“Since he had sacrificed his Premiership and earned disqualification for five years, he thought he deserved special place in the party; and as such, wanted to become a de facto Prime Minister with reasonable control over the important matters”, a senior PPP leader disclosed while commenting on Gilani’s latest statement complaining about government’s apathy towards him and his son Musa Gilani.
“In fact, Gilani had high expectations from the government as well as the party which were hard to be fulfilled”, said another party leader who termed his criticism of the government unjustified, maintaining that arrest of Musa Gilani and changes in the federal bureaucracy were not the actual reasons behind Gilani’s discontentment.
Gilani, who seemed much dejected and forsaken at the news conference he had specially convened on Saturday to give vent to his frustration against his own party’ s government, minced no words when he expressed his annoyance over displacement of his team of bureaucrats from their lucrative positions.
Sources close to Gilani told this scribe that following his bold stance before the judiciary and his subsequent disqualification by the Supreme Court for not writing the letter, the ex-PM had expected that party would hold him in high esteem and the new Prime Minister would act on his advice on important matters. But this did not happen and Gilani resented this too much, they said, adding, that restrictions on his visitors coming to the Presidency might have precipitated the matters.
Similarly, the sources said, Gilani, who is also Vice Chairman of the PPP, was not happy with the party leadership which did not consult him while awarding tickets to candidates for the coming by-elections.
In this context, it is important to note that it was President Asif Ali Zardari’s sister, Faryal Talpur who finalised party candidates during her stay at the Governor’s House last week. She consulted a number of party leaders before announcing her final choice, but Gilani was not part of the consultation process at any stage.
In a related development, Yousuf Raza Gilani has reportedly expressed his inability to address party’s election rallies ahead of by-elections. His decision to stay away from electioneering has come only a day after he left the Presidency and addressed a news conference to complain that he was not being looked after well by the party after his conviction.
Moreover, slow progress on south Punjab province is also stated to be one of the reasons behind Gilani’s outbursts against the government. During his Premiership, he had championed the cause of South Punjab province and wanted to take credit for its creation.
However, almost all the PPP leaders with whom this scribe talked to disagreed with the impression that Gilani was unhappy over government’s flexible attitude on the issue of writing letter to the Swiss authorities.
They said that Gilani stays assured that the government would never write the letter unless it clearly mentioned the Presidential immunity at home and abroad. It could also be construed from Gilani’s Saturday media talk that he was not perturbed over the issue at all.