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LAHORE: PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto and his father Asif Ali Zardari’s ‘wish’ to become a part of this parliament will be discussed in the party’s central executive committee (CEC) on Tuesday.

The party will also discuss the strategy to take on the ruling PML-N after Eid in the wake of the findings of the joint investigation team (JIT) probing the offshore holdings of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his children.

“The party’s CEC meeting is going to be held on June 13 (Tuesday) in which it will be decided whether Mr Bilawal and Mr Zardari should contest a by-poll and become part of this parliament,” PPP central information secretary Chaudhry Manzoor told Dawn here on Sunday.

To a question whether the duo were still aspirant to become part of this parliament as 2018 general elections were not far away, Chaudhry said: “A final decision in this regard will be taken in CEC meeting.”

Mr Zardari had announced several months ago that he and Bilawal would exercise their constitutional right to enter parliament and take part in ‘parliamentary politics’ to strengthen the democratic system.

“During my presidential tenure, I had strengthened democracy and transferred power to the parliament and provinces. Now I am coming to the parliament to streamline the democratic process in the country,” Zardari had said.

Later the PPP declared that Bilawal and Zardari would contest by-poll on NA-213 (Nawabshah) and NA-204 (Larkana) seats, respectively.

Many in the PPP has taken the announcement of the duo to contest the by-poll another ‘political statement’ like that of the ones he had made earlier.

“The duo’s claim to end reconciliation policy towards PML-N has also appeared to be a political statement since we could neither exploit the Panama issue nor force Nawaz Sharif to resign,” said a PPP leader who requested anonymity.

“The party leadership should take up a clear line on important political matters. Mere political statements will do no good to the party. PPP needs to take on the PML-N and do its politics on roads if it wants to keep itself relevant in Punjab in next general election,” he said and added the duo should contest by-poll and challenge the ruling party in the parliament.

PPP senior leader from Lahore Naveed Chaudhry told Dawn that the CEC meeting would also decide to come on the roads on Panama issue. “The government has been on path of confrontation with the judiciary over Panama Papers. The PML-N has made the parliament a rubber stamp and it is no more interested in doing politics on its platform. Therefore, the PPP leadership may not advise the father and son to go to this parliament,” he said.

Published in Dawn, June 12th, 2017