PPP apologists and intellectual dishonesty

December 12, 2012 § 8 Comments


Most of the times I read an op-ed about PPP in an English daily, it’s almost bilious – especially if it’s meant to eulogize the party. Normally this is how the course of such articles go: high words fly, lofty ideals are cited, arbitrary versions of historic incidents are recounted with more than a tinge of bias, grand titles and appellations are quietly slipped into what is pitched as a balanced opinion piece and the masses are told, yet again, that in PPP is embodied the ultimate saviour of this nation.

I have often read such pieces and tolerated them, hoping year after year that the party that is so revered by the liberals of this country may perhaps someday live up to those expectations. But the last five years have been an abysmal disappointment, even when I know well the adage about history repeating itself.

Let’s, for once, be honest. PPP is not a liberal party. It has never been a liberal party. It is a political party that is as opportunist as PML-N, ANP, MQM, PTI or JI. From Zulfiqar Bhutto’s decision to render Ahmedis infidels to PPP’s cowardly silence over Salman Taseer’s murder, I utterly fail to see how this party is any different from others who play to the gallery and use populist rhetoric to score points. PPP has proved liberal at times, yes, but only when it was most convenient. And the same goes for all other political parties. I simply fail to see how one is any better than the other.

The liberal coterie has long lambasted PML-N for its electoral alliance with extremist organizations such as SSP. However, I don’t hear no caustic words from the jayalas-in-guise over PPP’s decision to form an electoral alliance with Sunni Ittehad Council. Let me remind those with poor memory retention powers that SIC is the same party which openly hailed and eulogized Salman Taseer’s murderer, Mumtaz Qadri, and campaigned for him all over the country.

What is even worse is that the fiercest apologies for PPP emanate from those who profess in being rationalists and unbiased analysts. Time after time, they would defend the feudal culture that breeds in the very lap of PPP, the dynastic politics that is the hallmark of the party and the other follies that are silently glossed over with what can best be termed as intellectual dishonesty. They would tell you how PPP has passed a bill in the assembly which will finally bring deliverance to such women who are victims of domestic abuse – yet they wouldn’t tell how the bill has zero practical value due to an utter lack of implementation and serves merely to earn PPP precious political points. They would tell you how PPP is committed to the elimination of all kinds of religious extremists – yet won’t say as to why the party would take the likes of Maulana Fazlur Rehman under its fold every now and then.

Recently, many of these ‘intellectuals’ have taken to defending the up and coming ‘heir’ to the party’s ‘throne’ – Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. I have nothing against Bilawal – he may be a bright, young man for all I know. But what I do know for certain is the fact that to this day, he hasn’t played any political role in Pakistan, has spent little time in his homeland, and feels a lot more comfortable speaking English than Urdu. The primary, and sole, merit for a politician is the work he has done, or not done, for the people – not the family he hails from.

How does one pre-qualify Bilawal as a great politician when he doesn’t have a day’s worth of actual political experience? If he contests elections, enters practical politics, bags some worthy achievements, I’d be more than happy to vote a youthful leader. But until he has done that, I fail to see how can one extol him without being dishonest.

I have no grudges against PPP except that it is the one party that was not based on religious claptrap or stifling ideological premises. Yet, it has failed to deliver what many had hoped it would. And in doing so, it has stooped to the prevalent mediocrity of the political arena.

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§ 8 Responses to PPP apologists and intellectual dishonesty

  • mohsin says:

    Political parties need to promote their bands and it is mostly annoying for any sensible person. We can compare this branding with those of cigarettes : ) A waste apart : )
    It’s a sad fact that neither religious nor solely political parties have shown sincerity towards the people and the country. Apart from that if you look at five years of PPP, Asif Zardari has proved to be a more successful leader than his predecessors. He played with new pawns and kept many rival parties in pocket to complete 5 years of rule. Media is free (at least apparently) and PPP has practiced politics of MUFAHIMAt through out its tenure, so In my view PPP under the leadership of trimmed mustaches of Mr. President is a very liberal party when it comes to his individual benefits otherwise we know that politics is a kind of family business in our beloved country.

    • Salman Latif says:

      I agree – Zardari has been among the most deft politicians of our history, hands down. Yet, the question is, what use is a political party if all it does is play all the other players and merely secure its tenure throughout the 5 years for which it is elected. If it does nothing else, that achievement in itself is futile.

  • Gumnaam says:

    The only PPP apologists remaining are the fat ladies who appear on TV talk shows. They have been paid for by the leadership.

  • Gumnaam says:

    Mushahiddullah Khan of PML-N pointed out in TV talk show that Sunni Ittehad Council comprises of those who started spearheaded agitation against PPP in the name of ‘Nizam-e-Mustafa’ and are now repeating their demand after alliance with PPP. Please don’t laugh…in Pakistan anything is possible.

  • Not only did I get to read a good political piece (although I’m not really involved0 but I also learned a new English word: “lambasted”.

    Thank you, Salman!

  • […] has continually belied this image with its decisions and reactions to events in this tenure, that astoundingly go uncritically unquestioned by Pakistan’s otherwise vocal […]

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