Monday, February 8, 2010

Cheap Talk

January 20, 2010
Cheap Talk
By Saeed Qureshi

President Zardari’s boastful rhetoric last week in Lahore in which he portrayed himself as a watchful hawk who can see through and identify the disguised crooks (he used the word thief) can be placed under the category of cheap talk or street jargon.

The misfortune is that despite having such rare skill and genius, instead of roping these rogues and villains, he has unleashed them to keep targeting the society with their dirty machinations and mischief. In order to woo the masses, like Zulfikar Ali Bhutto the founder chairman of the PPP, Mr. Zardari seems to be under the delusion that he can outflank the poltical adversaries and swing the anti government raging public opinion in his favor. Yet he is no match to the genius of Mr., Bhutto. He refuses to acknowledge that there is no threat to the democracy and his party’s government from the veiled actors that he is so fond of mentioning time and again.

The threat is from the disgusting style of his governance and his personal freakish penchant to stall the grand understanding reached with the other political forces in Pakistan. He refuses even to mention the substantive issues that are at the bottom of the growing disenchantment of the people of Pakistan with the democratically elected government that has failed to formalize and entrench the democratic culture in real sense. Blame game is so common in Pakistan but honestly and objectively there is no single party from the opposition that has spoken against the democracy or to destabilize the government.

The negative antics that Mr. Zardari with all powers in his hand is employing is causing immense destruct both among the people and the political parties. The runners of the government are heaping themselves with more incrimination of misdeeds and corruption in that the poor and underprivileged majority is caught up in famine stranglehold because of the scarcity and unaffordable prices of basic food items. The country is in state of wilderness.

It looks so bizarre and clownish for Mr. Zardari to speak like an orator and indulging in cheap and meaningless demagogy when the people are restive and country is drifting towards instability both politically and geographically. In this appalling situation that is deteriorating fast, president Zardari’s antics to take shelter behind tactics such as the democratic façade, cashing of the death of Benazir Bhutto and PPP being a party of martyrs is not going to work. By putting on the back burner, the revocation of 17th amendment and restoration of powers to the prime minster as in a parliamentary democracy, and then lashing out in regional languages is behaving like an ostrich or like catching at a straw when the boat is capsizing.

He has antagonized judiciary, is head- on-collision with media, embarked upon a war path with other poltical entities that genuinely want a change consistent with national interests and public welfare and are ready to extend all cooperation to the incumbent PPP government. But the PPP stalwarts have fallen back upon the devious strategy of maligning, and vilification of all those who cannot stomach the classic bad governance of PPP and the personal deceptive politicking style of president Zardari. His ministers like his master’s voice and second fiddles excel in foul counterattacks against those who are their well wishers and mean no harm to the present poltical set up in Pakistan. These ministers are brazen enough to take upon the revered institutions like judiciary and threaten it publically of dire consequences for anti government decisions.

The Apex court’s detailed verdict on NRO is out. There is not an iota of benefit that the government can draw out of this landmark decision. It should serve as an eye opener for the ruling cabal. The verdict is clear and thumping against the beneficiaries of the NRO. Any resistance or contravening the court’s findings and exhortations would be totally ominous for the ruling party. The coalition partners do not have much stake in court’s decision. Rather MQM has been throwing hints that they were ready to defend themselves in the court through a proper judicial process.
In his latest public outpouring Mr. Zardari has again chosen to duck the fundamental issues whose resolution can still bring a saving grace for his government and party. Instead he is talking of dying like Benazir Bhutto. These are the symptoms of a skewed mind and of a person out of millions who refuses to be pragmatic, realistic and amenable to reason and cannot perceive the oncoming storm and take safety measures before it bursts open with full fury.

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