In a recent address, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, the Chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), made significant remarks about political maneuvering in the 2013 and 2018 general elections. He accused a rival political party of conspiring against the PPP in 2013 and suggested that the same party faced consequences in the 2018 polls.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s statements came during a speech in which he reflected on the political landscape in Pakistan. He stated that in the 2013 elections, ‘a party’ conspired to sideline the PPP in Punjab, a province where the PPP has traditionally had limited electoral success.
While not explicitly naming the party involved, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari hinted at the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), which emerged as a dominant political force in Punjab in the 2013 elections.
“The complaint about [lack of] level-playing field is from one party. Hopefully, all our issues will be resolved and if that happens, I will talk more openly,” remarked Bilawal.
In 2018, Bilawal continued, another political group, making a reference to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) this time, faced allegations of collusion involving General (retd) Faiz Hameed and former Chief Justice Saqib Nisar, which were perceived as conspiratorial against PPP.
Regarding the Supreme Court’s recent ruling on the NAB law, he commented that the decision was within expectations. Bilawal expressed his preparedness to confront any legal challenges, whether under the existing or new NAB laws.
“We hold two stances on this matter. First, NAB was established during a dictator’s regime and should be disbanded. Second, there must be an impartial accountability process established within the country,” he further elaborated.
لائیو: پاکستان پیپلز پارٹی کی سینٹرل ایگزیکٹو کمیٹی کے اجلاس کے بعد میڈیا بریفنگ https://t.co/8q7jgM4sMV
— Pakistan Peoples Party – PPP (@PPP_Org) September 15, 2023
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari suggested that the party that conspired against the PPP in 2013 faced electoral challenges in the 2018 general elections. The PPP Chairman emphasized that political dynamics can change rapidly in Pakistan, and parties that engage in political maneuvering may not always achieve their desired outcomes.
The 2018 general elections in Pakistan saw a shift in political power, with the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) emerging as the leading party at the national level. While the PML-N retained a significant presence in Punjab, it did not secure a majority in the National Assembly.
Regarding a potential political coalition with PTI, Bilawal expressed his party’s willingness to engage in discussions with the former governing party. However, it was resolved that their dialogue would exclusively involve politicians who were not associated with the events of the May 9 conspiracy.
“I had hoped for a more receptive approach from them (PTI). Instead, they devised strategies involving the targeting of military institutions, GHQ, and Jinnah House,” he remarked.
He went on to emphasize that PPP remained receptive to negotiations with any political group uninvolved in militant activities.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari’s remarks highlight the intricate and often unpredictable nature of Pakistani politics. As the country prepares for future elections, his statements serve as a reminder of the ever-changing dynamics and the importance of public support in determining electoral outcomes.