ISLAMABAD: In yet another sign of cutthroat politics ahead of national elections slated for January, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) suspended the membership of one of its senior leaders on Friday for joining former prime minister Imran Khan’s legal team to defend him in multiple cases filed against him.
Sardar Latif Khosa, a lawyer and member of the PPP central executive committee, was issued a show-cause notice last week wherein he was asked to explain the reason behind his decision for “defending the leader of another party” without the approval of the leadership of his own political faction.
The former prime minister has been in a high-security prison after he was arrested in a graft case last month in which a local court sent him to jail for three years. While his initial sentence was suspended by the higher judiciary within weeks, his judicial remand was extended in a more serious matter involving the misuse of a confidential diplomatic cable which was deemed as a violation of the Official Secrets Act.
“The Secretary-General of the PPP, Syed Nair Hussain Bukhari, has suspended the membership of Sardar Latif Khosa,” the party said in a statement on Friday. “Khosa’s membership to the party’s central executive committee has also been revoked.”
It added the decision was taken after Khosa failed to respond to the show-cause notice served to him.
The notice highlighted Khosa’s speech at a lawyers’ convention in which he criticized the state policy regarding the case related to the secret diplomatic dispatch.
“You are hereby through this show cause notice asked to explain why disciplinary action not be taken against you for working against the party policy,” he was asked.
Pakistan’s election regulator has barred Khan from contesting elections for five years due to his conviction in the corruption case.
The prolonged restriction has provided an opportunity to other parties in the country to build momentum as national polls in January draw closer.