ISLAMABAD: Four days after the unexplained departure of PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to Dubai, his father President Asif Ali Zardari also left Karachi for the UAE on Saturday amid reports of a rift within the family over the issue of running the party affairs.
Presidency’s spokesman Farhatullah Babar confirmed that Mr Zardari had left for Dubai on a private visit, but said there was no truth in media reports that he had gone there to persuade his son to return to the country.
“Going to Dubai is a routine matter for President Zardari, you know it,” Mr Babar said, adding that the president would be back in a couple of days.
He also refuted the reports that the PPP chairman had left the country after having differences with his father and aunt Faryal Talpur over the issue of awarding party tickets for the coming elections.
Answering a question, the spokesman said he did not know whether President Zardari would attend the party events at Garhi Khuda Bakhsh on April 4 on the occasion of the 34th death anniversary of Z. A. Bhutto.
At a time when President Zardari is keeping himself away from political activities due to the Lahore High Court’s decision in the dual office case, the responsibility of presiding over the party meetings now lies with the PPP chairman.
The PPP has already announced that it will formally launch its election campaign with a public meeting at Garhi Khuda Bakhsh on April 4.
The party also holds traditional meetings of its central executive committee on the occasion of death and birth anniversaries of Z. A. Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto. April 4 has acquired a great significance this year because political observers believe that the events of the day will either confirm the reports about the cracks within the family or kill such rumours.
Although the PPP leadership has been denying the reports, it has so far failed to satisfy the media and party opponents.