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Zardari to stay in Lahore after retirement

07 September, 2013

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ISLAMABAD: President Asif Ali Zardari will take up residence in his Lahore Bilawal House after stepping down.

The president will step down tomorrow and receive a guard of honour – the first for a democratically elected president in the country. His already elected successor, Mamnoon Hussain, will take oath of the presidentship on Monday in a special ceremony. President Zardari plans to stay in Lahore soon after vacating the President's House in Islamabad on Sunday. He aims to revive Bhuttos' party which has been defeated in May elections, the party sources confirmed to our sources on Friday. Zardari has a luxury home, "Bilawal House", in Bahria Town in Lahore.

The Pakistan People's Party (PPP) organised a special ceremony on Friday to pay tribute to Zardari as first Pakistani president who has completed his constitutional term of five years. PPP Central Secretary Latif Khosa presided over the ceremony held at Lahore Press Club and lauded the policy of reconciliation in politics by Zardari, who is also PPP's co-chairman. The PPP is considered the biggest political party of the country but due to a huge defeat in the general elections on failure of its government to overcome load shedding of electricity and gas and high inflation, most of the members of the party have left.

Even in the by-elections held on August 22, it faced some trouble in distributing party tickets, as there was a lack of candidates generally in Punjab and especially in Lahore city. A good number of workers as well as some known faces of the party, like Shaukat Basra, Naveed Chaudhry, Zulfiqar Gondal, Rana Ashar, Zahid Zulfiqar, Afnan Butt, participated in the ceremony and expressed hope for re-strengthening of the party under the leadership of Zardari during his stay in the capital of Punjab.

While addressing the charged workers of the party Khosa said that the PPP workers would continue their struggle for strengthening democracy in Pakistan. During his speech, he said that local government laws were unconstitutional, as the Supreme Court has also declared them so. Meanwhile, Basra said that the PPP leadership had already given several sacrifices and it would continue its struggle in the future. He said that the party workers were united under the chairmanship of Bilawal Bhutto and they would get good results in the next local government elections in Punjab.

Speaking on the occasion, Gondal said that Punjab was a fort of Bhuttos and the party workers would prove it again in the next general elections, saying his party was going to address the real issues of people. He said that they would welcome the party leadership in Lahore to re-strengthen the PPP. Other speakers also praised the efforts of President Zardari for strengthening democracy in the country when it was facing several problems both internally and externally. It was also announced that on the arrival of President Zardari the party leaders would decorate the city of Lahore with banners, hoardings, and other hangings on Sunday. The party leadership also announced that they would hold a welcome rally on Sunday to receive President Zardari at the Lahore airport.


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