Asif Ali Zardari will Hang Himself with his Own Rope
Asif Ali Zardari will Hang Himself with his Own Rope Asif Ali Zardari will Hang Himself with his Own Rope Asif Ali Zardari will Hang Himself with his Own Rope

PUBLISHED 7/14/2017
Zardari Gang of the hijacked PPP will be toppled very soon.

By Shaheen Sehbai

Washington DC, USA, 26 December 2008 ( - The one

question that I am repeatedly asked by everyone, believing that I have

been quite close to [Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Co-Chairman] Asif

Ali Zardari
during his days of self-exile and forced expulsion from

politics for many years, is how long he and his [PPP] Government will


It is hard to answer this very loaded and complex question asked

almost on a daily basis, especially when people think everyone who

comes to Washington DC from Pakistan knows something more than they

do. So I have decided to pen down my answer.

The 10 biggest blunders that will ultimately take him [Asif Ali

] down can be listed as follows, though the full list may be

too long:

1. Failure to show any enthusiasm to track down Benazir's killers. The

mysterious and tragic apathy shown by him [Asif Zardari] towards her

assassination is a sore in every heart. The top PPP leadership every

evening sits in cosy drawing rooms and speaks in derisory language

about what he is doing and how.

2. Failure to support the judiciary [illegally] sacked by [Pakistan

Army's ex-tyrant General (R) Pervez] Musharraf and adopting a hostile

attitude towards [Pakistan Supreme Court Chief] Justice Iftikhar

[Muhammad] Chaudhry. He lost the chance to build grand support.

3. Unnecessary and grossly counter-productive support shown for

[illegal Chief] Justice Abdul Hameed Dogar.

4. Failure to make any move towards repealing the [unlawful] 17th

Amendment and strengthening Parliament. In fact, he [Asif Zardari] has

taken the system to a super-presidential model with a [PPP] Prime

Minister now cribbing regularly about his lack of powers.

5. Betraying his political coalition partners [PML-N, MQM, ANP, JUI-F]

by refusing to follow the Charter of Democracy and cheating them with

false promises.

6. Opening himself and his [PPP] party to blackmail by smaller

coalition parties [MQM, ANP, JUI-F] to an extent that the entire [PPP]

Government has become a hostage, thus unable to take any major


7. Boasting about his capacity to get economic and financial aid from

the so-called friends of Pakistan, making repeated visits to world

capitals and finally, opting for the most damaging and least

acceptable option of going to the IMF, thus admitting failure.

[Conditions Attached to IMF "Bailout" will Exacerbate Slump and

Poverty in Pakistan]

8. Keeping petty political bickering alive in Punjab through a

nonsensical presence of [PPP] Governor Salman Taseer, a [corrupt

Dictator] Musharraf appointee.

9. Turning into a widely disliked person in Pakistan within months by

letting [Criminal] Musharraf go scot-free and adopting all his sins

and drawbacks.

10. Humiliating and then forcing loyal PPP leaders into submission.

My considered opinion is that the present Zardari-led [PPP] set-up

will not last long as it has been structured on a wrong and distorted

political premise as a result of which the key players, who have

emerged as main power wielders were never in the picture, neither of

Benazir Bhutto's PPP, which actually got the votes and won the seats

in the February 18 [2008] elections, nor anyone else. And these new

players have failed to establish their political legitimacy and moral

authority through their actions after coming to power.

These [Zardari Gang's] power players do not have any political

ideology, they do not believe in the established principles of

democracy and parliamentary process enshrined in the [Pakistan]

Constitution and most important of all, they do not have a following

among the masses, which is necessary for any political government

worth its name.

What has happened is that in extraordinary turbulent circumstances,

the Zardari Group of the PPP has taken over the party [Benazir

's PPP], out-manoeuvring the others through opportunities

created by circumstances followed up cleverly by a web of deceit,

chicanery, and in some specific cases simple lies and cheating. Taking

full advantage, Zardari formed a group of his cronies who had nothing

to do with the PPP or its politics for years. Who could imagine that

Rehman Malik, Farooq Naek, Babar Awan, Salman Farooqi, Husain Haqqani,

[Abdullah] Hussain Haroon, Dr. Asim, Dr. Soomro, Riaz Laljee, Siraj

Shamsuddin, Zulfikar Mirza, Agha Siraj Durrani and many other smaller,

but tainted friends and associates of Zardari would suddenly take over

every important position and start calling the shots?

The above statements may seem bold, and to some, outrageous, but each

one of these statements can be substantiated with specific and

undeniable examples and proof. Of course, Zardari and his cronies will

deny this, screaming from every rooftop that he is genuine and

represents the people's will. But does, or will, anyone believe him?

To begin with, in the chaos that followed Benazir's death, Asif Ali

Zardari took over the party (PPP), the government, the Parliament, the

presidency and the judiciary. That was some achievement but the way he

did it angered friends and foes alike. That is why he has been

grappling with an enormous trust deficit, both domestically and


Has any Prime Minister, who was elected unanimously, or a President,

who secured a two-thirds majority, ever looked so insecure that he had

to repeatedly use questionable tactics to get his way through? Why is

it that despite such strong support in Parliament, he [Asif Zardari]

is working overtime every day to keep and tighten his hold on those

state institutions not yet under his thumb - like the ISI, the

Pakistan Army and some parts of the media?

His attempt to take over the ISI were foiled but he was asking for too

much, too early. But given his nature, he will try again to control

not just the ISI, but will also try to stuff the superior courts with

[pro-PPP] jiyala judges loyal to him and, if he gets the chance for

which he will try his best, he will try to stuff the top [Pakistan]

Army hierarchy with his loyal [pro-PPP] generals.

This is where Zardari will be stopped. That point may come as quickly

as he tries to grab power. So in a way his own survival is in his own

hands. But knowing Zardari, I can predict he cannot stop himself. The

unfortunate fact is that he cannot fathom what the judges [lawyers]

movement has done to the body politic of the country and he cannot

imagine what transformation the [Pakistani] media has brought in the

thinking of every man and woman in the country. He still lives in the

1990s and cannot come out of that syndrome.

Step by step he has dismantled every pillar that [assassinated PPP

Chairwoman] Benazir Bhutto had painstakingly tried to build to

strengthen politicians vis-a-vis the generals. In the many years that

he was in New York, I never heard him discuss the Charter of Democracy

or why the powers of the [Pakistan] President should be cut. He would

always discuss either some business deal or how he had outclassed

other politicians in petty whimsical games. He never talked about any

vision of a grand politically stable and strong Pakistan.

The illusion that he has become stronger than General Musharraf thus

cannot make him a visionary overnight. As I know him, he is capable

only to use these powers for his personal survival and security. But

when an all-powerful Musharraf made mistakes, none of his powers could

rescue him. Zardari has started by committing blunders.

He has survived so far because people expected a change and had to

give him time. The safe window of opportunity that had opened up with

the PPP victory was his safety valve, but for how long? He started

when everyone wanted to give him time. Instead of building on that

reservoir of sympathy, support and hope, he has gone back on every

promise he made publicly.

No one is yet ready to destabilise the current political [PPP] set-up

and Zardari has been given a rope, in fact a longish rope, obviously

to hang himself with. What worries me is that he has not proved

himself competent to rise to the occasion, has shown no urge or

capacity to grow into the huge shoes that he so suddenly finds himself

in and somehow he does not envision the broader canvas of politics,

and lives with all the fears and insecurities of the era of the 1990s

and his days of captivity. Thus he is using the rope with intense

energy to tie himself up in knots and form a noose around his neck.

If all the above answer the question how long will he last, the next

universal question everybody asks is: how will he be removed as he has

all the numbers?

This is an easy question to answer. By his acts [Asif Ali] Zardari has

not endeared himself to anyone in the 10 months of his rule. The

initial honeymoon with the PML-N apart, now his own party [PPP] is on

the brink of imploding. December 27 [2008] will be a crucial date. How

and on what issue the party cracks up is moot, but pressure from the

opposition, a wink from the right quarters and one major blunder by

Zardari is all it will take. It took an all-powerful Musharraf not

even a few weeks to go down; Zardari is just learning the tricks to


After all the humiliation, what are Benazir Bhutto loyalists like

Aitzaz Ahsan doing in the PPP?

[When will PPP leader Aitzaz Ahsan reform the PPP of Benazir Bhutto,

become the new President or new Chairman of the new PPP, defeat the

Zardari Gang of PPP and then become the next Prime Minister or

President of Pakistan?]

[Mr. Shaheen Sehbai, an eminent Pakistani journalist, is Group Editor

of The News International based in Pakistan.]