ISLAMABAD  - PPP senior leader Senator Rehman Malik delivered speech on death anniversary of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto at Ghari Khuda Buksh for the first time but without the approval of the party Chairman Bilwal Bhutto Zardari, The Nation learnt yesterday.

Well placed sources said that Bilawal had dropped the name of newly elected President PPPP Asif Zardari’s close aide Senator Rehman Malik and other party leaders from the speakers list due to time shortage at the BB’s death anniversary.

Avoiding embarrassment, Malik contacted Zardari requesting him to manage few minutes for his speech at the event.

Zardari intervened and telephoned Faryal Talpur and Bilawal asking them to ensure Malik’s speech on the occasion, the sources said.

They said that it was earlier decided at a meeting that senior leaders including Syed Khurshid Shah, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Senator Sherry Rehman, Senator Atizaz Ahsan, former Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf and Senator Rehman Malik would deliver speeches at the BB’s eighth death anniversary and the Chairman will address the workers at the end.

But due to shortage of time the top leadership decided to drop the name of Rehman Malik, Khurshid Shah, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Sherry Rehman from the speakers list for providing ample time to the Chairman. All senior leaders agreed and respected the decision but Rehman Malik instead contacted Asif Zardari for his speech on the occasion, the sources added.

The sources said that PPP other leaders including Khurshid Shah endorsed the Chairman’s decision regarding skipping the name of Rehman Malik but they could not do anything when Zardari issued direction. Interestingly, the stage secretary and other leaders interrupted during Malik’s speech twice and drew his attention towards his speech time, the sources said.

The PPP Chairman called the meeting of Central Executive Council on the BB’s anniversary day at Larkana and senior leadership of the party across the country attended the meeting and elected the former President Zardari as President of PPPP.

The PPP leadership discussed the ongoing controversy between the Federal and Sindh governments over the issue of Rangers deployment in Karachi and Modi’s surprise visit to Pakistan.