Tragic, disappointing and shocking, these are the three words I could gather for the Presidential address by Zardari that I heard yesterday. Logically there was nothing in the whole episode which should be termed as presidential; rather it was simply a party address from that top platform.
In every nations history the real test of leadership and vision comes when they are in crisis. In 1965 we have Gen Ayub and his speech which gave a new patriotic life to the whole nation, for Americans one cannot find a better example than President Roosevelt inspiring address after the Pearl Harbor. Not long ago our PM Gilani delivered a speech which was no less than the other I named before the start of Swat operation. But again I am left with the same question: What was that yesterday?
The top office and party chairmanship could never have run parallel as it was debated earlier. A symbol of the federation, supreme commander of the proud Pak Army addressing in this manner, Amazing. I am still pondering what it was all about. There was no point in the whole speech which can be termed as the high point. A rare public appearance (in fact it wasn’t public at all) had nothing for the nation in itself. The telephonic (relayed) address from London makes sense but from President House is out of logic.
So what do we have in our baggage right now? An army which is fighting a battle which can nearly change the whole existence of our state,, a nation which is roaming everywhere to find flour, sugar and electricity, the whole country turned into a shooting gallery by the outside spy agencies and all we have to say is that please don’t trust what has been told about me?
There are 3 main features of the speech I would like to take up. The first is undoubtedly a “card” whose smell was evident everywhere. Where unity has nearly vanished from our foundation, the top office playing this trick can only be termed as “suicidal”. There is only 1 card which has to be played and that is “Pakistan card”. For years we have feared two things namely ethnicity and sectarianism. But it seems that for some this still remains as the most glittering offer. Let it be clear that we have lost our half part (now Bangladesh) because of Yahya’s pathetic vision of divide and rule. With Baluchistan in nearly foreign hands, NWFP burning with an insurgent war and Southern Punjab tipped to be the next frontier against terrorism can we afford an adventure like this? Masses hold the power but they can be mislead quite easily.
The second point is regarding an effort that was made to give a “specific color” to the whole ongoing episode by linking it with the vision of an outstanding leader. Was Bhuttoism ever confined to the corridors of power and the foreign guarantors? Is this what Z A Bhutto did in his career? He is remembered for the recovery of a shattered nation, he is remembered for the International image he built for a struggling nation, he is remembered for being the heart beat of the masses; a leader who had his grip on the pulse of the masses, he was remembered for his visionary acts for Islamic unity……..which attribute is parallel with today’s top office
The third point can be nothing more than the fear of justice. Media is nothing. “Political Actors” like “ghairat brigade” are nothing. It is only the truth which is feared at that place. I never heard Bush calling Micheal Moore a traitor for calling 9/11 a lie. So how come a comment on NRO or leadership can make Dr Shahid, Shaheen Sehbai and many like them traitor. There is no corporate state in Pakistan in terms of GEO or Jang. It is only the public trust on these so called actors which have made some powerful characters fearful of them and this was evident in the speech from start till the end.
With this said it still remains what was really missing from the whole episode. Let me term it 1 by 1.
Place or Platform: A President, a neutral by constitution defending himself in a political gathering.
A Vision: Unfortunately with all those powers in the hand of the top office and the fate of Pakistan hanging by the thread………….there was nothing for Pakistan.
Logic: PPP is the symbol of the federation……right? So why was the show limited to Sind? With government in center this should have been a grand feast but intentionally it was limited to a province to play its card………totally wrong.
Anyhow this seems to be enough for today. But I would urge you to please interpret this episode for me as I feel I understand nothing what it was all about?????