Asif Zardari – A burden on PPP or a really indispensable leader? – by Nadeem Khan

Asif Zardari – A burden on PPP or a really indispensable leader? A dilemma for PPP loyalists

PPP workers and loyalists cannot make moves or comment against Zardari as now by fault (not default) he is heading the party. Due to mistake, passion or compassion, they chose him in critical time. Just due to the existence of Zardari the whole countrywide party’s integrity is on stake. This is a tough time for PPP loyals as unwillingly they have to defend the integrity/legacy of the party and consequently Asif Zardari. If Zardari is defeated, it will mean PPP will be defeated and may lose its existence once and for all.

After the death of Benazir Bhutto, perhaps with a view to gain sympathy votes, the PPP leaders agreed to put Zardari on the hot seat to form a government, but afterwards, they realized that they have to carry Zardari’s burden of (alleged and much publicized) corruption upon them and unwillingly they are doing it.

Several sincere and honest PPP workers have left the party because they cannot continue living two lives and keep a blot on their conscience but a few close, new and old stickers are still on. They keep on coming over media and keep their all time vague, unjustified, lame stances just to defend Zardari but with less than required vigor because they know they are beating around the bushes.

PPP workers are truly trying to defend the legacy of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Benazair Bhutto. However, Zardari has corrupted the legacy by becoming the head and the worst of all by becoming the president.

In the broader sense, PPP loyalists are defending PPP and not particularly Zardari because their future political career is related with the party and not with the personality of Zardari. The important thing is that Zardari knows this fact that he is good for nothing for the party, rather an awesome burden and any of his wrong moves will allow the party workers to throw him out of the seat.

His becoming a head of PPP was an accident and not by design. Or it may be termed as an accident which was caused by design (discussed below).

The Design

International players interested in any country need to have ‘’stooges’’ or puppets (e.g., General Musharraf in Pakistan) to achieve their particular national or international tasks of the bigger plans. Within any sovereign nation, a high official in politics, defense forces or judiciary, having a significant say in government or national policies, is selected. He (or she) is first asked to do as told, bribed extensively, then even threatened with dire consequences to perform the required act. If he denies, he/she is eliminated from the scene as happened with Benazir Bhutto or heavy financial or other restrictions are imposed upon the country relenting him to fulfil the required tasks or to step down due to ineligibility or termed hostile for the nation at large.

If a stooge is corrupt and already void of any moral ground by default and specially when he is on a good political hot seat by design, then the task becomes amply simple. Legalize his illicit practices, design an immunity for him to provide him protection from the natural justice, place him on the highest echelon making him untouchable and get your work done. In very tough times of global instability, USA as a so called designer of the new world order, needed a reliable stooge in an important geographically placed nation, Pakistan.

Keeping the ‘ride on the neck of the threat’ strategy, by penetrating into Afghanistan and Pakistan, is the biggest achievement of USA to become a sole sustaining power against future threats to USA, i.e. Russia, China, India, Iran and even a Muslim nuclear state Pakistan.

The USA, through General Musharaf, has done the same thing. Initially, Musharraf was seemingly a tough kid to become a stooge but then due to his fascination with power, he made few notable criminal mistakes. And to cloak the mistakes, to get a clean getaway, he agreed to replace himself by Zardari (already a selected stooge by USA after eliminating Benazir Bhutto by design).

Having a two decade history of world’s biggest proven corruption cases, the husband of a world accredited leader and the nation’s biggest political party having deep roots in people and having a legacy of four decades, Zardari was the favorite choice. Show him the money and power potency, Zardari will do the utmost without question. A carefully thought out plan, well played and achieved, bulls eye hit.

Till now they are ignoring, may be for the time being, till major benefits are achieved, a person not faithful to his nation cannot be a faithful to other’s interests. Americans know this by heart and they are vigilant but they also know Zardari, by no means, can leave his hard earned money and turn his faithfulness towards Pakistan any more.

In last two years, on every government toppling movement or instable situation, the USA kept a mysterious silence, observed the situation and then commented unbiased. After each crisis, they favored the democracy with dignity rather than the government or a particular personality.

The USA will keep on needing a stooge as long as it takes on the ability of the stooge to stay on the hot seat and to keep the design working for him and for the external forces. This is a bilateral relationship between these two elements and now that relationship is bound to be followed and protected by the entire PPP as long as they keep on accepting Zardari as their head.

The biggest threat for loyals of true PPP is now that the legacy of some great international leaders like Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto is in sharp contrast with the corrupt legacy of Asif Ali Zardari. Pakistani court judgements can be termed biased but one single foreign court verdict could render the whole PPP legacy into dust. The true threat is over the legacy; either to continue it with Zardari’s name or to get rid of him from the party stakes and keep the mythical legacy of real Bhuttos intact.

The PPP loyalists are in true dilemma. Accepting Zardari within the party is a political suicide as his vile fame in the world (not in Pakistan only) is contaminating the long standing, very real sacrifices of Pakistan’s largest political party and its credibility. Throwing out Zardari from the party will render the fact in front of the world that PPP was and is headed by world’s most corrupt people, and that their loyals were trying to deceive the public at large by putting veils over the corruption of their leaders, ministers and close cronies.

So it is a dilemma or a bone within the throat of PPP loyalists that can not be swallowed or thrown out. It is always advisable to stay on the right side as the truth always prevails. Other than that is a suicide by default and will be no body’s fault. PPP loyals have no choice but to accept Zardari and his entourage as it is. Otherwise not accepting Zaradri could be as lethal as annihilation of PPP politics itself from the face of this country.

PPP has got deep roots in poor and we can not let that happen, and we will keep on accepting Zardari till death. By becoming President of Pakistan, he made a big blunder and is and will remain a sitting duck for ever in front of all media, critics, whether we like it or not. Some media outlets will cash it wholly and others occasionally as and when issues of Zardari’s corruption pop up. This is called credibility deficit.

9 responses to “Asif Zardari – A burden on PPP or a really indispensable leader? – by Nadeem Khan”

  1. What a shame that someone who spent his entire life fighting those cases and surviving two assassination attempts is today supposedly disowned by the Party Workers? It is not the PPP worker that put asif zardari to this position. It was Benazir Bhutto who handed over the helm of command in her will and PPP workers do not doubt her insight. She called him Nelson Mandela of Pakistan and he is the Nelson Mandela of Pakistan. What moral grounds does Nawaz Sharif have to head a political party which he abandoned in 1999? Asif Zardari is as much dear to the PPP workers as was Benazir Bhutto. Time shall tell. Let this government complete its term, PPP will get a landslide victory in 2013 elections under the leadership of our President

    Asif Zardari Zindabad!!

  2. I must confess that personally I don’t agree with at least some of the assertions offered in this article, some of which remain unsubstantiated or misdirected.

    However, consistent with the principles of transparency, freedom of speech, integrity and critical inquiry that we endeavour to uphold at LUBP, we have published this article by our esteemed contributor ‘Leo Khan’.

  3. PPP leadership had faced imprisonments and it never felt afraid of the accountability process. PML-N Quaid Nawaz Sharif had to make a deal to save his life from a dictator and his return to Pakistan was made possible only after Benazir Bhutto returned to the country after signing the National Reconciliation Ordinance. It was the PPP, which gave the 1973 Constitution to Pakistan and it was again this party which was working to remove amendments to the Constitution made by the dictators. Baseless propaganda was continuing against the PPP, dictators had ruined Pakistan but the PPP always played a major role in saving the country. Conspiracies were being hatched against the PPP government which is unfortunate for Pakistani politics and democracy. PPP had offered great sacrifices for democracy, but baseless propaganda was being made against it. Benazir Bhutto gave her life for the restoration of democracy. Those who wanted Zulfikar Ali Bhutto to be hanged, now once again are hatching conspiracies against President Asif Ali Zardari

  4. When Zardari Came to Town…
    By Karan Thapar
    “There’s a little bit of India in every Pakistani and a little bit of Pakistan in every Indian. I do not know whether it is the Indian or the Pakistani in me that is talking today”

    The more I think about what he said, the more stunned I am he said it. But it’s not just his content that is startling. The fact that Asif Zardari was speaking as President of Pakistan to an Indian audience, in full knowledge that he was doing so on live television, makes his statements all the more amazing. Not one of his predecessors would have spoken so openly and with such obvious personal conviction. Indeed even his late wife, Benazir, would have been more circumspect.

    To begin with, it’s the number of commitments he readily made. Pakistan has accepted a no-first-use of nuclear weapons policy. “I can assure you that Pakistan will not be the first country ever to use (nuclear weapons)”, he said. When I asked if this was a no-first-use assurance, adding “if so you have just made headline news”, he immediately replied: “most certainly”.

    At one stroke, the Pakistani President reversed his country’s traditional insistence on keeping open the option of using nuclear weapons first. I don’t know what his army thinks, but Nawaz Sharif’s PML (N) has publicly endorsed the Zardari line. So even if voices in the press are critical, he has majority support in Parliament.

    Next were two expressions of future intent. He wants to see India and Pakistan establish an economic union. He did not explain in detail but he said they should aim for joint economic super power status. And he said he was in favour of “a flexible visa regime, eliminating travel documents … replacing them with (a) smart card enabled E-visa system.”

    “We don’t feel threatened by India”, Zardari said. “India should also not feel threatened by us.” And then, to re-inforce his point, he added: “I want change and reconciliation.”

    For me, however, the most important thing Asif Zardari said was not in response to questions and so it can’t be explained away as an off-the-cuff or unthought-out answer. It was part of his prepared speech. It was, therefore, a well-considered, planned and carefully crafted statement which, of course, makes it all the more incredible.

    “There’s a little bit of India in every Pakistani and a little bit of Pakistan in every Indian”. As he said those words a perceptible hush fall on the audience. They literally couldn’t believe their ears. But Asif Zardari wasn’t finished. “I do not know whether it is the Indian or the Pakistani in me that is talking to you today”. As I looked at the seated dignitaries in front of me I saw a sea of flashing smiles and sparkling eyes looking at Zardari on the big screen. Seconds later, they were vigorously applauding.

    Asif Zardari said he was quoting his wife. Benazir Bhutto had spoken in 2000. In fact in 2005, when he visited Lahore, L.K. Advani said something very similar. But both of them were leaders of the opposition, a post that allows the holder to speak freely. And they weren’t speaking at a high profile gathering broadcast live. In contrast, Zardari is President of Pakistan. He was addressing one of the most publicised conferences in India. And he knew the media was waiting for every word he said.

    I’m not sure if the presidents of North Korea or East Germany (whilst it existed) have ever spoken in such terms, but I doubt it. Certainly the leaders of divided Ireland have not. Nor the Malays and Singaporeans or the Indonesians and East Timorese. Yet the President of Pakistan has! I see this as an indication of Asif Zardari’s thinking and his attitude to India. And I believe he meant it because if he did not the sentence would have got stuck in his throat. It’s almost impossible to express such sentiments when you are lying.

    The only question is can he deliver? And, I suppose, how soon? But there is another question we should pose to ourselves: how can we strengthen his hands without, of course, embarrassing him? If a friend can help you, whilst helping himself, it makes sense to help him too. Kids understand that instinctively, adults sometimes forget!

  5. انور سِن رائے

    بی بی سی اردو ڈاٹ کام، لندن

    بہت سے لوگوں نے یہ کہانی بچپن ہی سے سنی ہو گی جس میں ایک جادو نگری ہوتی ہے اور اس جادو نگری کو ختم کرنے کا واحد طریقہ یہ ہوتا ہے کہ اس طوطے تک رسائی حاصل کی جائے جس میں طلسم بنانے والے نے اپنی جان رکھ کر اسے ایک ایسے محفوظ مقام پر رکھا ہوتا ہے جس تک رسائی آسان نہیں ہوتی لیکن اگر مقام تک رسائی حاصل کر کے طوطے کی گردن مروڑنے میں کامیابی حاصل کر لی جائے تو سارا طلسم ختم ہو جاتا ہے۔ یہ کہانی پتہ نہیں کیوں کچھ فرق کے ساتھ، مجھے آج کل پاکستان کی سیاست سے ملتی جلتی دکھائی دیتی ہے۔

    حالات نے پیپلز پارٹی کا طلسم آصف زرداری کی ذات میں جمع کر دیا ہے۔ انہوں بینظر بھٹو کو پیش آنے والے سانحے کے بعد نہ صرف پارٹی کو ایک رکھا ہے بلکہ اسے اقتدار میں لانے میں بھی کامیابی بھی حاصل کی ہے۔

    یہ بات ان کی بہت بڑی شکست ہے جنہوں نے بینظیر بھٹو کو راستے سے ہٹانے کی وہ کامیابی حاصل کر لی جو ضیا الحق کے دور میں بھی حاصل نہیں ہو سکی تھی۔اب ان حلقوں کے پاس تین سال اور کچھ ماہ ہیں۔ اس کے بعد الیکشن ہوں گے۔ پیپلز پارٹی دو سال کے لگ بھگ گزار چکی ہے۔

    گزرے دو سالوں میں کیا ہوا؟ پیپلز پارٹی نے بہت کچھ کمایا اور گنوایا۔ جن کا ہدف آصف زرداری ہیں انہیں پتہ ہے وزیر اعظم سمیت کسی کے آنے جانے سے کوئی فرق نہیں پڑے گا۔ خاص طور پر اس بات کو ان سیاستدانوں سے زیادہ کون سمجھ سکتا ہے جنہوں نے ضیا الحق جیسے صدر کے سائے میں نمو پائی ہو۔ اسحاق خان جیسے صدر کو دیکھا اور با اختیار صدر کی ہمنوائی کا مزا چکھا ہو اور مخالفت کے زخم بھی کھائے ہوں۔ لیکن میڈیا کے بڑے حصے کا کھلا اور واضح ہدف بھی صدر آصف زرداری ہی ہیں۔

    ایسا لگتا ہے جیسے وہ صدر جنرل مشرف اور صدر آصف زرداری میں کوئی فرق کرنے پر تیار نہیں۔ یا انہیں بھی یہ سمجھا دیا گیا ہے کہ پیپلز پارٹی کی جان آصف زرداری میں ہے، آصف زرداری کی گردن مروڑی جائے گی تو پیپلز پارٹی کی جان خود بخود نکل جائے گی۔ یا ان کا فخر و غرور یہ ہے کہ اگر وہ بے وردی صدر جنرل مشرف ناکوں چنے چبوانے میں کامیاب ہو چکے ہیں تو آصف زرداری کس کھیت کی مولی ہیں۔

    لیکن کیا ذرائع ابلاغ میں یہ آزادی، اداروں کے اندر محض پیشہ ورانہ آزادی کا فروغ ہے کیوں کہ اب تک تو ان اداروں میں کام کرنے والے یہ آزادی صرف پیشہ ورانہ آزادی کے طور پر اختیار نہیں کر سکتے۔ انہیں اتنی ہی آزادی ہوتی تھی جتنی انہیں ڈھیل دی جاتی ہے اور یہ ڈھیل اچھے صحافیوں کے رابطوں کو دیکھ دی جاتی تھی۔ جو صحافی ملٹری اور سول اسٹیبلشمنٹ کے لیے جتنا زیادہ قابلِ اعتماد ہوتا تھا اتنا ہی بڑا اور اچھا ہوتا تھا اور اتنی ہی اسے اپنے ادارے میں ڈھیل ملتی تھی۔ کیوں کہ ذرائع ابلاغ کے اداروں کے مالکان سے زیادہ اس بات کو اور کون جان سکتا ہے کہ کس ادارے کے بغیر بقا ممکن نہیں رہے گی۔

    اس پس منظر میں پیپلز پارٹی نے جو کچھ گنوایا ہے کر کے گنوایا ہے۔ یہاں تک کہ لوگ جوتوں اور پیاز کی کہانی دہراتے اور ہنستے ہیں اور پیپلز پارٹی کے ہم خیال اور کارکن دکھ بھری آنکھوں سے انہیں دیکھتے رہ جاتے ہیں۔ ان میں سے کچھ تو دباؤ میں آ کر خود بھی اپنے آپ میں کیڑے نکالنے لگتے ہیں۔

    لیکن ان میں سے کچھ ضرور سوچتے ہوں گے: جوہری کمانڈ کنٹرول کی وزیر اعظم کو منتقلی، عرصہ دراز کے بعد این ایف سی ایوارڈ پر اتفاق، بلوچستان پیکیج، جلا وطن بلوچ رہنماؤں کو اعتماد میں لینے کا عزم، شدت پسندوں کے خلاف آپریشن، آپریشن سے اندرون ملک ہونے والی دنیا کی سب سے بڑی نقل مکانی اور اس سے کامیاب نبرد آزمائی کیا یہ سب ایسے کام نہیں جنہیں گنا نہ جائے۔ کیا یہ سب میثاقِ جمہوریت پر عمل نہ ہونے کے شور، بے وفائی کے طعنوں، عدلیہ کی بحالی کی مختلف حکمتِ عملی، آٹے کا بحران، چینی کا بحران، بجلی کا بحران، این آر او کے غوغے میں گم ہوجائے گا۔

    اگر آئندہ تین سال میں یہ تاثر بھی پیدا ہوا کہ پیپلز پارٹی نے بہت کچھ کرنے کی کوشش کی ہے یا کیا ہے تو پارٹی سرخرو ہو گی اور سرِ فہرست ہوں گے آصف زرداری اور اس قابل ہوں گے کہ بھٹو خاندان کی سیاسی وراثت اپنی اگلی نسل کو منتقل کر سکیں اور یہی بات انہیں ہضم نہیں ہو سکتی جنہیں بھٹو کے بعد بینظیر ہضم نہیں ہو سکیں۔ شاید اسی لیے ایسی کوششیں ہوتی دکھائی دیتی ہیں کہ زدرادی کو پارٹی کا بوجھ بنا دیا جائے۔

  6. ASif ALi Zardari Served his 8 years is Jail with out trail and without bail, but Nawaz Sharif, Musharaf and so called Courts could not proved that his corruption. wht abt nawaz sharif who is corrupt politician who is same his party bear him. no sir we only no that PPP is in safe hand, who leave him coz they rejected for senate and NA seats, tell how many numbers leaved the party,
    start from Israr Shah who is or was Jeyala of party and was member of CEC for the reason of his sideline is CEC rejected his application for Senate nomination,
    Naheed Khan she was only political secratery of Shaheed Banazir, and safdar ali abassi was only cec member, Raza Rabbani is side line and he have very important post of PPP who apply for the chairmanship of Senate but CEC reject him thats y he is side line, Amin Fahim was nominee of Primership but PPP chose Mukhdom Sb,
    All are these side line by his own will,
    WE support Asif ali Zardari and PPP, individialy they have nothing without PPP

  7. President Zardari and his survival —Dr Syed Mansoor Hussain

    Frankly, eight odd years of incarceration during which he was reported to have been tortured is no joke. His detractors often claim that he spent most of his jail time in comfortable surroundings. But a loss of freedom is exactly that, a loss of freedom

    President Zardari is being
    offered much advice on how to survive, so I decided to put in my two cents worth. In my opinion, the single most important part of survival is good health. When President Zardari was released after having spent almost eight years in jails of different sorts and in different places, he was said to be suffering from a bunch of medical problems that he acquired during his incarceration.

    There were reports that he suffered from high blood pressure, high blood sugar, a bad back and possibly narrowing of the arteries of the heart. There were subsequent reports that he might also have suffered from psychological problems. Here I wish to iterate that my only source of information is reports published in the media.

    I have never met President Zardari but as far as TV appearances are concerned, he looks in pretty good shape for a 54-year old man. And I am sure that he has good doctors both here and abroad, who take excellent care of him and monitor his condition closely. So, it is not my intention to offer any medical advice but rather advice and comments about what we doctors call ‘lifestyle changes and risk factor modification’.

    For starters it is a good thing that based upon what I have read about him, he does not smoke cigarettes and second, was always an active person involved in sports and exercise. Perhaps the latter might have something to do with the troubles he has had with his back. However, before I come to the exercise part I want to dwell a bit on the question of diet in a person reputed to have high blood pressure, high blood sugar and possibly narrowing of the heart arteries.

    An important observation I have made over the last year that President Zardari has been in the limelight is that many of his political decisions might indeed be motivated by his desire to modify risk factors for his reported ailments. The first one of course being his relationship with Mian Nawaz Sharif. Everyone knows that Mian sahib is a very gracious host and in true Lahori tradition is always trying to feed his guests food that can induce immediate high cholesterol levels.

    A diet of parathas, nihari, siri payas, karahi gosht and that ultimate favourite of mine, brain masala, can in one meal double the cholesterol level and in those susceptible produce an acute ‘coronary event’. It, therefore, made great sense in health terms for President Zardari to draw back on his personal relationship with Mian sahib.

    Many years ago I heard that Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto shaheed was a vegetarian. If that was indeed true then perhaps her eating habits might have rubbed off on President Zardari, though during his almost a decade of incarceration he was eating things that were often provided by ‘friends’ and I am sure they were under no circumstances vegetarian.

    Now to the matter of exercise, considering his back problems, clearly horseback riding is out. This is good since in the past President Zardari has had problems with polo grounds and polo horses. As an aside, driving from Lahore to Gujranwala on the GT Road is also an extremely bad idea for somebody with a back problem and must be avoided at all costs.

    Another form of exercise that is bad for the back is jogging, so it would seem that President Zardari must choose some form of low or non-impact exercise. I am sure that the presidency has a swimming pool and if it does, swimming probably sounds like the best alternative. Since I cannot swim, therefore for me, swallowing, inhaling and getting chlorinated water in your eyes does not seem a pleasant way to pass the time.

    The last of the major health problems to consider are the psychological and emotional problems he was reported to have after being released. Frankly, eight odd years of incarceration during which he was reported to have been tortured is no joke. His detractors often claim that he spent most of his jail time in comfortable surroundings. But a loss of freedom is exactly that, a loss of freedom.

    The one thing I cannot even imagine is not being there to watch my children grow up, or not being able to take them out to their favourite restaurant every so often or just not being there to hold them in my arms and put them to sleep when they were sick or cranky or upset.

    It is clear that President Zardari survived those years with much of his good humour intact but I am sure it left him with some problems that will take time to dissipate. The assassination of his wife and the mother of his children was I am sure an added emotional trauma, the effect of which is difficult for us to imagine.

    I have often pondered on why Mr Zardari decided to run for president. The more I think about it, the more it becomes obvious that his primary fear was that he would end up in jail once again if he himself was not president. That is after all what happened every time his political party formed a government at the Centre. Perhaps this was his best survival strategy against incarceration, but it has obviously not been good to him, physically or emotionally.

    Finally, much is made of President Zardari and his ‘friends’. One of the important factors in living a healthy life is having friends that are close to you and those that you can depend on. Perhaps all his years of incarceration has made him ever more dependent on his close friends. For people in powerful positions, good friends that are willing to give sincere advice can be a major benefit but they can also become a major liability.

    So Mr President, as Mr Spock would say: “Live long and prosper.”

    Syed Mansoor Hussain has practised and taught medicine in the US. He can be reached at\03\01\story_1-3-2010_pg3_3