KARACHI / LARKANA: The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and Pakistan Peoples Party-Parliamentarians (PPP-P) have decided that PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and PPP-P president Asif Ali Zardari will contest by-elections on National Assembly seats under the same election symbol — arrow (teer).

This was stated by the media cell of the Bilawal House in Karachi on Thursday. Media reports said on Wednesday that Mr Zardari and his son Mr Bhutto-Zardari would contest the by-elections from Sindh under separate symbols.

Quoting a law, one such report had pointed out that under Section 5(3) of the Political Parties Order, 2002, a person cannot be a member of more than one political party at a time.

Mr Zardari is president of the PPP-P and Mr Bhutto-Zardari patron-in-chief of the PPP as per the list of political parties registered with the Election Commis­sion of Pakistan.

In the 2013 elections, the PPP-P had been allotted the symbol of arrow and the PPP “two swords” by the ECP.

The issue of the PPP-P and PPP came up during a meeting of the party held on Dec 27, but no decision could be taken about the symbols.

A press release issued by the media cell on Thursday said: “An application for allotment of common electoral symbol shall be made to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in terms of Political Parties Order 2002. Decision to contest by-election was taken at the Central Executive Commit­tee (CEC) of the party.”

In Larkana, Mr Bhutto-Zardari said that he and his father would play an effective role after becoming part of parliament and give a tough time to the government of the PML-N.

He was addressing elected representatives of local governments after inaugurating the newly built building of the Nusrat Bhutto women library and a multipurpose hall in Jinnahbagh.

The building has been constructed at the site of the old town hall which was set on fire during riots erupted in the wake of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto’s assassination on Dec 27, 2007.

The PPP leader said he would enter parliamentary politics after contesting the by-election on the Begum Nusrat Bhutto’s constituency, NA-204.

The seat is being vacated by MNA Ayaz Soomro after Mr Asif Zardari’s announcement that he and his son would contest by-elections.

Mr Bhutto-Zardari said his and his father’s presence in parliament would strengthen the opposition.

He said the PPP would also show street power to put pressure on the government for the acceptance of the party’s four demands.

On the occasion, the PPP chairman cut a cake to celebrate the 89th birthday of the party’s founding chairman and former prime minister, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto.

Published in Dawn, January 6th, 2017