Screaming Scoundrel – Self Accused PresidentJanuary 6, 2010
Muhammad Riaz Amin
Observers are almost unanimous about Zardari’s speech that it was a speech of a scared man, who was calling bluff as a last resort. He tried to be convincing and pretending to be determined, but remained unimpressive. He tried to roar like a confident, upright and truthful person, but ended up with stammering screams of shaken and scared liar.
He pointed his accusing finger on all directions while recounting his proverbial ‘thousand and one’ enemies. He alleged that his enemies were jealous of his successes, which he had scored in a very short period of about year and a half. He was angry, but he never mentioned the real cause of his anger and frustration.
Without picking up the moral courage to name anyone of his adversaries specifically, Zardari was in fact raising war cry against the Army, the ISI, the judiciary, his critics in media, PML-N leadership and so on. He warned those who were ‘threatening’ democracy, but he seemed to be afraid of true democracy which demands public scrutiny and accountability.
The most intriguing part of his belligerent posture was that he as co-chairman of the PPP cursed Zardari the supreme commander of the armed forces. It was intriguing on two counts; one, by blaming Army he was admitting his own failure in controlling his command.
Two, by raising a war cry against Army he did what no politician in power had done before him. This brings in the statement of Defence Minister who had said that Army won’t interfere in politics as it was extensively pre-occupied in fighting war on terror. There is also a fact that Army leadership understands that a military coup, no matter how urgently necessay, will not be in the interest of the country.
Taking cognizance of these ground realities Zardari has dared challenging the Army openly in ridiculing manner. From the day one the regime has been finding ways and means to push the Army to a place from where it posed no threat to Zardari’s ‘democracy’. In this context pushing Army into military operation one after the other has worked according to the plan in taking sweet democratic revenge, by rendering the Army politically incapacitated.
The threat of using Sindh Card proved to be more effective as compared to other actions of Zardari and his team. They threatened the very existence of the fedration, acting like a bullying playmate, with whom the boys of neighbourhood refuse to play. He threatened: No play, if I don’t play. In Punjabi it is said; naan khedna, naan khedan dena.
Twenty four hours after his speech the Karachites saw the Sindh Card ablaze. There was message in this for those, who showed keenness to play card-game with their province, about the consequences. Or, was it a way of playing Sindh Card? The possibility cannot be ruled out because people like Zulfikar Mirza had tried it in 2007 when Benazir was murdered.
All the above is like writing on the wall which can be read by anyone interested in reading. But, these are symptoms not the real ailment. What is his agony that made him scream publicly to draw attention of the people of Pakistan? One has to look back to dignose it.
Zardari was nominated as PPP’s co-chairman through undemocratic and suspicious process. He was then elected as President of Pakistan purely out of sympathy. These were two political blunders committed by ‘democratic’ forces in the fit of jubilation over ‘defeating’ dictatorship. Zardari lacked credentials – political and moral – for both the jobs. Resultantly, the PPP and Pakistan both have suffered grossly.
Allah has His ways to tighten the noose around the necks of those who cross the limits laid down by Him. Zardari’s sufferings make an interesting case in this context. He was elected by the nation as President of Pakistan – circumstances and other factors aside. Since election he has been in agony every moment despite being at the top. Why has it been so?
His placing in the Presidency could not save him from constant pricking of the conscience no matter how lifeless it might have been rendered by his deeds. A thought must have been passing through his mind ceaselessly reminding him how he had plundered the wealth of a poor nation and in return, how the same nation has honoured him in sympathy over the loss of his wife.
This thought must have been hurting him more often than not; yet, he did not seem to have mended his ways. Resultantly, despite the perks and privileges of being head of the state, he has been denied the respect and honour even equivalent to that earned by an honest peon. Irony is he is unable to share calls of his conscience with anyone; this is the source of his perpetual agony.
His agony is further aggravated by his fears. Fear is Divine way of dispensing punishment. What is he afraid of? He fears that the Supreme Court might entertain a petition challenging his eligibility for Presidency. And, after due process he may be declared ineligible in view of last two constitutional verdicts and cases of corruption in Swiss courts. He is ‘genuinely’ afraid of losing the grandeur of his position while already having no genuine honour and respect.
His fears can be explained in yet another way. During night in the battlefield, a soldier guarding his area of responsibility starts suspecting an enemy behind any bush if he focuses on for too long. His apprehension seems to be turning into reality; he sees the otherwise static object moving. A trigger-happy soldier wastes no time in opening the fire.
Zardari have been afflicted by his own fears and apprehensions. His fears dance around him like cannibals continuously frawnig at him making gestures to eat him up. Zardari considers himself as a great political schemer, but he cannot ‘scheme’ himself out of his fears. He schemed to reach where he today is, but cannot get out of it unless Allah, the Greatest Schemers of all ordains.
In less than year and a half he must have realized that the time he spent in jail was less torturous than that being in the Presidency. That is why he said that his place is either in Presidency and jail. It is because of that he at times talks of pulling eyeballs of his enemies out of their sockets. At another moment he screams like a Bania who sat on the chest of a Jat and cried for help.
Is there a way out for him to get out of his agony? Yes, there is a way – and the only one – that passes regret, remorse and repentance and ends up in instilling the fear of Allah in his heart. He will be free of all fears and the need for screaming in public, if he sheds some tears presenting himself before Allah in solitude.
Will he do that? Only Allah knows better whose doors of forgiveness are never closed, but repentance is the only precondition followed by mending his ways. Failing which he will continue fearing his imaginary enemies, who according to him are jealous his political exploits and adventures.