Qureshi has ''no future'' in PPP, says party leader

Rezaul H Laskar

Islamabad, Feb 14 (PTI) The ruling Pakistan People''sParty has stepped up its tirade against former ForeignMinister Shah Mahmood Qureshi for stating that a US officialjailed for killing two men has no diplomatic immunity, with asenior leader saying he has "no future" in the party.

Qureshi has "no future" in the PPP and "seriousdisciplinary action will be taken against him for violatingparty discipline and humiliating its leadership", PPPspokesperson Fauzia Wahab told the Dawn newspaper.

Wahab said Qureshi had "ditched the party leadershipand it was not the first time he had done so".

She said Qureshi''s role as Foreign Minister over thepast three years was questionable and that he did not supportPresident Asif Zardari when he faced criticism in the mediaover his foreign trips.

Despite all of Qureshi''s "past acts, the partyleadership had decided to include him in the new cabinet" butQureshi created a crisis just 25 minutes before theoath-taking ceremony at the Presidency on Friday, she said.

It is the PPP leadership''s job to assign aresponsibility to a party member but Qureshi was not ready toaccept a change in his portfolio, she said.

Several senior PPP leaders, including party secretarygeneral Raja Parvez Ashraf and Information Minister FirdousAshiq Awan yesterday launched a scathing attack on Qureshi,who skipped the swearing-in ceremony for Pakistan''s newcabinet last week after he learnt he would not be reallocatedthe foreign affairs portfolio.

Asked whether Qureshi had differences with the partyon the issue of arrested US official Raymond Davis, Wahabsaid, "If he had a problem over the issue he should haveresigned earlier."

Ashraf compared Qureshi to late PPP leader FarooqLeghari, who had during his tenure as President sacked thegovernment of slain former premier Benazir Bhutto in 1996.

He also accused Qureshi of joining the "band wagon ofpolitical actors hatching conspiracies against the partyleadership".

Information Minister Awan, considered close to PPPchief Zardari''s camp, said Qureshi had not expressed hisconcerns when he was Foreign Minister and his remarks aboutRaymond Davis were "not in favour of the country".

Awan also sought to question why Qureshi had expressedhis differences with the government after a court had issuedan arrest warrant for former President Pervez Musharraf inconnection with Benazir Bhutto''s assassination.

Presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar has confirmedto the media that Qureshi met Zardari on Friday night but herefused to divulge details of the meeting.

Babar described it as a routine meeting of a formerminister with the President and expressed ignorance aboutstatements by other PPP leaders against Qureshi.

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