LAHORE - PPP’s cautious approach on Panama Leaks and other issues is leading many to believe it was running with the hare and hunting with the hounds.

The problem with the PPP is that it is maintaining a certain degree of ambiguity on almost every matter whether it be the question of siding with the Opposition or supporting the government in the present situation.

Despite being on the forefront on the formation of Panama ToRs for months, the PPP under the leadership of Asif Ali Zardari has failed to spread across the message that it was a real Opposition force to keep the government under pressure till the next elections.

What is clear about PPP’s policy is that it wants the present government to complete its term. This means it will not become part of any move from the PTI or any other force to dislodge the government.

Though the threat to democracy has now receded somewhat compared to the situation in 2014, the PPP leaders still believe it remains in danger.

But what prevents it from mobilising public opinion against the government by coming on roads to agitate the issue of Panama leaks? Then there are other issues like the current unrest among the farmers, unemployment, power outages and the price hike. These are the questions many in the PPP ask from the leadership. But they are told it was not the right time to launch an offensive against the sitting regime. 

Many ask what happened to senior PPP leader Ch Aitzaz Ahsan’s statement that party’s top leadership would most probably be on the same container if the government did not show flexibility on the issue of ToRs. While the government sticks to its earlier stance on this issue, the PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was not seen on the same container alongwith PTI chief Imran Khan on Sunday last. Even Aitzaz Ahsan who was much enthusiastic to join Opposition’s ranks against the government until June this year, was missing from the container.

Leader of the Opposition Syed Khurshid Shah said last month that his party would start an anti-government drive in September this year. The September has come but there is not a slight indication from the party leadership about any such activity taking place this month. Eid festivities will end by September 20, but indications are the month will pass without any agitation by the PPP which is still undergoing its reorganisational phase. 

Though it remains one of its main demands that Nawaz Sharif should step down as Prime Minister over his family’s alleged involvement in Panama scandal, the PPP leadership seems disinclined to joining hands with the Opposition ranks to convert it into a mass movement to achieve this objective.

Through its symbolic participation in PTI’s September 3 rally in Lahore, it has tried to give the impression it was with the Opposition to run down the government. But indications are it still wants to continue its covert policy of reconciliation with the PML-N government.

It is, infact, facing the dilemma of doing two different things together: keeping an image of an Opposition party, and assuring the government it would not disturb the present set up.

PPP leaders also keep stating that their party would choose its own time and pitch to get tough at the government.

What objective the PPP wants to achieve by its intended movement against the government? Opposition Leader Khurshid Shah was asked this question in his media interaction last month. “We will inform the people about government’s inefficiency to resolve their problems”, came the reply, indicating thereby that PPP had no intention to force the Prime Minister to resign on the issue of Panama Papers.

As the things stand at the movement, the PPP is moving with caution by not taking a clear-cut stance on any issue.

Analysts believe that PPP may not achieve any of its goals, if it continues to maintain an ambiguous policy at this defining moment.