Zardari to formally launch political activities tomorrow

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ISLAMABAD: Five weeks after completion of his five-year term in the Presidency, Asif Ali Zardari is formally starting his political activities from Larkana with a meeting of the PPP leaders belonging to Sindh on Thursday (tomorrow), Dawn has learnt. When contacted, spokesman for the former president Farhatullah Khan Babar confirmed that Mr Zardari had invited the office-bearers of the party’s chapters from various divisions in Sindh at a dinner in Larkana on Thursday evening.

Mr Babar said that Mr Zardari had invited the party members from Sindh only as it would have been difficult for the leaders from other provinces to reach Larkana on the second day of Eidul Azha.

He disclosed that Mr Zardari planned to either stay in Karachi or Lahore for a longer period after Eid to carry on his political activities.

Interestingly, Mr Zardari does not hold any elected office of the party at the moment as he had to quit his role as the PPP co-chairman when his position was challenged in the Lahore High Court after his election as the president of the country.

Mr Zardari had been chosen as the co-chairman of the PPP on December 30, 2007 at a meeting of the party’s Central Executive Committee (CEC) held soon after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

Although, he has never resigned from the post of the co-chairman, he had to keep himself away from the recently-held internal party elections which were held when he was still the country’s president. In his last year in the office of the president, Mr Zardari did not preside over any formal meeting of the party in Presidency.

However, now the party leadership claims that after quitting the president’s office, his position as the party head has been restored in line with the CEC’s decision of December 2007.

Mr Babar said though Mr Zardari did not participate in the elections of the PPP or the PPP-Parliamentarians and his name was not there in the list of the elected office-bearers, his role to oversee the party affairs that had been assigned to him by late Benazir Bhutto through her will and acknowledged by the party’s CEC was still intact.