Asif Ali Zardari: President of Pakistan

Asif Ali Zardari

Asif Ali Zardari, the strategist, the expert and the statesman, has finally achieved what he may not have dreamed of in his wildest of dreams. Whether we like it or not, he is now the President of Pakistan.

Mr. Zardari may have good intentions for the future but he has a dark past in his closet. While Pakistanis are well aware of nepotism and corruption in last two tenures of PPP government, its no open secret to the West as well.

Bret Stephens has his concerns:

Mr. Zardari — who earned the moniker “Mr. 10%” for allegedly demanding kickbacks during his wife’s two terms in office — has long been dogged by accusations of corruption. In 2003, a Swiss magistrate found him and Mrs. Bhutto guilty of laundering $10 million. Mr. Zardari has admitted to owning a 355-acre estate near London, despite coming from a family of relatively modest means and reporting little income at the time it was purchased. A 1998 report by the New York Times’s John Burns suggests he may have made off with as much as $1.5 billion in kickbacks. This was at a time when his wife was piously claiming to represent the interests of Pakistan’s impoverished masses and denouncing corrupt leaders who “leave the cupboard bare.”

It’s an open question whether Mr. Zardari will be more or less restrained in his behavior if he’s elected: His return to politics has meant the dropping of all charges against him and the release of millions in frozen assets. (The presidency will also confer legal immunity.) That may make him one of the few men in Pakistan to get richer this year: The economy, which grew in an unprecedented way under Mr. Musharraf, has tanked under civilian management. The Karachi stock exchange has lost about a third of its value and the currency about a fifth in recent months. Markets often have better memories than voters.

And Marvin Gaye puts it eloquently in Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology):

Oh, mercy mercy me
Oh, things ain’t what they used to be
No, no
Where did all the blue sky go?
Poison is the wind that blows
From the north, east, south, and sea
Oh, mercy mercy me
Oh, things ain’t what they used to be
No, no

11 thoughts on “Asif Ali Zardari: President of Pakistan”

  1. Dear Sir/Madam,

    I am a Pakistani NIC and have written continuously from 2005 to different Political parties, Editor of News Paper, The President and the Prim Minister of the Pakistan but could not get any thing of my e-mail accept twice from the office of President in which it refer to Mohtama Banagir Botto pregame and second it refer to President of National Bank Ltd for the purchased of Flat because i have been paying “the income Tax” for more the 25 years.
    Now on 24th November 2011, i had been terminated for the job and rent house evacuated and take Shelter of a relative. In 2002 i had suffered in “Brain Hemorrhage” and stilled my right side is Paralysed, the Aga Khan Hospital card .
    Please, i need a Shelter from the Authority.

    Your regards,

    Enayat-ur-Rehman Khan


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