PPP leaders optimistic about Bilawal’s chances from Lahore

Published January 10, 2024
In this Jan 4 photo, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari speaks at Jati Umra in Lahore. — Photo via x
In this Jan 4 photo, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari speaks at Jati Umra in Lahore. — Photo via x

LAHORE: The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), which is exploring every avenue to find support for its chairman contesting the Feb 8 general elections from Lahore’s NA-127 constituency, denies the impression that the party and the PML-N are ‘facilitating’ each other in the upcoming polls.

“The impression of ‘friendly’ elections is wrong. The N League and the PPP are not facilitating each other,” claims PPP additional secretary general Zulfikar Ali Badr.

“Had it been the case [PML-N president] Shehbaz Sharif would have been contesting from Larkana instead of Karachi,” he argues replying to a questioner at a press conference here on Tuesday.

Flanked by party colleagues Aslam Gill, Mian Misbah, Faisal Mir and others, Badr, who is also in charge of the election campaign for NA-127, says Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will address a public meeting in the constituency on Jan 21. He says the chairman took a difficult and challenging decision to contest for the Lahore seat, which the party founder ZA Bhutto had won in the past.

Citing slain party chairperson Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto’s example, who had won from Lahore’s NA-94 constituency in 1988 and became prime minister, he hopes Bilawal too will win from NA-127 to claim the top office.

Badr, who is son of late PPP leader Jahangir Badr, says wherever Bilawal goes, he unifies the party and jiyalas shun their mutual disputes.

He regrets that whoever returned to the National Assembly from this constituency (NA-127) since 1988 ignored the area in terms of development and the people were facing innumerable issues there. It exposed the so-called performance of the PML-N as barring a few major arteries all other roads and streets in Lahore are in a shambles, he adds.

The PPP leader says the new delimitation of the NA-127 has created five provincial assembly seats under it, instead of the previous two, as is the case in other NA constituencies.

He says that from PP-160 (which falls under NA-127) Mian Misbah will contest and Faisal Mir from PP-161, while a decision the remaining Punjab Assembly seats will be taken within a day.

Mr Gill says Bilawal’s decision of contesting from Lahore will also positively impact other constituencies of Lahore as well as other districts in central Punjab.

Mir hopes the PPP will beat its political rivals in their stronghold on Feb 8.

Referring to the PPP’s election 10-point manifesto, Mian Misbah says that fulfilling these promises in five year-term won’t be a big deal.

Meanwhile, the PPP has paced up its efforts to seek support of smaller groups for its chairman in NA-127.

PPP provincial leader Mian Ateeq visited the Pakistan Awami Tehreek elders on Tuesday and discussed with them the political situation with reference to NA-127.

Published in Dawn, January 10th, 2024

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