Zardari will return in a style
Dr Shabir Choudhry
Last week it appeared that Asif Zaradri, President of Islamic Republic of Pakistan and Supreme Commander of armed forces was on the run to save his life, not because he was under attack by some enemy country, but because he feared that institutions of his own country will take some action against him and might put him behind the bars.
Asif Zardari very mysteriously left the country for
Whereas this news created chaos in
No doubt Azif Zardari was under extreme pressure over the past few weeks, and that exacerbated his health. Tension and political pressure gave him sleep less nights, no doubt, but doctors in
It appears that the ‘treatment’ which Asif Zardari’s ailing political health and declining political fortunes required was not available in
There are five important people with power and influence in Pakistan, namely General Kiani who has a power base in Rawalpindi, Nawaz Sharif with a power base in Punjab, Imran Khan with a power base in Aab Para, Chief Justice with a power base in Supreme Court and Asif Zaradri with a power base in UAE.
Prime Minister Gilani, though legally a Chief Executive of Pakistan, has a limited role as he derives his powers from Zardari House. His main task is not to govern the country for benefit of the people, but to provide support to Zardari and company and cover all the marks and tracks leading to Zardari and Bhutto family. Of course he was given a free hand to make whatever he can for himself and his family.
Anyhow Asif Zardari made it to
It is presumed that he told the specialists that he has done everything he promised to do, and has, in fact, done some extra bits to demonstrate his worth and ability. In return he was assured that there would be no military intervention, and no other action to dethrone him, at least for five years. He must have told them that instead of getting some bonus for his performance, and for doing extra bits, he was being forced out of office. He must have told them that his down - fall will have very serious repercussions on war on terrorism; and could bring havoc to the entire region.
Peoples Party government and Asif Zardari’s other colleagues and friends have recovered from the shock of his sudden departure to
Many members of the Pakistani establishment and some opposition leaders believe that Zardari was the man behind the Memogate; and in their view this is treason. Critics believe he is against the army and the ISI; and by hook or crook wants to bring them under his control. However some analysts question why the army would want him out when he does exactly what he is told.
In any case, even if he was behind many alleged ‘crimes’, can he be removed legally. There could be no impeachment of the President, as the required numbers are not there in the Parliament. He is not the kind of person who would resign as a result of political and other pressures. One can dislike him or hate him, but credit goes to him that he is a fighter and shrewd manipulator with strong nerves.
Of course, the Supreme Court can take some action which could end his rule. But the question is, won’t that give the most corrupt and unpopular government a justification to go to the people and create chaos in the country, even leading to some kind of civil war by playing the Sindh card.
This kind of action could be unpopular even among some lawyers and some sections of the establishment, which could further divide already embittered and deeply divided society. Some sane voices are saying that we have tolerated worst kind of corruption and maladministration in the past four years, can’t we wait another 5-6 months as the government will be forced to hold elections after the Senate elections in March 2012.
In view of some it is better to get rid of the government as soon as possible, especially before the Senate elections, as that would strengthen their political position in the Upper House no matter what the outcome is of the next general elections. The other view is that it would be unwise to make a political martyr when his government is unpopular and has failed to deliver to the people and will not be in a position to win the next general elections which they will have to hold after March Senate elections.
In my view Asif Zardari knows what is at stake – he knows what life is like in Pakistani jails. Even when he is fully ‘fit’ and despite assurances and power boosters he will play safe; and won’t go to the President House until he gets a green signal which could take a few more weeks. Important events are unfolding in
It will be safe for him to stay in
In view of the above, in my opinion, Asif Zardari is out of danger and he will return to
Writer is Director Diplomatic Committee of Kashmir National Party, political analyst and author of many books and booklets. Also he is Director Institute of Kashmir Affairs.Email:firstname.lastname@example.org