The problem is not that PPP's leadership knows nothing but that it thinks it knows everything. Like most of contemporaries, it has had been utilizing feudal-cum-proxies to preserve its vote bank in South Punjab. Like of 90's, it is yet politicking on decades-old social, economic deprivations and injustices brought about by the so-called Takhat Lahore to the region. Getting least concerned with the current changing scenario, it has been still found harping on sacrifices through none other but 'pockets of dictatorships' reigned over country for most of the time and least concerned sacrifices of own workers. Its journey from sweeping victory previously to humiliating defeat of 2013 is not external but internal one. Since the day its president' office got bifurcated into central and southern set-ups, feudals of Rahim Yar Khan prevailing over the poor workers through consent of Gilani acting all in all, particularly after pulling out his arch-rival Shah Mehmood from the party in past tenure. After retaining absolute confidence of Zardari, not single but all party tickets amongst three MNA seats for his two sons, one for a brother coupled with an MPA ticket to another son was awarded in South Punjab after his approval in the May 11 elections. What happened as a result of the strategy played out at the time is only a history.

Problem is not that people of this region had forgotten love with BB or Bialwal, problems is that are loath to vote for their party. After all what sea-change had gotten through - of course not over nightly that erased PPP from core of the region, despite huge developments worth billions of rupees projects taking out across the region. Its 5-year tenure was accused of padding the turf with occasional gimmicks, soothing interests of close aides and patronizing corruption that led to fan rivalry between two pillars of state - executive and judiciary, had been termed 'a broad conspiracy' by innermost circle of the top brass intending to ruin government's image.

After losing last elections, Zardari's desire to camp at Lahore and rebuilt the party in Punjab was a welcome move before next general election. But soon returning to Bialwal House of Karachi, he had surprised through first of its kind announcement as handing over the southern chapter to the top feudal lord of the region, Makhdoom Ahmad Mehmood as the new PPP president. The best comment in this regard came by a staunch worker as it was a 'journey from workers to spiritual leader (Gaddi Nasheen)' - following close association of Mr Mehmood with Pir Pagara and Gilanis himself. There, however, remains a little known fact that it would lead to widening mistrust between workers and leaderships, already on the brink of collapse. How Mehmood would get back the old stuff, also taking young blood on his fleet remained an inordinate challenge for him. Relatively speaking, his previous career didn't support to meet the test. His mentors had wilfully been playing tactics in the name of Saraiki province with the inhabitants of the region, who always remained hand-in-glove with the former whenever come into contact. Later, revival of old Bahawalpur province movement pierced struggle for the Saraikis considering as the fifth big nation of the country left ultimate sufferers. They are yet seeking Bilawal to take clear stance on the objective, perhaps a must strategy in current circumstances to regain the party onto streets of southern towns.    

Until now, the new PPP president has not declared his policy for different party wings like PSF, PYO, PLF, labour and women divisions held vital for its re-emergence at gross-roots level. Presently, the PTI gives a better manifestation regarding developments of basic units to rebirth the PPP fading into obsolescence with each passing day here. By and large, the current in-charge of the party of southern chapter seems to be least cognizant of tehsil, district and UC level units, nor proposing some brainstorm sessions for the workers and sympathizers, or thinking shortcomings led to horrific defeat in the recent elections. Its critical time for the party as goes by the country, with millions of people still have emotional attachment with the party so far have refused to get appeased just over slogans, but doing something concretely.-by Salman Raza

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