If I were President Zardari in 2011
There is no doubt President Asif Ali Zardari has transformed into a polished politician since his return to Pakistan on December 28, 2007.
He has led a number of PPP politicians and managed to bring build a coalition based on “lessons learnt from past mistakes” through a policy of ‘reconciliation’.
However, the leaders he nominated, for their personal motives and selfish gains, caused disagreements with partners and ended up embarrassing the party.
Corrections have to be made in the future.
With one coalition partner already out of the government and another on its way, I feel some extraordinary steps need to be taken to keep this government running. If I were President Zardari, surrounded in the current political environment, my 10-point agenda for the year 2011 would be to:
- Demand $45 billion from the world for losses incurred in fighting terror. And then, use that money to help reduce inflation and increase employment.
- Sell all personal assets and donate for flood rehabilitation.
- Give the Ministry of Religious Affairs to Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam Fazlur Rehman (JUI-F).
- Amend the Reformed General Sales Tax (RGST) bill to include agricultural tax, and appoint Marvi Memon as the head of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR).
- Promise to hold local body elections within the next four months under the Amended Ordinance of 2002.
- Appoint only qualified professionals, instead of politicians from within the party or coalition partners, as heads of state-controlled departments.
- Give assurance to not amend or repeal the blasphemy law, but suggest improvements so it is not used as a tool of aggression.
- Give the Interior Ministry of Sindh to the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), and appoint Zulfiqar Mirza to recover money from all political bank defaulters. Mr Mirza implement the Land Reforms Bill, so state land, that is currently under the possession of feudal lords can be taken back and distributed.
- Remove Prime Minister Gilani and take over premiership to continue with the policy of reconciliation until he is sure that the party will sweep the next election.
- Nominate Nawaz Sharif for president on the condition that he also sells all his assets and donate the proceeds to the national kitty. Then, invite the PML-Q to administer Punjab.
These decisions will allow the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) to carry on for years and years without much trouble and will also win the hearts of millions. The actions will also remove fears of conspiracies and threats of boots ever taking over the country again.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.