Stories about Asif Ali Zardari

Exposing corruption: Threats to journalists

It is a bitter fact in our country that if you expose the corruption record of any influential entity then you must be ready to face the dire consequences. During my journalistic career spanning 15 years, I too have received several threats from state and non-state actors alike. When I exposed the case of an alleged rape of a housemaid by the district Nazim of Sheikhupura in his camp office, I was threatened because the police were forced to register a case against their own Nazim. The parents of the 12-year-old girl had refused to lodge an FIR against the ...

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In a dire state

Mr President Asif Ali Zardari and Mr Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, I hope you are doing great in your big lavish castles. You are the only people in this country who are living a happy and comfortable life. Blessings are only showered on those who do not complain. This clearly explains the plight of the citizens of this country who are always moaning about the skyrocketing inflation, gas, electricity, load-shedding and other grievances. I do not know whether you are aware of this bit of information or not since you are busy making other important decisions and offering new ...

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The president’s speech: Pot shots at the Chief Justice

President Asif Ali Zardari’s speech was not what I expected it to be. It went against all predictions and rumours by different analysts that had stated that our president, in his speech at Garhi Khuda Bux, would hit back at the establishment for conspiracy against him in the Memogate scandal. Zardari, however, remained mum on the issue. Rather, in a few words he said that “the parliament is supreme and all forces come under its control.” However, most of those who witnessed his speech wondered when exactly he had asked Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry “what happened to Benazir Bhutto murder case.” ...

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Islamabad diary: Making sense of Zardari’s sojourn

When the coup comes, will it be a silent one or will it, like most coups do, make lots of noise? Is President Asif Ali Zardari in Dubai for genuine medical reasons or is he seeking a safe haven? Is it the army that is gunning for him or is it the Supreme Court, or perhaps a combination of the two? Such idle gossip seems to accompany nearly every elected government in Pakistan but this time there is a difference. Usually the rumours are spread by the military and their cheerleaders in the media. Now, however, most of the coup ...

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Zardari khappay!

Over the past few days, we have witnessed extreme media frenzy over the departure of President Asif Ali Zardari to Dubai owing to medical reasons. The president’s  health has invited a plethora of responses, some of which are listed below: rajennair After putting Pakistan in the ICU, Zardari gets himself admitted in the ICU AB Agha Just going to read Zardari conspiracy theories to cheer me up I guess. Oh I do wish him well in health btw. sufisal If Zardari’s billions can’t buy him a stronger heart, coherence or respect why take revenge on democracy? omarulhaq Well, we certainly got a day’s worth of hope, right? Saad_Haroon Zardari went to Dubai ...

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Media man Malik: More than the average minister

There are a few good reasons you would end up on http://www.rehmanmalik.com. You may explore it if you enjoy the banality of a reporter’s life, the superficiality of a politician’s or the masochism of a news junkie’s. For those of you with a penchant for the absurd, allow me to take you on a short tour of the honourable (and flamboyant) Interior Minister Rehman Malik’s website. I’m reluctant to call it official as the ‘contact us’ link just points towards the Pakistan Secretariat, which is one of the few non-residential buildings in Islamabad. For any loyal Pakistan People’s Party politician, it is a ...

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Horse-trading and hypocrisy: Well done, Nawaz Sharif!

I strongly object to the use of the term horse-trading. A horse is a loyal animal but the term horse-trading is used for sell outs who betray their parties for temporary benefits. Nawaz Sharif introduced the 14th Amendment to prevent floor crossing for political gain – a law which leads to the disqualification of a person who changes parties too frequently. A similar anti horse-trading clause was also introduced in the recently passed 18th Amendment. Here’s a little recap of how this trade was practised: After the 2008 elections, the PPP seized power in Balochistan contradictory to their ‘demoratic views’ and joined hands ...

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Scrutinising the NAB controversy

What’s the hubbub? That’s the question that comes to mind when I get to thinking about the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). Why  the hue and cry over the appointment of the new Chairman. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I must confess that when tasked with writing this piece, I did not know where to begin, and frankly, could not make heads or tails of the whole NAB chairman selection controversy. What started the trouble I got down to some reading and will share what I have made of it so far. – The government, namely the President, appointed the NAB chairman ...

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Was a fourth military coup averted in Pakistan?

Hardly. Better still, there wasn’t a coup to start with. Monday’s well-timed meeting between the so-called ‘troika’ – the President, Prime Minister, and the Army chief – is being widely interpreted as having averted a possible collapse of the elected Zardari-Gilani government. There is no word from the military’s media people on the meeting but the president’s media office took the liberty of releasing a statement renewing the commitment of Gen. Kayani, and that of the President and Prime Minister, to defending democracy. If there’s anyone who created a frenzy about an extra-constitutional [read: military-engineered] change, it is the elected government ...

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Will the political elite please stand up?

While the world’s rich dole out money to help Pakistan’s flood victims, our own rich political elite have refuse to budge. By now we should have seen members of the ruling elite buying tents, building shelters and providing gallons of clean drinking water to the homeless millions. But in every flooded district of the country, all you will find are Pakistani civilians and military volunteers – not politicians. This is a lesson for the Pakistani nation. Compare the generous response to a nation wide campaign in Saudi Arabia to raise funds for the victims of floods to the reaction of the Pakistani elite: What ...

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