Pakistan’s outgoing president Asif Ali Zardari, whose term ends in September, has said he will remain in the country after he steps down to focus on reoganizing his party — the Pakistan Peoples Party.
In a dinner meeting with journalists ahead of his exit from the country’s top political post, Zardari said he was disappointed with the way his party had performed in this year’s polls. The outgoing president said he will now re-organize the party so that it can emerge victorious in the coming elections.
Zardari’s vision, however, is not shared by all, including some from within the party. Some party faithful insist that the single biggest reason for the party’s downturn is Zardari himself who has stuffed the party’s top positions with loyalists, ignoring party workers and winning candidates.
The biggest challenge, say some, is who would carry on the Bhutto mantle. The political successor to Benazir Bhutto’s leadership, it seems is not son Bilawal Bhutto but her youngest daughter Aseefa, who Zardari is now believed to be preparing for the top job.
“We think Aseefa is the new party leader. She is seen in most party meetings. And she is being readied to take over the mantle from her father in the coming years,” says political analyst Imtiaz Alam. In contrast, Bilawal Bhutto seems to have disappeared from party events.