Who will benefit from PPP People March & PTI Sindh Rights March?

The People March led by PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari is currently in South Punjab while its rival the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf PTI has reached Lower Sindh via Ghotki.

Who will benefit from PPP People March & PTI Sindh Rights March?

Analysts say the real test of their popularity is yet to come. The real test for both the parties will be when Bilawal Bhutto march on GT Road and PTI march will enter Karachi from where this party had won in the last elections.

Struggle against the hybrid system

An anti-government people march was launched from Karachi on February 27-under  leadership of Pakistan Peoples Party Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari. This is Bilawal Bhutto Zardari's first political campaign since taking over the party leadership. He has been addressing rallies before but this is his first march at the national level in which his younger sister Asifa Bhutto Zardari is also participating with him.

Fayyaz Naich a senior analyst & director of current affairs at Dharti TV a private Sindhi news channel says that the PPP has a history of struggle in which Field Marshal Ayub Khan Yahya Khan General Zia-ul-Haq & General Pervez Musharraf A struggle was waged against martial law. There was no such struggle on the part of the present leadership. This march is a continuation of this struggle of the past.

38 point charter of this public long march opposes the hybrid system of government and calls for the institutions to be limited to their original constitutional role & for parliamentary democracy. Since this March there has been a lot of political movement in Sindh and Bilawal has received a positive response.

Who will benefit from PPP People March & PTI Sindh Rights March?

Why choose Sindh?

 PPP has a history of marches and struggles in Punjab in the past but this time the protest march has started from Sindh where it has its own provincial government.

Senior analyst Mazhar Abbas says that the PPP estimates that its political popularity in Punjab is not good. In South Punjab of course, they have some influence. The strategy was to mobilize the masses.

He added that  PPP has given birth to a major political activity in view of the forthcoming local body elections.

He says that on the contrary if PPP had started the march from Punjab it would have lacked political activists. Bilawal has created movement in Sindh. We will be able to gather a large crowd.

Journalist and analyst Mubashir Zaidi also agrees with the PPP political influence in Sindh, sayingThis march is an attempt to mobilize the same vote.

Dr. Riaz Sheikh a professor at Zebist University attributes the decline in the PPP influence in Punjab to the 1985 non-partisan elections.

He saidThese elections gave birth to a new political class. In these election a new leadership of Punjab emerged & it was not possible for the PPP to regain that position. Benazir Bhutto herself had said that it was our big mistake." We left that space.

We have a tradition of patronage politics, state or government influence is used he says. As Imran Khan has used in the past in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa where he had a provincial government.

PTI retaliatory march

Following the announcement of the PPP People March, the PTI announced the Sindh Rights Rights March which began in Ghotki. march is being led by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and Federal Minister Ali Zaidi.

Mazhar Abbas says the PTImain goal was that if they did nothingall media coverage would remain the same. Obviously there is a political activity going on and if Bilawal Bhutto is leading it then it will get coverage. Probably this was a counter strategy which focused on showing us on the screen where his march is mentioned. Our march was also seen.

Mubashir Zaidi says that PTI in Sindh has once again relied on Shah Mehmood Qureshi who has no political influence because his followers in Sindh can attend Pir Sahib door but cannot vote. 

He says it was his mis take to start the march from Ghotki because if you look at PTI past it has not paid attention to Sindh and as a result it has not been able to take root.

Prof. Dr. Riaz Sheikh also seems to agree with the position of Mubashir Zaidi. He says that the PTI needs to keep in mind how many votes it got in the 2018 elections & from which areas. He had the support of rural & urban areas and youth and got more votes than Karachi. However he could not take full advantage of the MQM vacancy even though he had the support of some seats.