SC more interested in rental power project than resolving ZAB reference: Zardari

Published: April 4, 2012

Zardari said people were after Yousaf Raza Gilani because he wanted to remove south Punjab from the "takht-e-Punjab". PHOTO: AFP/FILE

GARHI KHUDA BAKHSH: Following a measured speech by the Chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party, Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari at the Central Executive Council meeting, President Asif Ali Zardari reserved his speech for the massive crowd gathered outside the Garhi Khuda Bukhsh Bhutto mausoleum.

The theme for the evening seemed to have been carefully planned. From the articulate speech of Bilawal taking a direct jabs at the Supreme Court, to the Bhutto-slogan punctuated speech of Zardari having pockets of references to the rumoured machinations against Pakistan’s arguably largest political party.

The last time I was before you, I had hoped that the Supreme Court would have removed the stain of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s murder, but I regret to inform you that they are more interested in taking notice of the 40 megawatt plant installed in Garhi Khuda Bux which provides electricity to the people.”

The President continued with the theme, pointing towards the Asghar Khan case recently taken up by the Supreme Court. “It took them 20 years to hear the case. But for rental power plants you take less than three months to decide the case. They do not feel the pain of the masses,” he complained.

Touching on the conspiracies hatched against his government, Zardari reminded the gathering, and perhaps the nation that, “I want to tell you that in the past four years they have tried all sorts of tricks aginst me, but the people are with me. I have an answer to their every allegation, I have a counter to their every move.”

Reiterating that the people should not pay heed to the biased media he said “do not believe the newspaper reports. Do not get perturbed at what you hear on the television.”

Reaffirming his faith in the public as the ultimate source of power, he said “Pakistan is in the hands of the public, and the public is never wrong. History is testament to this, before tellingly adding “what the public decides is accepted by history, not the decision of an individual or a judge.”

“I say Bhutto is alive even today, but where are those who killed him? They are all in hiding,” the President taunted.

Talking about the rising nationalist voices from different corners of Pakistan, Zardari said, “many people want us to fight the Urdu speaking people in Sindh, some want us to keep fighting in Punjab, some in Balochistan, some want us to fight the Hazaras. But they understand not. We do not want to fight with anyone. We have decided that we will not fight any ethnic groups. If we fight, we fight against poverty, against our collective future problems, it is a fight for our land, if someone tries to steal this land away from us, we will fight them.”

Breaking from political rebuttals, and jumping on the re-election wagon, Zardari said that the Benazir Income Support Programme was not the only mass programme planned to be undertaken, “there isn’t just the BISP, we have many other programs for you as well. The elections we are going to have will be free and fair, the NIC will have a number on it so that there can be no double or triple voting.

“They are not after Yousaf Raza Gilani because he is loyal to me, he is loyal to the constitution” declared the President, before hinting towards the cold war between the main Opposition in the Parliament and the ruling government. “They are after him because he has called for south of Punjab to be removed from the ‘takht-e-Lahore’.”

We will not present our President before a Swiss magistrate

Prior to the president taking up space behind the bullet proof glass, Senator Aitzaz Ahsan took to the stage. Following from Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari’s defiant speech at the PPP Central Executive Committee meeting, Ahsan continued the theme, whether the president had immunity and on the contempt of court case against Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani.

“We will not present our President to a Swiss magistrate. Other countries even take away their Raymond Davis,” he said in a veiled taunt to the Supreme Court.

Ahsan blamed the media for misreporting his defence of Prime Minister Gilani during the contempt of court case in the Supreme Court. “Do not distort the sentences. I said that there is a case running in Switzerland in front of a magistrate, based on the same documents. The magistrate has not even summoned President Zardari.” He appealed to some sections of the media to stop misreporting his statements and present the facts as they are, but ended up telling the crowd that they “cannot be trusted”.

He said that on his recent trip to Delhi, there was “great interest” in the case against the prime minister. “I say there is no harm in writing the letter (to Switzerland), but not writing it is not a crime.”

Ahsan also had some chosen jibes. “This is not Lahore’s jalsa… This is Garhi Khuda Bukhsh,” met with a rapturous response from the audience.

Paying tribute to Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, he said “we have come here and leave with a new spirit, a new thinking and a new vision that then spreads throughout the country.”He invoked the spirit of the martyred Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto, and said they were watching over the crowd.

Other speakers included Jahangir Badar, Sindh Assembly Speaker Nisar Khuhro and PPP Punjab President Imtiaz Safdar Warraich and PPP Sindh President and Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah.

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Reader Comments (30)

  • Bishop Dr. Ijaz Inayat
    Apr 4, 2012 - 5:44AM

    He wants to hide his corruption behind the grave of ZAB.

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  • CK
    Apr 4, 2012 - 6:11AM

    I think any Pakistani who continues to be deceived by such speeches deserves nothing less then floods, earthquakes, drones and, taliban.

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  • Syed Ali
    Apr 4, 2012 - 6:15AM

    There is no doubt that deciding the corrupt rental power scheme is more important currently than deciding the ZAB reference. PPP has lost the plot and is hopelessly assuming that rural Pakistan, especially rural Sindh, is just stupid.

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  • saif
    Apr 4, 2012 - 6:18AM

    Yes, when it comes to your neck then you forget 180 million people and cry for your so called “shaheeds”!

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  • bilal
    Apr 4, 2012 - 6:25AM

    just as i thought ppp is playing politics on the the basis of ethnicity

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  • Bunty
    Apr 4, 2012 - 6:58AM

    For crying out loud somebody throw Zardari off the PPP bandwagon. And electricity is more important to Pakistanis than ZAB will ever be. I am sorry but facts are facts. Grow up.

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  • Saad
    Apr 4, 2012 - 7:24AM

    Another anniversary passes and millions of people still hope justice for their beloved leader. But the jayalas and patriots are patient, nothing can be expected for these good for nothing judges but as Faiz said;

    jab zulmon sitam ke koh-e-giran, rui ki tara urh jayein ge

    laazim hain ke hum bhi dekhein
    hum dekhein ge

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  • haroon ali
    Apr 4, 2012 - 7:26AM

    President is confused. He doesn’t even know that electricity is the main problem for the public and not who and why Bhutto was killed. Talk about the future Mr. President, don’t try to take shelter in what happened 40 years ago.

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  • Jibran
    Apr 4, 2012 - 7:50AM

    A lot of his opponents have huffed and puffed for 4 years, but the Lion have outsmarted all of them.

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  • anticorruption
    Apr 4, 2012 - 7:51AM

    SC should indeed be more interested in the rental power case than ZAB’s reference because ZAB’s hanging is now a thing of the past and cannot be undone. In contrast, rental power projects are a current issue and much more relevant today. Moreover, realistically speaking, there is not much the courts can do about the ZAB reference 33 years after his hanging. The trial cannot be reopened after such a long time when most probably several key whitnesses are not around any more. All that can be done is to say that he was not given a fair trial. Zardari is just bringing this up as an emotional blackmail tactic to divert attention from his corruption, something he and his party excell at.

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  • Not me
    Apr 4, 2012 - 8:02AM

    SCP decides issues according to law.

    In RPP corruption is prima facie obvious and nation knows who the corrupt persons are.
    In respect of ZAB case, over 30 years back review application was rejected by SCP.Only one review application to best of my knowledge can be filed. It is best if the case is argued in court and not in public meetings

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  • shadi
    Apr 4, 2012 - 8:03AM

    okay as far as those who killed bhutto are concerned 1, Zia is dead 2, Babar Awan who distributed sweets over bhuttos death was ur sweetheart till just a few weeks ago so please stop with all this nonsense, you dont care who killed which bhutto. As far as the rental power plants are concerned, your government went on several forums and said that this is the only way to solve the energy crisis in Pakistan and those who opposed the rpp’s are against Pakistan. As it turns out the rpp’s did NOTHING for any ordinary man Mr. President, except for providing you and your connies with kickbacks. If you have even an ounce bit of dignity in you, you and your PM who supported the rpp’s would step down and not use this emotional blackmailing.

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  • khan
    Apr 4, 2012 - 8:15AM

    because ZAB was a signle person jo mar khap gya.. rental power projects are sucking blood of millions.

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  • Asif
    Apr 4, 2012 - 9:05AM

    40 Megawatt power plant provides power to the people?? WOW, I didn’t knew that Ghari Khudabux is such a large city!!!
    Zardari needs to wake up from his sleep and see the reality. PPP today is Zardari’s PPP, not Bhutto’s PPP. Bhutto’s reign finished when Benazir died. Bilawal is Zardari, not Bhutto.

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  • Ayesha
    Apr 4, 2012 - 9:10AM

    The President continued with the theme, pointing towards the Asghar Khan case recently taken up by the Supreme Court. “It took them 20 years to hear the case. But for rental power plants you take less than three months to decide the case. They do not feel the pain of the masses,” he complained.

    Pakistani dont live in the past Mr. President. We live in present. Who cares about ZAB, he is dead. We care more about our electricity and power. The SC cares about the masses than you do else the palace in France would be sold and its receipts would be donated to the people of Pakistan displaced in floods. But u our President dont care. Stop living in the past and think of the problems of masses of today. The poverty, the electricity issue, the petrol and food prices, the roads, the buses, railways, airlines, the law and order etc etc.

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  • Ifroz
    Apr 4, 2012 - 9:39AM

    @Saad What millions of people and what beloved leader? You need to crawl out of the little box they keep you in. PPP and its cronies are a disgrace to humanity, shame on them.

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  • Maher
    Apr 4, 2012 - 9:39AM

    We DON’T WANT ZAB case. We want ELECTRICITY.. Dats it your JERK…

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  • ahmad
    Apr 4, 2012 - 9:40AM

    @ Syed Ali sorry to say yes they are stupid enough!!!!

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  • Tahmina
    Apr 4, 2012 - 9:45AM

    Electricity is the lifeline of the economy of Pakistan, keeps running the industry that generates employment. And Yes this is not his problem because he does not care. The life of one leader is supreme than the entire populous who live a life of misery where young kids commit suicide as parents cannot afford a uniform, fathers take their lives because they cannot feed their children. Our priorities are different, we can celebrate the dead and do not give a hoot to what happens to the living.

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  • adnan
    Apr 4, 2012 - 10:14AM

    Tackling corruption is much much more important than ZAB reference. Each new day rises with a new scam worth of billions. i feel regret to share with you we r d mst misfortuned people of the world who have such a dishonest, corrupt and dumb leadership(?). ZAB reference does not hold any importance to the nation. it is our past what is important is our present and future. we do not have education, health facilities, infrastructure, provision of basic necessities of life. we do have such DUMBS…

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  • Democrat
    Apr 4, 2012 - 10:55AM

    can anyone give an example in from anywhere in the world, where head of the state complains about the courts that please do not open cases against corruption… ? but look at the so called jiyalas..they will still vote for this man…alas…this is the shamest form of democracy…

    i give a few tips to AZ if he is so much worried about the past cases… what about the dictatorship of Ayub Khan and his cabinet? should not we try them? what about the Creation of Bangladesh? should we try those responsible ? what about the 1977 rigging?
    what about promoting a junior man ziaulhaq to post of general? now please stop these rhetorics and leave this poor nation alone…

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  • Mustafa
    Apr 4, 2012 - 11:25AM

    I really feel ashamed when my saudi friends talk about Zardari. They also say Mr. 10% is your President. How you can develop your country. Mr. Zardari’s speech of last night proves that he has no interest with the country or people but he cares for himself only. May Almighty God bless Pakistan with honest leadership like Imran Khan. (Aameen). This is the last hope, who can save our country. OR other solution is that Martial Law is much better with the type of Government of Zardari and his corrupt team.

    Regards,

    Mustafa

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  • Proud Sariki
    Apr 4, 2012 - 11:55AM

    @Saad:
    why no leade of PPP is talking about BB murder case? and only trying to correct history, when GOVt has also duty to look after 180 M people well beings the actual message for which ZAB struggled. and when SC chases rental projects for well being of 180 M people this act is crticised. I think it is a very wrong example being set for only political gain. where 180 M people are apteint comapred to jayalas.

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  • Food for thought
    Apr 4, 2012 - 12:46PM

    So essentially he is saying bhutto’s blood was more sacred and ordinary people dieng due to energy crisis in the country worth nothing.

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  • Liaqat ali
    Apr 4, 2012 - 1:13PM

    I thing the people on social media are v biased. ZAB is a leader of masses ans still being loved by millions. Some body should nt used words like this stupid has used for such a great leader. For CJ, i must say that he is the most biased punjabi judge doing selective judgments, if he can take suo moto against a slapping mpa why nt killing of shias and judicial murder of ZAB. We are with ppp and can thRow this biased judiciary bt being restrained by our leaders.
    @khan:

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  • Democrat
    Apr 4, 2012 - 2:05PM

    @mustafa..

    i agree with you..i have a lot of relatives who are abroad earning their bread and they tell us the stories that how these people humiliate us and ask us that dont you people have any other person to be your president? shame on this democracy… bro i hope all people like you would instill hope in the overseas community of pakistani and motivate them to use their votes and their family votes to bring a real change….

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  • Imran
    Apr 4, 2012 - 6:06PM

    Supreme Court is absolutely RIGHT. Zardari is using ZAB reference to pretend poor peoples’ problem.

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  • Imran
    Apr 4, 2012 - 6:10PM

    ZAB reference is DRAMA, not more than this. Just to hide CORRUPTION.

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  • Mirza
    Apr 4, 2012 - 6:33PM

    The PCO judges of SC must remember that ZAB is still one of the most popular figure in the history of Pakistan. The tyrants who hanged him are nowhere to be found. In fact Gen Zia’s name has officially been deleted from the history of Pakistan and its records in 18th amendment. While justice Munir and Nasim Shah and likes have been apologetic during their last days the followers of ZAB are still winning the elections.

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  • Fraz
    Apr 5, 2012 - 4:52PM

    For how long should PPP take it lying down.
    There is limit of every thing.If you take a look at our history ,the efforts made to victimize Bhutto’s or PPP and keep them out of power have badly damaged this country.But still it seems no lessons have been learnt.The bias against them is very very clear.

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