Zardari counting his days as rogue army plays monkey games
Pakistan is like a tragicomedy. The military behaves as if they are owners of the country in an atmosphere of war psychosis against the world, notably India.
Some opponents of the creation of a country in the name of religion felt justified in calling Pakistan a bastard child of the British Raj, nurtured by American dole outs. Just at a time when the US needs to "use" the fourth largest army in the world to complete the unfinished agenda of defeating Al Qaeda, Pakistan military has its own agenda -- send the civilian government packing home.
Pakistan president Asif Ali Zardari, whose father Hakim Ali Zardari was at best a second class -- if not third class-- politician, got the presidency in his dowry after he married slain twice-premier Benazir Bhutto. He is a product of chance, but for many democrats he is better than any army general.
But like almost all US senators think they can make a better president than any incumbent in the White House, Pakistani generals think they can run the government better than any civilian. For some analysts it will be a miracle if Zardari survives beyond spring 2010. Pakistan military generals are also not averse to physically annihilate politicians that come in the way of their political ambitions, the country's blood checkered history has shown.
There is no such thing as Pakistani nationalism. Nobody inside Pakistan is a Pakistani -- they are Baluch, Sindhis, Pashtuns, Seraikis, Hindkos, Punjabis and mostly Urdu-speaking immigrants who flooded Pakistan in search of a better life in 1947 and trickling from India to this day.
The best option for the US may be to respect the national aspirations of the diverse nationalities and carry out a geogrpahic surgery, without which defeating Al Qaeda will remain an elusive goal.
"]Just as President Barack Obama has decided to expand the US-led war in Afghanistan, events in Pakistan have gone from worse to terrible, at least for Washington. The US cannot pursues its widening war in Afghanistan without the use of Pakistani bases, ports, soldiers, and the cooperation of an obedient government in Islamabad. Now, Washington is finally getting the democracy it has been calling for in Pakistan — and it’s the Mother of all Backfires.
The decision of the Supreme Court last week to annul the National Reconciliation Order may be fully justififed on grounds of prinicples of equality before the law, but for a country accustomed to martial laws this may mark the beginning of the end. The political drama unfolding in Pakistan pits the chief justice and opposition leader --both Punjabis-- backed silenetly by the army chief, also a Punjabi, and is likely to open a can of worms.
A petition has been pending against the military leadership for massive corruption for quite some years now, but the case was not being heard at all at a higher court -- the hearings being postponed time and again.
In the 62-year history of the country, no officer from the armed forces has been tried for corruption. According to the law, no general or high official of the armed forces has received impunity from corruption charges, but this impunity is generally provided by the courts, media and government, in the name of national security.
One petition has been in the Lahore High Court since 2003 against the corruption of army generals, Air Marshals and Admirals of the navy but this petition has never come up for regular hearings and has been awaiting the scrutiny of the registrar of the court, making it evident that even retired officers have the power to stop the judicial process.
The relations between Zardari and army chief Ashfaq Pervez Kyani -- a thoroughbred Punjabi -- have been estranged ever since the Pakistani president made peace overtures rtowards India by declaring Pakistan would not be the first to use nuclear weapons. The army rebuffed Zardari by launching the infamous Mumbai attacks. Since Pakistan army is rogue in nature, Islamabad continued to deny its citizens were involved in the Mumbai attacks.Under pressure of the army GHQ, one of Zardari's most trusted lieutenants National Security Advisor Mehmood Durrani was fired ostensibly by Pakistan premier Yusuf Raza Gilani for confessing publicly that the Mumbai attackers were Pakistanis. As the differences between Zardari and Kayani sharpened, the Pakistani president in an official rebuke to the Punjabi army generals inspected a guard of honor in Kabul wearing his native Sindhi cap.
Spearheading this attack are the anti-Sindhi urdu television reporters and anchors that took cheap shots against President Asif Zardari, who wore Sindhi cap (called Topi) together with other elements of Sindhi attire. They were particularly ired because Mr. Zardari was seen wearing Sindhi cap proudly inspecting Guard of Honor in Kabul (Capitol of Afghanistan) on international TV stations. Their blatant attack against the 5,000-old traditions of Sindh has awakened the sleeping Sindhi intellectual and educated class.