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Class Character of the Pakistan Peoples Party during Z A Bhutto’s era (1967-73)


The Pakistan Peoples Party won landslide victory in 1970 elections getting 82 seats out of 138
seats allocated for the West Pakistan provinces on the basis socialist programme and slogans like
Roti, Kapra our Makan. The PPP’s founder Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’ role can not be ignored in the
history of electoral politics of Pakistan. He assumed power in December 1971 after the fall of
Dacca and he was removed by military dictator Gen.Zia on July 5, 1977 and then executed. The
PPP has witnessed many ups and downs in the country’s history of electoral politics. This
presentation will seek to focus on the class character of the PPP from many aspects.



.Antonio Gramsci, a famous Italian historian,( 1891-1937) identified two quite distinct forms of
political control: domination , which referred to direct physical coercion by police and armed
forces and hegemony which referred to both ideological control and more crucially, consent. He
assumed that no regime, regardless of how authoritarian it might be, could sustain itself
primarily through organised state power and armed force. In the long run, it had to have popular
support and legitimacy in order to maintain stability.
By hegemony, Gramsci meant the permeation of an entire system of values, attitudes, beliefs and
morality throughout society . which he called intellectual hegemonyor domination that has the
effect of supporting the status quo in power relations. Hegemony in this sense might be defined
as an 'organising principle' that is diffused by the process of socialisation into every area of daily
life. In order that a system may changed, it is nececessary that it should be deprived of its
intellectual rationale or raison d’être . It can be done by the intellectuals. So a person’s class can
be identified not only by his economic position but also by the ideological conviction which
relate him to certain class within a social fabric. The ruling class maintains its control by
employing physical apparatus as well as certain set of ideological principles.

Class character of a political party is determined by its ideological programme , slogans for the
social classes it seeks to represent on the one hand, and by its political practices to implement its
ideological principles on the other. The exploitation and oppression of the ruling classes is
multi-faceted. It always uses certain ideological convictions and intellectual principles to
subjugate the hearts and minds of the masses in order to perpetuate material or economic
exploitation and oppression . In this presentation, the class character of the intellectuals as well
as that of the PPP politicians is identified by the adherence to the interests of the classes they
claimed to serve both intellectually and practically.


Bhutto came into active politics during Ayub Khan’s regime. Before that he worked as lecturer
in Political science and international law at American Universities. Bhutto had enjoyed pockets
of support in the army, among younger and lower grade civil servants and in the Convention
Muslim League (CVML) and its affiliated student organization Muslim Student Federation
(MSF). He was engaged in ‘Forward bloc’ politics against Ayub Khan. “According to Bhutto,
for more than a year after his break with Ayub, he was contacted at various times and places by
emissaries of the President-ambassadors, police, and intelligence officers, central cabinet
ministers , Governor Musa, with offers of an ‘unofficial’ adviser on foreign affairs. During
Ayub’s illness Bhutto was kept informed about new developments by his sources in CSP, ruling
CML and military. Maj.Gen Peerzada was his chief contact who informed him about succession
struggle within army. Bhutto also had contact with Yahya’s son, Ali during crisis.

Fear of India, real and imaginary and the aim of liberating Kashmir have been the main
rationalizations for the growth of the Pakistani military.

Among the civilian leaders, no one had advocated the military's case more intelligently than the
PPP chief, Zulf ikar Bhutto. During the 1965 war he had implored the people to continue fighting
India for a thousand years and to eat grass in order to continue arming the military. His book,
The Mvth of 1ndependence is essentially an exposition of his chauvinistic and jingoistic politics.
In this book, he wrote:

“Pakistan's security and territorial integrity are more important than economic development.
Although such development and self-reliance contribute to the strengthening of the nation's
defence capability, the defence requirements of her sovereignty have to be met first ,132

Bhutto's advocacy of establishing an "industrial war base1*43 and developing a "nuclear

deterrentt1 against 1ndia34 could not but fall on the receptive ears in the military. In fact there
was considerable support for the PPP among some in-service army officers, and a large number
of retired officers had joined the party.

In fact there was considerable support for the PPP among some in-service army officers, and

a large number of retired officers had joined the party. Bhutto's opposition to the Tashkent
declaration won him many admirers among the junior military officers who, like the Punjati
public, felt very bitter at the fast that the top brass had had numerous majors, captains and
lieutenants massacred tecause of its own strategic blunders in the 1965 war and that it had no
moral courage to stand up against the big powers.


On his visit to Lahore after his return from Europe in early October 1966, MSF after adopting
him as its natural patron, the MSF declared it would follow him wherever he decided to go
politically, thus becoming the first organization to back the future Prime Minister. Hanif Ramay
was the founder and editor of a magazine Nusrat. He was also the propaganda secretary of
CVML and patron of the MSF. He had circle of friends and writers called ‘Islamic Socialism
Group’ which included Safdar Mir (Zeno), Professor Muhammad Usman, Maulana Rasul Mehr
who sought to promote Islamic Socialism as an intellectual movement that would enable Palsitan
fully to find a route to modernity between atheistic materialism on the left and wholesale
westernization of Ayub’s regime and religious obscurantism of religious parties like JIP on the
right. Bhutto’ contacts with sympathetic elements in the Regime continued. On 8 Feb. 1967 he
was honored at Lahore by a group of civil officers. Bhutto did not no resign from Convention
Muslim League until April 1967.


The intellectuals and writers of Islamic Socialism Group were disillusioned with Tashkent
Declaration (Jan, 1966) and were prepared to the ‘put the case’ to Bhutto ‘ If Pakistan’s political
life was to revitalized’ it can best be done on the lines of Islamic socialism. Ramay and his group
prepared a document to this effect and presented it to Bhutto. Bhutto first publicly used the
concept of ‘Islamic Socialism’ on 23rd Nov. 1966 when he observed that Pakistan’s problem
could not be solved until it became a ‘true Islamic socialist state’. He made this observation at
YMCA Hall organized by MSF. Subsequently, Bhutto got involved in the politics of ‘Forward
bloc’ which was vigorously resisted by the CVML high command

Ref: Philip E. Jones, The Pakistan People’s Party Rise to Power (Karachi: Oxford University
Press, 2003), 100.


Bhutto, along JA Rahim announced the decision to form a new party from the Hyderabad
residence of Mir Rasul Baksh Talpur on 16 Sept. 1967. The Founding Convention of the
Pakistan Peoples Party was held on 30 Nov- 1 Dec 1967 at the home of Dr. Mubashar
Hasan, a leftist and engineer by profession. According to Dawn some 300 delegates
attended the convention.There were no delegated from the East Pakistan. During the 4th
session,the new party was founded. The Foundation Documents and conventions
resolutions were adopted and the party was given the name of Pakistan Peoples Party.
Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto was named the chairman, J A Rahim, its secretary general and
Khurshi Hasan Mir its deputy secretary general. Malik Aslam Hayat Khan was the
convener of the f ounding convention.

At the end of 1967 the PPP, under the influence of elements diverse class and cultural
backgrounds, drafted a document which very crudely described the party's social democratic
program for solving the people's problems. The PPP programme was summarized in its four

o Islam is our Faith

o Democracy is our politics
o Socialism is our Economy
o All Power to the People

The Party also promised the elimination of feudalism in accordance with the established
principles of socialism to protect and advance the interests of peasantry.
The document unhesitatingly described the Scandinavian social democracies as a model and
even went so far as to praise capitalism as practised in the United States and Western Europe :
"In none of those Imperialist countries is capitalism permitted to reign uncontrolled, and in
several the public sector is very extensive indeed. Apart from that, they cthe 1.xa.l apologists
of capitalism] ignore what makes the Western countries attractive to the unbiased mind,
which is the immense freedom enjoyed by the individual."l8
For Pakistan, the PPP's recipe for socialism consisted of nationalizing the
banks, insurance, heavy industry, the already nationalized comrnunications and energy
resources. At the same time: "As for the private sector, it ought to flourish under conditions
proper to private enterprise, that is, of competition, and not behind the shelter of high tariff
walls or disguised subsidies. Only in that way can the efficient running of private enterprise
be assured and the consumer protected from exploitation by monopolists. "Further : "The
private sector will play its own useful role in the kind of mixed economy envisaged, but will
not bs able to create monopolistic preserves ."Once "socialism" has been established
and the private sector has been given its rightful place, where does the worker fit in?
The workers will be encouraged to participate in the efficient running of the factories by
appropriate incentives and will by law have the right to a share in the profits of
companies in the private sector.

Furthermore : "It is obvious that the ILO principles which represent the decent norms of
relations between the state, employers and employees, must be enforced, especially as they
are in consonance with fundamentals of human rights."22 On the crucial land question, which
is the single most important problem in West Pakistan, the party document made a sweeping
remark that feudalism will be abolished "in accordance with the established principles of
socialismtt, but it did not specify the maximum land holding it would allow.
REF: Pakistan People's Party, Foundation and Policy, Lahore, 1968.


Petty bourgeois class of businessmen, bazaar shopkeepers, cigarette merchants, tea shop
proprietors showed a comparatively strong early interest in the PPP, both during the
founding convention period. There were businessmen with rural backgrounds, who were
part of the educated middle landholder class that had developed opportunities due to
Ayub’s Green Revolution.

Polticians of Fedual Class

Mir Rasul Baksh Talpur, a Sindhi landlord with populist leanings associated with Progressive
Sindh Hari Committee and Sindh Awami Mahaz. Bhutto family, for its part represented
had connections with Sindh landed classes likeMumtaz Bhutto, Mustafa Jatoi,
Makhdooms of Hala, the Talpurs, In addition, Bhutto had relations with ashrafi-gentry
holders of Punjab landed classes represented by Sayid Hamid Raza Gilani, Ghulam
Mustafa Khar, Pir Ghulam Rasul Shah. These feudal politicians belonged to the
Convention Muslim League and were its MNAs.

Baluchistan was nominally represented in the first convention by a member of the Jamali tribe of
Quetta-Pishin, though later many influential tribal Sardars like Bugti joined the PPP.

From NWFP Muhammad Hayat Khan Sherpao, sec gen of CML and rising Khan of
Muhammadzai Tribe of Peshawar also joined the PPP later. Haq Nawaz Gandapur of
Dera Ismail Khan having tribal associations with Bannu and Tank as well as with the
Multani Pathans-the Babars- was to join the PPP also.


Among ladies, Begum Abad Ahamd Khan, Begum Rana Liaqat Ali Khan, the supporter of Miss
Fatima Jinnha, Ahmad Raza Khan Kasuri (Kot Fath Din Branch of the Kasuri Pathans
and Malik Aslam Hayat, a constitutionalist pluralist enjoying links with business
community favouring Mixed economy were also to join it. Malik Hamid Sarfaraz, Malik
Navaid Ahmad and Ahmad Raza Qasuri had some influence in bar associations and
political circles.

Khurshi Hasan Mir, who represented progressive ideas in AIML and fought 1947-8 Kashmir war
joined the PPP and became Dep, Sec. Gen of the PPP. Prof. Muhammad Usman of
Rawalpindi also came under his influence and supported the PPP.

KH Mir enjoyed connections with political, military and bureaucratic circles because of the
closeness of his Rawalpindi residence to contiguous military capital GHQ and political
capitals Islamabad.


An Anti-Feudalist activist Sheik Rashid (of Sheikupura Dist), the leader of Kissan committee
and architect of Land Reforms also supported Bhutto in his efforts to form a new Party.
Taj Muhammad Langha , a leftist , started his career with the PPP.

Mairaj Muhmmad Khan,the student leader of leftist NSF-Karachi group, formerly associated
with NAP, joined the PPP. NSF had participated in anti-Tashkent agitation and
welcomed the departure of Bhutto from Ayub’s regime. Trade Union leaders Tufail
Abbas and Dr. Shammim Zainuddin( NSF-Bahshani group) added their weight behind
the PPP. Raja Anwar, a student leader of anti-Tashkent agitation generation from
Rawalpindi came to support the PPP.

The Progressive women like Begum Shaheen Hanif Ramay, Miss Kaniz Fatima, also among
those to join the PPP. Ramay,himself being the leader of Islamic Socialist Group, and
editor of magazine Nusrat, became one of the leading voices of the PPP.

The leftist, socialists and communists of the time were divided on the question support for
Moscow or Peking and labeled as Pro-Moscow and Pro-Mao groups.

REF E Jones, PPPs Rise to Power 116

Conflicts between the Rulers and the Masses

On the lands owned by the absentee landlords and not touched by the "green revolution",

The peasants continued to groan under the traditional exploitation and oppression of the feudal
lords. Population growth and increase in the prices of essential non-agricultural commodities,
such as cloth, kerosene oil and safety matches, added further impoverishment and misery to the
lives of sharecroppers. During the later part of the Ayub era, the "green revolution began to have
its economic and social impact. The increase in agricultural production on the modernized farms
and the consequent overall decline in farm prices adversely affected the poorer segments of rural
society. An increasing number of agricultural laborers and sharecroppers were evicted from the
land as a result of decreased demand for labor on the mechanized capital-intensive farms.The
small peasant-owner, who had not had the opportunity to modernize his farm, received less
income for the same volume of production, while the landlord, who was responsible for the price
decline, made up for it by producing and selling more. Because of their political influence and
contacts with the bureaucracy, the landlords and the rich peasants were able to sell their product
at the right time and at the right price. The governmental program of purchase, designed to
stabilize prices, was also mainly used by the capitalist farmers and the big feudal lords. The poor
peasants, sharecroppers, and agricultural laborers could see clearly that it was not only the
landlords but government policies and law enforcing agencies who were responsible for the

multiplication of their hardships. Through a policy of virtual wage freeze and ban on labor
strikes, the industrial working class was pauperized in direct proportion to the enrichment of the
capitalist. These policies plus official repression against the workers trying to form unions or to
defy the strike ban made it evident to the industrial proletariat that their struggle must transcend
their t8economismtt and brought them into the fore-front of political struggle. Some members of
the lower rungs of the petty-bourgeoise engaged in trade were ruined as a result of the
governmental policies fav ouring the big bourgeoisie and by the mounting inflation during the
Ayub era. Students, petty government employees and other low income white collar workers
deriving fixed incomes were seriously hurt by inflation and lack of job opportunities for their
family members. Wholesale corruption and nepotism in the government and the absence of civil
liberties had thoroughly alienated the segment of the population known in Pakistani parlances the
"educated middle class consisting of professionals, teachers, students, managerial personnel,
clerks and junior functionaries in the civil service. The shameful surrender at Tashkent had
profoundly shocked this segment of the petty- bourgeoisie, especially in Karachi and Punjab,
which had always stood up for everything identified with Pakistan-Islam, self -determination for
Kashmir, the Urdu language and Allama 1qbal.14 The upper segments of the petty- bourgeoisie
were also disenchanted with the regime because of its policies favoring the development of
monopolies and control of financial institutions by a closed group of industrialists-financiers who
denied credit to the petty-bourgeoisie.


One of the larger group in the urban areas is the unemployed, semi-employed, beggars, part-time
beggars, pimps, prostitutes, thieves, jugglers, street massagers, side-walk palmists,

knife-grinders, shoe-shine boys and other casual workers generally known as the lumpen
proletariat. The shortage of urban employment, the population growth, the and the eviction of
tenants by the "green revolution constantly add to this growing army of the lumpen proletariat.
According to official government figures, one-fifth of the civilian labor force was out of work at
the time of Ayubf s fall. The actual figures must have been much larger. Indeed, during my visit
to West Pakistan in 1969 after five years' absence, the most startling change that I noticed was
the stupendous growth of the beggar population and the enormous number of educated
unemployables crowding cheap restaurants An "Association of the Unemployed Graduates" has
recently been formed in Karachi, enrolling 1000 members instantly,

REF:JHANG KARACHI Januarv 1. 1972.


The feudal lords, who were the richest class in the country at the time of independence,

witnessed the growth of the urban bourgeoisie with envy. The feudal lords had joined the ruling
coalition because of a lack of alternatives and owed gratitude to the bureaucracy and the army for
keeping them in business. But they resented the fact that the bourgeoisie always got preferential
treatment from the army. The Government's policy of siphoning off agricultural surplus into
private industries, adversely affected not only the peasants, as pointed out by Iiations, but also

the landlords. The bourgeoisie, through its control of financial institutions, also prevented the
landlords from converting themselves into industrial capitalists. The feudal lords had one
advantage over the bourgeoisie, i.e. they controlled a large population in the countryside as a
result of their traditional power. The f eudalist realized that that power could be harnessed at an
appropriate time when the bourgeoisie faced a serious challenge from other segments in society.
The control of the commanding heights of the economy by 20 to 25 monopolist families was one
of the most significant outcomes of the pattern of economic development pursued by the Ayub
regime under American advice

REF;, Richard, "The Economic Structure of Pakistan: Class and Colony", New Left Review, No.

In fact, the PPP's popularity was a sequel to the 1968-69 revolutionary movement. Even prior to
1970's first ever general election on an adult franchise basis, the masses had joined this
party because of its socialist program. The labour leaders who became strong because of
the 1968 movement joined this party.

The movement had begun as a protest against a hike in the price of sugar. The students joined
this protest. A student of Rawalpindi Polytechnic College, Abdul Hameed, was shot dead in a
protest demonstration.
This spark ignited the whole society. Now the proletariat joined the movement. The workers
were taking over the mills and factories, the peasantry had risen up, and strike committees
appeared, controlling the cities. In the industrial district of Faisalabad, the district
administration had to seek the permission of local labour leader Mukhtar Rana for the supply
of goods through trucks. All censorship had failed. Trains were carrying the revolutionary
message across the country. Workers invented new methods of communication.
It was a new phenomenon. But it had not come from the heavens. Industrialisation, and
exploitation and oppression widening the gulf between rich and poor, brought about this
change. In the 1960s, the ruling classes had intensified their plunder. For example, in 1965,
according to the Delhi-based weekly Links, dictator Ayub's family assets were estimated at
Rs250 million, not including the wealth transferred abroad into foreign banks. Similarly, 66
per cent of industrial capital, 80 per cent of banking, and 97 per cent of insurance business
was owned by 22 families. In contrast, the average monthly income of a working-class family
was Rs 150. (US$16 at that time).
In 1967, railway workers were the first to take action, going on strike. The official union had
opposed the industrial action. The unofficial union, controlled by Communists, also opposed
it because they were supporting "anti-imperialist" Ayub Khan. Nevertheless, the railway
workers formed workers' committees and began their own action.
The government resorted to all kinds of repression, but it had to grant some of the demands
before the strike was called off. The working class, peasantry and students all were in total

revolt. But the left, still caught up in its two-stage theory, was dreaming of bourgeois
democratic revolution led by progressive bourgeois.
Professor Muzafar Ahmad, a Communist leader of the National Awami Party, explained this
position at the time in Outlook. He said that when he talked of favorable objective conditions,
he did not mean objective conditions for socialism but for bourgeois democracy.
Consciousness in Pakistan was in no way socialist; therefore revolution must pass through
stages, he added. We definitely need a revolutionary party, but in the next stage, he


.As the opposition to the Ayub regime intensified and the competition with the old
opposition parties became fierce, the rhetoric of the People's Party also escalated.
Enchanted by Bhutto's slogans and attracted by his financial resources, a growing number
of leftist intellectuals, journalists, poets, writers and student leaders flocked towards
the People's Party. Others saw a distinct national bourgeois tendency in the PPP.
Objectively the petty-bourgeoisie was in conflict with the monopolists entangled with
imperialist capital. The pursuance of its class interests required a confrontation with
imperialism; Bhutto's outbursts against the United States and his pronouncements in supp-
ort of the National Liberation struggles were viewed in this context. The hostility
of the Johnson administration and the liberal Western press toward Bhutto confirmed the
thesis that Bhutto was a genuine anti-imperialist against whom the Pakistani reactionaries, in
complicity with imperialists, had ganged up. A series of harsh actions against Bhutto by the
Ayub regime, including a frame up, an assassination attempt, and disruption
of his rallies reinforced the myth surrounding him.

In Pakistan's political context, Bhutto and his petty-bourgeois supporters represented a

progressive force. They had spoken for the end of dictatorship, feudalism and monopoly
capitalism; they had demanded restoration of the freedom of the press; they had provided
opportunities to the leftist intellectuals, suppressed for too long, to express themselves again;
and, above all, they had legitimized the slogan of socialism, which had been a taboo in Pakistan.

Those who did not believe in the socialist bona fides of Bhutto, conceded that it was at least
possible to bring about a bourgeois democratic revolution in cooperation with the forces Bhutto
represented. The task of organizing the party at

grass roots levels was shouldered mainly by these leftist political workers and the new cadres
recruited by them. They spread out in the countryside and in the urban mohalas (neighborhoods)
to organize the party. Organization of the party and mobilization of support for it require
dintense political education. This function was effectively performed by the leftist journalists and
writers whom Bhutto had won over. The PPP undertook an extensive program of publishing

books, pamphlets and posters. A Lahore weekly Nusrat, was acquired by the party and entrusted
to an experienced leftist journalist. In the wake of the Nusratts success, the same journalist
launched a daily paper, Mussawat which overnight became immensely popular. Several other
daily and weekly publications were later started by the PPP from different cities in West

The leftist-operated propaganda machinery of the party effectively portrayed the miserable plight
of the masses, exposed the injustices and oppression of feudalism and capitalism, debunked the
right-wing propaganda, and projected a revolutionary image of the PPP and its leader. Mr.
Bhutto chose the title of "Chairman, rather than that of the President, customary in Pakistani
political parties. His leftist supporters equated him with Chairman Mao. Bhutto wore Mao cap to
support this equation. One of the issues of Nusrat carried a picture of Bhutto, shaking hands with
Mao Tse-tung, The caption read: "Asia's two great leaders, Chairman Mao and Chairman Bhutto

Even a book of quotations of Chairman Bhutto was published.

A rather awkward sounding slogan "Islam is our faith. Democracy is our policy. Socialism is our
economyv was designed to appeal to the various hopes, fears and prejudices.

REF: Kaleem Nishtar (compiler), Chairman Bhutto Ke Aaual Aur Afkar (Sayings and

Thoughts of Chairman Bhutto), Lahore: Maktabe Alia, 1969.

It is against the above backdrop that the emergence and growth of the People's Party and
the popularity of its leader, Mr. Bhutto, must be viewed. Mr. Bhutto and the handful of his
friends in Ayub's Convention Muslim League clearly saw the forces that were emerging in
the country. Joined by a small number of Marxist and non-Marxist leftists, disillusioned
with the National Awami Party, they formed the Pakistan People's Party in 1967 and adopt-
ed a program that represented the interests of the petty-bourgeoisie and, at the same time,
provided enough radical rhetoric for the consumption of the masses. At the end of 1967 the
PPP, under the influence of these elements, drafted a document which very crudely described
the party's social democratic program for solving the people's problems.

The decision of the landlords to forge a united front with the Punjabi petty-bourgeoisie
under the banner of the People's Party cannot be fully explained either by the circumstances
discussed above or by the vagueness of the PPP over the land question. There was at least one
area in which the class interests of the landlords coincided with the class interests of the petty-
bourgeoisie. Both were the victims of the monopoly capitalists. Both wanted to have an easy
access to credit, foreign exchange and licences. Many landlords had already realized that
feudalism had no future and that the industries were a more efficient way of accumulating
wealth. If they could seize state power, weaken the monopolies, exercise control over the
financial institutions and acquire industrial and trade licences, there would be little to prevent

them from transforming themselves into industrial capitalists. Given these desiderata, land
reforms would be complimentary, and not antagonistic, to their interests since compensation
received for the lands surrendered could be invested in more lucrative factories and
busineses.This process of voluntary liquidation of landed properties and conversion of
landlords into industrial capitalists has already been witnessed in Latin America. A number of
landlord supporters of the PPP had a invested money in industries and trade. For example,
Hakim Zardari, who was later elected to the National Assembly, owned sever 21 cinema.
houses in Karachi and other urban properties. The Talpurs have a textile mill in Hyderabad
and other industrial investments. A detailed profile of the PPP leaders -with information on
their landed, business and industrial assets would be of great interest and use in explaining the
policies of the Bhutto regime.

The Peoples Party thus succeeded in pulling together the forces alienated by the
Ayub regime: the petty-bourgebisie of Punjab and Karachi, the "progressive" landlords of
Sind, lower Punjab and psrts of Sarhad, and the disgruntled members of the military and
bureaucracy. Not only was the Party's program in their interest but Mr. Bhutto gave repeated
assurances to these groups that their vested interests would be protected. To the vast mass
of the alienated and exploited people--the peasants, workers and the lumpen proletariat--
the PPP was sold as a revolutionary socialist party which was bent upon "tumbling the
thrones and tossing the crownst”
REF:December 5, 1970 PPP official organ Musawat
They were told that every trace of feudalism and capitalism would be eliminated, that the
fields would belong to the tillers and the factories to the workers, and that every exploiter
would have to be answerable to the people's court .Musawat 9 Dec 1970.
In short, there was no revolutionary slogan or cliche which was not used by the PPP leaders
and cadres.

In Punjab, where the leftist cadres had done a splendid work of grassroot organization
and where there was no competing regionalist movement, the masses, looking at their own
objective conditions, at the brutal repression of the PPP by the ruling oligarchy and at the
sincerity of the party workers, were taken in by the petty-bourgeoisie radical rhetoric. The
propaganda of the reactionary right that Islam is in danger was effectively neutralized by the
They voted massively for the PPP and gave it a landslide victory in both National and Prov-
incial Assemblies. In Sind, where political education and organization of the masses had not
progressed so well, the PPP owed its success to the traditional hold of the landlords
over the peasants . To ensure the control of feudal lords and the petty-bourgeoisie over the
party, democracy within the party was disallowed. Top positions in the Party were arbitrarily
assigned by Mr. Bhutto to the representatives of the
propertied classes. The 18-member central committee, named by Bhutto, included only 3

persons--S.M, Rashid, Mairaj M. Khan and M. Haneef Ramy--who could be considered left-
ist by any definition. Similarly, Party tickets for the elections were awarded almost
exclusively to the rich members. In Punjab, of the 63 PPP members elected to the National
Assembiy, only 2, Sheikh Rashid ad Mukhtar Rana, represented the peasants and wcrkers.
Sind, all of the 19 NA members from the PPP are either landlords or belong to aristccrstic
The Party's rich leadership also worked out deals with landlords of other parties,
whereby the PPP did not contest or campaign in certain constituencies. The most blatant
exposure of such deals came when Mr. Bhutto went to Multan to campaign for himself but
refused to visit the nearby riding of Vehari where a new PPP stalwart, Taj Mohammad
Lengah, was effectively challenging Mr. Daulatana, the old guru of the Punjabi feudal politic-
ians. No "adjustments were, however, offered to the recognized leaders of the work-
ing class and to other known leftist candidates. In Multan, Mr. Bhutto decided to run
himself rather than give the ticket to Babu Ferozuddin Ansari, the leader of the weavers,
despite the fact that Mr. Bhutto was running from five other constituencies. In Lahore,
the veteran leader of Railway Workers, Mirza Ibrahim, was opposed and soundly defeated by
a rich engineer of the PPP, Dr. Mubashar Hassan, who is now the Finance Minister of
Pakistan. In Karachi, because of the rank and file pressure, the Party decided not to run a
candidate against the militant labour leader, Mrs. Kaneez Fatima. But I have been told on
good authority that the PPP workers campaigned for a right -wing candidate, Mufti
Mohammad Shafi, on the pretext that Kaneez Fatima had no chance and in order to ensure the
defeat of another ultra-rightist it was necessary to support Mufti Shafi, Revolutionary poet
Habib Jalib, running on the ticket of the NAP, was also opposed and beaten by an unknown
PPP candidate. In the Sarhad province, the, PPP' s intransigence resulted in the defeat of the
NAP and victory of the right-wing Muslim League in several constituencies, despite the
fact that the NAP withdrew its candidate to enable the PPP province chief, Sherpao, to
win a seat in the provincial assembly.
In Europe the capitalism flourished under the banner of radical bourgeois political parties in
conflict with feudal order. But the case of Pakistan was different. It was a neo-colonial society
where the imperialist powers adopted different strategies to protect and preserve their
interests. Due to the peculiar conditions of postindependence Pakistan and as a consequence
of the imperialist domination of the country, Pakistan's capitalists had progressed rather
rapidly and without the paraphernalia of the bourgeois order. They had not even felt the need
to build an effective political party of their own. The military and the bureaucracy
had provided them the necessary cover. Now, when the military and the bureaucracy had
yielded to the popular demand for the restoration of parliamentary democracy, the big or
monopoly capitalists panicked. They attempted to prevent the elections, but failed. In the
elections, although 30 right-wing candidates, over whom the big bourgeoisie could maintain
some sort of control, were elected to the NA

of 300 members, both members of the "big 22 families, Saeed Haroon and Raf ique Saigal,
who contested the elections, were soundly defeated. The immediate reaction of the
bourgeoisie to the election results was to panic. The stock market declined, prices
went up and capital began to fly out of the country. A series of actions by the big
capitalists and their agents indicated that there was a conspiracy to prevent the People's
Party from entering the central covernment, if not to prevent the restoration of democracy.
43 To many leftist critics of the PFF, this may sound pretty far-fetched. But an
understanding of the narrow political base of Pakistanl s big bourgeoisie, an appreciation
of the nature of conflict between the Big bourgeoisie and the "emergent bourgeoisie of
the country, and an exanimation of the events taking place between in the early 1970s
threatened the big bourgeoisie monopoly capitalism.

Ironically, although Bhutto was the leader of the majority party in (West) Pakistan, he was
installed in office not by democratic process but by a defeated military. On 20 December 1971,
by gift of a military junta that deposed General Yahya Khan, Bhutto was appointed President and
Chief Martial Law Administrator, taking over two of the offices and titles of the deposed
General. This was, in effect, a military coup, for the newly elected National Assembly had no
part in it. Bhutto was backed by two most powerful pro-US military chiefs, Lieutenant General
Gul Hassan, the Chief of the Army General Staff, and Air Marshall Rahim Khan, the air force
chief. There was no question of the army allowing Bhutto to inherit Yahya Khan's third office,
namely Commander-in-Chief of the Army. Simultaneously with Bhutto's installation as President
and CMLA, Gul Hassan was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Army. All this had the full
backing of the United States. Mr. Bhutto was at the United Nations attending the debate on
Bangladesh when the coup was arranged. During that time he had had 'consultations' with
President Nixon and his Secretary of State, Rogers, in Washington and had been given
'clearance' before he was invited by the military junta to head the government in Pakistan.

Mr. Bhutto had climbed to power on a contradictory class basis. The great national struggle
during the winter of 1968-9 that brought down the Ayub regime had brought into the political
arena a new element that had not existed before. These were dedicated and idealistic young men
and women who, quite spontaneously, had been drawn into organizing mass demonstrations that
brought down the proud regime of Ayub Khan. This was under conditions of extraordinary
repression. They became the new cadres steeled in political battles at the grass roots who built
the PPP. Although these young people had proved their commitment to the realization of a
democratic Pakistan they had had no political education or understanding of the class forces that
were at work and the bases of mass power that needed to be organized and consolidated before
they could hope to realize their dreams, especially to destroy the power of landlords who control
the countryside, without which true democracy in Pakistan must remain a vain hope. China had
captured their imagination, but in a somewhat naive way. To attract these new cadres Mr. Bhutto
changed his image. calling himself Chairman and putting on a Mao jacket and cap, with his
powerful rhetoric he rallied the youngsters around himself. But beneath that temporary disguise
he remained a 'feudal' lord, hence the other, contradictory, section of the base of his party. He
understood the electoral game in landlord dominated Pakistan. and made pacts with the most

reactionary elements in the country, big landowners and pirs, who turned out the captive rural
votes for him. But Mr. Bhutto, considering only himself, had no deep-seated loyalties for either.

After some initial gestures in the direction of his radical cadres, Mr. Bhutto soon turned on them
and repressed them ruthlessly. He combined this, however, with some favors, both institutional
and as concessions to the labor movement, and also personally through patronage. His
nationalization measures are best understood in terms of his need to extend the scope for state
patronage. The bureaucratized nationalized enterprises, handed over to incompetent and corrupt
opportunist sycophants, soon fell into rack and ruin. By the nationalization he had antagonized
the bourgeoisie. He had also begun to worry US business and the US Administration, both by
these measures as well as by his strident radical rhetoric. He strived to win back their confidence
but without much success, as he had gained the reputation of being unpredictable and
untrustworthy in their eyes.


Bhutto's land reforms are indeed unique for a bourgeois-feudal country in the sense

that they provide for the resumption of excess land without compensation and its redistribution

to the tenants free of charge. The, maximum land-holding permitted by law is only 120 irrigated
or 240 unirrigated acres per person; however, there are a number of loopholes in this
prescription. Firstly, the holding is measured in terms of a 40-year old index of produce units
which would allow each landowner far more land than the government claims it would.
Secondly, most of the landlords owning land in excess of the legal ceiling have already
transferred their excess land to their family members and loyal tenants. Finally, the concessions
granted to the ex-military officers and capitalist farmers would allow them to keep large tracts of
land in. excess of the legal limit. In reality, a very insignificant amount of land will be taken
from the landlords and very few tenants will benefit from it. Some of the other provisions of the
land reforms, which transfer from the tenant to the landlord the responsibility of paying revenue,
water charges and the cost of seed, cannot possibly be implemented without radically
restructuring the society and changing its power equation. On the contrary, these pro-visions, as
pointed out to me by the peasant leader Ishaque Mohammad, will tend to set the tenant against
the small owner and destroy the unity among the poor tillers.


The peasants of Punjab, who provided the bulk of votes for the People's Party, have

fared no better. In a state of euphoria, created by the PPP's victory and reinforced by the
propaganda about the the revolutionary character of land reforms, some of them began to take
the government at its face value, refusing to render the illegal, forced and humiliating services
which the landlords had been extracting from them for centuries, and resisting the illegal
ejectment from land.

Dera Ghazi Khan is one such place where the peasants, organized by the local PPP, refused

to render begar (free service) to the police and resisted ejectment by the landlords. The police
and the bureaucracy, aided by the of the landlords, unleashed a reign

of terror against the peasants and the PPP workers. Dozens of them, including the district Vice-
President of the PPP, were thrown into jails, tortured and framed in criminal cases. Fence was
now secured for the landlords of the region by the "Peoples government."Balakh Sher Mazari
and Nasrullah Khan Dereshek, two of the most dreaded feudal lords of the region and members
of the National Assembly, previously opposed to the People's Party, had joined it.


The new labour policy, the regime's showpiece of socialism, was rejected off -hand by the labour
leaders. Usman Baloch, President of the United Labour Federation, summarized the new policy
in these words : lf Ayub Khan had outlawed strikes, Yahya Khan allowed the formation of
multiple unions in a single factory, and now Bhutto has conspired to create a union in each
department of a factory by his shop steward program.

The government? policy toward labour, and the left in general, could be described as a policy of
co-optation, containment and destruction. The most vivid demonstration of co-optation and
containment was given on the May Day when the government declared the 1st of May as an
official holiday, and organized and participated in the workers' rallies. In the city of Lahore,
where a mammoth May Day parade had taken place in 1969 in defiance of the government, the
workers were contained in trucks this time and prevented from mingling with one another. As
soon as the official fanfare about the labour day was over, the Information Minister, who had
presided over the official May Day Mushaira (poetry recital session), ordered the media to stop
all propaganda against the capitalists. Bhutto himself addressed Pakistan's industrialists and
assured them that private capitalism would be protected and the workers' agitation would not be
tolerated by his government. It was not without significance that he used the term gherao-jalao
(encircle and burn) for the workers' actions--a law and order term coined by the capitalists and
used by the reactionary politicians and press to discredit the workers movement. (The fact r the
workers had not burnt a single factory, and had resorted to gherao only when their managements
have refused to deal with them with reason and decency). As if acting on a cue, the capitalists
started provoking the workers--in some cases even refusing to pay wages on the pay day. The
stock market, which had remained closed for five months, opened with a bang.

The People's Party’s rhetoric, both during the campaign and after the assumption of power, has
contributed a great deal to the rising expectations of the workers. But their economic conditions
have continued to worsen and their exploiters have become even more vicious, resorting
increasingly to lock-outs and retrenchments, and demanding the crack- down of the labour
movement as a precondition for resuming production. Given the self-confidence and defiant
mood of the workers, this increasingly intransigent attitude of the capitalists was bound to lead to
serious clashes and create conditions in which the "People's governmentn could no longer
maintain its "socialist" facade. The inevitable happened on June 7 when the management of the
Feroze Sultan Textile Mills in Karachi, notorious for its practice of not hiring any worker

continuously for more than three months, provoked a clash with the workers. The police fired
indiscriminately without warning and killed at least 50 workers in two days--a costly
demonstration of what happens to those who refuse to be charmed and contained by the 'People's
Government." The Karachi massacre may just be the beginning of what Bhutto means by saying
that the strength of the street would be met with the full weight of the state.


Due to the PPP government policies towards the left, polarization of the party cadres and top
leaders started proceeding rapidly throughout Pakistan. The young idealistic youth, who had
campaigned for the PPP in the name of socialism and emancipation of workers and peasants
became disillusioned with PPPs slogans about socialism. The contradictions in Pakistan were
such that Mr. Bhutto and the feudal-upper petty bourgeois leadership of the Peoplecs Party had
to mobilize the workers, peasants and students by promising them complete abolition of
feudalism and capitalism, and "all power to the people." The rhetoric worked insofar as getting
the votes was concerned. But it also created a Frankenstein's monster in the form of a huge army
of radical political cadres at the village and urban neighborhood level and some middle echelon
leaders, a few of whom have managed to get elected to the Punjab provincial assembly.

Given the class character of the Bhutto government and its crisis the mass of highly motivated
political workers who were disenchanted with the PPP leadership and joined Mazdoor-Kisan
(Worker-Peasant) Party. Bhutto understood the dangerous potential of such a development. He
had to start taking effective measures to isolate from the masses the likely candidates for this
task. Mukhtar Rana, the popular labour leader from the industrial city of Lyallpur, was framed in
a number of criminal cases, summarily sentenced to five years of hard labour and deprived of his

National Assembly seat. Mairaj Mohammad Khan and Sheikh Mohammad Rasheed were
immobilized by being given powerless ministerial portfolios in the central government and by
being identified with the regime's unpopular policies. The members of the Punjab

Provincial Assembly, who dared to speak for the peasants, had been threatened with the fate of
Rana. One of them, Fida Hussain, was indicted in a murder case because he championed the
cause of the ejected peasants of Hafizabad.


The suppression of the leftist middle echelon leadership and cadres of the PPP was part of a
conscious attempt to destroy the party as a grass-roots left-oriented organization and to turn it
into the usual type bourgeois-feudal party, based on deals and alliances at the top, while
communicating with the masses directly by means of circus-like public meet ings and state and
party controlled mass media.

Bhuttots made his full-scale drive to build a grand alliance with the right-wing parties which had
bitterly opposed the PPP in the elections.

A rightist leader, Khan Qayum Khan, was appointed a member of Bhutto's cabinet and given the
crucial Home Ministry--an agency of witch-hunting. Qayum had indicated that his Pakistan
Muslim League would eventually merge with the People's Party.

The leader of another faction of the Muslim League, Mumtaz Daulatana, resigned from the party
leadership and has accepted the post of ambassador to the United Kingdom. His Council Muslim
League offered no more than a token opposition to Bhutto's government. Many members of the
third faction of the Muslim League, the Convention ML, were drawn into the People's Party
during the election campaign and now occupy important government and party positions.
Similarly, a large number of feudal lords and tribal leaders, especially in the Sarhad and
Baluchistan provinces who were elected to National and Provincial legislatures as independent
candidates, have now become prominent leaders of the PPP.


Bhutto was convinced that Capitalism in Pakistan can grow only in the compradore form. The
People's Party's emergent bourgeoisie, like the monopolist bourgeoisie into whose domain it had
marched, knew this truism. It must attach itself to international imperialism.Pakistan's military
establishment, a product of colonialism and neo-colonialism, would need these alliances even
more desperately once issues are settled with India and it loses its raison d'etre, i.e. confrontation

with India. No wonder then that Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, the author of the Myth of Independence and
the leader who had campaigned on a platform of non-aligned foreign policy, had exposed his
own myth of independence. He had publicly asked for the revitalization of the Central Treaty
Organization (CENTO) and for signing a new bilateral treaty with the United States. For the first
time since 1965 Pakistan has sent a ministerial delegation to attend the CENTO conference held
recently in London. The frequent exchange of visits with the reactionary Middle-eastern
governments is yet another indication of Pakistan having become a pawn in the U.S.
mediterranean strategy. Rumours are persistent in Pakistan that (a) the Pakistani military
personnel have begun to leave the Bada Ber base near Peshawer, vacated by the U.S. in 1969, in
order to make room for American reoccupation, (b) naval facilities are being constructed by the
Americans near Gwadur on the Mekran coast--a location ideally suited for the policing of

the eastern end of the gulf, (c) military detachments are being sent to Oman, Trucial States,
Jordan and other reactionary countries of the Middle East, and (d) workers are being

recruited in Pakistan for the American base in Guam. I have no way of verifying these allega-

Retreat of the Petty bourgeoisie and feudal domination of the PPP

Give the transfer of power under normal conditions, with industries still holding out the
promise of big profit, the PPP, in all likelihood, would have made an earnest attempt
to implement its social-democratic program. The result would have been a state-owned and

operated economic infrastructure, supporting the competitive capitalism of the petty-

bourgeoisie. In order to understand the dynamics of state capitalist the experience of our
neighbor, India, could serve as an example.
Unfortunately, Pakistan's industrial sector went into a very unhappy state after the loss of
raw resources of jute and tea after 1971 separation of the east Pakistan. In fact the country as
a whole rested on very shaky foundations. The bourgeoisie--entrenched and emergent--is in
the lowest of its spirits. Pakistan's economy never recovered since the uprising against Ayub
Khan. The accompanying table summarizes the economic conditions which prevailed at the
time of the start of the Bengal genocide. The prolongation of the military occupation of East
Bengal not only cost the exchequer an average monthly sum of $30-40 million but deprived
West Pakistan of revenues, foreign exchange, and a market for its mnufactured goods. The
shrinking of markets and the shortage of foreign exchange seriously affected production
in West Pakistan where seyeral thousand workers were laid-off.46 According to a
conservativefl estimate of Karachi daily Dawn( Jan 6, 19'72), at least 45,000 workers were
laid off in Karachi alone since the imposition of Yahya Martial Law
The military defeat at the hands of India and de facto establishment of Bangladesh completed
the severance of the parasitic link between West Pakistan and East Bengal. All West Pakistani
assets in Bangladesh were nationalized.The major economic consequences of the separation
of East Bengal for West Pakistan economic disaster for the west Pakisan. In these
circumstances , the feudal were doubtful that selling lands and investing in industries would
bring them any lucrative investment.


The rout of the PPP radicals was symbolized by the exit of leading members of the radical
intelligentsia in the core of his party, such as Dr. Mubashir Hassan, the Finance Minister, J. A.
Rahim and Khurshid Hassan Mir from the Cabinet in October 1974. But the shift to the right had
begun earlier when others, such as Mairaj Mohammad Khan, were removed; this shift was
replicated at all levels of the party Organization.

Bhutto’s populist style and rhetoric:

The PPP manifesto later issued was the repetition and in some cases elaboration of the principles
set forth in the Foundation Document. Later, during the election campaign he conveyed his
message to the masses by such popular slogans of the time roti, Kapra our Makan

Populism A political philosophy supporting the rights and power of the people in their
struggle against the privileged elite and the movement organized around this philosophy.
After coming to the power in 1971, the Bhutto government Bhutto nationalised the industry
and, as a symbolic gesture, gave some residential plots to those without property. Other than
that, his lukewarm land reforms, half-baked bureaucratic changes and other policies did not
expand the domestic economy enough to absorb the restless youth with time in their hands.

The PPP manifesto was couched in socialist terms. When Bhutto issued the Economic
Reform Order on January 3, 1972, banking and insurance institutions were nationalized, and
seventy other industrial enterprises were taken over by the government. The Ministry of
Production, which incorporated the Board of Industrial Management, was established to
oversee industry. Investment in the public sector increased substantially, and Bhutto
maneuvered to break the power of the approximately twenty elite families who had dominated
the nation's economy during the Ayub Khan period. Trade unions were strengthened, and
welfare measures for labor were announced. Although Bhutto's initial zeal diminished as he
came face-to-face with economic realities and the shortage of capital, he tried to refurbish his
populist image with another spate of nationalizations in 1976.

Bhutto Factor: Charisma and Class background of Leadership

Philip E Jones In his book Peoples Party Rise to Power notes “certainly it is difficult to conceive
of the PPP without its founding chairman” The Pakistan Peoples Party is Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto”
was an assertion during the years when PPP ruled. In the beginning, the Party organized itself on
the the basis of Bolshevik model which stressed’ discipline, ideology, and objectives of the
organization. In Bolshevik Marxist Philosophy the, leader is considered as’ midwife’ who is
outstanding among the masses by virtue of his being conscious of the necessity of time and
circumstances. After the PPP’s having been formed, the feudal mind-set of Bhutto influenced
the Party’s working and it changed into ‘fuherist’ or Nazi Party. In Hitler’s Nazi Model Party,
the organization and ideology are subordinated to the particular proclivities, inclinations and
visions of the one leader at the head of state and party.

Z A Bhutto leadership existed in the midst of internal party tensions between elite of feudal-
bureaucracy and forces of the left aspiring for major social change in the country structure.

Bhutto derived his power less from the 1973 constitution than from his charismatic appeal to the
people and from the vigor of the PPP. Its socialist program and Bhutto's oratory had done much
to radicalize the urban sectors in the late 1960s and were responsible for the popular optimism
accompanying the restoration of democracy. The ideological appeal of the PPP to the masses sat
uneasily with the compromises Bhutto reached with the holders of economic and political
influence--the landlords and commercial elites.In the person of Bhutto, the conflict between the
Western-educated politician, wearing the Mao Cap and preaching socialism, and the feudal
politician, arrogant, vindictive and intolerant of opposition ultimately resolved in favour of
rhetoric of populism and On-Man Show in the PPP politics. But he was his own worst enemy,
too absorbed with a sense of his own power to have a wider vision. His arrogance and harsh
persecution of real and imagined enemies, or 'slights', was his undoing. Most important of all, he
failed to allow his radical cadres to restore his own crumbling mass base, because of their
repression in order to reassure the domestic bourgeoisie and the anxious Americans. But he did
not win back their confidence, either. He also failed to establish a reasonable dialogue with
leaders of other progressive political parties to consolidate bases of democratic politics in the
country and brutally repressed Baluch nationalists. He did not make any friends.

Bhutto’ s class character manifested itself in his opportunism right from the very start, first on
the road to power in 1950s and then as a prime minister. Wopert quotes from a particularly
fawning letter written by Bhutto to Iskunder Mirza, currying favour with the emerging
dictatorship (p. 55), and it shows how quickly Bhutto abandoned his early attachment to liberal
causes-autonomy for Sind for one Unite when-he supported the creation of one unit in
West Pakistan (pp. 48,6o).The same opportunism is also shown to have blighted his career as
prime minister in the 1970s--; reform, often ill-thought out and poorly implemented, became a
means of buying votes; and secular instincts were abandoned in a vain effort to buy off Islamic
forces opposing his rule while framing the constitution. the most cynical betrayal of his secular
creed (pp. 238-9), when he made his decision to declare the Ahmadis non-Muslims.

Suppression of the Leftists:

They found a radical bourgeois in Bhutto and started supporting him. Instead of organising
and launching class struggle, the left developed the working class's illusions in Bhutto and the
PPP. They reconciled with feudals and capitalists in the PPP, and even presented them as
leaders. Hence the PPP became a working-class party with feudal leaders who used socialist
Instead of organising the PPP on a radical socialist program, it was organised on a bourgeois
democratic basis, which led to a right-wing turn by the party. It was again their ideology that
stopped the left organising the PPP on a revolutionary basis. The left was just working in line
with the foreign policy of Moscow and Beijing.
When the PPP came to power in 1972, many Communists joined the government, but the PPP
could not bring any fundamental change despite some radical reforms. This disillusioned the
working class. The proletariat took to the streets during the period May-September 1972. The
movement was especially strong in Karachi. The government decided to crush the movement.
A demonstration of workers was fired on in Gandhi, Karachi, leaving dozens dead. This
angered the Communists who had joined the government, and some of them resigned in
protest. Perhaps they had forgotten that capitalist governments, no matter how radical they
may be at times, always repress the proletariat. Disillusioned by Bhutto and the PPP, the left
went looking for more progressive bourgeois figures, leaving the working class, having
illusions in the PPP, at the mercy of its feudal and capitalist leaders.
The left failed to offer any alternative during this period. Hence when the disillusionment
grew, it was right-wing religious fanatics and reactionary forces that became an alternative to
the PPP. In 1977, a movement began against the government, spurred by economic conditions
and US intervention. The left did not understand the nature of the movement nor analyse the
nature of its leadership. The left termed it a movement of democratic liberties and urged the
working class to join it.
In a statement from Hyderabad jail on April 12, 1977, Miraj Mohammad Khan, a leader of the
pro-Beijing Qaumi Mahaz e Azadi party, and Sher Mohammad Marri and Ata Ullah Mengal,
two pro-Moscow Baluch nationalist leaders, said: "We appeal to the workers, peasants,
students, intellectuals and toiling masses to join the ongoing people's movement which is a
movement of democratic liberties. We believe this movement will rid our motherland of the
dictatorship." They hoped to rid the "motherland" of "dictatorship" through religious

fundamentalists. Terming the Bhutto regime a dictatorship was not correct either socially or

The suppression of the leftists, middle echelon leadership and cadres of the PPP was a part of a
conscious attempt to destroy the party as a grass-roots organization and to turn it into the usual
type feudal-bourgeois party, based on deals and alliances at the top, communicating with the
masses directly by means of public meetings and state and party controlled mass media. This
view is supported by Bhutto's full-scale drive to build a grand alliance with the right-wing parties
which had bitterly opposed the PPP in the elections. Capitalism in Pakistan could grow only in
the comprador form. The PPP's emergent bourgeoisie like the monopolist bourgeoisie into whose
domain it had marched knew this truism. PPP was due to its class background was helpless.As
the alllignemnet of the economic and political forces became such that it could act not other
wise. Being conscious to protect its hold over power by means of projecting feudal-bourgeois
interests in the country, It unconsciously moved to attach itself to international imperialism. The
crisis after the 1977 elections made this transition to imperialism easy when the military regime
of Zia-ul-Haq revived the Paksitani clientele to the US with renewed vigour which lay dormant
during Bhutto era (1971-1977). Bhutto’s style of leadership and populism could not survive
without being fully allied with either of the two two superpowers. He tried to create his own bloc
but in this, which could be possible only if he had faithfully adhered to his party’ s commitment
to abolition of feudalism and to end of bureaucratization of the industries and othe means of

Confidently, from his place in the saddle of power, Bhutto did not hesitate to humiliate
somewhat critical left wing leaders from the party ranks and consistently pursued a ruthless
policy of persecuting them. The party's Secretary General, J.A. Rahim, one of the founding
fathers of the PPP and his socialist ally was subjected to humiliating treatment and was almost
beaten to death for storming out of a dinner after being kept waiting by Bhutto until midnight.
(p. Wolpert Zulfi Bhutto 120). Mairaj Mohammed Khan, a young labor leader from Karachi,
whom Bhutto had acclaimed as his right-hand man, was imprisoned and tortured. Mukhtar Rana,
a labor and peasant leader from Faisalabad [Lyallpur] remained in prison during most of Bhutto's
tenure. At a later stage, Khurshid Hasan Mir, Hanif Ramay, Dr. Mubashir Hasan,, and Mustafa
Khar of the Punjab PPP were forced out of the party.
In his own province of Sindh, he mistreated, humiliated and threw out his Sindhi colleagues
Rasul Bukhsh Talpur and Ahmed Ali Talpur. At all levels, factionalism became rampant. The
core of party leadership at all levels -- provincial, district and local -- were engaged in a tussle
for power. As party leader, Bhutto failed to mediate intra-party feuds. He also failed to hold
together ideologically disparate segments of his party, particularly the left and the right wings.
Initially, perhaps, he was able to preserve the balance between the left and the right, but
gradually he came to lean towards the right wing for support. As a result, he alienated the left

Federal Security Force( FSF):

He endeavored to develop a PPP para-military force as well as a special police agency which
became known as the Federal Security Force (FSF). The abuse of FSF against the leftists showed
the feudal mind-set of Bhutto.

Federal Security Force, an infamous Organization which gained much notoriety but did not in
any way counter-balance the weight of the regular military. Preoccupied with the question of
consolidating his personal power, Mr. Bhutto removed his benefactor and supplanted him with
Gen.Zia who brought about military coup and executed him.

Repression of the 1973 Balauch Insurgency

A long-dormant crisis erupted in Balochistan in 1973 into an insurgency that lasted four years
and became increasingly bitter. The insurgency was put down by the Pakistan Army, which
employed brutal methods and equipment, including Huey-Cobra helicopter gunships,
provided by Iran and flown by Iranian pilots. The deep-seated Baloch nationalism based on
tribal identity had international as well as domestic aspects. Moreover, many of the most
militant Baloch nationalists were also vaguely clalimed to be the leftists and willing to risk
Soviet protection for an autonomous Balochistan..


The men and women who gathered to found the Pakistan People’s Party were indeed a diverse
groups in terms of their social identities, political affiliatioins, ideological conviction and class
background. In the beginning , the opposition to Ayub Khan united them but after that divisions
became clear once the feudal class character reasserted itself during 1970s.

The PPP during Bhutto’s times used radical rhetoric to exploit the unemployment of the youth,
evictioin of the tenants by the feudal and workers by the industrialist bourgeois but in reality it
could not put into practice its slogans of socialism due to the strong feudal presence in it and due
to its connections with the military establishment. What was originally on the agenda of the PPP
could not be fully realized

due to the conditions created by the Yahya dictatorship and Pakistan's military defeat in 1971.
The PPP program was prepared within a different scenario which no longer existed. Bhutto,
despite his party’ class compulsions could not usher in industrialization which was expected
during the PPP rule in the west Pakisan now Pakistan. The PPP rule did not attempt to
demilitarize Pakistani politics. It did not curb the privileges and power of the capitalists,
landlord -especially the Kulaks, military officers

and the bureaucrats in a way that they could not derail democratic process. It did not do away
with the repressive laws which allow detention without trial. It did not restore complete freedom

of expression which they had been demanding for themselves. The areas in which the new PPP
government succeeded were: collection of taxes from the super rich, prevention of investment
in consumer goods of a luxury kind, equitable access to credit for all capitalists, prevention of
further growth of monopolies, psrtial substitution of technocrats for generalist bureaucrats, more
effective government control over the banks and insurance and empowerment of women in
economic and social spheres.

The PPP’s most considerable achievement-the raising of political consciousness among the
masses would always endear him to the vast sections of masses, though some still oppose its
founder’s policies on conservative religious or political grounds. The role of the PPP is
complex and multi-faceted just as its leader, chairman Bhutto’s personality was complex and


Bourgeoisie: this term refers in general to the strata in society which own the means of

Big bourgeoisie: the major industrialists, bankers, etc.

Monopolists: members of the big bourgeoisie who have gained exclusivist ownership of the bulk
of these interests, e.g., the 22 families in Pakistan who control Pakistan's economy.

comprador: those dependent on foreign capitalists in order to retain ownership of the means of
production within their country, e.g., the monopolists in Pakistan have been dependent on

US aid to maintain control of the textile industry in Pakistan.


Petty (small) bourgeoisie: the middle classes -shopkeepers, university students, lower
government workers, teachers, professionals, managerial personnel, office workers, even into the
higher income brackets among these people.

Emergent or nouveau bourgeoisie: the stratum of society that is in process of gaining

ownership of significant industry and capital.


The lowest, most degraded stratum of the proletariat. Used originally in Marxist theory to
describe those members of the proletariat, especially criminals, vagrants, and the unemployed,
who lacked class consciousness.
2. The underclass of a human population.