Aseefa Bhutto-Zardari was elected unopposed as a member of the National Assembly from NA-207 Shaheed Benazirabad (formerly Nawabshah) on Friday.

She had filed her nomination papers to contest the by-election on March 17 and her candidature was subsequently approved by the returning officer (RO) after the scrutinisation process on Thursday.

This seat was vacated by her father, Asif Ali Zardari, after he was elected as the president. Word on the grapevine was that President Zardari was going to make Aseefa the new first lady. The PPP has already started referring to her with that title.

According to a notification — a copy of which is available with Dawn.com — issued by the RO, three candidates withdrew their names from the contest for the by-poll.

The three candidates included Abdul Rasool Brohi, Amanullah and Mairaj Ahmed.

Aseefa said she was “grateful and honoured” to have been elected unopposed from the constituency.

“I pledge to serve all my constituents to the best of my abilities, with dedication and irrespective of political affiliation,” she said in a post on X.

She thanked the people of her constituency, PPP workers and media organisations for their “presence and support”.

Her siblings, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and Bakhtawar Bhutto-Zardari, also congratulated her. Bakhtawar said that Nawabshah was already celebrating the victory, adding that she could not be prouder of PPP’s newest lawmaker.

Sindh Home Minister Ziaul Hasan Lanjar also congratulated Aseefa on her unopposed election, adding that her win was a source of joy for all PPP workers.

Aseefa holds a bachelor’s degree in politics and sociology and a master’s in global health and development. She initially served as a goodwill ambassador for polio eradication in 2012 which made her face familiar among masses.

She played a pivotal role in politics in recently held general elections when she ran an aggressive election campaign for her brother PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and other party candidates in Sanghar, Shaheed Benazirabad and Naushahro Feroze districts.

PPP scared of public’s vote: PTI

Meanwhile, the PTI claimed that its candidate for NA 207, Ghulam Mustafa Rind, was arrested by the Sakrand police.

In a post on X, the party said that Rind was its representative who was supposed to contest against Aseefa in the by-elections.

“In the first phase, the nomination papers were rejected, but after the papers were submitted, the police arrested him without any reason,” the party said.

PTI Sindh President Haleem Adil Sheikh and General Secretary Advocate Ali Palh condemned the arrest, alleging that police were targeting PTI candidates for revenge.

They stated that the PPP was scared of people’s votes.

They said the whole party stood with Rind and the actions of the police were cowardly.

“Our candidates cannot be intimidated by such high tactics,” Sheikh said.

“Our candidate should be released immediately, if our candidate is not released immediately, there will be a strong protest,” Palh said.

However, the home minister rejected the allegations and said that the candidate was not arrested by the police.

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