ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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PAKISTAN-Initiative with PPP

Initiative with PPP MANY explanations are appearing for the timing of the Pakistan People's Party-led 'long march'. The 'conspiracy theorists' have it that Benazir Bhutto has received a 'nod' from the powers that be in Washington that the time has come to dislodge Nawaz Sharif and his increasing- ly pro-Islamic fundamentalist government. Others suggest that it was but an expression of Bhutto's perception of the popular discontent. Yet others maintain that she had little choice but to launch some effort of the sort given that she may well be on the verge of being debarred from the national assembly for six years, in the event of a negative verdict on the presidential references against her. While the truth is as usual a combination of all these determining causes, there is complete consensus on the reading of Nawaz Sharif's response to the opposition movement: that his panic reaction in almost bringing the entire country to a halt in order to foil the Long March to Islamabad on November 18 was tantamount to an acknowledgement of Bhutto's contention of popular resentment against the government. There is much to suggest that the Sharif government is at its lowest ebb since it came to power two years ago. The prime minister has lost many of his allies in the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad, which no longer enjoys a two-thirds majority in the National Assembly, and while his opponents had not supported the recognised opposition till now, the current movement launched by Bhutto is garnering such support.

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