ISLAMABAD - Pakistan People’s Party celebrated the 56th Foundation Day as the top PPP leadership eyes return to power – the first time after it completed a term in 2013.
The Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) won the 2013 polls and then in 2018, the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf emerged as the single largest party. The PTI-led government was unceremoniously removed from power in 2022 giving way to a PML-N lead fragile coalition government which included the PPP with key cabinet slots.
PPP chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was appointed as the Foreign Minister by then Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. Now, the PPP chairman is aiming to become the Prime Minister at a young age like his mother Benazir Bhutto – who was assassinated in 2007.
Yesterday, Bilawal advocated for the implementation of the ‘People’s Charter of Democracy’ in Pakistan to navigate the country through its current challenges. In his speech at a public gathering in Quetta on the occasion to celebrate the 56th Foundation Day of the PPP, he emphasized that the PPP was not against any political force but was particularly concerned about issues such as inflation and unemployment in the country.
He underscored that the PPP was more than just a political party. “It is a movement founded on the political wisdom and vision of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto,” he maintained. Bilawal reiterated the party’s commitment to implementing the mission of Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto. He highlighted the party’s dedication to addressing pressing issues faced by the masses, such as inflation and unemployment.
Zardari, in his address, urged the people to vote for the PPP and elect Bilawal as their leader. He pledged to resolve the country’s issues and bring its back on the highway to prosperity.
He stressed the importance of making Bilawal a leader for the youth and future of the nation. He claimed the PPP has the formula to uplift the country and serve its people.
Meanwhile, in the context of the upcoming elections, the PPP has initiated consultations within the party over the election strategy. There are discussions about seat adjustments with other parties and independents, particularly in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
PPP sources have indicated agreements over seat adjustments in all four provinces. The PPP leaders are also actively engaging in dialogue with politicians, and Asif Ali Zardari is expected to meet possible allies in Lahore to discuss the party’s course of action for the general elections. The party anticipates several leaders joining PPP after the announcement of the election schedule by the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP).
To strengthen its position in the 2024 elections, Zardari has formed committees in provinces to engage with ‘electables’ and other political players. These committees include prominent PPP figures such as Nayyer Hussain Bukhari, Qamar Zaman Kaira, Faisal Karim Kundi, Muhammad Ali Shah Bacha, Sajid Hussain Toori, Saeed Ghani, Nasir Hussain Shah, Chengez Khan Jamali, Rozi Khan Kakar, and Sabir Ali Baloch.
In the broader political landscape, former Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, has expressed readiness for the upcoming general elections. He welcomed the election announcement by the Election Commission, emphasizing the need for transparency in the electoral process.
As the electioneering by political parties gains momentum, the focus has been on negative campaigning and alliances. PML-N, another major political player, has been engaged in seat-adjustment arrangements with other parties in various provinces.
The anticipation is that the election might not produce a majority for any party, necessitating coalition governments. PML-N’s electoral support primarily lies in Punjab. The PPP, under the leadership of Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Asif Ali Zardari, is positioning itself to address pressing issues and navigate the country through its current challenges. This involves strategic considerations and alliances.