Pakistan People's Party

Published January 17, 2012

Party Head: Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Asif Ali Zardari

General Secretary: Raja Pervez Ashraf

Founded: Pakistan People's Party (PPP) was founded on November 30, 1967 by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, who became its first chairman and later Prime Minister of Pakistan.

History: PPP is the largest political party of Pakistan. The party has been active in Pakistani politics since the separation of East Pakistan and later gained much popularity and support during the era of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. The party won the 1971 elections on a socialist mandate of ‘Roti, Kapra, Makan’ (‘bread, clothes, shelter’).

PPP took control of the country after the 1971 war. After the first parliamentary term, PPP secured a victory in the 1977 elections to rule for another five years. Opposition parties claimed that the election was heavily rigged by the PPP. Tensions mounted and despite an agreement reached between the opposition and PPP, martial law was imposed in the country by Gen. Zia ul Haq.

Bhutto was hanged in 1977 after a controversial trial, in which he was found guilty of murdering a political opponent. His daughter Benazir Bhutto was elected twice as the prime minister but her government was dismissed both times on corruption charges.

Initially PPP was a socialist nationalist party as Zulfikar Ali Bhutto wanted closer ties with China and more attention paid to the lower classes. Benazir Bhutto on the other hand adopted conservative privatisation policies in order to secure funding from the United States and the World Bank.

Although twice elected prime minister, Benazir Bhutto was criticised for corruption and extra judicial killings. Bhutto was sworn in as prime minister for the first time in 1988, but was removed from the office 20 months later on grounds of alleged corruption by president Ghulam Ishaq Khan. In 1993 she was re-elected but was again removed in 1996 on similar charges, this time by President Farooq Leghari.

In 2002, PPP Parliamentarians was formed as an electoral extension of the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) for the purpose of complying with electoral rules governing Pakistani parties.

Political stance: The party was formed to accomplish few goals which remained the highlights of PPP’s manifesto. Faith in Islam, democracy, eradication of feudal system and peasantry and empowerment of general people are the salient features of PPP’s political stance.

Current Status: The PPP currently holds 126 seats in the National Assembly and 27 seats in the Senate. It is the current government of Pakistan. It forms the provincial government in Sindh and is the official opposition in Punjab. In the Angus-Reid pre-election polls of 22 December 2007, it was in first place, with about 30 per cent of the vote. The party continues to be a major power broker and has a strong base in rural Sindh and Punjab.

Key Persons: President Asif Ali Zardari (Co-chairman PPP), Yousuf Raza Gilani, Faisal Raza Abedi, Makhdoom Amin Fahim and Qaim Ali Shah

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