Back to the future

PPP needs to democratise itself and bring on the leaders of the future rather than shuffle the deck of aging hacks

Editorial October 19, 2014

The politics of Pakistan at a street level tend to keep the past close to the top of the here-and-now agenda, and the large rally addressed by the PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on 18th October was no exception. He addressed the crowd from the top of the armoured container which saved the life of his mother Benazir Bhutto on the same date in 2007; and had previously visited the tomb of the Sindhi hero of yesteryear Hosh Muhammed Sheedi who had fought the British in the 19th century. His speech contained numerous references to his grandfather Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who he dubbed the father of ‘Bhuttoism’ – which is the only alternative to dictatorship apparently, thus consigning at a stroke every other political party to a dictatorial outer darkness. He spoke obliquely – nobody ever gives the details – of internal and external forces that were seeking to push the country to civil war and there were of course innumerable conspiracies being hatched which sought to ‘derail democracy’.

The speech lasted close to 90 minutes and was peppered with virtually every slogan that the PPP has ever contrived. There was a call for free and fair elections in 2018 and Mr Bhutto implored the sitting government to give Karachi ‘its due’ and appealed to the citizens of Karachi to all join hands in pursuit of the ever-elusive peace. The past and assorted symbols addressed, there was a nod to the future and a commitment to the reorganization of the PPP starting on November 30th when the party holds its anniversary convention – and if true then it is a reorganisation that is long overdue. There is a political churn in process in Pakistan and the PPP is going to have to work hard to regain the position it had before it was trounced in the last election – rigging or not. There needs to be a set of clearly enunciated policies that go beyond the promissory notes of political rallying. The party needs to democratise itself and bring on the leaders of the future rather than shuffle the deck of aging hacks. Shake hands with the past by all means, but move on – or die.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 20th, 2014.

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Naeem Khan | 6 years ago | Reply

Sitting far away from home and looking inside from outside, it seems that some Sindhis may go for Bhuttoism but the new generation of Pakistanis are well aware of these dynastic political parties and they are standing up and want to be counted and they want change for the betterment of Pakistan and it's citizens. Bilawal's father has muddied the waters so much that Pakistanis and even some of the Sindhis are not going to fall for slogans and gimmickry and they have seen that PPP has done nothing for interior Sindh or even for Pakistan except doing corruption in every thing they touched during 5 years of their stunt. We may not agree with IK on several things but one thing is clear that he has awakened the youth and youth is the future of Pakistan. These tried out corrupt politician, aging political hacks and hatchets have to be sent to oblivion if Pakistan is going to take it's rightful place in the community of nations. Bilawal was born with a silver foot in his mouth which was gotten through corruption by Mr.10%.. He should make no mistake that he has not earned his rightful place in Pakistani politics like his mother BB did, gimmicks slogans are not going to carry him too far because he has some formidable opposition in the form of young generation of Pakistan.

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