Stories about Asif Ali Zardari

Corruption is middle-class morality

While millions of Pakistanis expressed their astonishment and dissatisfaction with the election of Raja Pervez Ashraf as the new Prime Minister of Pakistan on June 22, the news didn’t come to me as a shock at all. Raja Pervez Ashraf has been widely criticised; the new prime minister has been labelled in the media as “Raja Rental” because of the kickbacks he is alleged to have taken being the water and power minister. An investigation to which, by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), is still in progress against him. History is riddled with examples of corrupt politicians being rehabilitated. Ayub Khan disqualified politicians who were later placed in ministerial offices. ...

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Greece wishes it used the Pakistani rupee!

Moody’s, one of the three biggest ratings agencies in the US, recently sent Pakistan’s credit rating one grade lower into ‘junk’ territory. That is the lowest rating ever bestowed on Pakistan’s sovereign debt. For a relative comparison, Moody’s ranks India’s government-issued debt six spots above Pakistan’s, while Bangladesh’s debt is three spots higher than ours. However, I’d like to make a bow to the optimistic people in our country who insist that we have what it takes to be ‘self-sufficient’ and say that our credit rating is still above that of Greece’s. That’s right. The eurozone’s bane of existence was ...

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A good time to cultivate relations with India

On a lazy Sunday morning on April 8 this year, President Asif Ali Zardari flew into New Delhi. His host, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, was waiting to receive him with open arms and on the table were not only the best delicacies of his country, but also the agenda on which the future of the region and perhaps, the world hinges on. In my opinion, the visit was crucial, not only because it enabled the top leaders of two hostile nations to come together, but also because its timing was of immense significance. It came about when the US and ...

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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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