LAHORE - President Asif Ali Zaradri’s political activities at Bilawal House were quite visible on Sunday night as a good number of senior party leaders from Lahore called on him to seek his advice on political issues ahead of the coming elections.

The president reportedly asked partymen to work hard for the upcoming elections because he wanted to see a jiyala as next Punjab chief minister.

According to one of the participants, the president had a detailed discussion on all national and provincial constituencies of Lahore.

He asked the prospective candidates to enhance their liaison with their electorate and spend more time with them especially on moments of their joy and grief.

The president reportedly rejected a proposal by Federal Minister and party’s Lahore President Samina Khalid Ghurki that party should concentrate only on three to four constituencies in Lahore where it was in a position to win the seats.

“I want to make it clear that PPP would contest each and every constituency in Lahore by fielding strong candidates”, Zardari was quoted as having told the party men during the meeting. He also asked Samina Ghurki to contest the coming polls herself and abandon the idea of fielding her son from her constituency.

Zardari told patymen that PML-Q would be given only one or two provincial seats from Lahore. Asif Hashmi expressed his desire to contest from two seats while Aslam Gil wanted ticket for a national seat. 

The party co-chairman gave a go-ahead signal to those candidates who lost the 2008 elections with small margin of votes. The president, as per sources, praised party ticket holder from Lahore Navid Ch for his work in the constituency and putting a strong defence against the party critics in the media.

Mian Manzoor Wattoo, Samina Khalid Ghurki, Qasim Zia, Raja Riaz, Navid Ch, Aurangzeb Barki, Tanvir Ashraf Kaira, Mian Misbahur Rehman, Aslam Gill, Haji Azizur Rehman Chan, Bushra Aitzaz, Asif Hashmi and Faiza Malik, were the prominent party leaders who attended the meeting.

Meanwhile, Interior Minister Rehman Malik called on the president at Bilawal House Lahore on Sunday night and briefed him on his recent meeting with MQM chief Altaf Hussain in London. Law and order situation in Karachi also came under discussion, as the president issued necessary instructions to the interior minister to get hold of the miscreants.

According to sources in Bilawal House, President Zardari would be leaving for Bahawalpur on Monday (today) where he would be introduced to political families of the area wishing to join the PPP. He would also visit Jamal Dinwali, the hometown of Punjab Governor Makhdum Ahmad Mehmood. The president is also likely to attend a lunch at the residence of PCB Chairman Zaka Ashraf.