With the ideology carrying 'One Man - One Vote' and 'All Power To The People' as its basic agendas, there began a historic voyage towards a democratic Pakistan, as envisioned by its founders, which resulted in the establishment of a political party in 1967, named as Pakistan Peoples Party. This very name did not take too long to be carved in the hearts of people. Its popularity can be gauged from the fact that it had not been three years since the inception and the party emerged as the largest political force in the West-Pakistan.

It is hard to enfold my letters about this party without a jolted heart - for here lies the parable of blood and an allegory of sacrifices that is too hard to wrap up - too uncanny to depict... Founded and headed by Bhuttos, this party has seen many ups and downs that are engraved in the prominent chapters of the history of Pakistan. But the red of its flag has always dominated the other two colors.

Vanishing the dark dictatorial regimes of Ayub and Yahya, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto forced the public to own the right to decide their fate and transposed politics from the drawing rooms of royals and generals to the platform of nation, gave Pakistan its first ever constitution 'drafted by consensus', made Pakistan a nuclear power, introduced comprehensive labor reforms, did so much for the country that one cannot describe in a small piece of writing, yet he was incarcerated, tortured, and judicially murdered by the courts of a dictator. His successor, his daughter Benazir Bhutto, despite losing her father to the judicial tyranny, two young brothers to the dictator, her mother to the illness, when followed father's footsteps in order to return democracy to Pakistan, she had to fight the worst adversaries. She too was imprisoned, exiled - her marital life was spoiled keeping the husband behind bars for more than eleven years. And like her father, the masterful leader, this young Bhutto was martyred – though this time not by the courts of a dictator but in the regime of a dictator. The blood of nation’s daughter was absorbed in the soil of Rawalpindi which still had the essence of the blood of two Prime Ministers of Pakistan.

The leaders of Pakistan Peoples Party would always be extolled as the pioneers of democracy for their stupendous exertion in the restoration of democracy. Nevertheless, along with the leaders, Pakistan Peoples Party has lost its thousands of workers in the fight for democracy. The jiyalas of PPP have been tortured, imprisoned, murdered – yet the confinements, expulsions, the unendurable torments could not deter the party. Today, when the future of Pakistan is at stake, it’s enemies having capability and capacity to paint their desired pictures in horror schemes, we look forward to a PPP with a more vibrant and young leadership.

Losing the warrior leader Mohtarma Benazir at the hands of terrorists, PPP was left an orphan but its legacy could not be murdered. It rises up again and again, always with a new face; with a new flicker of hope - with a new leadership: with a 'new Bhutto'. Third generation of the party has now begun to take over the leadership in the guidance of Asif Ali Zardari - a President who carried forward the mantle of martyrs and strengthened the democracy, left the office with dignity setting an example for all the generations to come. The third-generation Bhutto, son of my Benazir, now vows to save the Pakistan that has been traumatized by dictators and entangled into mayhem by the evil forces from within and outside. Coping with the stones of abuse and arrows of accusations, he stands unshaken to carry forward the legacy of martyrs. Family’s tragic myth of assassinations; military or judiciary; international issues, religious intolerance – he never fears standing against the atrocities. His bold stance for the rights of religious minorities and support for the women rights - especially the recent moves to assure justice in the Bhooro Bheel and Lilee Bheel cases, and with the efforts to save Mohen-jo-Daro, he justifies being the leader of the party of martyrs.

As Bilawal pledges to take away any sense of deprivation from the lives of the destitute and marginalized people of Pakistan, let us vow: on the occasion of 46th Foundation Day of PPP, let us vow to stand by the Third-Bhutto. Let us vow that as long as our blood is warm, the struggle for a tolerant and progressive Pakistan will not be ceased, unless each of the dreams of Quaid-e-Azam and Quaid-e-Awam is actualized.

PPP and Bhuttos bathed with blood but never wavered in their commitments to the people of Pakistan, nor would this third genration of the party tremble. This party will continue to stand for the people - even it is standing alone.

As in the words of Faiz,

'Rakht-e-dil bandh lo, dil figaro chalo

Phir hameen qatl ho aain yaro chalo'

'Get ready for the journey of heart, go wounded heart

Let me go to be executed'

n    The writer is a student of Political Science a blogger and political activist. She tweets @MaleehaManzoor and can be reached at maleeha.ppp@gmail.com