Bilawal to contest future polls from PPP

Karachi: Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Pakistan`s ruling PPP`s heir apparent and son of slain former Premier Benazir Bhutto, will contest future general elections from the party stronghold of Lyari, his father, President Asif Ali Zardari, has announced.

Addressing a meeting of his party`s coordination committee here last evening, he said Bilawal will return to Pakistan in September and contest in future from Lyari, a neighbourhood of Karachi that has for long been a stronghold of the PPP.

But Bilawal, the scion of the Bhutto family who will turn 23 this September, tweeted saying he will not contest "next elections" in 2013.

He will have to wait two more years before he is eligible to participate in polls to the provincial or national assemblies.

Zardari last evening chaired the meeting which was held to discuss welfare and development package for the low income Lyari area that has been hit by gang wars in recent times. The meeting was also attended by Sindh Chief Minister, Qaim Ali Shah, who discussed the troubled situation in Lyari.

The President expressed hope that residents of Lyari would stop complaining about their elected representatives once Bilawal contested polls from the area.

He said Bilawal was currently studying in Britain and should be in Pakistan by September. "Bilawal plans to hold quarterly meetings with the people in Lyari to review development projects and to listen to their problems."

After initial media reports wrongly quoted Zardari as saying that his son would contest polls from Lyari in the 2013 general election, Bilawal took to Twitter to clarify that he would not participate in the next polls.