Can Bilawal’s manifesto get him the votes he needs?

Muhammad Bilal Abdul Ghani wonders if it is possible for the PPP to make a comeback

Can Bilawal’s manifesto get him the votes he needs?
Manifestos are the intentions, motives, and views of political parties towards various issues that confront a nation. As election days draws nearer, every party is coming up with their manifestos. Through these manifestos, every party is trying to attract voters and trying to assure them that they have the solutions to their problems.

Is Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) fighting for its survival? Will this election be decisive for PPP in maintaining the label of being a mainstream party? Has today’s PPP moved away from Bhuttoism and the slogans of roti, kapra, makan? Is the PPP only a Sindh-based party? The answer to all these questions is affirmative.

Before commenting on the new manifesto by the PPP, I would like say that this was once a party of all provinces and its leader, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, was a true representative of the people. It was his person which still attracts a large number of supporters.

The PPP is the first party which has presented its election manifesto. In this manifesto, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has announced the course of action if people will vote for his party. The young leader spoke at length about the social-democratic goals of the party. He maintained that short-term and short-sighted policies led the country to its current economic crisis. He highlighted the isolation of the Pakistani community in the world and the lack of trust in Pakistan by the global community. He promised to resolve Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan disputes according to the will of people. He also talked continuing the effort for Seraiki a province. In the manifesto, Bilawal showed his resolve to curtail poverty, hunger, malnutrition, unemployment and homelessness. He assured farmers of his support and subsidies in fertilisers for an agricultural revolution in the country.
The PPP is the first party which has presented its election manifesto

It seems that the new manifesto is just a revision of old promises, claims and assurances with a new person and cover. If we look at the last PPP tenure in government, there were crisis in every field of life. Circular debt was at its peak, the energy crisis had worsened and corruption was at its peak. There was no mentionable progress in the country. In election 2013, the situation was so grim that the PPP was wiped out from central and west Punjab. As a result, it became a Sindh-based party. The only reason for this dreadful defeat was the poor performance of party when it was in government. Now, the people are more aware and are asking questions about the progress they made in the last five years.

The PPP is trying to regain some of its lost glory with attractive slogans. But this is the first step. In order to regain its position, the PPP should adopt an aggressive leadership style of Zulfiqar Bhutto in public gatherings. They must make serious progress in constituencies so that they are justified in asking for votes. Sindh should be made a model province and will attract the people of the Punjab. The PPP has to increase checks on its ministers and the people working on administrative posts. The party itself should be reorganized. A strong media management cell is required to defend the party’s narrative on talk shows. This thing will help to improve the image of party. It should also be more effective in using the Bilawal card. Two future leaders are being launched by two mainstream parties, Maryam Nawaz and Bilawal Bhutto but the latter’s public standing is weaker than the former’s. Finally, it is essential that the PPP start a door-to-door campaign to bring back disgruntled party workers. People-to-people contact should be increased to revive the party’s position in the Punjab. The PPP is on the verge of drowning. This is a do-or-die battle for the PPP leadership and it may not get another chance for revival.