KARACHI: As a part of rallying support for the October 18 jalsa at the Quaid’s mausoleum, the co-chairperson of the Pakistan Peoples Party, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, paid a visit to his supporters in Lyari.
A large number of people from Khadda Market, Moosa Lane, Baghdadi and Kharadar, gathered around his vehicle to show their support. Bilawal also went to pay his respects at the Dhola Shah mazaar in Kharadar, a place his mother used to visit. The caretaker of the mazaar told Bilawal that he remembered the co-chairperson visiting the shrine with his mother when he was much younger.
Bilawal also visited the Abduallah Shah Ghazi Mazaar in Clifton. According to the Bilawal House spokesperson, PPP MPA Owais Muzaffar and the president of the party’s Karachi division, Qadir Patel, were with Bilawal in his bullet-proof vehicle during the visit. Several roads in the city were blocked and sealed by the police which caused a massive traffic jam especially in the Old City area.
The life of Bilawal Bhutto, according to a letter issued by the Sindh home department, is in danger as militants from the Jundullah group are planning to target him in the near future.
Officials of the home department said that intelligence reports from the federal government suggested that there were serious threats to Bilawal’s life. They added that the method of attack, however, was not known to them.
In the letter issued by the home department, it was suggested that necessary measures should be taken to avoid untoward incidents.
These threats, sources claim, were made after the Pakistan Peoples Party decided to organise a jalsa to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the blast that took place on October 18, 2007 – when Benazir Bhutto returned to Pakistan after spending eight years in self exile. More than 139 people were killed while nearly 450 were injured in the attack.
The rally planned on Saturday will be held at the Quaid’s mausoleum. Bilawal, who is PPP’s co-chairperson, is said to formerly start his political career by addressing the gathering. Preparations for the jalsa have been underway for weeks and the government has decided to have around 20,000 policemen on duty to ensure that no untoward incidents take place.
Senator Saeed Ghani said that people from all parts of the country, including Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan, will be attending the event. He added that the party’s co-chairperson will also be making an important announcement at the public gathering.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 15th, 2014.