The comeback kid... By Wasif
26 August, 2013
It took less than three months for the PPP to bounce back from the disappointing results of the May 11 elections. The by-election results show that only two parties — the PPP and ANP — regained some of the dignity they had lost in the most controversial general elections of 2013. The so-called pundits of Pakistani politics and the media had written off the PPP from Punjab province. The PPP won two more National Assembly seats, one from Punjab (Rabbani Khar) and the other from Sindh (Shazia Marri). The seat from Sanghar was not won by the PPP even in 1988.
It also won two provincial Assembly seats from Punjab. No party can claim such gains in these by-elections. It seems that if these elections had been held after six months, the results could have been much better for the PPP and ANP. These are the two main parties that were not allowed to campaign in the May 11, 2013 elections by the terrorists and the authorities (the son of the former prime minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani, was kidnapped during the PPP's election campaign). These are also the two parties that suffered the most at the hands of the terrorists, but it is commendable that they did not flinch from condemning the people who have killed 40,000 innocent men, women and children, and have bombed places of worship.
It is so surprising to see headlines in the print media about how the "N's lion roars again" when the seats vacated by Shahbaz Sharif and Zulfikar Khosa in Rajanpur and D G Khan were lost by the PML-N. Similarly, the PTI lost in Mianwali (Imran Khan's hometown) and Peshawar. The PPP lost in Islamabad where PTI won, but the PPP has never won this seat in the capital. The PPP has proved to be the phoenix of Pakistani politics. The dictator, General Zia, after judicially murdering Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, thought that the PPP was finished but the Benazir Bhutto led-PPP proved him wrong despite the fact that in September 1988, the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad (IJI) was formed to stop the rise of the PPP and money was distributed to unscrupulous politicians. Then, in 1997, the PPP was pushed against the wall and restricted to Sindh province. The heavy mandate given to the PML-N evaporated in 1999.
It was the PPP that included the PML-N in the Alliance for the Restoration of Democracy (ARD) and, in 2006, signed the Charter of Democracy (CoD) with the PML-N. Pakistanis are witness to the fact that the PML-N, just after signing the CoD, jumped onto the bandwagon of the All Parties Democratic Movement (APDM). Despite all odds and the loss of its leader, Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, the PPP won a majority of seats in the National Assembly in 2008 and formed a coalition government, which completed its full term for the first time in the history of Pakistani politics. Now, there are clear and positive indications that the PPP is again coming back into its own and this is a good omen for Pakistan as it is the only party that has its roots in every corner of the country. It has proved to be the 'comeback kid' of Pakistani politics.