Karachi: Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Pakistan's ruling PPP's heir apparent and son of slain former Premier Benazir Bhutto, will contest future general elections from the party stronghold of Lyari, his father, President Asif Ali Zardari, has announced.
   
Addressing a meeting of his party's coordination committee here on Monday morning, he said Bilawal will return to Pakistan in September and contest in future from Lyari, a neighbourhood of Karachi that has for long been a stronghold of the PPP.
    
But Bilawal, the scion of the Bhutto family who will turn 23 this September, tweeted saying he will not contest "next elections" in 2013.
    
He will have to wait two more years before he is eligible to participate in polls to the provincial or national assemblies.
    
Zardari last evening chaired the meeting which was held to discuss welfare and development package for the low income Lyari area that has been hit by gang wars in recent times. The meeting was also attended by Sindh Chief Minister, Qaim Ali Shah, who discussed the troubled situation in Lyari.
    
The President expressed hope that residents of Lyari would stop complaining about their elected representatives once Bilawal contested polls from the area.
   
He said Bilawal was currently studying in Britain and should be in Pakistan by September. "Bilawal plans to hold quarterly meetings with the people in Lyari to review development projects and to listen to their problems."
    
After initial media reports wrongly quoted Zardari as saying that his son would contest polls from Lyari in the 2013 general election, Bilawal took to Twitter to clarify that he would not participate in the next polls.

Bilawal said in a tweet: "Took my first breath in Lyari. Special place in my heart for Lyari. Want so much more (for) Lyari. Still not running in next election."
    
However, he added that he would do "whatever the party wants me to do".
    
Bilawal graduated from Oxford University last year and PPP leaders has earlier said that he would learn about the workings and organisation of the party before making a foray into electoral politics.
    
Sindh Information Minister, Sharjeel Memon, told newsmen that Zardari made the announcement about Bilawal contesting elections from Lyari after some members of the area complained to him about elected members from the area never visiting or interacting with the people.
    
Memon said: "Bilawal has specifically expressed interest in working with the party's youth wing, which was very dear to the late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto."
    
PPP leader Farahnaz Isphahani said Bilawal is looking at modernising the People's Youth Organisation, and bringing in new ideas like media technology through intellectual and practical exercises.
    
Having graduated from Oxford University last year, Bilawal, co-Chaiman of the PPP, could emerge as the party's much-needed progressive voice, given what appears to be his interest in social issues and stance on minorities.

(Agencies)