‘Bilawal capable of leading PPP’
A Sindh minister said Pakistan People’s Party chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was capable of leading the party in any situation and was popular among the masses like his grandfather Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and mother Benazir Bhutto.
“There’s no question Bilawal’s capability and the PPP will again prove that it’s the only political force in Pakistan that can bring about prosperity and development in the country,” provincial information minister Nisar Khuhro told The News.
Zardari is busy holding meetings with the district-level party leaders for the local government elections in Sindh.
He also held meetings with PPP leaders in Punjab and motivated party activists there.
Senator Saeed Ghani, the PPP parliamentary party leader in Senate, told The News that the party had the experience of handling all kinds of tough political situations.
“The late Benazir Bhutto and Zulfikar Ali Bhutto had struggled and sacrificed their lives proving that the PPP is the only political force in the country that was sincere with the masses and democracy as well,” he added.
Asif Ali Zardari has been abroad for the last few months and there are speculations in the media that he was unlikely to return anytime soon as he faced pressure by certain quarters.
Bilawal, who was sent abroad at the time of the 2013 general elections over security concerns, is now back and leading the party.
There are reports that Zardari will give more powers to Bilawal and he is leading the party’s campaign for the local government polls in Sindh and Punjab.
Bilawal, who is now in the driving seat of the party, has already declared that the PPP would change its role of a “friendly opposition” to a “real opposition”.
However, the PPP’s political opponents have doubts that Bilawal was capable of lead the party.
They argued that his father too had pointed out that Bilawal was “immature” and needed more time to prepare before he could be ready to enter the political arena.
Bilawal’s announcement has attracted party cadres who were waiting to play an active role in the country’s politics, particularly in Punjab.
But Bilawal’s stance is surprising for those who had virtually taken control of the PPP by replacing diehard leaders and activists who were associated with the party for over four decades.
Senior party leader Senator Taj Haider said the party still had the capability of struggling against dictatorship.
He added that those who considered the party’s politics of reconciliation as its weakness must remember that it was the PPP which had struggled against every dictator and restored democracy in the country.
Haider, who is also the general secretary of the PPP Sindh, said the PPP respected the Charter of Democracy and the politics of reconciliation was part of that pact.
However, he added, during its five-year tenure in power, the party strictly followed the charter and there was not a single incident of political victimisation in the country during that period.
He maintained that the present regime had ignored the charter and had resorted to victimising the opposition. He added that terrorists and extremists were also used to target the PPP in the 2013 general elections.
“PPP activists are willing to play the role of a real opposition and ready to go to jail for the sake of democracy. I too am willing to go to jail if anti-democracy forces tried to derail the system,” he declared.
The senator Bilawal was now on ground and reorganising the party.
“This is an indication that the PPP will not leave the ground open for the supporters of anti--democracy forces,” he added.
Speaking about the local bodies elections, Haider said the PPP was not worried about a major big challenge in Sindh as no other party could match its popularity in the province.
PPP Karachi general secretary Nadeem Bhutto said the party would show its strength in the city as well in the local government elections.
“PPP leaders and activists also holding meetings in different areas of Karachi every day and the party chairman has also announced a Rs150 billion package for the development of the city,” he added.
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