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PPP Denies Family Rift: Bilawal’s Dubai Visit Part of Plan

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In response to recent media speculations surrounding alleged discord between Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and his father Asif Ali Zardari, the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) issued a press release categorically dismissing such claims as “baseless.” The statement clarified that Bilawal had embarked on a scheduled visit to Dubai, dispelling rumors of an abrupt departure without party notification.

This development came on the heels of news reports suggesting a strained relationship between the father-son duo following Zardari’s recent interview, where he commented on Bilawal’s political journey, remarking that the young leader was still in the process of gaining experience. Zardari, in an interview with Geo News, acknowledged Bilawal’s superior education and eloquence but emphasized the significance of political experience.

In recent days, Bilawal has been vocal about ushering in a new era in Pakistani politics, urging the nation to let older politicians “stay at home” and advocating for a fresh perspective in the upcoming general elections. During a session in the National Assembly in August, Bilawal, the country’s youngest foreign minister, implored his father and PML-N supremo Nawaz Sharif to make decisions conducive to the younger generation’s political involvement.

Faisal Karim Kundi, PPP Central Information Secretary, took to social media platform X (formerly Twitter) to assert that Bilawal’s visit to Dubai was part of his pre-planned schedule after a visit to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Kundi dismissed rumors of a rift between Bilawal and Zardari, emphasizing that both the interview and the Dubai visit were intentional and scheduled, with the latter lasting for two days.

On a Geo News program, Kundi stated that Zardari, too, would be departing for Dubai, refuting any notion that Bilawal’s departure was a reaction to perceived differences. Sherry Rehman, a PPP Senator, echoed Kundi’s sentiments, reiterating that Bilawal’s visit was scheduled, dismissing what she deemed as panicked reporting on certain channels.

Shazia Marri, another PPP member, clarified that Bilawal’s trip to Dubai was for personal engagements, asserting that there was nothing surprising about the visit. Marri accused the media of attempting to sensationalize the matter, emphasizing that Bilawal would soon return and be present at the party’s celebration of its 56th founding day in Quetta on November 30.

Both Kundi and Marri assured that Bilawal’s relationship with Zardari was not strained, and the alleged conflicts reported in the media were baseless. National Assembly Speaker Raja Pervaiz Ashraf questioned the notion of conflict between a father and son, expressing confidence in Zardari’s desire for Bilawal to excel in politics.

During the contentious interview on Thursday night, Zardari addressed Bilawal’s views on generational change in politics, noting that the younger generation has its own thinking. He affirmed Bilawal’s right to express his thoughts, emphasizing that attempting to curb such expression would only lead to more problems. Zardari dismissed the idea of playing “good cop, bad cop,” stating that Bilawal’s remarks were directed at everyone, not just him.

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