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Asif Ali Zardari - A Man for All Seasons

Zardari’s life has been a long trail of unending challenges – and the narrative continues.

By Wajid Shamsul Hasan | July 2020

After many months of inaction in politics, former President Asif Zardari is back in the game to the disappointment of his adversaries. The vicious rumours that had been doing the rounds have been quashed. Earlier, no doubt Zardari found himself trapped in the eye of a storm immediately after the cold-blooded assassination of martyred Benazir Bhutto in December 2007 after she returned home to free Pakistan and its people from the stranglehold of a military ruler, his coterie of generals and self-seeking opportunist politicians, many of whom are now serving selected Prime Minister Imran Khan.

Zardari’s life ever since he got married to Benazir Bhutto has been a long travail of unending challenges. He has ever since remained the most persecuted politician ever. After Benazir’s assassination, Zardari was pushed into the epicentre of a severely fractured and traumatized country. He had to pick up the pieces of a bitterly divided society, put together a party battered and wounded, its followers deeply hurt.

In that dark hour of uncertainty, he saved Pakistan from imploding with his slogan “Pakistan Khappay” and offering leadership to the crest-fallen masses to fill the vacuum caused by martyred Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s elimination and Benazir Bhutto’s assassination during the rule of two military men. Pakistan, indeed, was a hairline away from being declared a failed state with terrorists imposing their writ.

It was an Augean stable that he had to go through when he assumed power as elected President in 2008. It was his resolve that despite all the political turmoil and intrigues by powers that be, he waddled forward to resurrect the vision of SZAB and martyred Benazir Bhutto by ousting General Pervez Musharraf without bloodshed, impeachment or domestic unrest and re-established the democratic foundations. One of his first acts as the president was to willfully surrender arbitrary presidential powers vested in the office of the President to the Parliament, thus restoring its supremacy and absolute sovereignty.

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The writer is Pakistan’s former High Commissioner to Britain. He was also editor of Karachi’s Daily News.

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One thought on “A Man for All Seasons

  • July 2, 2020 at 10:43 pm

    Irrelevant and one-sided biased article, presented Zardari as a hero to Pak but the truth is opposite…..

    PPP is now the bandwagon of corrupt mafia of extractive institution…