Well, he did...

Published: December 23, 2011

amina.jilani@tribune.com.pk

Will he, won’t he; will he, won’t he; will he, won’t he: was the constant media and public refrain about the return to the homeland — rather like the old daisy petal plucking game. Well, anyone with any nous who has been around and in thinking mode since the late 1980s, would have surely known that Asif Zardari ‘will’ unless he was physically and mentally unable to.

He has never been a quitter, he is no runner. His multiple sins, the well-known, internationally and nationally famed corruption, his feudal mindset and the general hanky-panky at all of which he is eminently adept, may be lumped against him justifiably, but to imagine that he had gone, fled, or whatever, was sheer stupidity (so far).

He’s going nowhere, unless, as he himself said quite some time ago, he is carried out, feet first, of the somewhat vulgar presidency of Islamabad or the even more vulgar second official residence of Karachi — both thoroughly bunkered with security measures that defy logic. Now that he is back, the initial rumour was that he was but here for three days; that passed. Then the current rumour has it that after the death anniversary of his wife on December 27, he will do another bunk. Bunkum! He may be in a bit of a bind with his immunity status at the moment and that immunity, or lack of it, is and should be, his prime concern.

A mass of his ill-wishers cannot figure out why he just does not give it all up and get out into the world and enjoy the billions he has allegedly amassed gratis Pakistan. Apart from the immunity danger, there seems no reason why he can’t, to the best of his ability, enjoy the alleged famed billions and, at the same time, relish the power he has as a head of state and a political party manipulator.

Asif Zardari has no problem kow-towing to the generals who are the true supreme commanders of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and he has no problem doing the bidding of the western powers that put him where he is in their own national interests. Though worries he must have, such as how best to deal with the ways and means of hanging on to what he actually does have.

The current situation with the US possibly might be a bit of travail for him — though no one knows what happens behind those closed doors. He has the happy knack of remaining silent on any tricky situation that arises. He condemns no one, he defends no one. He ignores those who slam him in print or verbally — wisely as he may have no valid answers or counter-attacks. Unlike his acolytes, he does not twitter on about sovereignty, dignity, national honour, unity, faith, discipline, or the will of the people and other such idiotic (considering the state of the nation) phrases with which we are bombarded. He alone utters not — not even on the contentious memo matter in which he is involved.

As a friend’s friend, how about a word for Husain Haqqani, the national media’s whipping boy? No man can be condemned without being heard and without facts being fully and truthfully revealed.

At this fraught point in US-Pakistan relations, maybe we are missing the Haqqani skills and contacts to ward off what the US seems hell-bent on inflicting upon a recalcitrant Pakistan through circumstances of the ‘establishment’s’ making.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 24th, 2011.

Reader Comments (14)

  • Mirza
    Dec 23, 2011 - 11:41PM

    Can anybody name a politician who stayed in jail without even been proven guilty? Any man who did not break or apologized for over a decade? You are right Z can be anything but not a fugitive or coward. Most people who want him out, do not know that only his electrol college (in particular smaller provinces) elected him with unanimously. Only they can elect a new president. While NA can easily change the PM with a simple majority of one vote. The only reason PPP is a national party and is repeatedly elected is they do not run away even at the cost of their lives.

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  • asma@london
    Dec 24, 2011 - 12:30AM

    Media should at least have the audacity to pat Z on the back for having the courage to give a long time awaited change in relations with neighbours like Iran, Russia and more. Going ahead with the gas pipeline agreement with Iran whilst annoying uncle Sam must be praised rather than being stingy. Attempts to change the currency from dollars is a reason why the hidden hand is trying to squeeze Z’s government.

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  • Meekal Ahmed
    Dec 24, 2011 - 12:46AM

    But Madam he HAS been condemned and sent packing!

    Should the same apply to the god’s of the Deep State?

    Of course not!

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  • MarkH
    Dec 24, 2011 - 1:23AM

    Cowardice and talking down to the people (responding to allegations with bad excuses) are two things that will break a leader. His holding his ground and silence leave little room for those things to take root and harm him. The silence should, though it’s not, also be seen as having another aspect. The insecure and liars are the ones who repeatedly address things they’ve already addressed once in a way they believe was sufficient. The truth will always give a person the “it’s sufficient” mindset. Liars will continually second guess themselves and their statements will ride the waves alongside the allegations as they’re changing. The truth won’t be changed by more incoming allegations. Someone does have to fit their lies to new circumstances.

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  • Falcon
    Dec 24, 2011 - 1:41AM

    @Mirza:
    Let’s keep aside the sacrifices of respectable martyrs of Pakistan’s political leadership. For others, I have always wondered about why our politicians are so passionate about coming to or staying in power. Is it because they love us so much or is it that their expected benefits from the political transaction far exceed the costs of their short-term pain???

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  • Shahbaz Asif Tahir
    Dec 24, 2011 - 3:32AM

    Many of us will be relieved if these money plunderers,
    and looters of Pakistan’s wealth are never ever to be seen in politics again.
    All of us Muslims of Pakistan wish good riddance to bad rubbish.Recommend

  • Zalim singh
    Dec 24, 2011 - 9:02AM

    dear mam, Zardari is the best leader you have to date.

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  • Seelyboi
    Dec 24, 2011 - 12:17PM

    @Zalim singh:
    She doesn’t want to date him!

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  • Parvez
    Dec 24, 2011 - 2:27PM

    You have managed to cover a lot of ground – very well written.
    On the question of immunity suggest read page 73 of Benazir Bhutto’s book ‘Reconciliation’ .
    Her views and supporting argument on this topic are decidedly interesting.

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  • amina jilani
    Dec 24, 2011 - 5:42PM

    @Meekal Ahmed:
    Condemned, maybe, but sent packing? Hardly, he is very much in our midst, armour-plated and helmeted. The mills of God grind slowly etc so not impossible that one day the deep state will meet its match.
    My, my, you have been busy writing these days on the insalubrious state of the nation’s and our finances. Flashes of wit are appreciated plus the fact of applying adjectives that should be applied to those who manage the money – sorry, mismanage.
    Seasons greetings and all that jazz. Bye for now.Recommend

  • amina jilani
    Dec 24, 2011 - 5:43PM

    @Parvez:
    Thank you. Will do so.
    Best for the festive season etc.

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  • Meekal Ahmed
    Dec 24, 2011 - 8:11PM

    @amina jilani:

    True, but that is just unfair. And I am NO admirer of HH. Just the facts, Madam. Just the facts.

    Glad you appreciate my “flashes of wit”. I learn most of it from you.

    Seasons greetings? No idea what you are talking about. I’m on the Islamic calendar. ;-)

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  • Meekal Ahmed
    Dec 24, 2011 - 9:35PM

    @Parvez:
    This whole reconciliation thing was never original. It was taken from the South African experience. She talked about it all the time when we would have lunch (with others present) when she was in exile and visiting Washinton DC.

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  • Hafjk
    Dec 25, 2011 - 5:33AM

    His mistake was to let mr chidhary back and trust his policy of reconciliation
    He has done no corruption he is tarred the se way as nawaz sharif was

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