PPP’s sinking ship

By T.A. Malik
Sunday – September 2, 2018
KARACHI: Following the electoral results of July 25, 2018 elections, when Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) secured a thin majority in the National Assembly (NA) to form a coalition government, a strong opposition was anticipated to give a tough time to the new regime.

A strong opposition comprising of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Peoples’ Party (PPP) and Muttahida Majlis-e-Amal (MMA) was expected to put the new coalition government in check with legislative business.

All the expectations fizzled out, thanks to the hypocrite attitude of the PPP.

The once mighty party having roots in all the provinces now had “issues” sitting with the PML-N benchers, however the way PPP ditched the opposition alliance, in a short time of its constitution, speaks loud and clear that PPP has no qualms to break the promises and deceive the allies whenever it suits it.

Independent analysts dubbed PML-N and PPP joining hands in opposition as “unnatural” at the start, however they kept the fingers crossed as how long this alliance would survive between the parties of divergent political mooring and views.

Surprisingly, it didn’t last for even a few days when compulsions drove PPP to stand on the other side of the fence as far as unity in the ranks of opposition was concerned.

Asif Ali Zardari, the so-called saviour of democracy and the king of political reconciliation, again proved that breaking promises and commitments didn’t bother his conscience at all, when it came to “save the skin” and secure whatever little stakes he had now in the power corridors - thanks to his worst governance, first at the center and then in Sindh with tainted mega corruption scandals.

Whatever the compulsions of Zardari are, it again dented PPP as a reliable force to be an ally in government or a partner in the opposition.

PPP had been passing through its worst times in his history and the process of decline seems to be unending with the acts of Zardari.

Since the results of last general elections, Zardari is playing his cards to gain maximum mileage in the current setup as well as in keeping the eyes of accountability off him.

First he cleverly mustered the support of all other parties on the opposition benches for his candidate in the election of speaker of NA and didn’t even hint what might be in his bag when the election for leader of the house came.

All of sudden it dawned on Zardari and his PPP that Shahbaz Sharif, the PML-N’s chosen name for consensus candidate of opposition alliance, had a track record of bad-mouthing against Zardari.

What younger Sharif uttered badly about Zardari was, no doubt condemnable, but this is not something new or strange in the politics of ours.

But PPP should have thought about joining the opposition alliance if it had such a grudge against Mian Shahbaz Sharif.

PPP should have burnt the midnight oil before adopting such a path that led it to great embarrassment.

The U-turn on part of PPP implies that its top leadership is feeling the heat of its past misdeeds in the the form of massive corruption scandals, which are now being used to screw the party.

Zardari might be a shrewd politician, but it is not always a favourable ground for him to extract maximum benefit by switching his sides.

If described in nutshell what Zardari is all about, it would be easy to say that he is a “broker” who always think about his own benefits - whether financially or politically.

This broker type approach is not causing loss to anyone but his own party - PPP - and his son, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

If Zardari is a burden on the sinking ship of PPP, he is also casting shadows on young Bilawal to rekindle the dying hopes of PPP to emerge again on the national scene as a powerful political player.

Surprisingly, the maiden speech of Bilawal in the parliament house was crafted so nicely that he won kudos from all when even the newly elected Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan had to resort to desk thumping.

However, the sweet tunes from Bilawal’s maiden speech turned into badly directed orchestra by his father.

A young Bilawal is unfortunate that he had to emerge on the national political scene with the legacy of Zardari, which was a burden on the sinking ship of PPP.

PTI government is fortunate enough to begin its journey at a time when opposition is split, when no sign of its coming together on one platform is in sight.

With PML-N leadership Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Mariam Nawaz behind the bars and Mian Shahbaz Sharif having no guts to put up a strong fight, PTI government is quite content.

It also feels more in comfort zone when it finds PPP biting the dust by his acrobatics in the political circus.

The writer is a political analyst and can be reached at: ta420438@hotmail.com

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