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Legal Eye

December 30, 2007

Who will head PPP?

Opinion

December 30, 2007

ISLAMABAD: Bhutto family has been dominating the country's murky political scene for four decades. How will this party chalk out its future after the tragic death of Benazir Bhutto is, of course, a complex question?

Like Gandhi family leading Congress in India, Bhutto family has offered several sacrifices and on the top of these are the execution of its founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, mysterious killing of his two sons Shahnawaz Bhutto and then Murtaza Bhutto.

It is significant to note that no other party in Pakistan or for that matter in this region has faced a string of assassinations in the last four decades. Hence, this matchless precedence makes the Bhutto family distinguished among the rest.

The party has confronted with several challenges since its inception. Needless to say, it faces the trickiest situation after the burial of PPP founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. It has to name a new leader. Speculations are in the air as to who would head the party.

To an extent, the situation may become clear when the central leadership of Pakistan People's Party meets on Sunday at Larkana. When the party had a crucial recession following the hanging of its founder and former Prime Minister Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, it perhaps had not much problem in finding his successor in the presence of the slain Benazir Bhutto.

But now, the situation is entirely different and complex. It is unclear whether or not another Bhutto, i.e. Benazir's sister Sanam Bhutto will take over or Asif Ali Zardari. There are elements in the party hinting at Makhdoom Amin Fahim's candidature for this responsibility.

Political experts believe that at Sunday meeting, whatever decisions are made,

would surely have deep impact on the future national politics.

It is understood that the party also has to take a crucial decision on its participation in the general elections. Several parties openly and some otherwise, have linked their participation in the

electoral process to PPP's decision.

PPP insiders told The News that majority in the party was opposed to going to elections. They say that already, a 40-day mourning has been announced, therefore, there is hardly any logic in not boycotting the polls.

However, a section of the central leadership wants PPP to participate in elections. This way, they argue, the party could benefit from the current wave of sympathy as deep solidarity is being shown with the Bhutto family.

But it is widely believed that the Naudero meeting was most likely to announce boycott of the elections, which already have been stained with the blood of Ms. Bhuhtto, workers of PPP and five of Pakistan Muslim League activists.

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