Bilawal ditches PPP, army wants security for Musharraf

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Bilawal and Musharraf
New Delhi, March 26: The May elections in Pakistan are generating interesting sideshows and main shows. While the Pakistan army has demanded foolproof security for former president Pervez Musharraf amidst death threats from the Taliban, the star campaigner for PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has left for Dubai after a tiff with his father President Asif Ali Zardari over distribution of tickets to his (Bilawal's) supports.

And not to be outdone, cricketer turned politician Imran Khan, who is chairman of Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf said on Tuesday that he would never take oath from President Asif Ali Zardari if his party won the next general elections. Talking to media Khan said: "I will never take oath from Asif Ali Zardari."

In a letter to Ministry of Defence, the army says that due to prevailing law and order situation of the country the ex-president and former army general must be provided heavy contingent of security due to life threats against him from different defunct Jihadi outfits including banned Tehrik-i-Talban Pakistan(TTP).

After receiving the letter from army authorities the Muinstry of Defence had further written a letter to Ministry of Interior for provision of fool proof security to Musharraf due to current environment of Pakistan.

Musharraf returned from Dubai after years of self-exile and is in the country for the May elections. The army's letter shows that the general has not lost the support of the army, which he headed and led a coup.

On the other hand, the chief patron of PPP Bilwal seems to be involved in a tough bargain with his father for a hold over the Pakistan People's Party.

Bilawal's flight from the country means no star campaigner for Pakistan's general election. Bilawal, recently named patron-in-chief of the PPP, developed differences with Zardari and his sister, Faryal Talpur, over the party's handling of key issues, including militant violence, sectarian attacks against Shias and distribution of party tickets for the polls scheduled for May 11.

Bilawal had made it clear to his father that he felt the PPP had not strongly taken up issues like the shooting of teenage rights activist Malala Yusufzai by Taliban fighters last year and three devastating bomb attacks on Shias in Quetta and Karachi that killed nearly 250 people.

Bilawal was also upset with the PPP's handling of issues that affect the youth, especially in the wake of efforts by other parties like Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf to woo the youth ahead of the polls, the sources said.
The 24-year-old was angered by his sisiter's refusal to award tickets to certain candidates in Sindh province that he had recommended.

"Last month, Bilawal had recommended the names of some 200 PPP workers and asked former Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah to give them jobs but Talpur had intervened, causing bad blood between them," the source said.

Bilawal discussed these matters with his father and sought authority to take decisions in party matters. "When Zardari told him that he would be handed over the command of the party after he is groomed politically, Bilawal got upset and left for Dubai," a source said.

"Bilawal had been projected as the PPP's star campaigner as the President cannot participate in the campaign due to pressure from the courts," a PPP leader said.

"Without Bilawal, the PPP cannot touch the emotions of the people, especially the hard core PPP workers," said the PPP leader, who did not wish to be named.

Bilawal himself will not be eligible to contest polls till he turns 25 in September. The PPP had formally launched his political career at a massive rally in Garhi Khuda Baksh that marked the death anniversary of his mother, former premier Benazir Bhutto, in December last year.

OneIndia News

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