ISLAMABAD - Former president Asif Ali Zardari has agreed to meet his son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s demand to reshuffle the PPP’s provincial leadership in Punjab, political sources said.

“According to the understanding (reached between the father and the son), Bilawal (the party chairman) will consult PPP leaders and workers in Punjab and take decisions thereafter,” a source close to the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) leadership told The Nation.

Referring to a meeting of the de-facto and de-jure leaders of the PPP in Dubai the other day, the source said, “Bilawal believes the jiyalas (diehard workers) of the PPP must be given responsible positions in the party.” He added, “After Punjab, Bilawal plans to bring loyal workers on top in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province (as well).”

Bilawal, the son of Asif Zardari and late prime minister Benazir Bhutto, has been slated as a future leader of Pakistan, to carry on the family dynasty. Albeit, the party workers have been waiting for his ‘real ascension’ to the top of the chaotic political structure due to his alleged differences with his father and other PPP members.

Talking to The Nation, PPP Secretary Information Qamar Zaman Kaira said, “I cannot forecast what will happen but everything will be decided after thorough consultations”. He further said, “The meeting between Azif Zardari and Bilawal was just a meeting between a father and a son.”

Kaira said, “Of course, he (Bilawal) is coming next month and party affairs will be on his table.” He said Bilawal and others leaders appreciate the services of ideological and sincere workers and they have been given important responsibilities in the party in the past.

“We know Mian Manzoor Wattoo (PPP Punjab central president) is not an old worker of the PPP but he has been working hard. He joined PPP when the party was in trouble and we are still in trouble. However, the leadership will decide who should get what position in the party as we are preparing for the next elections and look forward to improving the performance in Punjab,” the PPP leader said. Kaira said the 2013 elections were bad for the party in the Punjab province and “we are working to do better next time. We will join heads on how we can do this (bring good results)”.

Media reports say, Bilawal, who was named the PPP chairman after his mother’s assassination in 2007, has fought bitterly with his father and aunt, Faryal Talpur, over a number of issues. The young leader is also angered by the PPP’s failure to attract votes of the youth like the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI).

PPP spokesman Senator Farhatullah Baber, denies any rift between the father and the son. “There is no rift. There has never been a rift. The PPP is united,” he said. “Bilawal has been out of the country for security reasons. There is nothing more to it,” he added.

Other sources said Bilawal wants to resume party leadership with full power or remain absent. According to party sources, the meeting at the Zardari House in Dubai on Monday was held in an attempt to mend fences between Bilawal and his father.

To the joy of the PPP loyalists, photos tweeted by PPP leader Senator Saeed Ghani on Tuesday showed the smiling faces of sister Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari and aunt Faryal Talpur posing for selfies with the young PPP chairman. “Nice to see Chairman @BBhuttoZardari @BakhtawarBZ & @FaryalTalpurPk together in Dubai,” said the PPP senator in the tweet, which was retweeted by Bakhtawar to her 0.5 million followers.

The young PPP chief had abruptly left Pakistan after a party rally in Karachi last November, giving rise to speculations about his alleged falling out with his father. Earlier this month, Bilawal completed his education to graduate from Oxford University with a masters degree.

Sardar Shoaib Mumtaz, a local PPP leader, said, “We have been told he (Bilawal) is coming back next month. We hope things will improve. The jiyalas have a feeling they are neglected. They think Bilawal will bring a change... The party did badly in Punjab in 2013 so a change is definitely on. Let’s see what Bilawal decides when he comes back.”