Perhaps to avoid possible criticism that they have turned parliament into a family affair, the two sisters of PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari — Dr Azra Fazal Pechuhu and Faryal Talpur — have been asked to seek election to the Sindh Assembly.
Secretary general of the Pakistan Peoples Party Farhatullah Babar confirmed that the two sisters of Mr Zardari would not be in the run for any National Assembly seat this time.
Dr Azra Fazal became a member of the National Assembly for the first time in 2002 from Nawabshah (now Shaheed Benazirabad) whereas her sister Faryal Talpur became an MNA for the first time when she won the native seat of the Bhuttos from Larkana during a by-election. The by-election was held due to the assassination of PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto in December 2007.
Aseefa may contest her first election from Qambar-Shahdadkot
Faryal Talpur’s husband Munawar Talpur had also been a member of the National Assembly since 1988 and was considered an influential leader in the party.
Sources in the party said that Ms Talpur had herself expressed the desire to contest a provincial assembly seat, saying she wanted to focus on party affairs in Sindh and would not be able to frequently travel to Islamabad.
On the other hand, the sources claimed that there was a group within the party which wanted Dr Azra Fazal to contest again for a National Assembly seat due to her “good performance” in parliament, but she had herself shown reluctance to run for the NA seat this time.
The sources said that former president Asif Zardari would himself be contesting on the seat from Shaheed Benazirabad.
The central and provincial parliamentary boards and committees of the PPP have remained in session for almost a week at Bilawal House in Karachi but so far the party has not officially announced any candidates.
A senior PPP office-bearer, who remained a part of the party’s parliamentary board that finalised the tickets, said that PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari would contest the elections from Karachi and Larkana in Sindh and Malakand in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The party is planning to field Aseefa Bhutto-Zardari, the youngest daughter of Benazir Bhutto, on a National Assembly seat from Qambar-Shahdadkot, the sources said. Like Bilawal, this will be the first time that Aseefa will be contesting the National Assembly elections and if she manages to win the elections, she will be seen sitting with her father and brother in the assembly.
Aseefa became eligible to contest the election on a National Assembly seat in February this year when she celebrated her 25th birthday.