Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Zardari’s Anti-Army Outburst
June 24, 2015
By Saeed Qureshi
I was rather fascinated by the uncalled for yet daring outburst of the PPP boss and former president of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari in Islamabad on June 16, against the Rangers now busy in busting the criminal gangs, their dens and abettors. But I would be more delighted if the Rangers or the sitting government of PMLN comes up with a befitting retort of the sort.
So there is an eerie silence on the Rangers ‘front. Besides some muted utterances from army’s spokespersons or media analysts, the army chief General Raheel Sharif and Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif have merely reiterated their resolve to carry forward the onslaught against the corrupt politicians, civil servants, profiteers and anti-social mafias.
Asif Ali Zardari is known for demonstrating peaceful overtures and possessing inborn talent for fruitful negotiations with his political rivals. Ostensibly, in the backdrop of Rangers’ crackdown, he aims at structuring a coalition of political forces for an end to Rangers' engagement in ridding Karachi specifically and Pakistan generally of the diabolic stranglehold of blood hounds and heartless mafias stalking the largest city of Pakistan for a variety of nefarious goals depending upon which mafia they belong.
In his brief discourse, Zardari’s tone and tenor was stunningly aggressive. He did not mince words nor was apprehensive of whom he was addressing and what he was conveying. He was candid in his expressions that were pregnant with some kind of retaliation to Rangers’ punitive assault against the pervasive crime culture that he termed as “teasing us”.
He categorically warned the army to be on guard otherwise he would jam the entire country from FATA to Karachi with one call. Addressing the COAS he belittled him by pointing out that he was there for three years and then will leave his office.
Zardari claimed to be in possession of a long list of corrupt army generals from the inception of Pakistan to the present. He sternly warned that he would make their names public if the drive of vilification against him and his party is not abandoned. He said that his party knows how to fight back and once this fight starts he would create mayhem.
This is clearly a call for civil disobedience movement and head on collision with armed forces. The COAS General Raheel Sharif and prime minister Mian Nawaz Sharif have responded to Zardari’s ultimatum by simply reiterating their resolve to continue the on-going anti-crime blitz in Karachi along with annihilating the religious militant bands in FATA.
The Zardari’s manovre to forge an alliance against the army has been spurned by the PMLN government while it has been accepted by the MQM. But MQM itself is under heavy clouds of sedition and internal subversion against the state and the people of Pakistan. The details and contours of that role have recently been exposed by BBC. It has become a hot topic for social media outlets and Television channels.
These two parties, now coalition partners in Sindh government are blamed to be behind the rampant and prolonged lawlessness, colossal corruption and financial plunder reported to be reaching a staggering figure of 230 billion rupees. The culprits and outlaws apprehended by Rangers in Karachi revealed that most of these elements committing exhortation, kidnapping, stealing and selling water, occupying the land both private and state owned are patronized by MQM and PPP.
Now Zardari is not a Bhutto and the ground realities are not as volatile or ripe as those were in the aftermath of India-Pakistan war in 1965 that was vociferously and tactfully exploited by ZAB Bhutto to oust from power a powerful military head of state Filed Marshall Ayub Khan. The peoples’ fatigue with the military long military rule, the signing of the Tashkent Pact with India became the bête-noir of Ayub Khan.
Bhutto also manipulated to his advantage the mercurial situation brewing after the 1970 elections although his refusal to attend the national assembly session in Dacca is interpreted an implicit factor for the division of Pakistan into Bangladesh and West Pakistan.
Of late, late Benazir’s role along with other political forces and civil institutions brought about another landmark breakthrough that paved way for the onset civilian and democratic rule. Benazir's untimely death cleared the way through a will (whose only one page is shown to the people) for Asif Zardari to wear two hats of power: one to be the PPP’s Chairman (CO) and the other that of president of Pakistan. Now Zardari, despite some of his good achievements such as 18th amendment, could not eschew his propensity for amassing wealth and erasing the blot of being the most corrupt person in Pakistan.
With a supposedly renegade party like MQM and coterie of incorrigibly corrupt individuals in the PPP government and a weak chief minister, the corruption turned into a kind of epidemic that afflicted a small government functionary to the highest level of a minister. There has been field day all along during the previous PPP federal and provincial governments and the ongoing coalition of MQM and PPP that all records of harvesting money through every corrupt and coercive means have been broken.
The ministers and their hired gangs and mafias have been involved in a multitude of grabbing vacant private or government land, sale of municipal water, licenses for fish harbors, and exit and entry fees in the port and so on. It means that those who should be the saviors and custodians of the life and property of the citizens and guardians of the societal peace are themselves robber barons, patrons of cutthroat mafias and enemies of the people.
The crackdown of Rangers followed after a consensus among the political parties, appears to be as a sword of Damocles hanging over the heads of hardened offenders and die-hard criminals
If the Rangers' mission of cleansing the city of Karachi from the wicked elements, fifth columnists, traitors, saboteurs and predators is left half way, it would be like condoning an all embracing mayhem and throwing the helpless people before the hungry wolves.
The agents of the enemies within and outside Pakistan, the clandestine saboteurs, callous mafias and trigger happy merciless Assassins of present times would keep wrecking Karachi by their insidious activities and perpetration of multifaceted crime.