Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has been missing from the scene after the October 15th sermon. It seems that he has not been able to make a mark and the strategy to launch him as the young face of PPP has fallen through. Reports suggest some quarrel between father and son, that Zardari has gone to London to ‘persuade’ him to return to Pakistan to attend the death anniversary of Benazir Bhutto on Dec 27. Asif Ali Zardari has acknowledged to his party members that the party’s relations with the Muttahida Qaumi Movement soured because of Bilawal’s “indiscreet statements” and that he had advised his son to temporarily keep himself away from politics. Others say that Bilawal appointed Jehangir Badr and Bashir Riaz his political adviser and press secretary respectively, without consulting Mr Zardari. The rift may also be because Bilawal decided against addressing PPP workers on Foundation Day. What it all amounts to is gossip about the heir, a feeble leader to a once popular party. The glory days are definitely gone.

With the drought in Tharparkar earlier in the year, there were reports of a rift between Bilawal and Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah with the former reportedly issuing show cause notices to the latter and provincial Deputy Secretary General Manzoor Hussain Wassan over mishandling of the crisis in Tharparkar. And Makhdoom Amin Fahim has always hated that the party is run on dynastic lines and Fahim was allegedly set to join an anti-PPP group, comprising members of the MQM and Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F), amongst others. It seems that Bilawal has his own mind, and does what he thinks is right whether anyone else thinks so. The senior leadership needs to reel this comedy in and figure out if they want Bilawal to be his own man or just their puppet. They made him Chairman, but he is but a toddler compared to their years in politics. Either everyone gets over his name, and the party reforms itself as a people’s party and not the Bhutto’s party or they train Bilawal. Right now they are just losing political ground to the PTI and MQM.