Bilawal in NA?


He would be better with some experience before he takes on some responsibility


Pakistani politics is still a family run business which is in and of itself not a bad thing if the leaders coming though the process are good enough to come up to the expectations of the public. However, if that doesn’t work out, it could prove disastrous for the party and the country. The entrance of new generation of leaders in the Pakistani politics, from Hamza Shahbaz to Musa Gilani and Maryam Nawaz to Bilawal Bhutto, can mean only one thing: a tough road ahead for the young leaders to prove themselves.

Bilawal Bhutto, PPP’s Chairman and the young leader who has barely come of age to contest elections for the National Assembly, has actually hinted at this very possibility. Media reports say that he will contest elections from Larakana’s NA-204, a seat that his grandfather, grandmother and mother won at different times. It is but certain that he will also be able to win the seat that has traditionally been a stronghold of the PPP, vacated by Ayaz Soomro. However, getting into the NA is not the problem. The problem is how he will behave in the NA, what with his lack of experience and all. He is a newbie in the field of politics and as his party is insistent on making him the Leader of the Opposition, the experience might turn out to too tough for him. The chair comes with certain responsibilities that may be beyond his political understanding. Other than the fact that the treasury benches and the rest of the opposition parties might take it as an insult, for most of these seasoned leaders have more experience inside the house than Bilawal’s age, he might also find it hard to fulfill his role as the Leader of the Opposition. After all, he has a say in important political and constitutional posts. His inexperience might prove to be a hurdle, instead of a charm like it was for his mother, Benazir Bhutto.

That he needs to learn the ropes before taking on a heavy responsibility is in no doubt, but it depends on how his father Asif Ali Zardari and other party leaders want to play it. They certainly want to catch the young leaders’ bandwagon that everyone else seems to have jumped on already, but they need to make sure that they do not overplay it. Or the chances of turning Bilawal into a star for the PPP might get ruined.