Bakhtawar May Replace Bilawal

February 9, 2015
By Saeed Qureshi

The Chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party and also the chief (Sardar) of the Zardari clan Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is living in England for a few months now. There is no firm indication that he would be returning to Pakistan so soon. In London his activities are not reported regularly as a political leader all the more the head of a leading political party of Pakistan is ought to be in media and press. He was seen once making a speech in London to show his party’s solidarity with the cause of the Kashmiris.

While in Pakistan after being crowned as the chairman of Pakistan People’s Party on December 30, 2007(he was then 19 years) with his father Asif Ali Zardari opting to be the Co-Chairman; he delivered thundering speeches on a few occasions that the critics and political observers decreed as amateurish and unnecessarily bombastic. Some politicians even dubbed those speeches as to be written by others and to be relayed by a young orator in the making, without comprehending as to what he was jettisoning.

By staying in England he missed the death anniversary of his mother Benazir Bhutto falling on December 27 every year. Even Asif Zardari’s trip to London to persuade Bilawal to return to Pakistan for observing Benazir’s death anniversary did not materialize.

Although the PPP cancelled the celebrations of the 86th birth anniversary of its founding chairman Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in view of the gruesome Peshawar massacre, yet Bilawal did not issue any statement nor showed any exuberance in the birth ceremony of his illustrious grandfather and the founder of the Pakistan People’s Party. He did not send even a message to the party leaders on this momentous day.

The face book gives glimpses of his courtship in England with some odd females and once sitting in between the two girls in an exceptionally jovial mood. One would venture as if he has been sitting in the happy hours of some club. However his choicest place for making the best use of his time is reported to be “Covern off beat Club” occasionally holding gay nights for the students.

It could be a mere gossip that Asif Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto might have developed differences over the party's affairs. Bilawal appointed Jehangir Badar and Bashir Riaz as his political adviser and press secretary respectively without consulting Zardari. Asif Zardari reportedly advised Bilawal that being young he could not take independent decisions until he was fully groomed.

It appears either Bilawal is hugely enamored of the glamorous life that the western free societies offer or else he has developed some serious differences with his father whose caretaker role he may not be liking. It could be possible that he ran away from the hum drum of the political life as boring or too much a tall order for him to handle.

Lately in a public meeting Asif Zardari obliquely hinted at the rumors of the differences between him and Bilawal. Zardari did not elaborate whether those rumours were credible or not. But in equal measure he did not deny that hearsay as to be baseless.

One could presume that the mantle of the chairmanship of the PPP may not sit well with Bilawal Zardari who patently does not have the making of a veritable politician as his grandfather Zulfikar Ali Bhutto or his mother Benazir Bhutto were. He may even discard and opt out from spearheading a political party in the footsteps of the previous heads including his father Asif Ali Zardari as an accomplished political wizard of his own kind.

The image of Bilawal and his illustrious mother Benazir Bhutto was wickedly, maliciously and deliberately tarnished in a book under the title “Indecent Correspondence: Secret Sex Life of Benazir Bhutto authored by Roshan Mirza and published in 2014. This stinking book, graphically narrates the kind of no-hold-barred sexual misconduct of Benazir and Bilawal and some other VIPs including one of the closet friends of Benazir Bhutto and a former high profile female diplomat.

It is difficult to believe in the contents of this sleazy book. However it has indeed wrought the irreparable damage to the reputation and national standing of both Benazir and Bilawal. While Benazir Bhutto is no more in this world, Bilawal might have seen or read the nauseating contents of that book and he must have felt a shudder in his frame.

The resultant scary feelings or the possible smearing in the political arena might have convinced him to desist from entering the political arena and face the ensuing damning consequences. That dirty book might as well have been read or heard by Asif Ali Zardari who could have nursed the distasteful feelings about his son.

But one could watch Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari moving around in the absence of her brother Bilawal. The recent strings of events indicate that Bakhtawar may have been brought forward to replace Bilawal and in due course to become the chairperson of the Pakistan People’s Party. Lately on January 8 she was seen praying with her father Asif Zardari on the eve of the inauguration of a Solar Desalination Plant being set up in Mithi city of Tharparker.

After the assassination of Mohtrama Benazir Bhutto, Bakhtawar remained reasonably active in party affairs and delivered on some important occasions. It was being conjectured then that she could be be the successor to Benazir. But it is not known as to what happened then that she disappeared from the scene, thus paving way for her brother Bilawal to hold the reins of the PPP.