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Asian Tribune is published by E-LANKA MEDIA(PVT)Ltd. Vol. 20 No. 112

PPP’s inglorious track record

By Asif Haroon Raja

PPP government was thrice booted out, once through a military coup in July 1977 after it had completed 5-year tenure and twice prematurely on grounds of inefficiency and corruption. In 1990, President Ghulam Ishaq performed the act and second time in 1996 President Farooq Leghari showed the door. It was hoped that the PPP leadership would have got reformed after two failures in the 1990s and after remaining in wilderness for 11 years. Hanging of populist and revered ZA Bhutto on 4 April 1979 and tragic murder of Benazir Bhutto on 27 December 2007 should have put fear of God in their hearts.

Alas! All such high hopes have proved elusive and one finds that there is not a slight change in their outlook and attitudes. Lust for power and pelf continue to attract them because of which they cannot desist from placing selfish interests before national interests. Morals, high principles, uprightness, truthfulness, regard for verbal or written pledges do not fit into their chemistry. Deceit and pretence, doubletalk, double-cross, double-dealing, deviance, falsehood and subterfuge are in their blood. Whatever they say they do not mean. They are a typical example of a hypocrite defined in our Holy Book and Haddith.

They are always keen to sup with crooks and unprincipled persons and even with enemies of Pakistan. Their conscience never pricks them when they get ready to barter away national interests to acquire power or remain in power. Authority is the ultimate they desire and seek for which they are prepared to go to any lengths. Each leading light whether man or woman is endowed with a gift of gab and misuses this quality to justify party leadership’s wrongdoings by indulging in endless arguments.

The ruses of ‘democracy’, ‘love for downtrodden masses’, ‘sacrifices rendered’, are often employed to score a point. They never explain under what circumstances and why Bhutto was hanged and why BB got murdered. They never say as to why Gen Ziaul Haq had to ultimately use the whip to put sense into incorrigible Jayalas and the criminals of Al-Zulfiqar. They do not explain as to why every President and PM hounded PPP leaders throughout the nineties and up to mid 2007 and most of them fled to safer shores. Those who stayed behind became part of king’s party and thus saved themselves from the net of accountability. They do not reflect as to why the militants choose to target PPP gatherings and none else.

Peeping into the past who doesn’t remember how ruthlessly BB-Zardari duo and their cronies bled the nation white during their two inglorious tenures. Who will ever believe their side of the story that they were innocent as lambs and their coffers got filled up from heavens. Why did BB runaway in 1999 and refused to come back despite repeated calls by her Jayalas and she kept their hopes alive by telling them that she was soon returning. During her self imposed exile of eight years, she led a life of royal princess in Dubai, London and New York. Despite that major portion of the looted wealth had got frozen; she still had plenty to enjoy a luxurious lifestyle. She had enough money to pay to the legal team she had hired to keep all her cases in Pakistan and foreign courts pending for years and the media team engaged to deny each charge made against her and to keep the party running through remote control.

Do we not know that BB had extended a hand of friendship to Musharraf on the very night on which he had staged a coup and axed a democratic government? From that day onwards she kept extending olive branch to him but he shunned her reconciliatory moves saying that PPP minus her was acceptable to him. That was of course not acceptable to her but she kept up with her efforts to woo him. Why did she have to accept the crutches provided by USA and UK to obtain pardon from the military dictator whom she outwardly despised? Having got her sins as well as that of her husband and her close acquaintances cleared through despicable NRO she claimed that she was the victim of political vendetta and propaganda.

If she and her acquaintances were innocent why did they not follow the legal path and let the courts prove their innocence or otherwise. How will the scandals of Surrey Palace, diamond necklace, palatial houses abroad, dozens of shady off-shore companies created to siphon ill-gotten over $ 3 billion to foreign banks, drugs case and murder case of Murtaza Bhutto will wash off from the minds of the people? We also recall how the PPP leaders took advantage of the lawyers’ movement to activate their disheartened Jayalas suffering from inertia. Having achieved their purpose Justice Iftikhar and the lawyers have been ditched.

Going a little back into history, we will recall that her father ZA Bhutto had supported Gen Yahya and not Sheikh Mujib just because the latter was not prepared to share power with him. Bhutto’s words which he uttered on 26 March 1971 soon after the military operation in Dacca still echo in our minds. He had stated ‘Thank God Pakistan has been saved’. His short-sighted statement proved false and within seven months Pakistan got dismembered. None can deny that he had a hand in the dissection of Pakistan. Have we also forgotten that he had become more autocratic than Ayub Khan and Yahya Khan once he took over? Did he not sack Gen Gul Hassan within three months of his taking over as army chief who had played a pivotal role in forcing Yahya to resign and had invited Bhutto to return from Washington and hold the reins of power?

The 1973 Constitution which he formulated was first mutilated by him to become all powerful.. He dissolved Baluchistan and Frontier Ministries and waged a military operation against the Marris and Mengals for four years and insurgency would have continued had he not been removed. Don’t we remember that all the political parties had ganged up under the umbrella of PNA and they bayed for his blood? Had Bhutto not imposed mini-martial law in three major cities to save his throne? When he was sinking he tried to expose white elephants (Americans) but then it was too late.

How can we forget that return of BB to power in 1988 was made possible by Americans? This favour was extended to her so that she could roll back our nuclear program. She failed to honour her commitment because of hurdles created in her way by Presidency, Army and ISI. Once she was sacked and was living in London, in one of her interviews to the BBC correspondent she revealed that she had provided the list of Sikh separatist leaders to Rajiv Gandhi, her Oxford friend. It had resulted in the decimation of Khalistan movement. Who doesn’t know that she earned the name of ‘security risk’ because of her hobnobbing with India? The couple had indulged in such massive plunder that her husband earned the name of ‘Mr 10%’. They went to such extents that even her handpicked PPP loyalist President Leghari could not refrain from sacking her.

While everyone genuinely grieves over the murder of BB, if one goes over the events dispassionately, would it be too incorrect to say that she asked for it. Why she had to make compromises and earn the animosity of extremist forces before her arrival? Why did she not delay her departure when she was advised by many of his well wishers not to go? Her return was being viewed by many of her detractors as a disaster for Pakistan because of her track record and closeness with USA. She had a very narrow escape on 18 October and still she didn’t consider it prudent to curtail her political activities. Why did she pop her head out of the sunroof, or is it true that Zardari told her daughter to tell her on cell-phone to do so? The big question is that who has benefited the most after her death? Why so much of keenness for UN to investigate her murder when all levers of power are in the hands of PPP? Is it a ploy to put the matter in cold storage and if so, why?

Musharraf made number of serious mistakes but sanctification of National Reconciliation Ordinance by him was his worst act. Pakistan was legally handed over to the blood sucking vultures to loot and plunder with abandon and to indulge in target killings, kidnappings and extortion without any fear of reprisals from law enforcers. After taking over power, the PPP led by regime maintained close links with Musharraf but never admitted it. It remained insincere about judges’ issue but pretended otherwise.

Neither BB nor Zardari ever wished to restore judges but kept playing monkey tricks to befool the people and simpleton Nawaz. Using his forked tongue Zardari kept promising that judges would be restored but also continued to devise ways and means how not to reinstate them. Flimsy and unconvincing excuses were made to confuse the simple issue. To make matters worse, 82-point infamous constitutional package was framed and several formulas were floated all in a bid to scuttle the issue. At the same time drama of removing the president through impeachment was played.

Zardari repeatedly backtracked on his commitments on judges without any compunction which finally led to the breakup of coalition. To top it all, PPP leaders strained their lungs to put the blame on Nawaz. They argued that his single point agenda and his inflexibility led to break up of coalition. Although never short of long and dreary arguments to justify the wrongs of their party leader, their lack of sincerity due to selfish interests and their compulsions due to NRO and US dictates made their stance unconvincing.

All sorts of pressures were exerted on the lawyers and the deposed judges to create cleavages in their ranks and to sabotage lawyer movement. He got rid of Musharraf with the help of his benefactors but enacted the drama of impeachment to befool Nawaz. Zardari got himself elected as President on 6 September irrespective of the fact that he didn’t meet the criteria laid down in the constitution and had been tagged as a national villain because of his habit of disowning public commitments.

Having captured the chair of presidency, he has got himself indemnified from getting prosecuted by any court of law. He has also taken control of all levers of power to not only allow his team to plunder without any fear of accountability but also to be able to give access to USA in areas where it had so far been denied. Having stubbornly maintained that the judges could not be restored through a resolution or executive order, most of the deposed judges have been restored through a simple notification after making them agree to retake fresh oath so that 3 November acts could be legitimised. He has no intention to restore Justice Iftikhar or to put former president Musharraf on trial. Instead he is keen to pardon all his sins and give him a safe exit since their common mentors’ desire so.

Why is Zardari playing into the hands of USA well-knowing their track record? Does he not know that there is a common belief that Americans had a hand in making a horrible example of ZA Bhutto? CIA is suspected of having a role in the murder of BB. Did America not ditch all our military dictators after its interest were served? Musharraf was darling of the west and USA and yet none came to his rescue.

How is Zardari so sure that Americans would save him once the wrath of the people fall on him? They have already given a hint by getting two scandalous stories of his linkage with Zalmay Khalilzad and his mental disorder in NY Times and FY Times. US drones are repeatedly violating Pakistan’s ground and air space and killing innocent people in FATA despite giving assurances that they would respect its sovereignty. USA has given a free hand to RAW and CIA to destabilise Pakistan and its clandestine activities are no more secret. Having given all the goodies to its strategic partner, USA has given a raw deal to Pakistan despite the latter having staked its security to serve US interests.

-Asian Tribune-

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