After the ouster of the Military regime in 2008- Pakistan faced ultimate challenges in various forms. Aftermath of martial law, for sure was deleterious, it may take a decade to overcome its effects and miseries. Elections in 2008 itself proved the anti Martial law stance of people, and the majority of Peoples Party in elections signified the credibility of PPP among the poorer population in the rural and urban areas. It is really strange- that whenever Pakistan came under martial law, PPP was the party to restore the democracy in Pakistan- Zulfiqar Bhutto took over the government after Ayub Khan and Yahya khan, Benazir Bhutto after Zia Ul Haq and now Gillani after Pervez Musharrf. Long story short- PPP has always been the savior of democracy in Pakistan and for restoration of democracy it has sacrificed blood of PPP martyrs, which even the enemies, endorse, who, of course had put the poor NLI into the furnace of Kargil war and got them massacred by not accepting them their force personals as POW’s.
It will be unfair to judge the performance of PPP government, excluding the current challenges in Pakistan. Be it internal security issues, terrorism within and across the borders, active anti-democratic forces, international interests, or commodity prices in international market. Considering all above mentioned factors- and if we come up as an unbiased opinion about the performance of PPP- we will realize that they did better than anyone else in this country in its history.
To name few of the accomplishments of the current government:
18th amendment- Which turned Pakistan from semi-presidential to a Parliamentary republic was declared invincible even by the champions of the sabotaging and scoundrel journalists in media. Few of the pseudo-Intellectuals/ Anchorpersons, who hosted shows in private channels, portrayed Pakistan on the verge of collapse and their politically panditized assessments proved to be fake when the president of Pakistan approved the 18th amendment. Constitution of Pakistan was restored and we expected media to devise programs to appreciate this action of government, instead they remained mum and dug for other allegations. In my opinion, just to keep democracy intact, was rather much than an achievement.
Gilgit-Baltistan Package gave the identity and right of legislation to the natives who were deprived of basic rights. Starting from Bhutto till today- PPP has always served areas of need and no wonder, PPP swept elections in 2009 in Gilgit-Baltistan, but none of the stalwarts of the yellow journalism even appreciated this step of the PPP government, rather they labeled elections as totally rigged. But what about the victory of PPP in Gilgit-Baltistan when they had a majority of seats even in martial law? Which itself tells you the credibility of the opportunists who are trying to destabilize the democracy with maligned and vested interests and intentions.
Baluchistan package, was an effort to strengthen the under developed and largest province which is the major source of Gas production in Pakistan. The aim of this package was to lessen the grievances of Baluch tribes about their long standing disparities. President of Pakistan, on behalf of the State tendered apologies to the people of Baluchistan, and Baluchistan was granted 5000 instant jobs as part of this package. This package may not be, all what people of Baluchistan deserve, but to begin with it is a significant step forward.
To rest with the Energy crises as one of the failures of PPP government is mere allegation. Electricity crises began in the Musharrf’s long time regime of so called enlightened moderation. Although there are few shortcomings to overcome the electricity crises, but it may need sometime. If we go back to the second government of Benazir Bhutto- Tharr coal project was started but unfortunately the government succumbed to the conspiracies and the subsequent government blindly stalled the project. But still we blame PPP for the shortfall- And then followed by Musharraf decade of rule not a single project was established. Recent inauguration of 4500 MW, Diamer-Bhasha dam in Gilgit-Baltistan is one of the major steps of the current government to meet the demand and supply in the country. Another megaproject of Bunji Dam, generating 7000 MWs, is likely be inaugurated this year. And there are many smaller projects under progress.
Furthermore, Provincial Autonomy, FATA reforms, Educational Reforms, Health Sector reforms, NFC awards, Police reforms, Labor reforms, and Benazir Income Support Program providing financial support to 3.5 Million families, are the marked achievements of PPP government worth discussion.
Before we make a prejudiced assessment- we should look at the ground realities and the history- A party which sacrificed it charismatic leaders like Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto and rest of Bhuttos, sacrificed jiyalas for democracy, for independent judiciary, survives all the military regimes, time of oppression and suppression, thick and thin, but resolved to stick to its manifesto. Whose leaders had to face the torments of jail for decades for mere accusations, only party to face both internal and external threats, the only party which has face bomb blasts even for minor gatherings?
Considering the sacrifices, above mentioned few of the major accomplishments, deliberately ignored by the media. Dark side is always highlighted and bright side is constantly ignored, based on the personal liking and disliking of few individuals. The essence of this write up is to do the justice to what they have rendered so far for the people of Pakistan, and to view a bit of bright side and appreciate the good steps of the present Government. It carries my personal views and observations, my democratic right to express my own views.
Writer is a scholar, majoring in Health Policy Management and Administration from Oklahoma University, based in USA, can be reached at email@example.com , firstname.lastname@example.org