BY ANSAR ABBASI
ISLAMABAD: Once the most popular political entity in the country, the Pakistan People’s Party is presently on the fast track of ruination with its top leadership failing to correct its wrongs that are badly hurting the party.
The downslide of the PPP after the 2013 general election, when it was reduced to interior Sindh only as it could not secure even a single national assembly seat outside the province is, continuing. Results of the post-May 2013 repeated by-elections, cantonment boards pool, local government elections in KPK and elections in Gilgit-Baltistan proved again and again that the PPP is fading out.
In the 2008 general elections, the party was the largest political party in Pakistan and except Punjab it had coalition governments at the Centre and in all other provinces. In 2013, the party had won the second largest number of seats in Parliament after the PML-N, which won the polls. But in almost all the subsequent election contests whether in cantonments, KPK, Gilgit Baltistan or elsewhere except interior Sindh, the PPP badly lost at all levels.
Not only has it lost to the PTI its position as the second largest political party, in local government, cantonment and GB elections, the PPP is close to complete elimination.In the latest Gilgit-Baltistan elections, the party failed to secure a single seat despite the fact that it had decisively won the previous elections there and formed its government. According to media reports, the PPP might win one seat but it is not yet confirmed. In the 2009 GB polls, the PPP had won 13 seats.
In the KPK local government elections, the PPP was nowhere amongst the top winners but was even lacking far behind the ANP, JUI(F), Jamaat-e-Islami and PML-N. The same has been the party’s fate in the cantonment elections. In the KPK local government elections, of total 978 district council seats the PPP secured less than 10.
The PPP’s pathetic rule in Sindh in particular is considered the major reason for its downfall.It is generally believed that the PPP lost the 2013 general elections because of extremely disappointing performance during its previous tenure, massive corruption and bad governance. It was expected that after having been voted out from the Centre and restricted to Sindh only, the PPP would perform well in Sindh in its present stint.
Sadly, this has not happened. In terms of corruption and bad governance, the Sindh government is rated on top with tales of massive corruption, violation of merit, mismanagement, political interference in civil administration and policing continue to make headlines.
Bilawal Bhutto was said to be trying to bring in an efficient chief minister in Sindh and check corruption and bad governance there. But he was not allowed to do that. Some circles believed that Zardari-Bilawal alleged differences have also negative impact on the popularity of the party. Sources close to Zardari, however, stressed that difference in approach is natural but there are no differences between father and son. Bilawal’s return to Pakistan has belied the propaganda of PPP rivals about the alleged differences between father and sons, they claimed.
The situation in Sindh is such that the chief minister Qaim Ali Shah is remote controlled and all key decisions and major appointments are made in the Bilawal House. Instead of focusing on the development of Sindh, improving service delivery for its people and checking corruption, the media reports present upsetting scenario, which is not being changed for the better. -- The News