PPP wants to change its face

Lahore: The PPP has challenged the establishment and Pakistan Tehrik e Insaf’s Government and may go for resistance inside the parliament and outside.

Chairman PPP Bilawal Bhutto Zardari on Monday said, “We need a go-ahead from Asif Zardari and we can topple the PTI’s federal and Punjab governments.”

Bilawal’s spoke like a fighter for the first time in his political career at the death anniversary of his slain mother and two-time prime minister Benazir Bhutto in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh.

He did not mince the words when he challenged the establishment on several fronts. With every word, his party workers went berserk and retrieved the lost traditional jiayala charge.

Is his act timely or the party is over?

Will Bilawal’s roars succeed to save the party and their government in Sindh?  More important issue, however, is how the party is going to recover from a joint investigation report into the fake accounts scam? According to the federal minister for information, Fawad Chaudhry, the arrest of Asif Zardari after the JIT report cannot be ruled out. The government acted swiftly on December 27 after Bilawal’s speech and put Asif Zardari on the Exit Control List, which shows that the Imran Khan government has decided to conclude the chapter of Zardari politics.

PPP leaders, however, say they will fight back.

“We have seen such cooked-up stories in the past, and the fresh JIT stories will also soon fade,” Bilawal’s spokesperson Senator Mustafa Nawaz Khokhar told Truth Tracker, commenting on the JIT report regarding alleged money laundering. Calling the JIT report a laughing stock in the eyes of the nation, Mr Khokhar belittled the report, saying that the receipts of breakfast, laundry charges and sacrificial goats have exposed the JIT and government’s claims of unearthing fake accounts.

The media is discussing the JIT report content relentlessly since it was released on December 24 before a Supreme Court bench in Lahore. Most part of the report had been leaked to the media days ago, in violations of the Supreme Court order.

Mr Khokhar added that it is also very unfortunate that the Supreme Court did not take notice of the leakage of the JIT report before it was presented to the SC.

The report has damaged the PPP and Asif Zardari’s political credentials, even though most of the party leaders look the other way, when they are asked to comment on the reports that fake accounts were used to buy houses around the Bilawal House in Karachi. The JIT reports says at least 15 references can be filed in accountability courts against Zardari and his business partners – Omni Group.

“We will consult our legal team and then make our strategy,” Khokhar said.

Besides consulting the legal minds, the PPP needs to come up with a plan B for the government seems determined to put Asif Zardari behind bars. Some analysts say Bilawal is also going to have jail term on his political resume in the coming days because the JIT report implicates Bilawal, Faryal Talpur and Sind Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah too.

An old party guard, who contested elections from the PPP in Lahore in the 90s, say in case Bilawal is arrested, the party will regain its lost glory of 80s, when it fought valiantly against the dictator of Gen Ziaul Haq.

Another senior PPP leader who is also the member of PPP Central Executive Committee told Truth Tracker that God forbid if Asif Ali Zardari and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari are arrested in the light of JIT report and ongoing fake accounts case of money laundering, the party has Bhuttos in line who will run the party.

Do you mean Sanam Bhutto, Bukhtawar and Aseefa?

Yes, replied the leader, adding that CEC meeting in Naudero on the eve of the Benazir Bhutto death anniversary, recommended that Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari shun his mild tone and come out and out against the establishment.

Will the public respond to the PPP’s anti-establishment mantra when the leadership is under clouds of because of money laundering allegations?

PPP Central Punjab President Qamar Zaman Kaira says that when the accountability is one-sided and partial, the public is aware of the tactics.

“Wasn’t the JIT confidential? Then how did it come out? We know where and to whom the JIT report has been presented.

We demand that Chief justice should take notice against the violation of his orders. What’s new in the JIT report we have been reading and listening such rants and made up stories about our leadership since last three decades, said Kaira.

For Kaira, the JIT report was nothing more than the tale of Alif Laila which he termed as one sided. “At this juncture, a single man cannot take the country forward.”

For Nayyar Hussain Bukhari, the close aide of Asif Ali Zardari, the people who had opposed politically prepared this JIT report. “The people in power want to use force to press the opposition,” he added.

Another Senior PPP leader from Sindh who did not wished to be named while speaking to Truth Tracker alleged that the Military establishment is supporting the government of Imran Khan by paving the way for one party rule in the country. “They are planning to put all of his opponents behind the bars in the name of accountability.

The media is abuzz with rumours that the PPP is going to lose its Sindh government as the establishment has carved out a forward bloc in the PPP and soon an MPA from Ghotki will be elevated as chief minister of Sindh.

So, the dilemma for the PPP in the coming days can be: Asif and Bilawal in jail and the party without government in Sindh.

PPP MNA Irshad Sial says the party is ready to face all sorts of troubles.

“The more PPP is suppressed, the more forcefully it bounces back.”

The party is not over; in fact, the party is going to have full treat in the coming elections. 

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