Stories about Asif Ali Zardari

An open letter to Benazir Bhutto

Bibi, It has been almost a decade since you met your untimely demise on December 27, 2007. It has been almost a decade since the day the country lost one of its greatest leaders. The state that Pakistan finds itself in today may not surprise you. Unlike the others, you had the foresight to see the storm we were heading towards when you spoke of secular values. The state your party finds itself in today, however, will crush you. Your party has always represented the best of Pakistan. From your iconic father, to people of unparalleled substance, brilliance and integrity like Meraj Muhammad Khan, Aitzaz Ahsan, Raza Rabbani, Sherry Rehman and Malik ...

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Dear Imran Khan, you’re no better than Nawaz Sharif or Asif Ali Zardari

Those who consider Imran Khan to be a paragon of virtue say that he has never been known to misuse public funds. If you mention the discrepancy in his statements that the Bani Gala house was gifted by his first wife, then his about-turn on the issue, they say, “Oh, that was his own money, not filched from his hospital or from the government, like other well-known politicians are supposed to have done”. Even when you tell them that he ignored the findings of his own commission on the 2013 internal party elections, they say, no, no, nothing’s wrong, such things happen in other parties as well. But ...

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The Council of Islamic Ideology was never meant to be a permanent body, so why does it still exist?

The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII) is a constitutional body established under Article 228 of the Constitution of Pakistan, 1973. Given its increasingly obnoxious prescriptions, many in Pakistan are beginning to wonder if it is a good idea to have it in the first place. To this end the Senate Committee on Human Rights has recommended its disbanding recently. There is merit in this recommendation because the CII was never supposed to be a permanent body. It was supposed to give its final report within seven years of its appointment. That final report was presented in December 1996 and ...

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Should Imran Khan be arrested for treating a Taliban leader?

I will begin by admitting that I support PPP, the party Pakistan’s urban middleclass loves to hate. The basis for my support is just one – in Pakistan’s context, PPP remains the only mainstream party with a liberal and progressive ethos. No matter how you put it, this is a party which, in contemporary times, has tried to act as a bulwark against rising extremism and has paid the price in blood for doing so. In 2007, it lost Benazir Bhutto and then Salman Taseer and Shahbaz Bhatti in 2011. It also played a major role in the modification of the infamous Hudood ...

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6 bizarre ways people have tried to defend Bilawal Bhutto Zardari after Bisma’s death

Mohammad Faisal Baloch said to reporters that according to the doctors, had his daughter Bisma received medical attention only 10 minutes earlier, her life could have been saved. Instead, she died because of the delay caused by the security measures taken to protect the visiting Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) chairman, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, at Karachi’s Civil Hospital. The tragedy has resulted in plenty of backlashes towards Bilawal and VIP culture in general. But curiously enough, there has been some backlash towards the backlash… a backlash’ception if you will. This has come not only courtesy of Bilawal’s own camp, but from PPP ...

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Hina Rabbani Khar on Al Jazeera and the battle of media ethics

It would be a rather unfair statement if I assumed that virtually all Pakistani politicians lack the charisma to wholeheartedly defend their nation but without question, Hina Rabbani Khar’s recent interview in Aljazeera’s ‘Head to Head’ with Mehdi Hasan was one such exception. The former foreign minister of Pakistan, Khar, passionately defended Pakistan’s People’s Party (PPP) and Asif Ali Zardari’s controversial regime that recently took the social media by storm. Hasan, the host of ‘Head to Head’ posed some controversial yet intriguing questions at Khar, however, in the end, it all boiled down to a good, hot-headed debate. The former ...

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Zulfiqar Mirza will not dominate the political scene in Sindh but he will dominate Zardari

The man who used to wear jet black sunglasses, a traditional Sindhi cap, and sometimes a cowboy hat has finally managed to defeat the Asif Ali Zardari camp after his long campaign that featured statements against the top Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leadership. Yes, I am talking about the Army officer turned politician Dr Zulfiqar Mirza. Those who know him closely since his student days will not disagree that Mirza was born with a rebellious spirit. The former home minister earned his MBBS degree and joined the Pakistan Army in 1980 in the medical corps. But his defiant nature led to his ...

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Earthquake 200(1)5: Are Pakistanis mobilised best when calamities are of colossal magnitudes?

A 100 plus schools and almost 9,000 houses have been demolished in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) alone, and even official figures show that the death toll is bordering on 300 people. Calculating the number of the injured and incapacitated is not difficult to calculate. The earthquake that shook Pakistan on October 26th was not a small calamity by any means. Yet, apart from sporadic sightings of a couple of relief camps, Pakistanis are not mobilised like they were at the time of natural calamities that hit the country in the past. The initial wave of sympathy seems to have dissipated sooner than usual. The very nation which prides itself ...

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Canadian election: I finally saw the beauty of democracy and the power of the people

It is a strange night for me here in Toronto. The Canadian Federal Election just finished and it is calm. There are no cries claiming it was rigged. There are no complaints of ambush at polling stations. There are no premature victory speeches. Everything is quiet and peaceful. This all feels quite unusual to me. As a young Pakistani, I’m still not over the disastrous 2013 General Elections that were held in Pakistan. Yet, I’m already over the Canadian elections that took place merely a few hours ago. This sensation of closure has me feeling restless. I was following the Canadian ...

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I am a Sindhi and I have no sympathy for PPP anymore

Thar’s veteran politician, Rana Chandra Singh, once commented on the size of Umerkot’s Lanba ground in Dhatki, “Lanba ground Kachhi menhan Bhari ya Bhutto re Dikri.” (Either the southern rain has the power to fill the Lanba ground, or the daughter of Bhutto.) Those were the days when Sindhis, both Muslims and Hindus, chose to name their children after the famous Bhuttos. There are many Zulfikars, Bhuttos and Benazirs in Sindh and people once took pride in such names. Similarly, when Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was hanged, many who had named their children Ziaul Haq, changed their children’s names immediately. Now, you will rarely come across a person named Zia in Sindh. Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) represented the people; PPP represented the ...

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