Pakistan: Now or Never?
Perspectives on Pakistan
Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari has written a letter to the Supreme Court to review the hanging of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto — the country’s first popularly-elected prime minister — over three decades ago.
The reopening of Bhutto’s case was one of the long-running demands of the supporters of the charismatic leader but critics say the timing of Zardari’s move was intriguing.
Opponents say Zardari’s move seems to be a political stunt to divert people’s attention from more pressing problems like inflation, the growing energy crisis and deteriorating security situation. Zardari, who is accused of corruption by his opponents, has seen his popularity waning in recent years.
“At a more practical level, people ask why the president has suddenly acquired so keen interest in the case, especially since far more pressing matters remain unresolved,” the daily The News wrote in its editorial.”The suspicion that this is the first step in a political game of some kind makes the whole thing seem especially sinister. Who knows what is being planned, what plots are being hatched, and why.”
If India is agonising over a book that seeks to demolish the conventional view that Muslim leaders forced the division of the subcontinent in 1947, across the border some Pakistanis are attempting a bit of introspection too.
The popular All Things Pakistan blog is running a poll this week asking readers a single question: which leader did the most harm to the country in the past 60 years, not counting the current administration which came into office only this year after elections in February.
Pakistan’s new President Asif Ali Zardari is starting to challenge quite a few long-held positions.
India, he told the Wall Street Journal in an interview published over the weekend, ”has never been a threat to Pakistan.” For a country that has fought three wars with India, including one in 1971 that ended in humiliation and the birth of Bangladesh from what was East Pakistan, these are remarkable words.