As the minus-one formula gains currency in Pakistan, our writer Bilal Qureshi has authored this post to present a different case. PTH does not necessarily subscribe to these views. RR
Every time I write something about Asif Zardari, Pakistan’s current president, I get several e-mails daily condemning me for ‘supporting’ him. So, once again, I have to clarify something from the start. I am not a supporter of Zardari.
However, if one looks at the history of President’s in Pakistan, Zardari will stand out as the most significant name in the list. But, it is impossible to make this point in this extremely polarized environment when unfortunately, Zardari’s name gives heartburn to a large group of Pakistanis, both inside and outside the country.
For me, Zardari became a leader when he refused to compromise with those who wanted to sign a confession and leave the country, Continue reading
By Ansar Abbasi (The NEWS)
The collective wisdom of the country’s prime public representative body — the National Assembly of Pakistan — has put its weight behind the Swat peace deal to save the people of the valley from ruthless killing and complete lawlessness, which has been the hallmark of this once the enchanting tourist resort of Pakistan.
The parochial view of NGO types, liberal extremists and confused souls has been rejected by those, most of whom are known liberals, whether belonging to the Pakistan People’s Party, the Awami National Party and to some extent even the Pakistan Muslim League. They have definitely played their role Continue reading
The same dark forces that appear to have killed Ms. Bhutto on this day last year – Islamic extremist groups based in Pakistan – seem to be behind the carnage in Mumbai last month, an event that pushed Pakistan into an even deeper crisis.
Tensions between Pakistan and India, which blames “elements from Pakistan” for the Mumbai attack, escalated sharply yesterday after Pakistani military officials said that troops had been “pulled back” from the Western border with Afghanistan. Unconfirmed reports said that thousands of troops had been redeployed to the border with India in what would be the first concrete sign that either side was preparing for conflict.
For Ms. Bhutto’s admirers, and for many other Pakistanis, the issue that rankles most on the first anniversary of her murder is the apparent lack of any investigation into who killed her, despite the fact that her own Pakistan Peoples Party was elected into government 10 months ago. This omission says much about the state of the country.
“The investigation of the [Bhutto] murder has remained suspended by fear of facing the demons within Pakistan’s body politic,” said Raza Rumi, a newspaper columnist. “She alarmed those who didn’t want a secular, civilian country. The unravelling of Pakistan can be dated as starting from her death.” Continue reading
By ASIF ALI ZARDARI (the New York Times)
THE recent death and destruction in Mumbai, India, brought to my mind the death and destruction in Karachi on Oct. 18, 2007, when terrorists attacked a festive homecoming rally for my wife, Benazir Bhutto. Nearly 150 Pakistanis were killed and more than 450 were injured. The terrorist attacks in Mumbai may be a news story for most of the world. For me it is a painful reality of shared experience. Having seen my wife escape death by a hairbreadth on that day in Karachi, I lost her in a second, unfortunately successful, attempt two months later.
The Mumbai attacks were directed not only at India but also at Pakistan’s new democratic government and the peace process with India that we have initiated. Supporters of authoritarianism in Pakistan and non-state actors with a vested interest in perpetuating conflict do not want change in Pakistan to take root. Continue reading