Pakistan Peoples Party
|Pakistan Peoples Party|
|پاکستان پیپلز پارٹی|
|President||Asif Ali Zardari|
|Chairman||Bilawal Bhutto Zardari|
|Founded||30 November 1967|
|Headquarters||People's Secretariat, Parliament Lodges at Islamabad, Pakistan|
|Student wing||Peoples Students Federation (PSF)|
|International affiliation||Socialist International|
Red, black and green|
|General elections||Voting percentile %||Voting turnout||Seating graph||Presiding chair of the party||Parliamentary position|
|1970||18.6%||6,148,923||Zulfikar Bhutto||In Government|
|1977||61.1%||10,148,040||Zulfikar Bhutto||Martial law in effect|
|1988||38.5%||7,546,561||Benazir Bhutto||In Government|
|1990||36.8%||7,795,218||Benazir Bhutto||In Opposition|
|1993||37.9%||7,578,635||Benazir Bhutto||In Government|
|1997||21.8%||4,152,209||Benazir Bhutto||In Opposition|
|2002||25.7%||Amin Fahim||In Opposition|
|2008||30.6%||10,606,486|| Benazir Bhutto
Yousaf Raza Gillani
|2013||15.23%||6,911,218||Bilawal Bhutto Zardari||In Opposition|
The first socialist and democratic convention attended by the leading 67 left-wing intellectuals who appointed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto as the first and founding chair of the Pakistan Peoples Party. After his execution, the senior party leadership handed over the chairmanship of the party to his wife, Nusrat Bhutto, and held the position into the 1980s. In 1982, Nusrat Bhutto, ill with cancer, was given permission to leave Pakistan for medical treatment and remained abroad for several years. At that point her daughter, Benazir Bhutto, became acting head of the party while Nusrat technically remained its chairman and was referred to as such as late as September 1983. By January 1984, Benazir was being referred to as the party's chairman and subsequently secured the legal appointment by the senior leadership of Central Executive Committee at the convention held in 1984. She had been elected chairperson for life, which she remained until her assassination on 27 December 2007. Her nineteen-year-old son, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and his father Asif Ali Zardari were appointed party co-chairmen after assassination of Benazir Bhutto on 30 December 2007.
Current structure and composition
Central Executive Committee of the Pakistan Peoples Party of Pakistan served as party's top hierarchy and apex governing authority which is primary taking responsibility for promoting Peoples Party activities, promotion, media campaign, welfare distribution, public policy and works. The CEC is the supreme parliamentary body setting out the strategies and ideologies during and after the elections. The CEC is currently chaired by its Chairman Asif Ali Zardari (Former president of Pakistan and also the Co-Chairman of Pakistan Peoples Party), assisted by additional vice-chairmen, including all the major office bearers of the party. However, the CEC is focused on election campaign and organizational strategy during the national parliamentary elections, overseeing the media works, ideological promotion, and the foreign policy. The public works, welfare distribution are partly managed at the municipal unit levels up to the federal level, which supervise and gave legal authority for such works. The Central Executive Committee of the Party is the supreme body that sets out the strategy for the party.
The PPP-Young Organization is a youth-led party organisation attempts to mobilise the youth for Peoples Party candidates for the Youth Parliament. It also has the separate Trotskyist-Marxist wing, "The Struggle", which is internationally affiliated with International Marxist Tendency (IMT); the student wing, the Peoples Students, a student-outreach organization with the goal of training and engaging a new generation of Pakistan Peoples Party. The Peoples Party also has an active military-street wing, the People's Committee, controversially affiliated with the Pakistan Peoples Party.
Nationally, each provinces and territories has provisional committee, made up of elected committee members as well as ex-officio committee members which elects its presidents. The local committees often coordinate campaign activities within their jurisdiction, oversee local conventions and in some cases primaries or caucuses, and may have a role in nominating candidates for elected office under state law. All of the administration and party politics, campaign, required complete permission from the CEC's Co-chairman and the vice-chairmans.
In its inception, the notable communists from the Communist Party and socialists of the defunct Socialist Party gathered to form the Peoples Party in 1967 by electing Zulfikar Ali Bhutto its first Chairman. The Pakistan Peoples Party's leftist program remains far more successful and integrated well in the civil society than Communist Party.
Since then, the Peoples Party has been a leading proponent of democratic socialism with mainstream agenda of social democracy, favouring the semi-secular and semi-Islamic socialist principles. Historically, the Peoples Party favoured the financially stabled farmers, industrial labour unions, and the middle class elements. The Peoples Party rejected far-left politics and ultra-leftism, supporting unregulated business and finance—the laissez-faire capitalism, which caused it to cease being a socialist or social-democratic or even anywhere near the left-of-centre as its economic policies swung dramatically to the right-wing, embracing economic neoliberalism and unfettered capitalism and privatisation of publicly owned institutions, and favoured partial income taxes.
Despite its democratic socialist ideas, the Peoples Party never actually allied with communism, the Communist Party remaining one of its major rivals, which headquarters in Hyderabad, Sindh. Peoples Party has been criticised by various socialists such as Fahad Rizwan who accused the Peoples Party of opportunism. In recent times, the Peoples Party had adopted privatisation and small-scale nationalisation policies, with centrist economic and socially progressive agendas.
Issues involving foreign policy
Relations with the China, Russia and Iran are the central and the strongest proponents of the People's Party's foreign policy. Under Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Pakistan built closer ties with Soviet Union, China, and Iran, but under Benazir Bhutto, the foreign policy was revised after taking shifts to centre-right policies. On the other hand, Benazir Bhutto adopted Nawaz Sharif's conservative privatisation policies in order to secure funding from the United States and the World Bank, but received a harsh opposition from within the party. Under former Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani, the People's Party pushed its foreign policy towards Russia as the party's relationship with the United States went cold in 2010. Earlier in the 1970s, the People's Party faced a "secret" cold war with the United States, but then suffered a US-backed coup in 1977. Throughout the 1980s, the party's credibility was damaged by the United States who "keenly sabotaged" any of its efforts and organizational establishment in the dense areas of country.
The Pakistan Peoples Party through Zulfikar Ali Bhutto proudly receives all credit for launching the atomic bomb project in 1972, public ceremonies are held on Youm-e-Takbir (lit. Day of Greatness) to commemorate the political services of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto who established the program. Since its establishment, the People's Party has produced prolific scientists-turned technocrats, including Farhatullah Babar, Mubashir Hassan, and the senior academic scientists who played a role in building the atomic bomb. The People's Party member's notably provided their public support to Abdul Qadeer Khan who had been forced to attend the military debriefings by General Pervez Musharraf in 2004. On August 2012, after years of negligence, the peoples party made its effort to bestowed and award Munir Ahmad Khan the highest state honor, the Nishan-e-Imtiaz, as a gesture of political rehabilitation; the honor was publicly presented by President Asif Ali Zardari in a public ceremony.
In 1995–96, the People's Party under Benazir Bhutto's era opened computer literacy centres to provide the public with access to computers and technology. In 1990, they made Pakistan the first Muslim country to launch a satellite, Badr-I, they are also responsible for establishing, nurturing, and funding the missile's programs, such as Ghauri and Shaheen in the 1990s. As part of the science policy, they established the Pakistan Science Foundation in 1973 and helped establish the Pakistan Academy of Letters in 1976. In 1996, Benazir Bhutto established SZABIST at Karachi to become a leading institution of science and technology and appointed world renowned academic Dr. Javaid Laghari as its first President, who later was also elected Senator from Sindh on a technocrat seat and eventually Chairman HEC leading a revolution of reforms in higher education in South Asia
Challenges and controversies
Since the 1990s, the Peoples Party has been under intense criticism even inside the members and the leftists in the country, notable the charges of large-scale corruptions. The leading lefitst, Nadeem Paracha, asserted that since 1977, the Peoples Party's manifesto has been transformed into centre-right platform, whereas in 1977 parliamentary elections, the Peoples Party's manifesto did not mentioned the "socialism". During the 1973–75, the Peoples Party's radical ultra-left and communist wings led under Mirage Khalid and the Moist wings under Khalid Syed were purged by the Peoples Party to ensure the political support and presence between the powerful Sindh's feudal lords and Punjab's landed elite, Paracha claiming it the Peoples Party has "lost left".
While leading left-wing journalist, Mehdi Hasan remarked that Peoples Party is "not a secular party", first declaring Ahmadiyya community as non-Muslims through the second parliamentary amendment, secondly banning the use of liquor; thirdly, the Peoples Party declared Friday as holiday to win the support of religious elements, Mehdi Hasan quoted.
Bhutto emphasized on his last part of the speech: "I will take back Kashmir, all of it, and I will not leave behind a single inch of it because like the other provinces, it belongs to Pakistan...(.)".
On immediate, a group calling themselves the Indian Hackers Online Squad replaced the PPP's official website's homepage with messages ridiculing Bhutto for his comments, and claiming that "will never get Kashmir".
The message read on PPP's official website: "To Citizens of Pakistan, Pakistan's millitary, Pakistan Peoples Party and Specially Mr. Bilawal Bhutto. Without any Violence, Let Me tell you that Pakistan will never Get Kashmir. This is the Truth. You Have to Accept it."
Internal opposition and factionalism
Since 1990s, the factionalism has grew in the party when Murtaza Bhutto returned to Pakistan. Disagreeing with Benazir and Asif Ali Zardari's political philosophy brewing the party, Bhutto split and formed the more powerful yet more leaning towards left wing faction, Pakistan Peoples Party (Bhuttoist) in 1995. Confrontation with Benazir Bhutto in 1999 over the party guidance, Aftab Sherpao splits from the party and forming the Pakistan Peoples Party (Sherpaoist)—a more reformist with libertarian agenda.
Factionalism continues in 2011 when PPP sacked Mahmood Qureshi over the incident happened in Lahore, though Qureshi did not joined but defecting to PTI which is centrust party. Another leftist leader, Malik Ali Khan also resigned from the Peoples Party, saying that "they did not agree with how President Zardari was leading the party particularly with regards to an alliance with centre-right PML (Q) and the foreign policy."
In 2012, the PPP's powerful leader, Zulfiqar Mirza, quit from the party despite urgings on amidst disagreement with Asif Zardari's leadership and policies with regards to dealings with liberals MQM in Sindh. Reasoning with their isolation, the socialist politicians felt that the party had now moved away from the original ideas it was founded on by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in 1967.
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- Cold War
- Left-wing politics in Pakistan
- Social realism
- Political Realism
- Bhuttoism and Sindhism
- Radical left factions in the Pakistan Peoples Party
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|40x40px||Wikimedia Commons has media related to Pakistan Peoples Party.|
- Pakistan Peoples Party Pakistan based Web site
- Pakistan Peoples Party USA official site
- The Pakistan People's Party, Radio France Internationale (in English)
- A detailed Web site on the life of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto
- President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari's official Web site
- Critical PPP / Let Us Build Pakistan (LUBP), a website of critical supporters of Pakistan Peoples Party
- 2008 Election dossier, Radio France Internationale (in English)
- International People's Lawyers' Forum