LAHORE - Irrespective of whether President Asif Ali Zardari is allowed to address the election rallies or not, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari would be spearheading party’ election campaign under the kind patronage of a team of senior party leaders his father has picked up for him, TheNation has learnt. 

According to the informed sources, President Zardari has selected his team comprising senior party leaders, who would not only be assisting the young Bilawal during the electioneering, they would also be performing special tasks in their respective areas where they enjoy greater influence on the voters.  

Former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, party’s Secretary General Jahangir Badar, Faryal Talpur, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Khurshid Shah, Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Manzoor Wattoo and Nazar Muhammad Gondal are among the party men who would be guiding and assisting the party Chairman during the election campaign.

 They would always be accompanying Bilawal wherever he goes to address the election rallies. But, during the period when there is no big rally to be addressed by the party Chairman, these and some other leaders would remain busy in election related activities for which they have been assigned tasks in different regions.

In South Punjab, former Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani and PPP’s South Punjab President Makhdoom Shahabuddin would have full authority to do the required political manoeuvrings in the region to enlist the support of influential groups and biradarees (clans) besides luring the potential candidates. 

Similarly, Prime Minister Raja Pervaiz Ashraf, who would have become ex-Prime Minister by the start of electioneering after an interim set up has been put in place, would be in-charge of party’s election campaign in the Potohar region.

Mian Manzoor Wattoo, Imtiaz Safdar Warraich, Nazar Gondal and Raja Riaz would focus on the central and North Punjab for the purpose.

In Sindh, Faryal Talpur, Aseefa Bhutto Zardari, Makhdoom Amin Fahim and Qaim Ali Shah would be leading the election rallies in some districts where Bilawal would not be able to reach.  

As per sources, the PPP would also make a similar strategy for its election campaign in the provinces of Balochistan and KPK, but close to the elections. 

Meanwhile, it has been learnt that PPP’s top leadership is also considering the option to formally launch Bilawal Bhutto into active politics from Larkana on December 27th, the day his mother Benazir Bhutto died as a result of a terrorist attack on her convoy immediately after addressing an election rally at Liaquat Bagh, Rawalpindi in 2007.

The entire party leadership alongwith party activists from across the country would be there in Larkana on the said day in connection with Benazir Bhutto’s fifth death anniversary.  

As per the plan conceived for Bilawal’s political activities, he will tour across the country alongwith senior party leaders to galvanise the party ahead of the elections. As he is alien to the political culture in Pakistan, Bilawal is already undergoing political training at London where special tutors are also training him on the art of making a speech in the public.

Reportedly, he is struggling to attain mastery in Urdu language which is not his mother tongue, but definitely the language of the masses with whom he would be communicating during the election campaign.