Facing the music: President Zardari returns under the cover of night

Published: December 18, 2011
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Zardari to return back home very soon, say sources. PHOTO:AFP/FILE

Zardari to return back home very soon, say sources. PHOTO:AFP/FILE

KARACHI: The president’s arrival prompted almost as much confusion as his departure.

Protocol was in place for a landing in Islamabad and Karachi, but ultimately Pre­sident Asif Zardari arrived back in Karachi, where top Pakistan Peoples Party officials had gathered at Bilawal House.

Despite initial reports of an afternoon arrival, the president landed just after 1am at the PAF Base Masroor in the city’s Mauripur area and was driven straight to Bilawal House. He was accompanied by seven people on his private plane, including his daughter Aseefa and the petroleum minister, Dr Asim Hussain.

The acting president Farooq Naek and the president’s sister Faryal Talpur were on hand at his city residence to receive the president – alongside a heavy security presence. Sindh Home Minister Manzoor Wassan personally supervised the security arrangements, which saw extra Rangers deployed all around Bilawal House and other parts of the city.

Talking to the media, the Sindh home minister could not resist a dig at the president’s detractors in the electronic media. “These pundits on TV channels were predicting the president would never come.”

The president’s spokesman Farahatullah Babar had earlier said that the “president is now fine and the doctors have given him permission to travel, but we cannot disclose his schedule with media.”

Sources indicate that after resting, the president will hold key meetings for a few days before flying off to Islamabad. “He can hold meetings with party leaders to dispel the impression that he is suffering from serious illness and afraid of recent developments in the wake of the memo case,” a senior PPP leader said, adding that Zardari will be in Larkana on December 27 to attend the death anniversary of Benazir Bhutto.

The president flew to Dubai on December 6, sparking a flurry of speculation about his health – and the health of democracy in the country. He was released from the city’s American Hopsital on Wednesday and has been convalescing at his residence in the emirate. The official line is that he was treated for a transient ischemic attack, in which the blood supply to a part of the nervous system is cut off, but not for long enough to kill tissue, as happens in a stroke. According to the presidency, Zardari suffered numbness and twitching in his left arm and had lost consciousness for a few seconds.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 19th, 2011

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Reader Comments (66)

  • Ahmad
    Dec 18, 2011 - 4:11PM

    Zardari will not be returning back soon..

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  • Bhatti Boy
    Dec 18, 2011 - 4:50PM

    Zardari have learned a lot from mistake of other politicians. He likes to play cool and safe. He will not return to Pakistan.

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  • Hukabukka
    Dec 18, 2011 - 5:39PM

    He is playing his cards very smartly. Wish our politicians and establishment could also use their potential and resources for the country and not in politicking and settling scores… but this is just wishful thinking, I know.

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  • K. Salim Jahangir
    Dec 18, 2011 - 5:58PM

    How soon is soon??

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  • Main na Mamoon
    Dec 18, 2011 - 7:05PM

    @K. Salim Jahangir: Tonight is HOW SOON, Zardari the LOIN HEART coming back. Opposition be ready to face his roar. Long live Zardari.

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  • Zardari-is-back
    Dec 18, 2011 - 8:01PM

    All those people in media and political groups who started all sort of hue and cry that Zardari will NEVER return MUST read this news item. Zardari is a brave person who has faced all sort of hate and abuse comments with soberness and dignity. All Zardari haters failed once again.

    Now propaganda and media trial should END now.

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  • MK
    Dec 18, 2011 - 8:57PM

    Thanks God, we deadly missing his majesty

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  • sara khan
    Dec 18, 2011 - 9:18PM

    wellcome
    may Allah keep him safe and sound

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  • Paki Generals
    Dec 18, 2011 - 9:18PM

    welcome home mr. president.

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  • mohammad jaan
    Dec 18, 2011 - 9:26PM

    lets see when he comes back do you think he is so brave

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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Dec 18, 2011 - 10:47PM

    I have never voted this party, but PPP is the only party which has few brave men and women. Zardari, Haqqani, Salman Taseer and above all Motarma are few shinning examples.

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  • Dec 18, 2011 - 10:54PM

    Welcome back home.

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  • Dec 18, 2011 - 11:01PM

    @Ahmad:
    HE IS COMING,PREDICTION??????????

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  • Gill
    Dec 18, 2011 - 11:10PM

    Wellcome Mr. President, please devote your energy for the development of the country. Use your potential potively. Zardari Khappay!

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  • Disco
    Dec 18, 2011 - 11:42PM

    “I’m gonna make him an offer he can’t refuse”- Don Vito Corleone, The Godfather (1972), this dialogue comes to my mind , when i think about Mr. Zardari. Welcome back Sir, the media have just made you more stronger…Recommend

  • SM
    Dec 19, 2011 - 12:30AM

    Zardari is history and so is the PPP.

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  • Realist.
    Dec 19, 2011 - 12:50AM

    Welcome Sire!
    Rumor factories closed!

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  • Dec 19, 2011 - 1:04AM

    President’s plane is landed. Welcome back Mr. President. My sympathies for the long faced PPP haters.

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  • Imran
    Dec 19, 2011 - 1:24AM

    The Lion has landed. Time for the hyaenas to hide now.

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  • Paki Generals
    Dec 19, 2011 - 1:47AM

    @SM:
    why are yo so jealous yar?

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  • hedgefunder
    Dec 19, 2011 - 2:06AM

    Arrangements made for short term , and now the time for the music too !!!
    Let’s have that statement to SC from you as matter of urgency, please !!!

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  • John
    Dec 19, 2011 - 2:07AM

    He will soon leave for the UK …

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  • wadi
    Dec 19, 2011 - 2:13AM

    he never ran away before he is not running away now,a tru lion a true leader
    he has guts,nawaz has no guts ,sheikh rashid is down to Recommend

  • Tahir
    Dec 19, 2011 - 2:42AM

    OMG, did someone call him a lion for returning to the country he supposed to be in. What is wrong with people.

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  • Ali Wazir
    Dec 19, 2011 - 2:56AM

    Did not look like a person who suffered a stroke or was recently in the ICU. At this point truth from the government would have been surprising…

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  • Fawad_TX
    Dec 19, 2011 - 3:10AM

    Now the real game is start. Silent Army and Supreme court has waited for him not the people of Pakistan. Army is not going to retreat from their decisions.

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  • ajad cheema
    Dec 19, 2011 - 3:12AM

    welcome back home
    Long live PPP

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  • Ali
    Dec 19, 2011 - 3:15AM

    So Karachi is in London ? I mean Ijazul Haq just claimed that AZ was in London…and Now I hear he is in Karachi

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  • Ali
    Dec 19, 2011 - 3:18AM

    @SM

    Seems like History keeps on repeating. Keep wailing my brother, Zardari Khappay! Jiye Bhutto

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  • Imran
    Dec 19, 2011 - 3:40AM

    THE LION KING!
    Where is Scar, and the hyenas now?

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  • romeo
    Dec 19, 2011 - 4:17AM

    pls for goodness sake dont term zardari as lion, he is the most corrupt person in the history of pakistan politiics….it is only usa which made sure zardari’s return to pakistan. zardari should be tried for act of treason and so the other leaders of ppp including gilaniRecommend

  • John
    Dec 19, 2011 - 5:14AM

    A Lion? Im not sure! Lol if he was a lion then he should not have left pakistan in the first place. Lions are supposed to be courageous. It would have been nice if this lion had the courage to show trust in pakistani doctors lol. Oh well hes back now.. Goodluck to him n best wishes hope he recovers because the pakistani nation needs this Lion!!

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  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Dec 19, 2011 - 5:49AM

    @ Ali, Karachi is London or not, we will figure out later but when Ijaz-ul-Haque says Zardari is in London, he is in London. Ijaz cannot lie. His father also never lied.

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  • MrPresident
    Dec 19, 2011 - 5:59AM

    he goes everywhere with his family even on professional commitments. where ever he visits, his maid aseefa and baby elephant is with him, i wonder when will the tax payer of Pakistan get enough senses to question the government.

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  • Ashraf P
    Dec 19, 2011 - 6:22AM

    Sorry to burst your balloon guys, HE’S BACK !!
    All the cock-and-bull stories spread by the establishment has turned out to be fiction… AGAIN ! Time to start using our own heads instead of listening to the establishment-controlled propaganda.

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  • MarkH
    Dec 19, 2011 - 6:54AM

    @Imran:
    I can’t believe you actually made that reference. Not in a negative way. It made me laugh a little. It’s just such a weird reference to see. An old Disney movie/cartoon reference on this topic is entertainingly blindsiding.

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  • Pro Bono Publico
    Dec 19, 2011 - 6:54AM

    A sad day for Pakistan that First Looter of Pakistan Zardari has returned to cause further damage to the nation.

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  • Dec 19, 2011 - 8:05AM

    Right from Veena Malik to Zardari, nobody is safe. They have to hide in their own Country. And, feel neighbouring Countries are safer.

    What can you say about a Country where the President himself is threatened?

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  • Jonny
    Dec 19, 2011 - 8:12AM

    @Zardari lovers …. if he is so brave … why can’t he face the jury in a proper way ?Recommend

  • Adnan
    Dec 19, 2011 - 8:15AM

    Welcome Back Mr. President!! Another sad news for Zardari Bashers.. He is Back with his Smile!! Recommend

  • Not me
    Dec 19, 2011 - 8:40AM

    He also left under the darkness of night.
    The country’s economy is hurting really bad, there is very bad governance,people are in miserable condition. If something is not done urgently to correct the situation, there will be civil strife……………

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  • Zalim singh
    Dec 19, 2011 - 9:02AM

    Long live Zardari

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  • yusra khan
    Dec 19, 2011 - 9:13AM

    zardari khapy welcome president
    may Allah keep u safe and sound may Allah give yuo he courage to wipe of cruel.we helpless liberal Pakistanis r with u

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  • Dec 19, 2011 - 9:22AM

    compromise….or…..counter move….or……life as normal

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  • yusra khan
    Dec 19, 2011 - 9:28AM

    all ZARDARI haters
    lets face the truth he is the king lion someone said lion doesn’t run away they must watch national geographic channel they do.
    when the enemy is too strong we need to be tactful if all the good people like benazir salman Taseer and many other unknown heros will be killed one by one we will be left with hyper slaughterers they need to protect themselves to protect helpless muslim liberals

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  • Ahmer Ali
    Dec 19, 2011 - 9:43AM

    Assalam-o-Allaikum Warahmatullah. Ashfaq Parvez Kiyani’s phone to Zardari has done much the best and excellent job.Recommend

  • Rizwan Qumbrani
    Dec 19, 2011 - 10:26AM

    Wellcome Mr. President…
    GEt weLL sOOn….

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  • NJ
    Dec 19, 2011 - 10:34AM

    Lion back to Den!

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  • R S JOHAR
    Dec 19, 2011 - 10:42AM

    If Mr Zardari who has reached Pakistan has any security or health related problem henceforth, is most welcome to ‘Incredible India’.

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  • Atif Nooe
    Dec 19, 2011 - 11:09AM

    Welcome Mr. Zardari.

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  • David
    Dec 19, 2011 - 11:17AM

    Welcome Home our most beloved President.

    You are truly an amazing person – you have kept our (mad-media, which is not free from corruption either) following in love with you.

    Bad Day for the opposition and mad-media. A piece of advise “for God Sake – spare this man and let him (President Zardari) and his party (PPP) do some work for this country”.

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  • Dec 19, 2011 - 11:54AM

    @Ahmad:
    You proved that you are not a good predictor ,
    he has come,now you should go and say him welcome offer congratulation.

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  • Khalid Ahmed
    Dec 19, 2011 - 12:07PM

    I think this is quite an unfair headline. Cover of the night would seem he is coming hiding from people. As soon as he was permitted by his doctors he came.

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  • sami khan
    Dec 19, 2011 - 12:16PM

    pakistan zinda bad pakistan khapay

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  • Ali-wali
    Dec 19, 2011 - 12:49PM

    Lets hope ‘detached from everyday Pakistani realities’, our ruling class will try to solve the problems like price hike, education and health. I wish our media air math classes than mindless political circus.

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  • Pakistani
    Dec 19, 2011 - 1:48PM

    Welcome back Mr President …good to see u back home

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  • TANVEER
    Dec 19, 2011 - 2:06PM

    Well done real son of soilRecommend

  • Baryal
    Dec 19, 2011 - 3:47PM

    Zardari, the one and only!

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  • Noor
    Dec 19, 2011 - 4:14PM

    Welcome Home Mr. Zardari,
    Get well soon

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  • Main na Manoon
    Dec 19, 2011 - 4:30PM

    @John: He very well knows that when sick don’t go to the snakes for the treatment. Long live Zardari, PPP zindabad.Recommend

  • umar....
    Dec 19, 2011 - 4:56PM

    welcome Back Mr. President

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  • zehra
    Dec 19, 2011 - 5:21PM

    i wonder when will this drama end? cant wait for 2013, but knowing our history it will be the same names again

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  • Naveed
    Dec 19, 2011 - 6:39PM

    I am seeing many comments of same pattern here with different names. I think these are posted by a single person or a team :) Political parties are hiring social media teams after PTI successful jalsa at Minar-e-Pakistan. Nice try ;)

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  • Liberal
    Dec 19, 2011 - 7:26PM

    Well come Z. Bravo

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  • Sanjeeta
    Dec 19, 2011 - 7:48PM

    look at the heading on this post…so prejudiced…shame on Pakistani media.

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  • zaigham
    Dec 19, 2011 - 8:27PM

    welcomeRecommend

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