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50 years on what does the future hold for PPP

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Pakistan People’s Party’s (PPP) 50th anniversary celebration took place in Islamabad on Tuesday 5th December with thousands of supporters joining in from all over the country. This was the first major gathering in the city after the Faizabad sit-in that had left the city paralyzed for three weeks.

The contrast between the two gatherings was clear. One was a celebration. One was a protest. One was a group of right wing extremists who behaved violently and killed a police officer and the other was the peaceful congregation of a left wing party celebrating its golden jubilee after surviving despite suffering from years of persecution.

The hypocrisies seem to be present. The party may have celebrated a 50-year anniversary but what does the future of the party look like? Have the values of the old PPP completely disappeared?

During the show of power at Parade Ground Islamabad, former president of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, said Nawaz Sharif came to power through a fake mandate. However, he added that he wanted the PML-N government to complete its term before the formation of the caretaker government.

Read more: PPP and PML-N unite once again?

Zardari mentioned that he had previously saved Nawaz and his government on two occasions but will not be making that mistake again. “We saved them, but now we will not save them; we will bring democracy in its place”, he stated. Zardari believes a dictatorship is not in the cards for the future as he added “Nowadays, a dictator is taking refuge in a foreign land after knowing he has no future in Pakistan.

Whatever happens now in Pakistan will be on the basis of vote, as now democracy is marching on the super highway”.  Bilawal then came to the microphone and further cemented PPP’s anti dictator stance. He said “It was the PPP which laid the foundations of democracy in Pakistan and revolted against every dictatorship”.

He also stated that he would not accept any collusion between religion and politics. Bilawal made promises of returning the party to its former glory and said that he would promote his future agenda as well which includes the empowerment of women, the youth and minorities.

Nawaz Sharif came to power through a fake mandate. However, he added that he wanted the PML-N government to complete its term before the formation of the caretaker government.

The PPP was initially formed as a left wing socialist progressive party that wanted to give power to the common man of Pakistan. The party supported public ownership, equality and egalitarianism. The current leadership of the party however, does not seem to represent a lot of the values that the PPP stood for when it was formed.

Read more: PPP impeding accountability in Sindh

During the PPP’s reign in government from 2008-2013, the party and its members seemed to take more from the state and give back less to the people. The complete opposite of socialism. This is supported by the multiple corruption allegations towards its elected members and the ousting of former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani on contempt of court charges for refusing to open up old corruption charges faced by Zardari.

The hypocrisies seem to be present. The party may have celebrated a 50-year anniversary but what does the future of the party look like? Have the values of the old PPP completely disappeared? Is Bilawal going to be able to lead his ancestral party to former glories? Will they be a serious force in the next general elections? We will just have to wait and find out.

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