Stories about President Zardari

PTI, PML-N, MQM…all rally, no change

Habib Jalib must be turning in his grave at the recent brouhaha of Shahbaz Sharif’s rhetoric and his poetic embarrassment in an uncalled for rally against President Zardari. This same address conveniently ignored corruption charges, bad governance and lawlessness in the very Punjab government headed by the Khadim-e-Aala in disguise. It is no secret that the current People’s Party regime has not lived up to expectations. However, claiming to hang the President of a democratically elected government in the presence of free judiciary just goes to show the restlessness of the PML-N for their promised ...

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Remembering Karsaz

Nearly 150 people died in the Karsaz blasts four years ago; many more were injured. But yesterday, the fourth anniversary of the blasts, the biggest concern most people in Karachi had was whether Karsaz will be blocked? Will the roads be jammed? [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?&v=gKwaf1xAZI0]] Like countless other incidents, Karsaz too is now just a distant memory, another episode in the violent political history of our nation. Still, it’s kind of hard to ignore the half page ads in the papers, exhorting us to remember “The Day of the Martyrs” – which is the best that the communications machinery of the Government of ...

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Zaka Ashraf: From farmer to PCB chairman

The much awaited, controversial and politically influenced post of Chairman of the Pakistan Cricket Board has finally been filled. Ladies and gentleman, put your hands together for Mr Zaka Ashraf, a man who has had absolutely nothing to do with cricket! Nice job Mr President – out of the multiple candidates presented to you, you have successfully chosen the worst one. Having said so, lets look back on Butt’s tenure as the chairman of the PCB to gauge whether Pakistani cricket can, indeed, fall lower than it already has. The damage done Ijaz Butt has faced a great amount of criticism based on his ...

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Friends, presidents, captains

The pulse of popular opinion can be gauged at the city’s cafes and teahouses; whether it’s the ‘absconding’ president or the swelling ranks of Kaptaan’s party. Now that most, save the absolute haters, have reconciled with the fact that the president is here to live, the question debated is where he will live. He’s not coming back, says the self-assured one. His days are counted; the khakis have had it, he adds, with a sense of smugness inversely proportional to his political insight. Maybe he’s just really ill and that’s about it, I hurl, as a conspiracy spoiler. Bah, I’m dismissed. ...

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Dear PM Gilani, Pakistan’s fate is in your hands

Dear Prime Minister Gilani, I am delighted by your political maneuvering and how smoothly you have bailed out a failng government. It is smart of you to abandon personal and political egos, and pursue policy of reconciliation. The strategy has worked well and you have garnered support. You are still the prime minister of Pakistan. The fate of Pakistan is in your hands. I hope that your recent decisions were not just an attempt to save President Zardari or your highly unpopular government. Hopefully the MQM and PML-N have reminded you of what your priorities should have been in the first place. ...

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If I were President Zardari in 2011

There is no doubt President Asif Ali Zardari has transformed into a polished politician since his return to Pakistan on December 28, 2007. He has led a number of PPP politicians and managed to bring build a coalition based on “lessons learnt from past mistakes” through a policy of ‘reconciliation’. However, the leaders he nominated, for their personal motives and selfish gains, caused disagreements with partners and ended up embarrassing the party. Corrections have to be made in the future. With one coalition partner already out of the government and another on its way, I feel some extraordinary steps need to be taken to ...

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More security? Yeah, right

Security was ‘beefed up’ or ‘put on high alert’ after the bombing at Abdullah Shah Ghazi’s shrine in Karachi which resulted in killing at least 10 people and left more than 60 injured. Question: Why could security not have been beefed up earlier so as to avoid the incident all together? In a country like Pakistan, where incidents of terrorism occur on a frequent basis, there really shouldn’t be any question as to when it would be the right time to put security on high alert. Right after the incident, a minister on TV said that the security at the shrine was ...

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What we don’t know will hurt us

An overzealous media sniffing a tectonic shift in Islamabad, readied itself in obvious enthusiasm to cover the news of the expected ‘change’. Unsurprisingly, nothing happened. The troika resolved to protect the current dispensation…the self-proclaimed defenders of what they choose to call ‘democracy’, while the reality of Pakistan is closer to that of a kleptocracy. If we were in a democratic polity, decisions that alter the destiny of nations wouldn’t be made behind closed doors, through inoculators, with gentle nudging and helpful prodding of US and Saudi diplomats. We have a President who in dubious circumstances inherited the leadership of his slain wife’s ...

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In defense of the status quo

Right now, news of a possible regime change is dominating the mainstream media. Active enthusiasm in some quarters shows that euphoria after the elections of  February 18, 2008 has fully subsided and has been replaced by plain disgust. If the demographics of the wary public are to be taken into consideration, it is again some sections of the affluent middle class which are pressing for the regime change and are ready to support even unconstitutional means. However, this time the buck does not seem to stop at regime change as a sizeable number either wants democracy to be completely purged or at least temporarily ...

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The Bilawal we do not know

Early on Bilawal Bhutto Zardari refuted intentions that he would enter politics, yet this young scion of Pakistan’s landed gentry has, paradoxically, been striving to establish political recognition. Whether this entails telephone conversations with PM Gilani about the current situation in Pakistan or addressing a community of altruistic Pakistani expatriates in Dubai, Bilawal seems to be attempting to  develop a political identity equivalent to that of his mother. But can he? In her contentious memoir, Daughter of the East, Benazir Bhutto alludes to Bilawal as ‘the most celebrated and politically controversial baby in the history of Pakistan’. Although politics is a hereditary business ...

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