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The Future

It is time the Pakistan Peoples Party came out of the Bhutto mould
and started grooming new blood to lead the party in the years to come.

By Meriam Sabih | July 2020

On June 11, EU Ambassador, Androulla Kaminara, called on the young chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari to discuss important issues such as Covid-19 and praised the Sindh government’s efforts in combatting the pandemic. Bhutto expressed his gratitude for initiatives taken by the EU in Sindh such as the “Sindh Union Council” and the “Community Economic Strengthening Support” (SUCCESS) Programme which tackles poverty in the province. The Sindh government headed by PPP has been praised while the federal government has been sharply criticized for its handling of Covid-19. Bilawal Bhutto joined those criticizing Prime Minister Imran Khan making mention of his “negligence” in his handling of the Covid-19 pandemic and even calling on him to resign.

Bhutto, who often repeats a saying by his mother that, “Democracy is the best revenge…” has also been relentless in going after Imran Khan amidst allegations of rigging which is believed to have brought him into power, repeatedly referring to him as a “Selected Prime Minister.” When it comes to the failed policies of the past of supporting terrorists and extremists, he is bold in speaking out and especially shines in interviews with international media. Zulifiqar Ali Bhutto was known for his fiery display at the United Nations in defending Kashmir, the young Bhutto has also been vocal against Imran Khan for what he terms as “losing Kashmir.” And whereas Prime Minister Imran Khan blatantly refuses to meet with opposition leaders to work together even on important matters that require consensus and collaboration, Bilawal has gone out of his way to meet publicly with his long standing opponents of the PMLN, including Maryam Nawaz and shown that he can reach across the aisle to get work done when needed. All these traits are both positive and necessary in any good leader and are currently filling the void of a formidable opposition to Imran Khan’s PTI.

The Pakistan People’s Party is one of Pakistan’s oldest political parties. Charismatic leaders such as Zulifiqar Ali Bhutto, Pakistan’s first elected Prime Minister, and Benazir Bhutto, the Muslim world’s first female Prime Minister, are synonymous with it. These two leaders are held in the highest esteem and venerated as martyrs by millions even today. Their popularity has been etched into the pages of history. Still no one has yet been convicted of Benazir Bhutto’s murder. The painful execution of Zulifiqar Ali Bhutto in the quiet of the night is also not forgotten in the hearts and minds of the public. A democratic government headed by Bilawal Bhutto, though he does not enjoy the same support his mother did, in the future is a dream that could serve as some solace.

The assassination of Benazir Bhutto brought forth an unlikely leader, Asif Ali Zardari, to the forefront because Bilawal was too young to take on the burdens of leadership. In the years ahead, despite many hardships whether it be its rivalry with the establishment or attacks from the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) which had forced them to cancel election rallies, the People’s Party maintains a stronghold in its native province of Sindh.

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The author is a columnist and former contributor to Al-Jazeera America. She can be reached at Meriam.Sabih@gmail.com or twitter @meriamsabih

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One thought on “The Future

  • July 16, 2020 at 9:24 am
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    Great article about Bilawal and his potential as a leader.

    Reply