Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari, heir to the Bhutto legacy, returned to Pakistan on Monday night amid speculations about his decision to leave the country in the middle of election season. He is now expected to participate in the Pakistan Peoples Party’s election campaign.
With general elections due on May 11, rumours have been doing the rounds about his absence for a fortnight now. There were reports that he had left because of differences with his father, President Asif Ali Zardari, over the PPP-led government’s performance and the manner in which the party was being run.
‘Security in mind’
However, the PPP leadership denied any rift, maintaining that he left the country with security considerations in mind. Also, in a bid to keep his direct exposureto the crowds limited, the party had initially said he would address gatherings over phone or through video-conferencing.
Security has always been a concern for the entire Bhutto clan and this has become even greater after the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan asked people to stay away from election rallies organised by the PPP, the Awami National Party and the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, raising the spectre of these parties — which have been targeted by terrorists several times in the past — coming under attack during the elections.