The 27th of December, the death anniversary of Benazir Bhutto, is a significant date for PPP history- according to PPP leaders; it reminds the party of the enormous sacrifices made by Bhutto for democracy. The winter of 2007 was a politically charged time for Pakistan, when our country had seen an end to dictatorship, and democracy appeared to be right around the corner. It was in this backdrop of the struggle for democracy that PPP was fighting for that Benazir was killed. Eleven years later- the party is again under threat, with several of its members under NAB investigation or facing the prospect of jai. The death anniversary of Benazir proved to be the forum for PPP to showcase its strength and remind the country of their sacrifices.

Addressing a large crowd of the PPP supporters, Bilawal Bhutto claimed that the on-going investigations and upcoming court trials against his family and the party aim at forcing them to accept abolition of the 18th Constitutional Amendment. PPP’s co-chairman Asif Zardari said he and his party are ready to put up a fight whether in the courts of law or outside against alleged conspiracies. Accusing the PTI’s government of drowning people in a Tsunami of inflation, Zardari predicted that the PTI government will not be able to sustain for long.

What has propelled this sudden urgency in PPP’s opposition? It appears the NAB investigation of Zardari’s assets is starting to take a toll on the party and finally invoking some retaliation. The particular anger found in PPP for the past two days appears to come out of the placement of Zardari, Qaim Ali Shah and Bilawal’s names on the ECL- indicating that the cases against them are becoming more serious. Despite Zardari’s insistence that he is not afraid, records show there is a great deal to fear, and the PPP Chairman may finding himself rooming with Nawaz Sharif.

PPP’s retaliation is an effort to show to the public that PPP, unlike the PML-N, will not take the arrest of its leaders lying down. Yet before taking these bold steps, the party needs to assess if its workers are united enough to lead an effective opposition effort. The number of PPP participants of the main anniversary event was not as high as claimed by the party. Divided in the city and at the divisional level, it appeared the PPP failed to pull a crowd to the site. When PPP currently does not appear united, it is doubtful how seriously these speeches by Bilawal and Zardari, no matter how eloquent, will be taken.