Bilawal banking on PPP’s ‘track record’ to clinch election

Published July 16, 2023
FOREIGN Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah inaugurate the Special Economic Zone at Dhabeji, on Saturday.—APP
FOREIGN Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah inaugurate the Special Economic Zone at Dhabeji, on Saturday.—APP

KARACHI: Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Saturday sounded hopeful to win the majority in the next general elections on the basis of “amazing performance” of his Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) in Sindh that would lead it to form governments both in the province and the Centre despite its “character assassination” and a “campaign to tarnish its image”.

While Mr Bhutto-Zardari didn’t share any details about the electioneering strategy to bring PPP to power at the Centre, given its lack of a support base and mandate in Punjab, his close aide and Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah believed that the party will be among the frontrunners in the country’s most populated province in the upcoming elections.

Both claims from the PPP leaders came a day after their coalition partner, the PML-N, ruled out “a major seat adjustment” with like-minded parties in Punjab, setting the tone for the upcoming electoral battle by announcing that it would field candidates in all national and provincial constituencies in the province.

First, it was the foreign minister who, after laying the foundation stone of the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Dhabeji, addressed the ceremony and took the opportunity to share the prospects of the upcoming polls, which are only a few months away.

Sindh CM sees his party as front runner in Punjab, says they are putting weight behind Bilawal for PM slot

The SEZ in Dhabeji is being built under public-private partnership with an investment of more than $5 billion with hopes to create more than 150,000 jobs.

“The elections are around the corner. I invite youngsters and the business community to support PPP for growth and development.

“In the [upcoming] elections, we would be successful through unity and consistency. And when we would form government [after winning the elections], we would further improve and expand our projects like this in Dhabeji and others. Whether it’s our health-related projects or other schemes, we have to improve them and expand them mainly to Islamabad.”

Later in an interview to a private news channel in the evening, the Sindh chief minister showed the same confidence and ruled out any “worries within party” about the electoral challenges in Punjab where the party suffered major setbacks in two previous general elections — in 2013 and 2018.

“I don’t think we have anything that worries the party leadership or its workers,” he said to a question about the challenges the PPP sees in elections in provinces other than Sindh where it has been ruling for the last 15 years.

“We are hopeful to perform very well in Punjab [in the next elections] and you would see, we would be among top five contenders in Punjab. I am not sure about my fate or whether I would be contesting the next elections or not as it’s always decided by the party.

“But there’s a consensus in the party that Mr Bhutto-Zardari would be our candidate for the PM and you would see he would be the next PM of Pakistan within the next few months.”

Published in Dawn, July 16th, 2023

Opinion

Editorial

IMF’s projections
Updated 18 Apr, 2024

IMF’s projections

The problems are well-known and the country is aware of what is needed to stabilise the economy; the challenge is follow-through and implementation.
Hepatitis crisis
18 Apr, 2024

Hepatitis crisis

THE sheer scale of the crisis is staggering. A new WHO report flags Pakistan as the country with the highest number...
Never-ending suffering
18 Apr, 2024

Never-ending suffering

OVER the weekend, the world witnessed an intense spectacle when Iran launched its drone-and-missile barrage against...
Saudi FM’s visit
Updated 17 Apr, 2024

Saudi FM’s visit

The government of Shehbaz Sharif will have to manage a delicate balancing act with Pakistan’s traditional Saudi allies and its Iranian neighbours.
Dharna inquiry
17 Apr, 2024

Dharna inquiry

THE Supreme Court-sanctioned inquiry into the infamous Faizabad dharna of 2017 has turned out to be a damp squib. A...
Future energy
17 Apr, 2024

Future energy

PRIME MINISTER Shehbaz Sharif’s recent directive to the energy sector to curtail Pakistan’s staggering $27bn oil...