Bilawal due in Lahore coming week

LAHORE - The long-awaited Punjab visit of PPP's Patron-in-Chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has been finalised and he would be reaching Lahore in the coming week, most probably on Saturday. 
Former president Asif Ali Zardari would also accompany him and the two leaders would stay in Bilawal House, Bahrya Town for three to four weeks. Most of the sectarial staff at Bilawal House Karachi would also be shifted to Lahore which is going to become centre of party's political activities in the coming days.
"Bilawal is reaching Lahore in the coming week and would be given a rousing welcome on his arrival here," party's central Punjab President Mian Manzoor Wattoo told a news conference at Model Town on Saturday.  He said four committees comprising party office-bearers have been set up to make arrangements for welcome reception of the party leaders at Bilawal House.
As per party sources, arrangements are being finalised to take Bilawal and Asif Ali Zardari to Bahrya Town in a small airplane or helicopter from Allama Iqbal International Airport. They have been advised not to travel by road due to security reasons.
Bilawal intended to visit Punjab in February this year, but was advised by close aides to defer his plan to avoid possible dissensions in the party ahead of local elections which were expected in March. "Since it would not be possible for him to meet each and every party leader in the province, those not getting the opportunity to see him would get angry with the party leadership," this was argument presented by those who advised Bilawal against visiting Punjab at that time.
The elections were postponed and the Punjab leadership invited him again in March this year. But despite commitment, he did not come, this time on the pretext of security reasons. It was then said that Punjab government was not ready to provide adequate security to the PPP leader. 
But later on, Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif held out assurance to Bilawal that Punjab government would make foolproof security arrangements if he intended to visit Punjab.
Talking to the media, Wattoo termed Bilawal's upcoming visit as latter's 'political launching' which he believed would mobilize the party workers in Punjab. The two leaders would stay longer this time and have meetings with party men, allies and journalists, he said. Replying to a question, he opposed privatization policy of the present government, saying it would give rise to massive unemployment. It is like snatching meal from the poor," he observed. Wattoo also criticised the government for its decision to withdraw subsidy on wheat to be supplied to Gilgit-Baltistan and termed it a 'cruel act'.
Answering another question, the PPP leader said that present government had not been able to get a single bill passed from the Parliament unlike the previous PPP government which passed many bills after evolving consensus. 
Earlier, addressing a meeting of party's Punjab Executive Council, Wattoo said the visit of chairman and the former president to Lahore was a great opportunity to make Punjab a stronghold of the PPP yet again.
He asked the divisional co-coordinators, district presidents and the office-bearers at the grassroots level to start preparations by motivating the workers and local leadership and also mount flags, flexes and banners in their respective areas so that the whole province give a look of grand reception to their leader.
He also asked the office-bearers to send the names of those whom they consider suitable for meeting with the chairman so that modalities could be worked out well in advance.
Wattoo said he would present Punjab PPP to the chairman as a well-organised party ready to play its role worthy of the traditions of the party.

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