KARACHI - About two months on from the announcement made by Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari that he and his son, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, will enter electoral politics, the PPP has yet to take the next step in this regard.

Former president Asif Ali Zardari had announced at the end of his 18-month self-imposed exile on December 28 that he and Bilawal would join the parliament to give a tough time to the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N).

Zardari said that he would contest the election from Nawabshah for the seat currently occupied by Azra Fazal Pechuho and Bilawal would contest the election from Larkana from Ayaz Soomro's seat.

However, despite passage of around two months, no developments are seen in this regard. It looks that the decision was made in haste, as resignations submitted by Azra and Soomro have not yet been submitted to the speaker of the National Assembly.

The two lawmakers submitted their resignations to the party leadership soon after the announcement made by Zardari, but they had not been submitted to National Assembly Speaker Ayaz Saddiq yet.

Under the Constitution, the Election Commission of Pakistan is bound to hold by-polls on such seats within sixty days and the process would be initiated only after resignations are handed over to the speaker for submission to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP). The ECP will formally accept the resignations and declare the seats vacant.

Commenting on the issue, PPP MNA Shahida Rehmani said the current wave of terrorism was not giving them a chance to mull a strategy to organise any activity. “We are faced with this menace and are striving to eliminate it completely from our society as it has hit the PPP the most. We lost our leader Benazir Bhutto in a suicide attack,” she said.

She however said that the presence of heavyweights like Asif Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto in the assembly would enhance the role of the parliament in decision-making.

Sources in the PPP said the issue was being discussed in the meetings and the decision as to whether both Bilawal Bhutto and Asif Zardari would participate in the elections simultaneously or one by one would be taken after final consultations. Any decision in this regard would be made soon, the said.

They were however of the opinion that the current wave of terrorist attacks could delay these decisions to a certain level as the opposition parties could jointly contest elections against the top party leadership. It could have a negative impact if they give a tough fight to the PPP in its stronghold for the upcoming elections.

“Therefore, any decision in this regard would be made after thorough consultations,” they said, adding that the PPPP leadership was mulling to drop the idea of becoming part of this parliament as rumours were rife that the PML-N could announce elections in 2017 in order to keep its power intact.

They said that such situations were also considered in the decision-making process. It was possible that only Bilawal Bhutto would become part of this assembly and Zardari would contest the next general election.

PPP spokesman Senator Farhatullah Babar and PPP Information Secretary Moula Bakhsh Chandio were also contacted on this issue, but did they did not respond despite repeated attempts.