The Bhutto populism

Dr Saifur Rehman in his letter titled 'Story so far' (November 20) has waxed eloquent on how prosperous Pakistan had become because of Bhutto. In my view, Bhutto it was who introduced the very dangerous trend of populism in our body politics. The meager resources of the country were frittered away on a small section of the population (PPP's prospective voters) at the cost of overall development in the industrial and agricultural fields to generate more resources. In other words, the cake was distributed even before it had been baked. To say this was done for ulterior motives, is to state the obvious. To woo the working class to his party, he gave them a free hand in the industrial and the public sector organizations, letting loose the genie of indiscipline from which the country continues to suffer to date. Many industries, unable to absorb the hundreds of Jiyalas forced on their books, went bust. His policy of nationalization of industry discouraged further investment, local and foreign. That is a negative trend that continues to date. In the end when he was gone, there were more people below the poverty line than before. This is also true of his daughter Benazir's two tenures. And by all accounts and estimates, the present PPP regime would probably break all previous records of both preceding Bhuttos in this regard. As for PPPs 'sacrifices for democracy', the writer forgets that Benazir Bhutto chose to join hands with Musharraf, a military dictator, when all the other opposition parties were meeting under the umbrella of APC to decide about boycotting the elections to forestall Musharraf's illegal continuation in power. Benazir pretended to go along with parleys on the Charter of Democracy while at the same time holding secret meetings with the dictator, something specifically prohibited in the Charter. I think the Bhuttos and their PPP have done more damage to Pakistan than all the other parties put together. So please let us have a little less of this misplaced adulation that is not supported by facts on the ground. -KHURSHID ANWER, Lahore, November 20.

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