Political Existence and Question of Historical Agency: Performance of Pakistan People’s Party in Punjab (1999-2018)
Keywords:Pakistan People’s Party, Politics, History of Pakistan
Pakistan People’s Party has gone through difficult times since 1999. They went through split in the parliamentary party by giving birth to ‘parliamentarians’, lost leadership, attained power and experienced the lowest electoral score in the political history between 1999 and 2018. These two decades have been crucial not only for the Pakistan People’s Party but also for the overall political development in Pakistan. Enforcement of emergency, introduction of ‘enlightened moderation’, war on terror, charter of democracy, eighteenth amendment and above all the slogan of ‘tabdili’ accredit this era for a deeper analysis of the events. Plethora of work has been done on the political, social and economic aspects of this period in the political history of Pakistan. This paper analyses the relationship of political existence with the historical agency to understand the events of political success and failure in the light of historical standards of existence. It defines the historical standards on the basis of sociocultural dynamics of society and on the basis of these standards analyses the performance of Pakistan People’s Party. It argues for the deterministic presence of History as an agent in the social and political development. This paper extends the argument, while answering the question of nature of socio-cultural and historical relevance of a political party, to the understanding of existing material on political development, understanding of socio-cultural transitions and by understanding the emerging socio-cultural realities. It concludes the discussion with linking the performance of Pakistan People’s Party with the historical dimension.
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