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July 22, 2015

Bilawal gives up plan to study further, will revamp party


July 22, 2015

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the young chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party, has dropped his plan to pursue further education abroad and decided to stay in Pakistan to reorganise the party across the country, particularly in Punjab.
Bilawal’s media adviser Jameel Soomro told The News that the party chairman changed his mind after his meetings with party leaders, particularly those from Punjab.
“Bilawal has changed his plan and is now focusing on the party’s affairs, its reorganisation, and the upcoming local government elections,” he added.
Bilawal had left the country over six months ago following his reservations over the PPP’s organisational affairs, particularly on the issue of poor governance in Sindh.
Reports had appeared in the media that Bilawal was angry with his father and some other family members over the Sindh government’s corrupt practices and he left the country.
Zardari had announced that his son needed more time to become mature enough to participate in politics.
However, after his father’s assurances, Bilawal agreed to return home.
His sisters, Bakhtawar and Aseefa, have also played an important role in convincing Bilawal to come back to Pakistan and run the party.
Bilawal’s first official announcement after returning to the country was that he would visit Punjab after Ramazan and reorganise the party there.
This was the PPP chairman’s first major decision after taking over the party’s driving seat following his father’s departure abroad a month ago.
Soomro said the decision-making process would take place in consultation with Zardari on the phone.
Zardari sent his son to the country to look after the party’s affairs and remove the perception that the PPP leadership had left the country to escape accountability.
However, Bilawal will face a tough time as some important PPP leaders in Punjab have quit the party and joined Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf

while there are reports that more expected to follow suit.
This is Bilawal’s first major achievement that he has convinced his father that the party needs to be restructured in Punjab.
However, Zardari still holds complete control over the party’s affairs.
The PPP Punjab leaders that Bilawal met with included Senaor Aitzaz Ahsan and Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan.
Awan told the young PPP chairman that the public in the province was very disappointed with the party and its policies, particularly the role of a friendly opposition it was playing with the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz.
She told senior journalists at the Karachi Press Club that people were accusing the PPP of playing the role of PML-N’s B-team and they wanted the party to be a genuine opposition party.
However, the disgruntled PPP leaders in Punjab believe that the party had wasted a lot of time and Bilawal will be unable to act freely.
Besides, he is not experienced enough like his mother Benazir Bhutto and has spent most of his abroad. Therefore, the party leader think, Bilawal is unaware of the dynamics of the politics in Punjab as well as in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan.
Political observers doubt that the PPP will undergo a major policy shift in Punjab as the people assisting Bilawal are close aides of Zardari.

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