The PPP’s new role


“Stand and do nothing”?

The countdown of the Raiwind rule that Bilawal had announced has been called off by Zardari. As suggested by Nawaz Sharif the PML-N and PPP would henceforth treat each other in accordance with the provisions of the long-forgotten Charter of Democracy (CoD). This requires that the PPP does nothing that can bring down the federal government before the end of its five year term. The PML-N on the other hand would be required to run the government with the spirit of accommodation and tolerance. The new turn in PPP’s policy would provide a sense of relief to the government which was worried about the PPP and PTI joining hands and increasing the pressure manifold.


It can be argued that Zardari’s policy ensures the continuation of the system while Imran Khan’s policy of permanent confrontation can prove to be fatal. The policy however also constitutes a shut up call to some of the rising leaders in the PPP who had sustained the party after Benazir’s death and Zardari’s absence through public stands and media talks and had hailed Bilawal’s call to arms. Some in Punjab had called Zardari’s policy of reconciliation with all a cause of PPP’s decline. The PPP top leadership, it would be argued, does not encourage the emergence of a second tier of leadership, particularly those who have the courage to differ on policy matters. While the new policy announced by Zardari will help the government, many in PPP would ask what concrete benefits would it bring to PPP. Further what are the party leadership’s plans to recover its position in of Punjab?


It is fine that Zardari and Bilawal have decided to get elected to the National Assembly. But will the two topmost party leaders be content with sitting in the NA as ordinary members leaving Khursheed Shah to act as prime minister-in-waiting? Shah is an accomplished parliamentarian capable of responding to attacks through oratory and persuasiveness. His replacement would be interpreted as an attempt to block the emergence of leaders of national stature in the party.