By Dr.Abdul Razak Shaikh,
Pakistan People’s party (PPP) is celebrating its 51st foundation day today. The party workers along with the party leaders are celebrating the day in the main City of Sukkur Sindh. Different events will hold to celebrate the Foundation Day of the left-wing, socialist-progressive political party.
The Pakistan People’s Party commonly referred to as the PPP is a left wing, Socialist progressive political party of Pakistan. Its political philosophy and position, in the country’s political spectrum, is considered center-left and involves supporting public ownership, equality, and a strong national defense. Since its foundation in 1967, it had been a major and influential political left-wing party in the country and the party’s leadership has been dominated by the members of the Bhutto family. Its center of power lies in the province of Sindh.
November 30, is a day for all of us, all the senior leadership and workers included, to celebrate as part of a political party, which was formed to represent the federation throughout the country. Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto — the founding father of Pakistan People’s Party — was a leader with great political wisdom being a born politician and reformer with charming personality and intellect to influence his contemporaries. The PPP over time, under the leadership of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and then Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, grew bigger with the efforts and sacrifices of the leadership and its workers.
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was the man who put us on the road to development. He was the one to lay the foundation of true democracy and paid the price for it heavily. It was he who gave a unanimously approved Constitution to the country, which provided and ensured the autonomy to federating units of the country
Bhutto had a rare penchant for international politics. He was the best Foreign Minister that Pakistan ever had. His parting of ways with Ayub Khan came on the surface when he had differences with him over the Tashkent Agreement with India brokered by the Soviet Union. As foreign minister he refused to take American diktats and later he wrote in his treatise on foreign affairs — “Myth of Independence” — how much strongly tied Pakistan was to the American apron strings, that they would tell which section officer was to be appointed to a particular post.
It was Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who restored the moral of the people of Pakistan by bringing back 93,000 POWs from India besides securing back vast areas of Pakistani territory under Indian occupation after the 1971 Indo-Pak war through an agreement with India under the Simla Agreement of 1972
As the first leader who appeared on Pakistan’s much clouded political horizon as a harbinger of change, Bhutto’s initial manifesto: “Islam is our faith, democracy is our polity, socialism is our creed—all power to the people—” continue to this day as the gospel of rules for PPP. It got tempered by crossing rivers of blood, walk to the gallows, long periods of incarceration, intimidations, persecution, and prosecution—with no parallel in the history of the sub-continent. Without its leaders — Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Begum Nusrat Bhutto and their daughter Benazir Bhutto — Pakistan’s claim to be a democracy would have been mentioned in the footnotes of history.
Relations with China, Russia, and Iran are the central and the strongest proponents of the People’s Party’s foreign policy. Under Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Pakistan built closer ties with Soviet Union, China, and Iran, but under Benazir Bhutto, the foreign policy was revised after taking shifts to center-right policies. In April 1979, after a controversial trial found him guilty of murdering a political opponent, Bhutto was executed by hanging.
In 1982, his daughter Benazir Bhutto was elected as Peoples Party’s chairwoman-ship. The Peoples Party started the Movement for Restoration of Democracy which was one of the greatest nonviolent democratic movements in the World against the ruthless dictatorship of General Zia-ul-Haq.
After twelve long years, the Peoples Party returned to power after winning the General election in 1988 with Benazir Bhutto becoming the first female Prime minister of a Muslim country—Pakistan In 1990, the Peoples party’s government was dismissed. The Peoples Party later returned to power in general election in 1993 by plurality forming an alliance with JUI- F., with Bhuttoism becoming the most influential and powerful in Sindh.
Internal opposition and disapproval of Benazir Bhutto’s policy by her brother Murtaza Bhutto created a rift in their relations, and finally, in 1996, Murtaza Bhutto was assassinated.
Peoples Party whose government was dismissed by the party’s own elected President Farooq Leghari in September 1996.
After the assassination of Benazir Bhutto on 27th December 2007, the 2008 parliamentary elections to be held on 18th February. The PPP won the considerable victory on among all political parties, gaining a momentum of general seats 121 from all provinces in the Parliament.
On 28 March, the people’s party appointed Yousif Raza Gillani for the office of prime minister.
On 5 September 2008, the Peoples Party nominated its co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, for the upcoming presidential election. Zardari secured 481 votes, winning Pakistan’s presidential election on 5 September 2008. On April 2010, president Zardari voluntarily surrendered his political and presidential powers to Prime Minister Gillani and the parliament, and through 18th Amendment to the constitution of Pakistan. On 22 June 2012, the PPP nominated Raja Pervez Ashraf as a new prime minister after the disqualification of Mr. Yousuf Raza Gilani by Supreme Court of Pakistan.
PPP leadership and its worker must look retrospectively into what they need to do for further strengthening of Party in whole Pakistan. It must be in a position where Shaheed ZA Bhutto and Shaheed Benazir Bhutto made party powerful. The 51st foundation day at Sukker will give us furthermore strong Political future of PPP.