Annoyed Yousaf Gilani mulls joining PML-F
09 October, 2012
LAHORE: Former prime minister and the ruling Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Vice Chairman Yousaf Raza Gilani has not only decided to quit the party but also resolved to join Pir Pagara's Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) after developing serious differences with the Presidency.
Sources close to the former premier informed our sources on Monday that though the PPP leadership has made some contacts with Gilani to remove his reservations against the Presidency but the former PM has decided in principle to quit the party. The sources said that the situation had reached the point of no return because the former premier had come to the conclusion that the person responsible for the disgrace of his family and himself was in the power corridors.
To a query about the future politics of Gilani after leaving the PPP, the sources said that several options were available to him, and cited his good relations with the Sharif brothers, however, they said the former premier would prefer to join the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F) as it was suitable for advancement of his political career.
It must be noted that Pir of Pagaro Sharif, a religious personality of Sindh and spiritual leader of Hurs, is a close relative of the Multan-based spiritual Makhdoom family of Yousaf Raza Gilani, as the latter's eldest son Abdul Qadir Gilani had recently married Pir Pagara's granddaughter, while one of Yousaf Raza Gilani's aunts also belongs to the Pagaro family. Pir Pagara's party has considerable political and spiritual influence in some areas of interior Sindh and southern Punjab. The PML-F has five seats in the National Assembly, eight in the Sindh Assembly and three in the Punjab Assembly from the Saraiki belt.
High-profile sources in the PPP told this scribe that the ruling party was still trying to address the reservations of Gilani, who is also a member of the central executive committee of the party, and the party leadership has designated two federal ministers, Qamar Zaman Kaira and Rehman Malik, in this regard. The party hopes to allay the former premier's concerns and seeks his return to politics from the PPP.
Commenting on the likelihood of Gilani's joining the PML-N or some other party, the PPP sources also said that he would not join the Sharif brothers as they already had many heavy weights in the party and Gilani was unlikely to get a position akin to that of Ishaq Dar, Chaudhry Nisar and Pervez Rasheed. They further said that the PML-F was the only choice left with Gilani if he finally decides to leave the PPP because, first of all, there was no political player of his stature in the party, and secondly, they could own him in his capacity as a close relative. They further stated that Gilani now wanted to prove himself as a superior politician, and the PML-F was the party where he could achieve this goal.