50 YEARS OF PAKISTAN PEOPLE’S PARTY
By Dr Asim Hussain
Pakistan Peoples’ Party, is the only political party of Pakistan whose incredible and incessant struggle for the cause of democracy and truly incalculable sacrifices for the people of Pakistan are utterly beyond explication. PPP was launched at an event held at Lahore on 30 November 1967 by none other than the self-motivated, committed and truly unwavering Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto who was also elected as its first Chairman. The party of the martyrs’ is now celebrating its Golden Jubilee 50th foundation day with an improbable and far-fetched zeal and zest. It is prevalent that since its inception in 1967, Pakistan People’s Party holds a history of commendable and unforgettable sacrifices for the cause of democracy and the people in large. The party was formed with two foremost goals. One was to establish an “egalitarian democracy” and the other was the “implementation of social reforms for realization of economic and social justice “. It is an impenetrable fact that from 1967 till today, the huge assassination plight which has been faced by Pakistan People’s Party, is unmatchable. Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was hanged in 1979 by the dictator Zia-ul-Haq, in 1985 his son Shahnawaz Bhutto was found dead in France under mysterious circumstances, in 1996 Mir Murtaza Bhutto was killed near his home in a so-called police encounter and last but not the least Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto was assassinated at Liaqat Bagh, Rawalpindi, in 2007. No other party has such a prolonged history of beholding homicides, incarceration, and banishment like that of Pakistan People’s Party. It is evident that the legacy of Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and his immense contribution for political, economic, social and cultural development of Pakistan should be proliferated further in its true spirit along with its practicable implications at every end. During 1968, PPP had launched a huge a public-relations program in the province of Punjab which was inclined towards the country’s underprivileged and poverty-stricken masses. The objective of the program was based on completely abolishing the fundamental feudalism that had beleaguered the country and the redistribution of lands amongst the landless. Considering such kind of objective, an excessive number of the working class and mostly the section of the labors rapidly affiliated with the party, after believing the fact that PPP will certainly eliminate the capitalism and its roots by propagating the surge of socialism all around. A little piece of inscription is scanty to best bit the intermingling of dedications, fortitudes and patriotism that Pakistan People’s Party attains, but those who think that PPP has changed, such people actually do not have the idea that what PPP really is, where it stands, what PPP is taking ahead, it is undoubtedly the same bridleway of Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Shaheed Benazir Bhutto, undertaken by Asif Ali Zardari, and Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari who reinstated the democracy by putting an end to the dictator’s rule. The moment when Ayub Khan resigned in March 1969, an interim military government took over and announced elections for December 1970. PPP contested those elections on two main slogans of “Roti, Kapra aur Makan” and “all power to the people”, where PPP won 81 of 138 seats allocated to West Pakistan in the National Assembly, coming in as t ed Awami League. I firmly believe that it is impossible for me to articulate each and every aspect of Pakistan People’s Party achievements, sacrifices and undue oppression faced by PPP leaders and workers in the struggle for democracy for years. But on its Golden Jubilee celebration, I take this as a privilege that despite facing massive persecution and provocation, PPP leadership have not left its people in lurch at any stage. During the time of natural calamities like earthquake, floods or at the time when epidemics were at large including Dengue virus, Congo virus, time when the infant’s deaths reached an alarming stage due to under nourishment, a time when the political workers and leaders were facing imprisonments and trials, as they are facing at present. The entire PPP leadership wholeheartedly and unequivocally stands with their people under any circumstances. I proclaim that, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and its Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari strongly believes in fervently pursuing the vision of Bhutto Sahab and Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto and to maintain its stance on implementing the policy of reconciliation by following the accurate footprints of Shaheed Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto. This is neither a far-reaching statement of mine nor any overstatement. I believe that the leadership of PPP should have no reasons for showing an apology on any grounds’. It is unambiguous that whenever PPP forms its government, despite facing untrue allegations and being consistently targeted by the powers, PPP always did something historic for the country like drafting the Constitution of 1973 and in 2010 the promulgation of the 18th amendment which restricts the President of the country to dissolve the parliament unilaterally. It is also pertinent to mention here that today Pakistan is the sixth nuclear power and very first Muslim state having nuclear weapons and undoubtedly this was also the contribution of Z.A. Bhutto who started the development of nuclear weapons in January 1972 after devising strategies and delegated the program to the then Chairman of the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) Munir Ahmad Khan with a clear directives and commitment of having the bomb ready practicably by the end of 1976. Since the time when PPP was formed in 1967 till to date, it is largely accepted by all and sundry that Pakistan Peoples’ Party has left no stone unturned in serving the masses with complete dedication and sincerity. PPP is the only party of this country who keenly desires to address and effectively resolve all the core issues of the people and their long awaited unanswered grievances on different matters starting from the grass-root level sans discrimination for any of the existing faction in our country. It is pertinent to mention here that if I start reminiscing the achievement’s PPP holds since its formation till its golden jubilee, then it will take an immeasurable time for me to depict all at a glance. The spate of PPP triumphs’ is incalculable which enlists a prolonged series of accomplishments including drafting 1973 constitution, development of nuclear weapons, distribution of thousands of acres of land to the landless, building more than thousand houses for poor people at a very low rates on installment basis, budget for education sector exaggerated to a higher extent, building of airport at Sehwan Sharif and Gawadar, Ban on students union were lifted, implementing the NFC award, full-fledge working of Benazir Income Support Programme, re-naming of KP province, implementation of 18th amendment, introduction of Aghaaz-e-Huqooq Balochistan, making amendment in National Command Authority Ordinance, autonomy of Gilgit-Baltistan, unremitting operation against terrorists and extremists etc. Undoubtedly, this all will go ahead without any cessation. Subsequent to this, I must say this with sheer responsibility that the legacy of Bhutto Sahab was further implemented in letter and spirit by Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto Shaheed and the same legacy is being followed now by Asif Ali Zardari and Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari without any infinitesimal change at all. Yes, the facades have changed but legacy and doctrine is same as it was during 1970, 1977, 1988, 1993 & 2008, the foot-prints are constant as they were decades ago. In today’s scenario, it is believed that the entire Pakistan Peoples’ Party including its top leadership, workers and supporters have full confidence on the Chairmanship of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari. PPP voters and supporters are increasing with every passing day. The indispensable love, affection and ‘esprit de corps’ that People of Pakistan holds for the Bhutto family is beyond imagination. It can be rightly said that now Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Asif Ali Zardari are truly the replica of Benazir Bhutto’s ideology and dogma for all of the masses throughout Pakistan persistently unfolding to serve the nation and strengthening the democratic system. Last but not the least; Pakistan Peoples’ Party is the only party of the country who persistently believes that democratic setup should prevail at every level, irrespective of any nepotism on any grounds. It is irrefutable, that Pakistan Peoples’ Party sacrifices for saving the democracy is beyond one’s imagination. The entire Bhutto family is a paradigm for all who sacrificed their lives for the cause of democracy and vividly fought with any kind of the dictatorial regime through courage, audacity and vehemence.