Oct 24, 2007

Why People loved Bhutto?

Dr. Ejaz wrote in the daily times column that people turned out to greet Benazir because of their love for her father. Hindu community rightly put it that it was the only political party of Pakistan where one’s religion did not matter. He added that anyone could reach a high office despite his/her religious preferences.

He further writes that Zia-ul Haq imposed a separate electorate, on the prompting of Jamaat-e-Islami and other religious parties, to weaken the PPP by depriving it of minority votes. Therefore, the PPP is a secular party despite the fact that its leaders have, at times, wavered and introduced religious laws to please the Mullahs.

The party has an anti-establishment instinct that emerges every time the party is mobilised at the grass roots level. This instinct cannot be suppressed easily and BB knows that. But it may prove harmful for her political future.

BB had been trying to distance herself from Bhutto-ism as much as she could. As it was reported in this column a few months back, a party confidant advised her to use the traditional party base and old workers to build up a movement against the establishment. At that time BB’s response was: “That was Bhutto’s party and many of those people were Communists.”

A sharp witted TV host went out, filmed and analysed the posters, wall chalking and huge billboards that PPP had put up to welcome BB. The analysis revealed that the campaign was masterfully designed to sell Bhutto’s image more than BB’s persona.

He cautioned that The US establishment may feel cheated by her populism too. It is hard to imagine that US policy makers have matured enough to differentiate between populist rhetoric and the real intentions of any leadership. Therefore, US backing for BB might not last very long if she continues with her present strategy of using Bhutto-ism. full article

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