Heir of Benazir: Bilawal to Lead PPP as Chairman

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NAUDERO: Pakistan People’s Party (PPPCentral Executive Committee of Pakistan People’s Party meets in Naudero near Larkana Sunday, December 30, 2007.) Sunday appointed Bilawal Bhutto Zardari the new Chairman of the Party.

Announcing the decisions of Central Executive Committee (CEC) meeting at a media briefing, Senior Vice Chairman of PPP, Makhdoom Amin Fahim said “the decision has been taken in accordance with the will of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto – which was read in the meeting”.

Bilawal 19, who read Benazir’s will, would be the political heir of Benazir Bhutto. Late Benazir Bhutto’s husband Asif Zardari, has been named co-chairman of the party.

PPP CEC meeting was presided over by Makhdoom Fahim, deputy leader of PPP, endorsed the will of Benazir Bhutto.

Makhdoom Fahim was widely known as Benazir’s right hand man. He led the party in Benazir’s absence, from 1999 to October 2007.

A Benazir loyalist, Amin Fahim is the quintessential party man, who never wavered in his loyalties towards his leader in all these years. He was in the same vehicle as the now departed leader, at the time she was assassinated.

PPP decided to name her 19-year-old son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari as its new leader Sunday and announced it would contest upcoming general elections.

Bilawal Bhutto, a student at Britain’s Oxford University, was named party chairman at an emergency meeting, taking the reins of the party formerly which was led by his mother and earlier the grandfather.

The party also appointed Bhutto’s husband Asif Ali Zardari as co-chairman.

PPP vice president Makhdoom Amin Fahim and its Punjab provincial president Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi will sit on “advisory council” for their young leader, party sources said.

“Democracy is the best revenge,” Bilawal Bhutto Zardari told a news conference in the Bhutto family’s ancestral home here, vowing the party’s “long and historic struggle for democracy will continue with a new vigour.”

Zardari said the Pakistan People’s Party would take part in the scheduled January 8 parliamentary elections, seen as a key step in Pakistan’s transition to civilian democracy. “We will go to elections,” he told reporters.

According to another report, Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), the party of the assassinated leader Benazir Bhutto has called for a United Nations probe into the circumstances of Benazir slaying in a gun and suicide bomb attack Thursday.

Bilawal, born on 21 September 1988, is the only son of assassinated ex-Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and Asif Zardari.

The 19-year-old Bilawal is set to study political science at Oxford University. He graduated from Rashid School for Boys in Dubai. He successfully gained top grades in his GCSE exams.

Physical fitness is important to Bilawal and he is already a black belt in Taekwondo.

He has two younger sisters, Bakhtawar and Aasifa. Bilawal was highly thought to be appointed as the successor of his assassinated mother to lead the Pakistan People’s Party.

And, finally the Central Executive Committee (CEC) of Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) in a meeting held here endorsed the will of late Benazir Bhutto.

PPP Senior Vice-Chairman, Makhdoom Amin Faheem presided over the party’s CEC meeting which was attended by the four provincial presidents of the party and members of the CEC.

Asif Zardari, Bilawal, Bakhtawar and Asifa attended on special invitations.
Bilawal read out in the meeting the will of late Benazir Bhutto, which the participants hearing burst into tears.

Following the announcement of the will, Jahangir Badar sought the views of the CEC members, which they endorsed by raising their hands.

Details

The Central Executive Committee (CEC) of Pakistan Peoples Party which met at Bhutto House Naudero Sunday decided to take part in the general elections. Decision in this regard was announced by Asif Ali Zardari, appointed as Co-chairperson of PPP at a largely attended press briefing held after the CEC meeting was over.

Asif Zardari said according to the CEC decision the UN and the British Government would be approached to assist in the investigation to bring the real causes of assassination of PPP Chairperson Ms Benazir Bhutto to the fore.

He said; “we have no faith in the investigations to be carried out by the government commissions, judges and the police and their findings will not be acceptable to us”.

He said his son, appointed party’s new chairman, today on his own decided to change his name and to be called “Bilawal Bhutto- Zardari”.

Earlier Bilawal Bhutto Zardari read out the will of his late mother Benazir Bhutto and declared that historic struggle for democracy will continue which will be the best revenge for the assassination of Chairperson PPP.

Makhdoom Mohammad Amin Fahim on the occasion said late Benazir Bhutto in her will had written that if she does not remain in the world Asif Zardari will be her successor and this was endorsed by the entire house.

However, Asif Zardari decided to make Bilawal as Chairman of the Party and the full house of CEC endorsed it in toto.

Highlighting other decisions of CEC’s meeting, Asif Ali Zardari said he would assist as Co-Chairman to the party and its new Chairman.

He said Bilawal is capable enough to run the party’s affairs effectively and is the right selection.

Zardari said his children have decided to change their surnames and now Bilawal would be called Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

Before announcing the CEC’s decisions, Asif Zardari at the outset paid glowing tributes to Ms Benazir Bhutto as a great Quaid (leader) and said she remained “Benazir” (examplary) during her life and after death.

He said she underwent so many agonies during her life time and she struggled throughout the life but always remained steadfast.

He said we feel pride that she knew about the dangers facing her but she always dashed against her enemies like mountains till she embraced “shahadat”.

Asif Zardari said while translating her vision, the Party has decided to participate in the general elections.

He thanked President PML (N) Mian Nawaz Sharif who condoled the demise of Benazir Bhutto and announced to boycott the elections.

“But I request Mian Nawaz Sharif not to boycott the elections and support us”, he announced.

He said it in consonance with the ideology of late Z.A. Bhutto who had announced from the prison cell that PPP would take part in the elections.

Asif Zardari said through a resolution the CEC decided to approach the UN and Britain to assist in investigations into the assassination of Benazir Bhutto and send an international team of experts for the purpose.

“We are ordinary workers of Benazir Bhutto and will remain so till our last breath”, he declared.

He announced that he has decided to assist Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Amin Fahim and the party as Co-chairman, although Benazir wanted him (Zardari) to lead the party because she believed that he could take the party out of difficult situations and crisis.

He said he has taken this decision to protect democratic Pakistan because late Ms Bhutto never spoke of Pakistan’s break up.

He regretted that some emotionally charged workers out of sentiments raised slogans against Pakistan and said they don’t need Pakistan, but “I say that we need Pakistan”.

On the occasion PPP workers raised slogans of “Benazir, the chain of four Provinces”, “Bilawal Bhutto step-on forward we are with you”.

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