LAHORE - Following a news story published in an Indian newspaper about Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s departure for Dubai allegedly after a spat with his father, the PPP has rejected the reports as malicious campaign orchestrated to damage the party ahead of elections.

Though Bilawal has security concerns, but he would definitely return back and lead party’s election campaign, PPP’s spokesperson Qamar Zaman Kaira told TheNation.

He said the story had nothing to do with the reality and was, rather, part of a malicious campaign to defame the party. Kaira believed that certain elements, which he did not name, had planted the story in foreign media to damage the PPP.

“The opponents first got it published in a foreign paper and then propagated the gossip in the national media with the ulterior motives to harm the PPP”, he remarked.

He affirmed that Bilawal was head of a political party and would return soon to lead its election campaign.  Kaira added that it was not something unusual for Bilawal Bhutto to travel abroad. “He (Bilawal) keeps going to Dubai and other countries and returns too. What is unusual in it”, he asked and lambasted the media for airing a baseless story without confirmation.

“If the media delivers sermons of morality to others, it should also behave responsibly. The media must follow a code of conduct”, he asserted, adding, that it was unfortunate to see unsubstantiated contents going on air in the media.

The Press Trust of India had reported that Bilawal had left Pakistan after differences with his father, Asif Ali Zardari and paternal aunt, Faryal Talpur over party matters.

It also reported that “Bilawal was unhappy over the party’s handling of key issues, including militant violence, sectarian attacks against Shias and the award of party tickets for the polls scheduled for May 11”.

 “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,” PTI reported quoting a source.

It also quoted PPP leader Latif Khosa as having said that there were security threats to the party’s leadership, especially Bilawal.

 “Bilawal may not attend election rallies due to security concerns and is likely to address gatherings on telephone or via video-conferencing.”, Khosa further told the PTI.