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Zardari trying to be a political Martyr?

The recent unprecedented outburst on the military by Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari has left media personnel and spectators alike, in a state of shock.

What he said was no different from what the top dogs in the Indian leadership hierarchies have been saying, from what Altaf Hussain said and exactly what a patriot would refrain from saying. Although, he has every right to settle his scores with any individual, he just cannot thrash the most respected institution of this country and simply discredit the fact that the military is the very same institution that is fighting against terrorism and sacrificing their today in order to secure our future.

Perhaps the greatest irony lies in the fact that this defamatory speech against the military was delivered by a person who, by the virtue of his designation, was the supreme commander of the armed forces for almost 5 years.

It is important to analyze why Zardari found it absolutely necessary to engage in this final round with the military leadership. In order to holistically do so, it is absolutely necessary to analyze the background; the events that eventually led to such an aggravated situation. It all started off with an apex committee meeting that was conducted on 16th February during which the word “incompetent” was used forthe Sindh government. It was also decided that transfers and postings in the police department would be conducted through the apex committee.

Then on 11th March 2015, Rangers carried out a raid on “nine zero”, the head office of MQM. The chief minister Sindh admitted that he was not informed of the action taken and that the Sindh government made no contribution to it. Weeks later, on 25th March the prime minister chaired a meeting at Faisal base and allegedly, the CM’s involvement was just a puppet act; only to put on a show after all the important discussions in his absence. In addition, The PM was informed that the Sindh government is not cooperating.

Following these events, on 16th May the corpse commander, while addressing university students, said that Sindh government’s political and administrative incompetency has increased problems in Karachi. It was on 4th June that Sindh’s secretary for excise and taxation coupled with the director anti-corruption were arrested by the National Accountability Bureau.

Finally on June 11th it was publicised by the rangers that a black economy market, with a circulation of around 230 Billion Rupees, exists whose operations consist of China cutting, ransom and extortion. The alarming and most worrisome fact is that this money is used in funding terrorism. It was clearly indicated that people having connections with “Sindh’s large political party” are involved.

Coming back to discussing Zardari’s political skills, people may have reservations on his way of governance and competence to deliver but nobody could disagree with Zardari’s exceptional skill of diplomacy which includes the art of retaining cordial terms with friends and foe alike. As a matter of fact, his tenure as president was completed due to his commendable skill of sheer diplomacy; he was able to avoid major issues and conflicts with the establishment as well as the judiciary.

So if you think that his recent speech was an emotional one and depicted disappointment, then you are clearly mistaken. The Zardari I know is neither egoistic nor emotional. He is a clever politician who is well aware of the political situation developing in Sindh. It is alleged that he also tried to meet COAS and DG ISI but all his efforts went in vain as he did not receive a positive response from them.

Zardari is currently in the eye of the storm with several factors contributing to the raging whirlwind. First, the high likeliness of Uzair Baloch being brought back to Pakistan by the law enforcement agencies; then the report of rangers to the apex committee, followed by an inquiry ordered for corruption charges against 3 former CBR chairmen and lastly, the Ayyan Ali case which still is not making any progress with leeway on both sides. With this cluster of events, it won’t take an oracle to predict that PPP and Zardari are bound to face hard times.

He has spent all his words on criticizing the army, when in reality, it would have been much wiser and more appreciable if he had bashed his incompetent government that never even bat an eyelash on the death of 250 children in the midst of the Thar phenomenon. Why were the perpetrators left without his “righteous” wrath then? He would have been more appreciated had he lashed out on his senile CM pertaining to the water shortage crisis in Karachi instead of wasting his breath on more “important” issues than the lack of a fundamental human need, a right that required more scrutiny in his own provincial capital.

People would have been more interested had Zardari inquired about corruption charges/allegations levied on his former prime ministers. The audience would have praised him had he spoke against his former minister for religious affairs, who was involved in hajj scam. If he believes himself to be a fearless and out spoken individual then he should have talked on rental power scam. Not just this, it would have caught more attention had he pointed out the failures during his regime mainly, the failure to arrest Benazir Bhutto’s murderers.

His speech was a severe disappointment and has made me lose all respect for him, both as a person and as a leader. He tried to take advantage of the fact that the military is engaged on several fronts; using it as an opportunity to make his personal opinions sound politically legitimate. Moreover, the ill practices that his friends are involved in, reeks of his corrupted morals. Zardari, if you think you have the ability to sway opinions, then I suggest you do not abuse that power for personal gains.

Indeed the military will pursue this operation in full throttle and unveil the real culprits of disturbance in Karachi. Seems like noose is tightening for Zardari and it was a mere attempt, rather a failed one, to be a political martyr. Justice will be served and as I pen down the concluding lines to my article, I hope that this will be more than just a thoughtful wish.

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