I always used to ask this question of myself growing up in Clifton Karachi that why does PPP leadership build such tall walls around their houses. Let it be the Bilawal House or the Zardari House near Avari Hotels and elsewhere. Have not seen it myself though I have tried to do so . But have heard that they have been building similar walls around their home in Dubai as well. Maybe they build these walls to hide their hegemony or may be they build these walls that when they go to sleep they want to feel hidden from the glare of their victims as they remain within the confines of their castles.
Though I grew up respecting Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto Shaheed as the man who infused the spirit of democracy but at the same time I have not been comforted to find out that why the constitution of 1973 was put in place with ZAB being the Chief Martial Law Administrator (CMLA). Though PPP grew out of the shadows of not one but two martial laws with Mr. Bhutto being groomed by Gen Ayub Khan till his awakening just before Ayub Khan lost power. Though have studied the fall of Dhaka to a great extent but have always failed to realize that why with 153 seats Awami League’s Sheikh Mujeeb did not become the Prime Minister of Pakistan and who gave Bhutto the feel that with less than 90 seats in the same elections that he was the rightful candidate. We all saw what happened when PPP went on to disregard the mandate of the people of East Pakistan. Sometimes I wonder that had Bhutto been such a great statesman why he had to say “Idhar Hum Udhar Tum” in the fateful speech at Nishtar Park. Could he have been a greater soul had he let AML with whatever lacking form the government in the Center. Instead of making this unnecessary political overture could have shown political brinkmanship and found a better way to consolidate his mandate instead of enforcing it.
Sometimes I feel whether Bhutto was playing his own game or was he just a front man of someone else’s vision. Anyways, though Bhutto contributed towards the constitution of the country but at the cost of half of the nation which came into existence in 1947 and that too as a CMLA. Yes, Bhutto no doubt started the Nuclear program , negotiated the return of 90,000 P.O.W’s , made walk outs of the Security Council . But when I count the cost . I feel that the above would not have arise if political maturity was shown but instead a new game was played which cost us East Pakistan. Now, this piece is not at all designed to do mud slinging at PPP . But find out the reasons or identify the thought that why PPP plays games in politics in such a way that they push the nation to the wall or create fissures. Are their agenda is just to remain in power? Is their agenda to unite or divide Pakistan? I think that the answer is in two parts. The first one is before Bhutto was hanged where the goal was to consolidate power and the second one is post the hanging where though on the face it looks like that they are a national party but I feel that their actions are more to create fissures in this country.
So Bhutto who was tried for the murder of Mr. Kasuri and eventually hanged. If he was tried for his political blunder in 1970-71 . It would have been better and less melodramatic which saw PPP playing Bhutto’s hanging as a trump card in every election. But I feel that maybe the establishment who was behind forming Bhutto into what he became infact unleashed a demon on the country. Where first Pakistan got dismantled and then dictatorial mindset of a feudal Bhutto saw transfer of power into a bigger disaster that is Zia ul Haq’s years of martial law? Though Bhutto played his cards well to become the father of democracy but at the same time he laid the foundation where Democracy and Politics became nothing short of but a joke.
I am sure the story would be known to his kin as they were very sure when they revolted against the government with Al Zulfiqar was formed. But if you compare that PPP came into powers as a first choice every time after a martial law post feeding on the death/demise of some one. First time it was Pakistan. Second time it was Zia ul Haq and Third time itself that Benazir Bhutto. Looks like PPP’s best chance to stay or return in power is always after military interventions. Still I wonder why they are called an anti establishment party. This is enough a reason for me to believe knowing the relationship of Bhutto with Military Junta in the 60’s that he was playing his game to become Prime Minister but when he tried to consolidate his own power. The same establishment made sure that he is served a lesson. Only to be vilified later with judiciary put under the scanner for his judgment decades later. Further, his daughter coming into power with much fan fare later in 1988 with same rhetoric which saw her father gaining power decades earlier.
Again, Benazir Bhutto who became the Prime Minister pushed the nation into more turmoil with her lack of control on domestic politics though I must say that like father; she was truly a darling for the diplomatic world. Strangely, again when PPP was thrown out of power the first time. It was revealed recently that our intelligence agencies played a significant role in the same. But that does not stop Benazir Bhutto for playing her political game and writing to US Senate to stop aid to Pakistan. The Game yet again intended to derail Pakistan’s sovereignty . Some say that she even gave the lists of Khalsa Movement to Rajeev Ghandi ; the result of which was that Pakistan lost a significant card it embroiled in India. Now I am not supporting or denouncing it but that is what looks like. Zia who ensured that with every dollar of aid he gets . He keeps India engaged in Kashmir and Punjab and lets not forget Afghanistan. Benazir made sure that she undo everything he did without taking a long term view on its consequences in the future. Maybe her idea was that if you cant win the hearts and mind of our army. Confuse them and distract them so that there is no more coup’s from their side. I think that our Army was smart enough to feel that and took its action in an unconstitutional manner as all PPP leadership blamed. But was it not the same intelligentsia which brought PPP into power in 1970 and 1988 in the first place. Maybe it was a correctional step at that time.
Looks like PPP does try to play its games but has to bite the dust as it basis its political wisdom on false pretext. The only problem which I have with it is that it costs Pakistan each time harshly. Whilst they do it that is playing their games. They have ignored their constituencies all together. Only giving them graveyards, guns, corruption and pain in return for getting them elected again and again. Whilst they play their political games to hide their weaknesses ; they fail intentionally or act insanely where they create more chaos. The only thing which I feel PPP has been successful amongst all this confusion is Corruption. Instead of letting their people or supporters grow of hard work; they have fed them on corruption resulting in their absolute power on the few. With morsel of the pie thrown to its poor supporters time and again in order to keep them enticed to vote for them for ever.
I some time wonder if their poor supporters especially in the rural Pakistan know what game its founder and later its leaders have played where they are struggling to make ends meet. I sometimes wonder if there was no Public Sector or Sind Secretariat what PPP supporters would have done. I sometimes wonder if there was no developed Karachi what people of Sind would have done. Maybe it would have been worse than Baluchistan due to their higher population density per se.
Anyways, Part II would discuss more how PPP has further ensured to keep this confusion going 93 onwards especially in Sind and Karachi due to which we suffer what we see today. Ironically, they have divided the nation more every time they have come in power. Part II would shed more light as most of us would remember these years better to relate with.