Stories about Asif Ali Zardari

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 ...

Read Full Post

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 ...

Read Full Post

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 ...

Read Full Post

Shoe throwing and the need for maturity

It was a matter of shame when a shoe was allegedly thrown at the President of Pakistan in Britain. Yet, in some twisted way, many people felt proud of what happened. No, I do not support President Zardari, but I respect the position of the President of Pakistan. Before jumping to conclusions, please read on. A recent wave of negative propaganda against President Zardari is rather disturbing from a national perspective.  Institutions form the government structure, not individuals. Asif Zardari, Yousaf Gilani, and Iftikhar Chaudhry are temporary, but the structure they represent will last. People in power have always ...

Read Full Post

What shoe-throwing won’t achieve

Tired due to the prolonged special transmission on flood relief, I was trying to unwind in my office when a senior colleague came dancing to my chamber. “What is the good news?” I asked him thinking of some big accomplishment in relief efforts. “Someone has thrown a shoe at Zardari!” he exclaimed in joy. I was simply shocked. Here was a career journalist, otherwise supposed to be neutral, and tasked with overall responsibility of the office, absolutely radiant with joy, over an incident of national humiliation if not petty worth. I immediately switched my television on to learn more. The media was ...

Read Full Post

Politicising floods: The roasting of Zardari

Our nation’s penchant for politics has found a new punching bag for the ongoing flood crisis: President Asif Ali Zardari and his ill-fated UK trip. The question that bothers me is whether this is really the appropriate response to a crisis of a magnitude which extends even beyond the Pakistan Army’s ongoing efforts, let alone that of a single man, who to his credit, has donated 2.5 million pounds and launched the UK end of aid collection with fair success. I distinctly recall the 18th amendment reducing the Presidency to a figure head for the country (representing us in other countries ...

Read Full Post

Twitter Wars: Sara Taseer VS Fatima Bhutto

For those who missed it, Sara Taseer Shoaib (daughter of Governor Punjab, Salman Taseer) let loose a string of Twitter updates slamming Fatima Bhutto for her ‘lack of loyalty’ to Pakistan following the young Bhutto’s appearance on BBC World (and a recent article slamming the current government and President Zardari in particular). If you thought Governor Taseer had a way with words, Ms Taseer’s point-blank accusations make the Governor’s pokes at Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif look almost tame. Cited case(s) in point: Sara Taseer’s tweets Fatima Bhutto on bbc world, abusing Pak again @fbhutto do you have any loyalty to Pakistan. Is there ...

Read Full Post