By: Naimat Khan
KARACHI: After Chairman Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Bilawal Bhutto Zardari created differences with his father over different issues, former President and Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari has decided to fill the ‘Bhutto vacuum’ created by his son with elder daughter, Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari, it was reliably learnt here on Monday. A PPP stalwart, while demanding anonymity, told this scribe that Zardari tried his level best to appease Chairman PPP but disgruntled over several issues, especially the party’s relations with Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) and bad governance in Sindh, Bilawal told his father that at moment he would not come back just as ‘Bhutto face’.
Bilawal demanded that he should be either allowed to resume with full powers or let to remain absent for some years, source said. Following Bilawal’s support of his father in the wake of Dr Zulfiqar Mirza’s allegations, Zardari had expedited endeavors to persuade Bilawal to attend the April 4th event of death anniversary of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, founder of the party and his grandfather but he refused.
“The visit of Lyari by Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari today (Monday) marks the beginning of her political career” said a PPP leader, adding the elder daughter of Benazir Bhutto was the least a choice for her father but Bilawal’s continued arrogance forced him to push her ahead.
The BB’s elder daughter Monday visited the troubled Lyari and distributed compensation cheques among the families of victims and injured of bomb blasts in the restive neighborhood. “Your pain is ours pain and you happiness is also ours” she said in her speech to a selective audience. The BB\’s daughter told dwellers of Lyari that the locality was like Larkana for PPP. Bakhtawar distributed cheques each of Rs 5 Lack among the heirs of the dead and gave away cheques each of 1 lack to the injured. At least 8 people had been killed and 32 wounded in a blast on 17th August 2013 whereas 3 others were killed and 25 injured in a PPP election meeting in Lyari on 27th April in 2013. Flanked by Chief Minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah, her aunt and president PPP’s women wing Faryal Talpur and other PPP leaders, Bakhtawar got warm receptions though tightened security had barred larger audience.
“The PPP organization has wrecked in Lyari” said Professor Tauseef Ahmed Khan, adding in such a scenario it was necessary for PPP to present a ‘Bhutto face’ to the people of Lyari who are seriously annoyed with PPP leadership. Political observer sees the entry of Bakhtawar a confirmation of reports that Bilawal, who had refused to attend his mother anniversary, would not turn up for his grandfather’s death anniversary as well. However, another PPP leader, who also wishes not to be named, thinks Bakhtawar is not the replacement of Bilawal. “Since Bilawal has demanded some time for his higher studies, Bakhtawar will be at the forefront during the upcoming crucial local bodies’ polls”, he opined.