Brief his­tory of PPP

Southasia - - COVER STORY -

Presently headed by Bi­lawal Bhutto and Asif Ali Zar­dari, the PPP was once the largest na­tional po­lit­i­cal party. It gained pop­u­lar­ity and sup­port dur­ing the 1971 elec­tions on the ba­sis of so­cial­ist slo­gans of ‘Roti, Kapra, Makan’ (‘bread, clothes, shel­ter’). PPP took con­trol of the coun­try af­ter the 1971 war. Af­ter its first par­lia­men­tary term, PPP se­cured a vic­tory in the 1977 elec­tions to rule for an­other five years. The op­po­si­tion par­ties claimed that the elec­tion was heav­ily rigged by the PPP. Ten­sions mounted and de­spite an agree­ment be­tween the op­po­si­tion and the PPP, mar­tial law was im­posed by Gen. Zia ul Haq. Bhutto was hanged in 1979 af­ter a con­tro­ver­sial trial. On restora­tion of civil­ian rule, Be­nazir Bhutto was elected twice as the prime min­is­ter but her gov­ern­ments were dis­missed both oc­ca­sions on cor­rup­tion charges. In 2008, af­ter the as­sas­si­na­tion of Be­nazir in De­cem­ber 2007, the PPP ruled for an­other five years (2008-13), with Asif Ali Zar­dari as Pres­i­dent. It lost the 2013 elec­tions and is now con­fined to gov­ern­ing in Sindh though it has a ma­jor­ity in the Se­nate.

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