Kudos to Zardari for all he did, and did not

Perspective Shaheen Sehbai Sunday, September 08, 2013

WASHINGTON: When he inspects the guard of honour as departing president today, Mr Asif Ali Zardari would be wondering what he did wrong that he was now walking into almost a political oblivion, like the previous military president who also got a guard of honour out of the Presidency but had no place to go. For Mr Zardari never admits any wrong. He never did anything crooked. He did all the best things he could and he cannot understand why the people of Pakistan threw his party out into the cold in the elections, why the courts threw out his prime ministers, why his friends are appearing as accused and convicts in numerous corruption cases, why the media, some parts of it more than others, hounded him, why politicians who took favours from him are now shunning him, why his family members are reluctant to come forward to play a role in politics, why everyone blames him for not finding the killers of Benazir Bhutto, why, why, why. There is a beeline of columnists and analysts who are praising him for doing things for democracy, for the political system and for the country. I admit he did all those things but he did all those

He did not .” asked Jack slyly. He gave all political parties their share in government. “No. “But Jack.” He claims he introduced “reconciliation” as the main policy plank to keep everyone on board to complete his term.” pronounced the rabbi.right things for the wrong reasons as he never actually believed in them.” replied the rabbi. (read loot and plunder). So what Zardari did was to correct the system but run it in a crooked way. and let them loose on every sector. From a direct control he went on to remote controlled democracy. “Do you want it.” “But he doesn’t want it. I stole a gold watch. I said return it to its owner. known tax evaders and law breakers. “You should return it immediately!” “What shall I do?” “Give it back to the owner. a crooked one.” Jack admitted sheepishly. “Rabbi. only to shut their mouths because he had installed so many cronies. So where was the genuineness in using them illegally by appointing dummies and cronies who would not lift a finger without a wink from the Presidency. That was a smart move but again with the wrong intention. he never let them use those powers. personal servants. After a sleepless night. When he did that he had in his mind that he would climb down like ZA Bhutto and quit the Presidency. “you can keep it. a presidential system of sorts. Jack stole the rabbi’s gold watch and afterwards began to feel guilty about what he did. business partners. that’s forbidden. I found a short story on the internet which depicts his style and what he meant by passing the 18th Amendment aptly. jail doctors. resulting in a failure of governance and the total mess that we see all around. messieurs. “In that case Jack. That he could not do but once he gave away powers to the PMs. boot polishers.” said Jack. he went to see the rabbi. He agreed to amend the Constitution and gave the presidential powers to the prime minister.” answered the rabbi. friends.

So when he claims kudos for his achievements as a democratic leader who kept the system running.000 more workers. over 100. in police. Huge influx of jiyalas. Those who pinched millions were looked down. That’s how reconciliation worked for him to let him complete his term. what he did was to keep himself in power by making every compromise. He takes pride in giving jobs but in a dying steel mill if he inducts 5. to shut them up. The price he took from the system and the country for the concessions he gave. To institutions he threw bigger bones. He raised the level of corruption to a point where stealing billions became the symbol of prestige and authority. Governance plummeted to abysmal lows. in fact things which no elected president or government should have done. Extending the term of General Kayani for three years was one such payoff. Its enormity is visible on the face of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif when he sits and looks blank before the cameras.want anyone to object and whoever did. intel agencies. obstructing the justice at every level to save himself from the deeds and misdeeds of the past. all systems shut down and the country was left in a huge mess. whenever. . Giving the judges the right to name other judges was another. corporations was a crime which caused the collapse of all these institutions. The scandals that broke in his time would remain unmatched and the courts will remain engaged for years sorting out who stole what and how. he threw some bones. as president was enormous. state owned companies. having no clue where to start correcting the rot. notwithstanding.000. in terms of money and in terms of corrupting and bringing the entire system to a halt. big or small. no matter how damaging for the system. Neither the mills could survive nor the new employees could get their wages. whom was he serving other than his petty political interest.

Judging the precarious situation. it may be a service. for now. Finally Sindh was the saddest thing for Zardari’s Pakistan. . fall half dead on the roadside. which continues to fall behind in almost every provincial comparative benchmark because of poor governance. physically and financially. The latest Geo-Gallup poll being published today also reflects the same sentiment. in this fight. It would be a pleasant irony that the last five years of suffering of Pakistan. Now it is for the other institutions to bring him to account. This is politics of the best kind. But will he save Zardari from the consequences of his failures? Not possible. Mr Zardari has taken the right political decision not to indulge in politics for the next five years and to seek mercy of Nawaz Sharif to protect him. but again the right thing for the wrong reasons. People did what they should have done in the elections. For the coming five years Zardari will have to defend himself. leads to awakening for Sindh. for the province and for himself. wants to focus on governance. The PPP will. throwing his party into the dustbin. Again even if Sindh is saved because Zardari delivers some semblance of governance in Sindh.Mian Nawaz Sharif is right in giving him a decent farewell. save his family and his assets and it will be a huge fight. as he. If there is any hope for Zardari and his PPP it is to save Sindh by finally having positive intentions for governing instead of politically compromising its way to destitution.