With one voice, politicians denounce Zardari’s tirade

Published: June 18, 2015


PHOTO: FILE Shah Mehmood Qureshi. PHOTO: AFP

Former president Asif Zardari’s salvo against the military evoked widespread condemnation from all major political parties on Wednesday, with some describing it as a ‘blackmailing tactic’ and others calling upon the PPP co-chairman to apologise to the nation.

Ghulam Sarwar Khan of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) said the PPP’s downfall had begun. “I see no difference between Zardari and the Indian prime minister (who had recently accused Pakistan of fuelling terrorism in India).”

While speaking on the floor of the National Assembly, Khan lamented the PPP co-chairman’s remarks which came at a time when the army is engaged in a fight for the country’s survival.

Minister for Climate Change Mushahidullah Khan said the Pakistan Army and other law-enforcement agencies (LEAs) were being targeted at a time when they were fighting terrorism. “This is very dangerous. Corrupt people will not be allowed to take the country hostage.”

The PPP government in Sindh has failed to maintain law and order, which is why the army has been called in to help, he said. “The army and other LEAs should be appreciated for their sacrifices for the future of our country.”

Parliamentary Secretary for Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Rana Muhammad Afzal called upon Zardari to withdraw his anti-army remarks. “The statement of Asif Zardari against the army is very painful. Such a statement should not have come from a leader who is known for tolerance and reconciliation,” Afzal told lawmakers in the National Assembly.

“This statement is quite unacceptable and condemnable,” he added. “This statement has raised concerns in all quarters and Zardari should withdraw it,” he added.

Responding to the condemnations, PPP MNA Aijaz Jakhrani said Zardari’s statement should be seen in a particular scenario. “He was forced to say such things.”

Jakhrani, in a clear warning to the government, said: “If anything happens to us, then you will also fall prey. We stood by you for the sake of democracy.” He asked the ruling party if apex committees are meant for Sindh only. “Is everything good in Punjab?”

SAFRON Minister Lt Gen (retd) Abdul Qadir Baloch and PML-N MNA Captain Safdar strongly protested when Jakhrani used un-parliamentary language against the military. After PkMAP chief Mehmood Khan Achakzai’s intervention, Speaker Ayaz Sadiq expunged Jakhrani’s remarks from the proceedings.

Separately, the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid, which was a partner of the PPP-led coalition government between 2008 and 2013, said it would not tolerate criticism of the army.  All political parties have given the armed forces the mandate for operations in Karachi and other troubled regions to restore peace in the country wrecked by violence, said Senator Kamil Ali Aga, the information secretary of the PML-Q.

“Zardari’s tirade has tarnished his own image among the masses who consider it as an attempt by the former president to blackmail the armed forces,” Senator Aga added. “There is an impression that a sizeable chunk of the Rs230 billion corruption money mentioned by the Rangers head a few days back goes to the PPP.”

PTI Vice Chairman Makhdoom Shah Mehmmod Qureshi said the Pakistan Army was fighting terrorism and militancy, and giving such statements was not in favour of anyone. He demanded the government go public with the Rangers report on organised crime in Karachi.

“I’m at a loss to understand what prompted Zardari to give such a statement,” Qureshi said, adding that the political leadership had given the paramilitary Rangers the mandate to cleanse Karachi of crimes since the police were unable to control the situation in the metropolis. “No confidence in the Rangers is tantamount to no confidence in the federal government.”

Awami Muslim league chief Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed said Zardari’s statement against the Pakistan Army was an attempt to cover up his corruption. “Zardari’s tirade came at a time when the Rangers is all set to expose the misdeeds of PPP leaders,” Rashid added. “The Rangers is ready to give a tough time to corrupt people in the province.”

Sindh’s former home minister and Zardari’s ex-top confidante Zulfiqar Ali Mirza, who has, of late turned the guns against the PPP, said that “Zardari has attempted a political suicide by attacking the military establishment”.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 18th, 2015.

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Reader Comments (19)

  • Liberal
    Jun 18, 2015 - 11:51AM

    Zardari’s outburst is because of the fear that PPP’s wrongdoings are going to be revealed to the public soon. Recommend

  • AmericanMuse
    Jun 18, 2015 - 12:04PM

    ET, what did Zardari say?Recommend

  • Salman - SK
    Jun 18, 2015 - 1:08PM

    @Liberal: No such luck. They are all in collusion to loot and plunder the country, specifically Karachi. Even the establishment will back off soon and the status quo will continue. And, do not hold your breath for the LG elections either. They just would not let Karachi’s local people govern. All the talk about self-governance and provincial autonomy is just talk by the nationalists who have no interest to let local governments self-rule. Karachi’s population is approaching 20 million. By contrast Switzerland’s population is 8 million, Greece’s population is 11 million, and Ireland’s population is 4.6 million. India started with 11 provinces, now they have 29, most recent being Telangana, founded on June 2, 2014. Pakistan started with 5 provinces; and now have 4. Provincialism, Regionalism, hate and corruption has replaced Unity, Faith, and Discipline. Progress………isn’t it???Recommend

  • Comment
    Jun 18, 2015 - 1:47PM

    In this nation of ours, the morals, ethics, values, mindset of those in power do not differ. We are where we are in the main because of this simple reason. Others have progressed, we have regressed. We wish to pretend, pretend to be holier than thou, better than the rest of the pack. This has been played out for 67 years. We will remain where we are for the next 67 years because we as a nation love pretense to reality. If we wish to live in the real world, we would never be where we are now, we cannot face our own kind, we are unable to even talk or converse intelligently, politely, truthfully. How can we even think of negotiating, talking to our neighbors when we lack this simple skill of even being able to do so amongst ourselves. The above article is more or less is about this peculiar characteristic in us as a nation. Recommend

  • Whiskey Khan
    Jun 18, 2015 - 3:14PM

    Demanding an apology from Zardari is not good enough, He should be charged and his crimes Should be bought to the court. Recommend

  • Parvez
    Jun 18, 2015 - 3:25PM

    Nothing will happen to Zardari…….the other side has yet to demonstrate that they are serious.
    There will be a lot of noise providing masala for TV talk shows and then it will all fizzle out…as it always does in Pakistan.Recommend

  • Our Future.
    Jun 18, 2015 - 5:27PM

    The army cannot do political, civilian administration work, and neither can the civilians do what the army does. As a nation we still do not appreciate the value of independence, we take it for granted. All our politicians should be taken for a tour of the Middle East, in Syria, in Iraq, in Yemen. They should be made to see what havoc war causes. They must come to their senses or this can be our future too. This country is not our right in any sense of the word it is a very sacred trust, if this trust is broken, we will never be able to regain it again, we should know better from our own past events.Recommend

  • Ch. Allah Daad
    Jun 18, 2015 - 5:42PM

    @Liberal: What? PPP’s wrongdoings are not yet exposed? Do we need Rangers or anybody else to tell us PPP’s wrongdoings?Recommend

  • Khan
    Jun 18, 2015 - 6:28PM

    Why don’t we stick to basics. Who ever is doing wrong, should be exposed regardless of his\her political affiliation/sect/profession/tribe/province. Whenever law enforcement agencies take action against anyone, standard response is why they are focusing on us? Why not other organization? Why not other people? This argument is completely non-sense. The fact is, you have to start from somewhere. Let’s take the example of Karachi. When law enforcement agencies focused on Lyari Gang, their sympathizers criticized this by pointing figure towards other organization. The similar reaction came from MQM, and now from PPP. If we really want to see peace and progress in this country, we need think beyond our personal interests. Recommend

  • Jawed Saleem
    Jun 18, 2015 - 7:13PM

    Corruption is in our genes. Has to be eradicated “across the board” including generals, judges and/or politicians. Corruption is a way of life in all of Pakistan’s police stations (Thanas), courts, customs, tax dept, land & revenue collectors. Even our madrassas/mosques and media houses are riddled with corruption.
    Why the (punjabi) Judges & Generals are immune to corruption ?
    Should not they be questioned/convicted – EVER ???
    * Remember recent (2012) Railways land scam involving three ex-generals and how they were bailed out by establishment and/or judges role in (il)legally authenticating martial laws- doctrine of necessity! List goes on.

    *Make no mistake, In our country Pakistan means Punjabi !
    Everybody else has to hyphenate.

    Present operations in Karachi are just an eye-wash/cosmetic directed against Sindhis.
    Polarization will further bleed/fragment Pakistan.Recommend

  • New Pakistan2016
    Jun 18, 2015 - 9:16PM

    Dear Pakistan Army,

    You are doing a great job to fight epidemic corruption
    Please extend this operation to Punjab Secretariat as well. As per NFC award, the single biggest chunk of our budget goes to Punjab rightly on basis of higher population. Why there is no audit of this budget? The LDA building gets burned? Why there is no audit? Why it is ‘ halal’ to do corruption in Punjab secretariat .
    Mr. Fawad Hasan Fawad is openly demanding 20 % and why there is no audit?
    If this operation extends to Punjab secretariat as well, our army chiefwill become greatest army chief in short history of our country.

    Pakistan Army ZindabadRecommend

  • lkhan
    Jun 18, 2015 - 10:05PM

    Corruption, the ball game of PPP and MQM in Sindh and Karachi is being seriously questioned by the Rangers. Given that non governance exists well beyond all limits in Sindh as Karachi; crime of every sort is rampant, the population suffers terrible consequences daily such as malnutrition, lack of water, food and worse, suffers extortion daily to name some of the terrible daily trials of life in this province; while the authorities and politicians become richer beyond all limits, fly in their private jets, move around in their rows of high end vehicles – well they are totally out of touch with the ground reality in their golden cages…. The time for change is with us, let us hope Pakistan will begin to develop its economic potential with leaders that its population deserves, who even if corrupt, will keep the national interests as top priorities…. as in most parts of the world.Recommend

  • Kolsat
    Jun 19, 2015 - 4:41AM

    The saying goes old soldiers do not die they just fade awayalso applies to the retired Presidents of any country. By still staying in politics Zaradari is demeaning the honorable post he held not so long ago.Recommend

  • Jibran
    Jun 19, 2015 - 6:20AM

    Ok now the likes of Sheikh Rashid, Mushahid-ullah Khan, Ghulam Sarwar, Kamil Ali Agha are the authentic voices among the national leaders.Recommend

  • Jibran
    Jun 19, 2015 - 6:24AM

    Law of unintended consequences. Nawaz Sharif has started Karachi operation three times to draw attention away from his own loot-khassoot. Two times it backfired. Have yet to see how it turns out this time.Recommend

  • Rustam Chowki
    Jun 19, 2015 - 7:07AM

    @Jawed Saleem: Does that include you ?Recommend

  • Ch. K. A. Nye
    Jun 19, 2015 - 9:32AM

    @Rustam Chowki… What an inane comment.. Recommend

  • PakistaniMuse
    Jun 19, 2015 - 10:43AM

    He said what all politicians say…. over and over again, i.e. crap.Recommend

  • Jawed Saleem
    Jun 19, 2015 - 12:26PM

    @RustamChowki @Ch.K.A.Nye Truth is bitter, it stings. Initial response to truth is normally sarcasm (and hatred).
    Yes include me. I’m a Pakistani (a cheat living in wonderland) and suffer from schizophrenia.
    Anyone can turn & twist the facts to paint a desired scenario, but even GOD cannot alter the truth! Recommend

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