PML-N racks up lobbying for LDA referendum

LAHORE – As Lahore Development Authority referendum draws closer, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz has racked up lobbying for sweeping victory of Staff Union headed by party senior leader Sohail Zia Butt, a close cousin of PML-N President Nawaz Sharif. In a step toward wheeling and dealing for Butt leading the staff union in LDA referendum scheduled for December 14, PML-N leadership has entrusted the special task to MNA Hamza Shahbaz Sharif, son of CM Punjab Shahbaz Sharif. For a past few days, Hamza had remained engaged with various LDA union leaders to hash out a winning strategy. On December 10, Hamza Shahbaz headed an important meeting attended by LDA union leaders at 90, Shahar-e-Quaid-e-Azam (CM secretariat) and succeeded in forming alliance between Staff Union and Employees Welfare Union.

Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister of Pakistan

Image via Wikipedia

During the meeting, attended by SU President Shahid Jamal Baqir, General Secretary Haji Saeed Khokhar and PML-N parliamentarians including Pervaiz Malik, Mian Marghoob Ahmed, Muhammad Shahbaz and Ijaz Khan, leaders of both the unions registered their complaints against each other to Hamza Shahbaz. However, finally both of them agreed to forge alliance to emerge as victorious in LDA referendum. Before the development, Jiyae Mazdoor Union has already announced to make an alliance with SU.

Sources in PML-N told Pakistan Today that Sohail Zia Butt, father of MNA Umer Sohail Zia Butt had intensified his contact with party leadership and was holding union meetings to salvage win over other contesting unions. Three months back, he got released on bail by LHC which suspended the three-year-long prison sentence given to him by an accountability court in absentia in 2001 under Section 31-A of the NAB Ordinance in a reference of Rs 2 million embezzlement. He had been arrested by the National Accountability Bureau on September 1 over his alleged involvement in a National Industrial Cooperative Corporation scam. All registered unions are taking part in the referendum in which more than 2,000 voters would exercise their right of franchise. As electioneering is in full swing, all the offices of LDA have been decorated with a particular election colour. LDA buildings have dressed up with huge banners and flares bearing pictures of contestants and slogans. The activity has also deflected the staffers’ attention and all the time is being spent in holding meetings and assuring maximum turnover on referendum day. Staff Union is doing popular politics by raising staffers’ major issues. It is spotlighting issue of allotment of plots for employees pending over the last many years due to controversies racked by big-wigs of the authority.

Another issue is regarding a move to deprive LDA schools’ employees of voting in referendum. LDA has sent a letter to Registrar Trade Union to exclude the LDA schools’ employees to guard schools’ environment against political pollution.


Leave a Reply