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Bilawal’s anti-govt campaign

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari kicked off the anti-Sharif’ campaign in Punjab, leading his first ever protest caravan from Lahore to Faisalabad. Bilawal also confirmed, while addressing the participants of the caravan that his party was still standing with its four point demands that would be fulfilled, come what may. He also predicted that he would rid the nation of Sharifs this year but the people should also take to the streets against the corrupt system prevailing in the country. Security was very tight and several policemen as well as his personal guards cordoned off the area. Dozens of motor vehicles as well as a special truck decorated and equipped with the party banners, posters, flaxes and DJ System was running with the caravan.During the protest rally, Bilawal, much like his late mother Benazir Bhutto daringly opened the sunroof of his highly protected vehicle and waved to the gathering and chanted slogans like ‘Go Nawaz Go’ and ‘Jaag Punjabi Jaag’. He also said that his rally had commenced and it would not stop now.As per schedule, the PPP Chairman delivered speeches at different spots on his route on the Sheikhupura-Faisalabad Road and strongly criticised the Sharifs’ government in the centre and Punjab province, saying that the rulers were guilty of increasing inflation, unemployment and poverty in Pakistan. Bilawal said that due to the shortfall of electricity and gas, industries were shutting down day by day. He said that rulers were busy in protecting their interests only and had no sympathy for the issues of the poor. He said that the issue of load shedding of gas for the industries could easily be solved if the Sharifs implement the Pak Iran Gas Pipeline project started in former president Asif Zardari’s era. There is a need for strong activism in Punjab. The connection between leader and the people at the local level needs to be revived, and the rally from Bilawal surely have glimpses of that charisma of his ancestors. The party had given up Punjab as a lost cause as a Sharif stronghold, concentrating wholly on Sindh, using it as a force multiplier in political negotiations and for keeping a high profile in the Senate. The contact with activists and sympathisers at the grassroots was broken, potential political friendships and alliances could not materialise. It would require a stream of ever growing mass protests to make the PML-N dismount from its high horse. But this rally at least brought out the long forgotten workers with their distinctive displays of enthusiasm, apart from the rousing welcome in some places. To stay relevant in the politics Pakistan People’s Party needs to deliver outstanding performance in Sindh where it is ruling since last many years and it is completing its second consecutive term. The province has many problems and PPP needs to resolve all problems of people with good governance and transparency. Otherwise its past baggage full with allegations of corruption, bad governance, nepotism and incompetency would be a big barrier in the way of revival of its image in the eyes of people of Pakistan.

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