PPP distances from former allies - for now

ISLAMABAD  -  Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) is practically distanc­ing itself from the erstwhile allies – for now - as it goes into election campaign.

This breaking off is not ex­pected to be permanent and could turn again into friendship once the elections are over.

PPP brains believe that staying close to the par­ties like the Pakistan Mus­lim League (Nawaz) and the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazal) could damage the party’s vote bank as the co­alition government – which included the PPP – hardly gave any relief to the peo­ple in any sector during its 16 months’ struggle that ended in August last.

PPP chief Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, who served as the Foreign Minister in the co­alition government, had ad­mitted this fact in his last speech in the National As­sembly. He was however, optimistic that a new elect­ed government with a fresh mandate can make amends.

The main partners of the coalition government – the PPP, the PML-N and the JUI-F – are now taunting one another and this trend is likely to get bitter as the country gets closer to the elections.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has recently stressed the importance of giving the power to elect the govern­ment back to the people. He also took a dig at the for­mer allies, suggesting that if they are avoiding elec­tions, they should simply step aside.

The PPP chief also main­tained that the up­coming elec­tion would be based on the PPP’s accom­plishments and manifes­to, with the goal of defeat­ing the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf and ensuring that the gov­ernment is elected by the public.

Bilawal outlined the PPP’s past achievements and de­velopment projects, prom­ising to continue delivering progress if the PPP wins in the upcoming elections.

The PPP had joined the coalition government after the fall of PTI’s government with promises to tackle in­flation, promote prosperi­ty, and reduce the influence of powerful institutions in politics.

Later, they acknowledged their failure on these fronts, as Bilawal admitted in his farewell speech in the Na­tional Assembly just ahead of its dissolution.

There is currently a di­vide among the former rul­ing coalition on the timing of the general elections. The PPP advocates for polls within 90 days, while the PML-N and others are con­tent with a delay un­til February or even further.

The PML-N is awaiting Nawaz Shar­if’s home­coming next month and hopes to make it a grant event be­fore jumping into the elections.

On issues like inflation and high electricity bills, the PPP is now urging the interim government to take measures to ease the burden on the poor and the middle class.

The PML-N, on the other hand, is putting the blame on different institutions for disqualifying their leader Nawaz Sharif in 2017, at­tributing the current eco­nomic crisis to those deci­sions.

Political analysts suggest the PPP is trying to distance itself from the failures of the previous coalition gov­ernment and shift the blame onto the PML-N. They main­tain all political parties are trying to appeal to voters and maintain their rele­vance in the lead-up to the elections.

Yesterday, Bilawal ad­dressed a gathering in Mu­zaffargarh and emphasized the party’s commitment to addressing the country’s challenges through its man­ifesto, which focuses on empowering common peo­ple, especially farmers and laborers.

He spoke of the PPP’s past achievements, including ad­dressing food shortages, and expressed hope for a better future for the people.

Bilawal discussed the PPP’s upcoming election strategy and its commitment to providing education and healthcare opportunities.

He also spoke about the importance of working to­gether for the betterment of Pakistan and urged for a lev­el playing field in politics.

Trying to avoid the blame for the economic crises in the country as the second major partner of the coali­tion government, may be a political approach but it re­mains to be seen if the vot­ers buy it or not.

Attacking the PML-N as three-time PM Nawaz Shar­if prepares to return home is designed to stop people from massively joining the Sharif ship, especially in Punjab. The PML-N already has a huge vote bank in Pun­jab and Nawaz Sharif’s re­turn is not expected to low­er the following.

JUI-F chief Maulana Fazal­ur Rehman has also re­vealed that he was not in contact with the PPP and nor he was thinking of an alliance with the PPP in the near future. “We are pres­ently in contact with other parties, not the PPP,” he said this week. He said delay in polls is due to a decision taken for new delimitations by the coalition govern­ment of which the PPP was a key partner.

Criticizing each other be­fore the elections could be a weapon to win some ex­tra votes but this does not rule out the same parties joining a new coalition gov­ernment. Asked if the PPP or the PML-N can sit to­gether after the elections, the top leaders of both the parties promised to “seri­ously consider.”

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