KARACHI – With political temperatures soaring in Pakistan, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari – the Chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) – has started politicking in Sindh.
President Asif Ali Zardari had announced earlier this year that Bilawal would take on some political responsibilities in the country after September, and now that the younger Zardari has completed his education at the University of Oxford, he has started to do just that. Bilawal made his first public appearance in Larkana on Sunday. He drove through different areas of his slain mother Benazir Bhutto’s home district and met the commoners. He listened to their problems, received their applications and forwarded them to the authorities concerned for resolving the issues of the masses.
On Monday, Bilawal visited Naudero, the native town of the Bhuttos. He visited the house of Major Mujahid Ali Mirani, one of the personnel of the Pakistan Army assassinated in the recent NATO attack on an army check-post near the Afghan border. He offered fateha with the relatives of the slain major.
Earlier, Bilawal attended the chehlum of Begum Nusrat Bhutto at the Naudero House. He also attended PPP meetings, but it was the first time that his father was not with him. However, his aunt Faryal Talpur and party leaders, including Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, accompanied him during his activities.
Larkana is the Bhuttos’ hometown and the centre of the ruling PPP’s politics. Following Benazir’s assassination in 2007, Zardari has given more time to Larkana than his native town Nawabshah. Zardari’s sister Faryal Talpur, former district nazim of Nawabshah (now Benazirabad), also gives all her time to Larkana as she is an elected MNA from the district.
Benazir got Bilawal’s vote registered in Larkana as well. Zardari had indicated a few months ago that Bilawal would contest elections from Karachi’s Lyari Town. The younger Zardari could contest from Larkana as well as Lyari since both the places have much political significance for the PPP.