The Pakistan Peoples Party is a centre-left, social-democratic and secular political party in Pakistan. It is currently the third largest party in the National Assembly. The party was founded in 1967, when a number of prominent left-wing leaders of the country joined hands against the military dictatorship of President Ayub Khan, under the leadership of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. Affiliated with the Socialist International, the PPP’s platform is socialist, and its stated priorities include transforming Pakistan into a social democratic state, promoting secular and egalitarian values, establishing social justice and a strong national defence. The party, alongside Pakistan Muslim League (N) and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf is one of the 3 largest political parties of Pakistan.
Since its foundation in 1967, it had been a major and influential political left-wing and socialist force in the country and the party’s leadership has been dominated by the members of the Bhutto family. Its centre of power lies in the southern province of Sindh. PPP has been voted into power on five separate occasions (1970, 1977, 1988, 1993 and 2008), while on 4 occasions (1990, 1997, 2002 and 2013) it emerged as the largest opposition party. There have been a total of four Prime Ministers from PPP.
The PPP dominated the politics of Pakistan during the 1970s, suffering a temporary decline during the military dictatorship of Zia-ul-Haq. After the re-establishment of democracy in 1988 following Zia’s death, a two-party system developed, with the PPP and the Islami Jamhoori Ittehad, later succeeded by the Pakistan Muslim League (N), as the two major sides. The party served as the principal opposition to the Pervez Musharraf-led liberal government from 1999 to 2008. Until the disqualification of Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani by the Supreme Court in 2012, the PPP was regarded as the most influential political party in the country.
The party conceded defeat during the 2013 general election, performing extremely poorly in Punjab where most of its votebank was lost to the centrist Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, although it retained its provincial government in Sindh. In 2018 elections, for the first time in history the party was able to neither form the government nor emerge as the largest party in opposition.