KARACHI - Pakistan People’s Party leader and daughter of Benazir Bhutto, Aseefa Bhutto Zardari, is being considered as a candidate for by-polls in the provincial assembly constituency PS-11. The seat fell vacant after the Supreme Court of Pakistan withheld the decision to disqualify Grand Democratic Alliance leader Moazzam Abbasi from PS-11 seat in Larkana District.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed and consisting of Justice Ijaz Ul Ahsan and Justice Qazi Muhammad Amin Ahmad on Thursday declared election tribunal’s decision void and ordered re-election in the provincial constituency.

It is pertinent to mention here that Moazzam Ali Abbasi, the candidate of GDA, defeated the rival PPPP candidate and daughter of Nisar Khuhro, Nida Khuhro in the general elections in PS-11 by a convincing margin. The winning candidate secured over 32,000 votes against the losing PPPP candidate’s over 21,000 votes despite it being a stronghold of the party ruling the province for last 10 years at that time.

Nida Khuhuro was fielded by the party after his father and provincial chief of the party Nisar Khuhro was disqualified during scrutiny of papers for concealing details of his marriage. The name of Aseefa Bhutto started doing rounds as a possible contender from the party for the by-polls after a group of women parliamentarians in the provincial assembly met her on Saturday.

The daughter of Asif Ali Zardari has been taking part in the political activities of the party, but she has yet to take part in the electoral process. Her brother took part in last general elections for the first time and won his seat. Zardari has announced that two of his children, Bilawal Bhutto and Aseefa Bhutto, would take part in political activities, while Bakhtawar Bhutto would manage the family business.  General Secretary of Pakistan People’s Party Sindh Chapter Waqar Mehdi has confirmed that Aseefa’s name is doing rounds as the party’s candidate in PS-11, but the final decision would be made by the party leadership.

The party cadre from Larkana is calling for Aseefa’s nomination for by-polls in PS-11, he said. He however said the final decision would be taken by the top party leadership Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

Another party leader said on condition of anonymity that Aseefa’s name was doing rounds only in the media and they had no knowledge of it in party. He however said that if name of Aseefa Bhutto comes up and she takes part in the by-elections, all other aspiring candidates would support her. “The party will follow the due process, which includes asking for applications from aspiring candidates after the election commission announces schedule for the by-polls and then a board will finalise name of the candidate and announce it officially,” he said.

The party cadres on ground needed a strong candidate for the seat so that the party could strengthen its numbers and reach three figures in the assembly where it already enjoys support of 99 lawmakers.

On the other hand, the ruling coalition in federal cabinet including GDA would try its best to regain the seat from Larkana and once again dent the PPP in its stronghold Larkana.