PPP aims to elect Zardari as President unopposed

Constitutes committee for presidential campaign | Zardari vows to unite nation

ISLAMABAD   -  Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) is aiming to get party supremo Asif Ali Zardari elected as the President unopposed, PPP sources said. Yesterday, PPP chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari constituted a committee for the presidential campaign. The committee includes Syed Yusuf Raza Gillani, Raja Pervez Ashraf, Syed Khursheed Shah and Syed Naveed Qamar. The committee will contact other parties regarding the presidential elections on March 9.

“We are aiming to elect Asif Ali Zardari as the President unopposed. We will seek other parties support,” said a senior PPP leader. He told The Nation that since the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf loyalists cannot elect their own President, they should support Zardari for the top slot. “We will contact them too for support,” he added. Zardari has navigated a tumultuous path through Pakistan’s political landscape. Rising to prominence after his marriage to two-time premier Benazir Bhutto in 1987, Zardari’s political career has been marked by controversies, power struggles, and significant political maneuvering.

The son of a Sindh landowner, Zardari’s ascent began when Bhutto became Prime Minister in 1988. However, his reputation took a hit with corruption scandals during Bhutto’s tenure, leading to her government’s dismissal in 1990. Zardari faced further scrutiny and was implicated in corruption and the murder of Bhutto’s brother, Murtaza Bhutto, in 1996. Despite these challenges, Zardari managed to secure seats in the National Assembly and Senate, albeit while facing legal battles and imprisonment. Released in 2004, he went into self-exile in Dubai until Bhutto’s assassination in 2007. Returning to Pakistan, Zardari assumed the co-chairmanship of the PPP and led the party to victory in the 2008 elections.

As President from 2008 to 2013, Zardari faced a divided nation and mounting challenges. He aligned with the US in the Afghanistan war but domestically pushed for the Eighteenth Amendment in 2010, reducing presidential powers. In recent meetings with the party leaders, Zardari vowed to unite the nation amid the worst political divide. “As the President, I will try to heal wounds and bring the people closer,” he said at a meeting.

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