Totalitarian regime revisited

Now that Musharraf has gone, one would think that things will start to improve for Pakistan.. alas not at all.

The country has a severe leadership crisis. People have to choose between bad and worse…… such is the situation that former Mr 10% is going to become the President of the country. The people of Pakistan should brace themselves for a new civilian totalitarian regime.

In spite of fiercely supporting democracy and democratic institution, one just cannot ignore the sorry state of affairs where a totally unpopular person is going to become the President with the support of most political parties which are “upto no good” (history speaks for itself)

“The middle class and the elite both have a distaste for this man [Zardari], despite the fact that he’s never been convicted of anything,” said Mosharraf Zaidi, a political analyst. “He is guilty in the court of public opinion … If there was a direct election, there’s no question that Zardari would come in last.”

Not only people do not like him… he is so controversial, it appears highly unlikey he could represent the unity of the nations (as a President should in a parliamentary democracy)

Asif Zardari’s entry on Wikipedia is very instructive especially the section headed “Criminal charges and allegations”

Such is the character of this person that to avoid appearing before a court in a corruption case in London, he declared a false report declaring he was mentally imbalanced and could not travel. The case was dropped by Pakistan Government since his party took power (it does not surprise people how easy it is to get away scott free in a poor country). At the very least, he is ethically and morally too corrupt to hold a public office of any responsibility lest being the President of a country of 160 million people.

We say false report because if the report is true, then Asif Zardari is clearly ineligible to be the President under the constitution of Pakistan.

Extracts from the Constitution:

41. (2) A person shall not be qualified for election as President unless he is a Muslim of not less than forty-five years of age and is qualified to be elected as member of the National Assembly.

63. (1) A person shall be disqualified from being elected or chosen as, and from being, a member of the Majlis-e-Shoora (Parliament)(National Assembly) , if:-
(a) he is of unsound mind and has been so declared by a competent court

So, why is he gaining traction to become the President. Well, the answer lies in two things – first he is very cunning and second the following (hallmarks of a client state 🙂 )

Analysts say Zardari may be just the man for the job of managing the Pakistan-U.S. alliance. He is a former resident of New York’s affluent Upper East Side. He often chooses well-tailored two-piece suits over the traditional, loose-fitting salwar-kameez that is the de rigueur dress of politicians in this majority-Muslim nation.

So a President is selected by the dress he wears….. what a farce!

And ……

Recent revelations of Zardari’s unauthorised telephone contact with senior Bush administration insider, Zalmay Khalilzad, seemed to confirm that he is rated in the White House.

“He [Zardari] is coming with the blessings of the Bush administration,” said Tariq Fatemi, a former Pakistani ambassador to Washington. “They feel he will provide a political face to the military operations.”

… Do I hear the same old wine with a new label ….

We hoped not to miss Musharraf and we still hope we won’t but eventually we may miss him (at least he was not personally corrupt).

In the eyes of independent experts:

While the PPP and its allies insist that Mr Zardari is ideally suited to lead Pakistan, his nomination has sparked widespread criticism. “Mr Zardari’s election is hardly the best thing for Pakistan in the circumstances,” said Farazana Shaikh of the think tank Chatham House. “In fact, I would be inclined to think that it is the worst thing when it desperately needs some semblance of consensus.”

Last month Mr Zardari backtracked on an agreement to reinstate the judges sacked by Mr Musharraf last year. The move wounded his popularity and led to former prime minister Nawaz Sharif withdrawing his support from the coalition government.

“It is demonstrated that he is not a man of his word,” added Ms Shaikh.

Okay now that we have talked of doom and gloom, let’s hope that Zardari turns over a new leaf. He becomes a champion of democracy, and ensures Judiciary is restored with true independence and constitutional powers. Let’s hope that he moves this country forward and bring about the much sought Change (sounds familiar….US elections are always a great event to follow) this country needs.

After all, we have to start from somewhere…..


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