Bilawal to camp in Lahore after Eid: Raja Riaz

Mr Riaz conceded that there was despondency among the party workers because PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari and Mr Bilawal Bhutto could not devote sufficient time to the province during the previous PPP government. ─ AFP/File

KARACHI: Raja Riaz, the vice president of the PPP’s Punjab chapter, has said that predicting the party’s annihilation on the basis of a couple of defections is injustice to hundreds of its office-bearers determined to wage struggle on the call of Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.
He was speaking at a press conference here on Sunday after a meeting with Mr Bhutto Zardari during which the PPP’s affairs in Punjab and efforts to rejuvenate it for the coming local government elections were discussed.
Mr Riaz said the PPP was still a large party in Punjab. “As far as defection of a few leaders is concerned, even during the eras of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto, people like Ghulam Mustafa Khar had quit the party because they had vested interests and were not ready to face hard times. But it did not cast any negative impact on the party’s popularity,” he said.
Mr Riaz conceded that there was despondency among the party workers because PPP Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari and Mr Bilawal Bhutto could not devote sufficient time to the province during the previous PPP government. However, now they were waiting for the arrival of Mr Bilawal Bhutto in Punjab which he would be visiting after Eid, he added. Mr Bhutto Zardari would camp in Lahore and the party would be revived, he said.
Mr Riaz said that people of Punjab had confidence in the leadership of Mr Bilawal Bhutto and Mr Asif Zardari and wanted to see the former installed as next prime minister.
He praised Rangers operation in Karachi and said the paramilitary force should follow suit in Punjab and take action against those whose hands were stained with the blood of innocent people killed in Model Town, Lahore, last year.
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