anti-PPP coalition also plans to hold talks with PTI, MQM, PSP, and Jamaat Islami for making foray in the urban populace of the metropolis to seek common grounds for challenging PPP on grounds of ‘poor governance, corruption, and incompetence’ and may seek ‘seat adjustments’ for maximum results, several sources privy to the discussions told PKonweb.

The meeting has decided Pir PAgara — Sindh’s political heavyweight, would head the alliance and Ayaz Latif Palijo — the soft, intellectually witty nationalist politician who led a huge long march in Karachi in 2009, will be its spokesperson.

A meeting is expected to be convened in a few days to finalize the manifesto, flag and other necessary things related to the election, the sources said.

Zardari’s nemesis Zulfiqar Mirza floated the idea to register the alliance in the Election Commission of Pakistan and it was endorsed by all the participants,” a PML-F leader said, adding, “It will prove to be a strong alternate of PPP.”

Talking to The Express Tribune Palijo said they will launch a campaign against the PPP-led Sindh government and approach all civil society organizations, writers, poets and intellectual for seeking their support.

The meeting also decided to publish a ‘White Paper’ against the PPP government and accused it of committing massive corruption and bad governance in the last nine-year tenure in Sindh.

“We also discussed how to ensure transparent elections. The army’s help will be sought for holding fair and free polls in 2018,” said Arbab Rahim who was Sindh’s Chief minister during Musharraf’s regime.

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