Stories about Asif Ali Zardari

Pakistan needs the death penalty

“Let justice be done, even if the heavens are to fall.”  This maxim is the brief, yet true, motto of a free and independent system for the administration of justice. Former President Asif Ali Zardari issued a presidential moratorium suspending the death penalty and executions indefinitely in 2008. Hence, there have been no executions of convicts or condemned prisoners in Pakistan’s jails from 2008 to date. However, I for one, support the death penalty and believe that it works and should be used for the worst kind of offenders and convicts who have committed crimes of a heinous nature without any remorse. It is a fact that ...

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Bilawal Bhutto Zardari: The new hope for Pakistan’s future

During his recent speech, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari stunned everyone. His style and tone of addressing the masses at Garhi Khuda Bux turned the tide and changed the way many political experts used to think about him – such a performance from him was unexpected and refreshing for everyone. He was consistent with his words and fluent in Urdu, which has been his weak point in the past. He was emotionally riled up and involved the audience. His speech was even witty, especially when he discussed the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s (PML-N) stance on extremism and their passive approach to the issue. Along with other political issues, ...

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Musharraf: Free to leave the country?

After nearly six months of being in a sub-jail (read, residing comfortably in his Chak Shazad Farmhouse), former President and General (retired) Pervez Musharraf is finally free. His sub-jail was de-notified upon submission of merely two surety bonds of Rs100,000 each. Many believe that much like his arrest, his release is part of a script. The arrest, notification of the farmhouse as a sub-jail and speedy justice delivered at the doorstep of the former president, is a deviation from the past actions and attitudes of the higher judiciary that gave no such concessions to the likes of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. However, there ...

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Unimpressed and unmoved by Bilawal Bhutto’s speech

Bilawal Bhutto’s speech at Karachi’s Karsaz on the sixth anniversary of the unfortunate Oct 18, 2007 bombings has created quite a stir. As a son who lost a brave mother to rabid radicalisation, one feels that the emotionally-charged display of passion in front of an audience of die-hard jiyalas was all but natural, and perfectly anticipated.  Towing the line of populist politics introduced by Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, Bilawal did a good job with a crowd that seemed to be only following half of what their 26-year-old chairman conveyed. His body language apparently conveyed the remaining half, complete with waving fists ...

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“Democracy is the best revenge,” President Zardari’s legacy

I can say with some confidence that President Zardari’s legacy will be written in golden words. I don’t say this as his son, or patron-and-chief of the Pakistan People’s Party – but as a student of history. I would compare his presidency to that of America’s Lyndon B Johnson (LBJ). He too was an accidental president. He came to power following the assassination of the popular and charismatic John F Kennedy. Much like Shaheed Mohtrama Benazir Bhutto, JFK was assassinated before he could implement much of his agenda and vision for the country. LBJ used the political capital he gained following ...

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Mr Asif Ali Zardari, you have done it!

September 8, 2013 is a day for both history and headlines in Pakistan. A historically unprecedented and smooth transfer of presidential power has taken place in our constitutional and political history. There has been no coup d’état by a general, no declaration of emergency, no suspension, abrogation or subversion of the constitution and no declaration of a fifth martial law in the country. A democratically elected head of state has completed his full term and has vacated the office in line with the theory and practice of constitutional provisions. All the headlines emanating from former president Asif Ali Zardari’s completion ...

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Presidential elections: Is Mr Mamnoon Hussain the right choice?

Yay! We have a new president. Start the celebrations, the bhangras, the parties, the mithai and all the fun that we can never have enough off. It seems, however, that the news reached Dera Ismail Khan earlier than expected; they started the festivities around midnight with all the blasts and fireworks. No wait. Those were terrorists breaching the central jail confines and breaking free over 200 prisoners. The fact that they managed to accomplish this mission, just a few days after the blasts in Parachinar, is a reminder for all of us about how the government is finding it hard to deal ...

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On dynastic politics and feudalism: A response to Salman Ahmad

Renowned Pakistan musician Salman Ahmad wrote a piece published in The Express Tribune on December 31, 2012. I have tried in the following paragraphs to rebut his argument by pointing out factual inaccuracies in the piece. Mr Ahmad begins with castigating the ‘feudal elite’ of the country while citing the instance of the chilling murder of Shahzeb Khan, gunned down in Karachi by the ‘sons of corrupt feudal elite that Bilawal represents’. Aside from inherent flaws of inductive reasoning employed by Mr Ahmad, feudalism has come to be a whipping boy when it comes to a simplistic explanation of multifaceted problems ...

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The ‘firebrand press conference’ phenomenon

It all started out with Zulfiqar Mirza, and the trend has spread like fire through the upper echelons of our political elite: what I like to refer to as the ‘firebrand press conference’ phenomenon. Every couple of weeks (or so it appears) a member of one political party or another calls an ever-hungry media to an event which promises to reveal the ‘shocking’ corrupt practices our political leaders indulge in. Karachi was thrown into an uproar in 2011 when Mirza, the former Sindh home minister, furiously waved around an important-looking sheaf of papers claiming to have evidence against Muttahida Qaumi ...

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Happy birthday President Asif Ali Zardari!

Back in 2007 as the lawyers’ movement gained momentum, it attracted abrupt attention of a youth brought up in the ‘prosperity bubble’ of a military regime. With little sense of our history and politics, many (including me) got carried away in the sway of events that followed. More in sheer aversion for a uniformed dictator than in admiration of a principled man in robes. Putting out the fire of secessionist sentiments in Sindh after the assassination of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto in the garrison city of Rawalpindi was met with utter disregard by the self righteous urban bourgeoisie and their corporate ...

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