Posts Tagged ‘PPP’

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Public Buses bought for women standing in the premises of MP. Firdous AAshiq Awan(PPP)

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The violent and terrorist history of PPP of Zulfiqar ali Bhutto which they won’t tell you today.

Soviet Union, India, Afghanistan, Libya, Syria and Iraq were supporting PPP and their terrorist gangs against Pakistan in the 80’s. The history of PPP is blood stained – from breaking of Pakistan in 1971 to creating first organized international terrorist gangs against Pakistan in 80. Today, PPP is again in power and have brought Pakistan to the brink of disaster once again. Once a traitor, always a traitor.

Desperado, 1981: This is a rare photograph of notorious Pakistani left-wing radical, Salamulla Tipu, hanging out from the cockpit of a PIA plane that he had hijacked with three other colleagues in 1981. Tipu, a leftist student leader from Karachi, had joined Murtaza Bhutto’s Al-Zulfikar Organisation (AZO) to instigate an urban guerrilla war against Pakistan.

The plane was hijacked from Karachi, flown to Kabul and then to Damascus. Tipu and co. (armed with AK-47s and hand grenades), only released the passengers after the Zia regime agreed to release 50-plus PPP criminal prisoners from jails. They also killed Pakistan’s diplomat Tariq Raheem and threw his body on Kabul airporttarmac.In 1984, however, in an ironic twist of fate, Tipu the Marxist revolutionary, was executed by the pro-Soviet regime in Kabul after he’d fallen out with Murtaza Bhutto, while the other hijackers travelled to Libya.

This was the reason why army and ISI and Ghulam Ishaq Khan were concerned when PPP came to power in 1988 and funds were distributed between pro-Pakistan politicians to block PPP taking power. The whole fact is known to Supreme Court till, the judgement in Asghar Khan case came against former President, former army chief and former DG ISI. No one has ever put on trial PPP leadership for being part of Al-Zulfiqar. Have you ever heard any PPP leader condemning or talking about this dark and bloody chapter of their history?? Never. because, they are part of this criminal gang.

ایک پرانا لطیفہ ہے کہ ورلڈ ٹریڈ سنٹر تباہ ہوا تو امریکیوں نے دنیا کی اینٹ سے اینٹ بجا دی، اگر ورلڈ ٹریڈ سنٹر پاکستان میں ہوتا اور تباہ ہوتا تو حکومتِ کیا کرتی؟ جواب: ”ڈبل سواری“ پر پابندی لگا دیتی۔ اب اس جواب کو تھوڑا جدید کر لیں، جواب: ڈبل سواری اور موبائل نیٹ ورک پر پابندی لگا دیتی۔

ایک دفعہ جنگل میں الیکشن ہوئے اور بندروں کی تعداد زیادہ ہونے کی وجہ سے بندر بادشاہ بن گیا۔ شیر کو اپنی اس ہار پر بہت افسوس ہوا۔ ایک دن اس نے راہ چلتے ہرنی کا بچہ پکڑ لیا۔ ہرنی دوڑی دوڑی بادشاہ (بندر) کے دربار میں پہنچی اور فریاد کی کہ شیر نے میرا بچہ پکڑ لیا ہے۔ بادشاہ سلامت انصاف کیجئے اور اسے چھڑائیے۔ بندر نے کہا تم فکر ہی نہ کرو ابھی چھڑا دیتا ہوں۔ یوں بندر نے اپنی دوڑیں لگا دیں۔ شیر کے پاس جانے یا کوئی مناسب حکم نامہ جاری کرنے کی بجائے، بڑی تیزی سے ایک درخت سے دوسرے اور دوسرے سے تیسرے درخت پر چھلانگیں لگاتے ہوئے پورے جنگل کا چکر لگایا۔ پھر تھک ہار کر ہرنی کے پاس پہنچا اور کہنے لگا، دیکھو میں نے تو بہت جان مار کر دوڑ لگائی ہے، اپنی ساری توانائی لگا دی ہے، اب بھی اگر شیر تمہارا بچہ نہ چھوڑے تو بھلا میں کیا کر سکتا ہوں، شیر یقیناً دہشت گرد ہے۔ مزید بادشاہ بندر نے پریس کانفرنس کرتے ہوئے کہا کہ یہ کام دہشت گرد شیر کا کیا دھرا ہے، جو میری حکومت گرانا چاہتا ہے۔ میں نے بہت دوڑ لگائی جو آپ کے سامنے ہے۔ اب ہم نے بندروں کی کمیٹی بنا دی ہے اور مجرموں کو جلد ہی کیفرکردار تک پہنچائیں گے۔

تقریباً ہر دور میں ہمارے حکومتی بندروں کا حال بھی کچھ اس بندر جیسا ہی رہا ہے۔ جس سمت میں دوڑ لگانی چاہئے اس طرف ذرہ برابر بھی نہیں جاتے بلکہ بندر کی طرح فضول دوڑ لگاتے ہوئے ڈبل سواری پر پابندی اور اب زیادہ سے زیادہ موبائل نیٹ ورک بند کر دیتے ہیں۔ جتنی ہماری حکومتیں ہر کام پر کمیٹیاں بنا چکی ہیں اور ان کمیٹیوں کے ممبران کی تعداد اتنی زیادہ ہو چکی ہے کہ اگر ہر کمیٹی کے ممبر مختلف ہوں تو پھر یقین کرو پوری عوام کمیٹیوں کی ممبر بن جائے۔ مگر کمیٹیاں بنتی ہیں، ایک محکمے سے دوسرے محکمے میں بندے جاتے ہیں۔ الاؤنس ملتے ہیں اور پھر فائلیں بند، غریب عوام کا پیسہ ہضم۔ اس ملک کا ایک المیہ تو یہ بھی ہے کہ چند گنے چنے اچھے عہدیداران کے علاوہ جو جتنا بڑا بندر ہے وہ اتنے بڑے عہدے پر جا بیٹھتا ہے۔

کافی عرصہ پہلے ایک خبر پڑھی کہ حکومت پاکستان نے ایک بڑے پروجیکٹ پر کروڑوں روپے لگانے ہیں جس کے تحت بڑے بڑے سرکاری افسروں کو بلیک بیری موبائل لے کر دیئے جائیں گے تاکہ جدید ٹیکنالوجی کو استعمال کرتے ہوئے عوام کی اچھی خدمت کر سکیں۔ اب پتہ نہیں اس پر عمل ہوا تھا یا نہیں مگر جب میں نے یہ خبر پڑھی تھی تو مجھے بہت ہنسی آئی کہ وہ افسر جو سرکاری کاموں کی تفصیلات ای میل وغیرہ کرنے کی بجائے اپنا ”ٹی اے ڈی اے“ بنانے کے چکر میں سرکاری گاڑیاں دوڑاتے رہتے ہیں، ان کو بلیک بیری کی بجائے ”کھوتے“ لے کر دو۔ ویسے بھی گدھا کیا جانے ادرک کا سواد۔

پچھلے دنوں سننے میں آیا کہ الیکشن کمیشن آف پاکستان اور نادرا نے کئی مہینے دن رات محنت کے بعد ووٹر فہرست تیار کیں۔ میں کوئی تیس مار خاں نہیں مگر دس منٹ میں ”کیوری“ لکھ کر دیتا ہوں۔ اگر نادرا کی ڈیٹابیس کسی بندے کے پتر ادارے یا ڈویلپر نے بنائی ہے تو پھر ہر علاقے کے حساب سے اور ووٹ دینے کی عمر کے مطابق فہرستیں خودکار نظام کے تحت بن جائیں گی۔ آپ اس دعوی کو کوئی بڑی بات نہ سمجھئے بلکہ جو بھی تھوڑا سا بھی ڈیٹابیس کے بارے میں جانتا ہے وہ یہ کام چٹکیوں میں کر سکتا ہے۔ مگر حیرانی تب ہوتی ہے جب یہ لوگ ایسے چھوٹے چھوٹے کاموں کے لئے بھی اپنے ”بندر“ دوڑاتے ہیں اور عوام کو بتاتے ہیں کہ دیکھو ہم نے کتنی دوڑ لگائی۔

آپ خود اندازہ کرو کہ جن لوگوں کے پاس ٹیکنالوجی کے اس دور میں بھی کوئی سب ڈومین یا کسی ڈومین کا کوئی خاص یوآرایل بند کرنے کا نظام نہیں انہیں بندر نہ کہیں تو اور کیا کہیں؟ موبائل نیٹ ورک کے لائسنس تو جاری کر دیئے مگر جنہوں نے مستقبل میں ہونے والے بے ہنگم موبائل نیٹ ورک پر ذرہ برابر بھی غور نہ کیا انہیں بندر نہ کہیں تو اور کیا کہیں؟

ایک ہندی فلم ”اے وینس ڈے“ میں ایک جگہ ایک بڑے افسر کو ایک عام شہری کہتا ہے کہ ”انٹرنیٹ پر بم ٹائیپ کر کے سرچ مارئیے، 352 سائیٹس ملیں گی کہ بم کیسے بنایا جاتا ہے، کیا کیا چیزیں استعمال ہوتی ہیں، ساری معلومات ملی گی، مفت میں“۔

کچھ ایسا ہی ہم اپنی حکومت کو کہتے ہیں کہ پاگلو! کاش جعلی ڈگریوں کی بجائے تھوڑی سی معلومات حاصل کر لیتے تو آپ کو پتہ ہوتا کہ ڈبل سواری پر پابندی لگانے یا موبائل نیٹ ورک بند کرنے سے کچھ نہیں ہوتا۔ انٹرنیٹ پر تلاش کرو تو ”ہزاروں“ سائیٹیں ملیں گی جو نئے سے نئے رابطے کے طریقے بتائیں گی، مفت میں۔ موبائل نیٹ ورک بند بھی کر دو تو پھر بھی کمیونیکیشن کے ایک ہزار ایک طریقے موجود ہیں اور تو اور ہال روڈ لاہور چلے جاؤ۔ نہایت ہی سستے ایف ایم ٹرانسمیٹر کے ایسے ایسے بنے بنائے سرکٹ ملیں گے جس سے چٹکیوں میں پورا ایف ایم ریڈیو سٹیشن بن جاتا ہے۔ اس کے علاوہ رنگ رنگ کی اور بہت طاقتور واکی ٹاکی مل جائیں گی۔ دور جانے کی ضروری نہیں، پی ٹی سی ایل کے ساتھ زیادہ طاقت ور کارڈلیس سیٹ لگا کر سو دو سو کلومیٹر دوری سے بھی بات کی جا سکتی ہے۔ زیادہ طاقت والے وائی فائی اومنی اینٹینے لگا کر بذریعہ لین یا انٹرنیٹ بات چیت کی جا سکتی ہے بلکہ ویڈیو تک دیکھی جا سکتی ہے۔ یہ تو چند مشہور اور عام طریقے بتائے ہیں جبکہ کمیونیکیشن کے دیگر بے شمار اور محفوظ طریقے سستے داموں مل جاتے ہیں۔

اگر آپ کو لگے کہ میری ان باتوں سے کوئی شرپسند آئیڈیا لے کر خرابی کر سکتا ہے تو عرض یہ ہے کہ یہ کوئی راز کی یا راکٹ سائنس باتیں نہیں بلکہ یہ تو وہ باتیں ہیں جو ایک معمولی سا ٹیکنالوجی کا علم رکھنے والا بھی جانتا ہے، مگر ہمارے بندروں کو معلوم نہیں۔ بالفرض اب اگر موبائل نیٹ ورک والوں نے بندروں کو چنے یا مکئی ڈالنی چھوڑ دی ہے تو اس میں عوام کا تو کوئی قصور نہیں۔ کوئی ان بندروں کو بتائے کہ ڈبل سواری پر پابندی یا موبائل نیٹ ورک بند کرنے سے کچھ نہیں ہونے والا۔ چین نے ایسے ایسے بچوں کے کھلونے بنا دیئے ہیں، جو ”کوڈیوں“ کے بھاؤ مل رہے ہیں اور چند تبدیلیوں کے بعد چلتے پھرتے بم بن جاتے ہیں۔ کوئی تو انہیں سمجھائے کہ انٹرنیٹ پر ایسی چیزوں کے بارے میں تلاش کریں تو ہزاروں طریقے اور راستے ملتے ہیں۔ اس لئے بندروں جیسی دوڑیں لگانے کی بجائے کوئی انسانوں والے کام کرو اور عوام کو مرنے سے بچاؤ۔ خود عیاشیاں کرتے پھر رہے ہو اور عوام کو دہشت گرد کتوں کے سامنے ڈال دیا ہے۔ اگر ایک بھی کسی ”پاگل سیانے“ عام شہری کا میٹر گھوم گیا تو ”اے وینس ڈے“ والے عام شہری کی طرح تمہیں ناکوں چنے چبوا دے گا۔ مانا کہ اس عوام کی اکثریت لمبی تان کر غفلت کی نیند سو رہی ہے اور اسے ابھی تک اپنے حق کا بھی نہیں پتہ مگر پھر بھی عوام کے ”صبر“ کا امتحان نہ لو، اس عوام کو نہ آزماؤ، نہیں تو پھر تمہیں چھپنے کی جگہ بھی نہیں ملے گی۔

There is a lot more sinister against Pakistan than the accusations of its unwillingness or what they call incapability to rein in militants. Before dwelling on the subject of blatant intrusion into Pakistan’s territory and killing scores of people, it is appropriate to expose the US and the West for their machinations to prove that Pakistan is a failed state and it is on the brink of break up. It is true that Pakistan is confronting economic challenges, and also faces threats to its internal security in addition to threats to external security not other than the so-called allies for the last six decades. In the latest Time weekly, there is a cover story with the caption “Pakistan – A nation at risk”, adding that Asif Zardari, Pakistan’s new leader, inherits a broken state. Can he fix it”.The tirade against Asif Ali Zardari is incomprehensible and unjustifiable because the US and the West had themselves wanted that Pakistan should move from quasi-democracy to full democracy, and Zardari bagged more than two-third majority votes from the electoral college for the election of president. This much should suffice to expose their love for democracy, and now something about violations of international law and disregard for sovereignty of Pakistan by the champions of democracy, human rights and freedom of thought, speech and expression.

At least for five consecutive days during the last week, the US and NATO forces conducted air strikes killing more than 100 tribesmen mostly women and children. On Friday, when the ISPR’s spokesman was issuing statement after the corps commanders’ conference expressing the determination of government, army and the nation to safeguard the integrity of the country, another attack was launched killing 12 people. Pakistan’s foreign office as usual gave meek response and launched protest only, whereas Chief of Army Staff Ashfaq Pervez Kayani’s warning for retaliation was reflective of the aspirations of the people of Pakistan. Later, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani had categorically declared that COAS Ashfaq Pervez Kayani’s statement was in line with the government policy. But one does know what transpired on Friday, as talking to the media the prime minister said: “We can take up the matter of unilateral strikes in Pakistan on diplomatic level but cannot wage a war on the United States”. In fact, not a single leader or political party of the country has asked the government to declare or wage a war on the US. And only an imbecile could have done it. Even Qazi Hussain Ahmed Amir of Jamat-i-Islami, who normally comes out with motional statements, has only asked to counter the border violations.

Some incorrigible pseudo-intellectuals complain that in a democratic setup only government issues such statements and the COAS should not have done it. The politicians and so-called intellectuals with myopic vision cannot realize that it is Pentagon that provides all the inputs to the government to take the decision, and their commanders are coming out with political statements. It is not the intention here to propose that the army should interfere in politics but to highlight the ground reality. Anyhow, the government should understand the difference between waging a war and defence of the motherland. The fact remains that the entire nation demands that the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the country should be defended. It is true that the war on terror has now assumed alarming proportions and become Pakistan’s war, because quite a few misguided elements who believe in the righteousness of their cause for waging jihad to fight shoulder to shoulder with the Afghan brothers in Afghanistan are unwittingly putting Pakistan in a difficult situation which is fraught with serious dangers. They do not understand that if anything happens to Pakistan, there would be no other country to give them refuge in future. Nevertheless, apart from some fanatics there are operatives of foreign secret agencies that are very active to destabilize Pakistan. Past and the present leadership have been saying that Pakistan is as much victim of terrorism as Afghanistan it is not a rhetoric but eidetic reality. Those criticizing Pakistan government or security forces for conducting operations against miscreants do not realize that they are trying to bring down the morale of the members of the security forces, as if they are committing some sin when they are trying to establish the writ of the state. It is unfortunate that on one hand Pakistan army and other security forces are under tremendous pressure because they have to fight the terrorists, and at the same time they are under pressure from the super power. In fact, they have to fight so-called allies – the US and the West.

An impression is being created that (American) CIA-operated spy planes intrude in Pakistan territory in North Waziristan Agency and fire Hell-fire missiles whereas NATO forces have refused to conduct operations in Pakistan, as they have the mandate to operate within Afghanistan only. But one should not be misled by NATO commander’s statements or some French and Germans who might have said so because they know there is difference between fighting the terrorists and fighting Pakistani army, should the government ask the latter to retaliate. There is a widespread perception that Americans have lost war in Iraq and they are on the verge of losing in Afghanistan. Since it is an election year, President Bush feels that by exerting pressure on Pakistan, he can stem the tide of insurgency in Afghanistan to impress American voters to vote for Republican president nominee. But it could result in a complete disaster, as pushing Pakistan against the wall could invite massive retaliation. It appears that Pakistan’s so-called allies are framing charges against Pakistan and telling lies, the way they had done in case of Iraq. They are coming out with concocted stories and cooked up evidence that Pakistan is ensconcing Taliban. The charge is not only that Pakistan is not doing enough to rein in Taliban and stop cross-border terrorism but they have also reopened the closed case of nuclear proliferation against Pakistan. With International Atomic Energy Agency’s statement that “Pakistan’s network supplying Iran, North Korea and Libya with illicit nuclear technology had substantial and sensitive information on how to make atomic arms”, the US and its cohorts stand exposed. The IAEA in a restricted report made available to media, also alleged that “much of the AQ Khan network’s material was passed on to customers in electronic form – giving a potentially unlimited number of clients access, whether they were governments or individuals”.

The IAEA’s information was contained in a report on Libya and based on investigations conducted since that country renounced its efforts to make nuclear weapons in 2003. While Libya is no longer a proliferation concern, the report’s revelations on the network are important because it also accused the ‘network’ for having supplied Iran and North Korea with nuclear know-how and hardware. North Korea meanwhile has mothballed its nuclear programme in exchange for the economic package. According to the information, Iran has acknowledged buying from the AQ Khan network, but insists its nuclear programme is meant only to generate power. After report on Libya, a report on Iran is likely to be unveiled when Pakistan will further be pushed into the corner.But the US and the West should realize that air strikes or hot pursuit attacks as envisaged in their new strategy would prove counterproductive because anti-American sentiments would wax, and the moderate forces would sympathise with militants because of the collateral damage caused by their ruthless operations killing mostly women and children.

Agreeing to Disagree

Posted: September 9, 2008 in Political
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The amiable meeting between the PML-N Chief Mian Nawaz Sharif and Asif Ali Zardari in Islamabad, just ahead of the latter’s swearing in as president, offers some hope for the future. Although Zardari failed to persuade the PML-N to return to coalition politics, his assurance to Sharif that the government in the Punjab would not be destabilized is important. This has, according to reports, been backed by an order from the centre to Punjab Governor Salman Taseer not to issue statements attacking the PML-N. It had been anticipated that the breakup of the coalition in the centre could lead to a murky battlefield opening up in Punjab, with efforts to topple the PML-N government. In anticipation of such developments, a PML-Q forward bloc had already announced support for Sharif; apprehensions regarding the ugly politics of horse-trading hovered.

It must be hoped the Zardari-Nawaz meeting has put an end to such speculation. Certainly the message of cooperation sent out by both men is a welcome one. The key task for Pakistan’s politicians at this time is to prove that civilian rule can indeed succeed. Till now, the failures of democratic governments elected after 1988 to complete their term have left many in doubt about this. Each time a government has fallen, the event has been preceded by a stand-off with opposition parties and multiple accusations of victimization that have only aided the establishment and the other forces that wield power in the country to manipulate the situation to their own advantage.

The opening up of cases against the Sharif family a few days ago by NAB had once more raised the spectre of a new chain of developments along similar lines. It must be hoped the Zardari-Nawaz dialogue at this critical time will help to quash any such moves. A democratic system can only deliver when both the government and the opposition play a role in facilitating its functioning and respecting each others rights. We must hope that the long months of interaction between Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif, in their many meetings aimed at saving the coalition, have enabled them to build mutual understanding and a line of communication, even if they did not keep the coalition setup afloat. There has been an indication, during the obviously warm meeting, that Sharif and Zardari still share a willingness to work together. This must be kept intact over the inevitably difficult months ahead, so that Pakistan’s latest tryst with democratic rule can produce better results than those that have come in before.

Over to Asif

Posted: September 8, 2008 in Political
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Immediately after his election as president, Asif Ali Zardari has struck the right notes. He has called once more, as he did after the Feb 18 election, for a national government, urging the PML-N and the MQM to join the federal cabinet. With an overwhelming victory behind him, Asif also now speaks from a new position of strength. The presidential poll proved his party remains virtually the lone national voice, able to pick up votes in all provinces. Indeed, it swept the ballot in Sindh, NWFP and Balochistan, with the PML-N obtaining a larger share of votes only in Punjab. While the result of the presidential election was a foregone conclusion, the numbers as they came in have added strength to Mr Zardari’s position.

The priority of the new President must be to build unity. The suggestions said to be coming in that the Punjab government be toppled must be resisted. The reports stating that Mr Zardari is already in dialogue with Nawaz Sharif about the possibility of patching over differences is encouraging (The two leaders met on Monday). For the present, Mr Sharif has offered ‘positive’ opposition; those close to Mr Zardari believe he may choose to continue work for a restoration of a full-fledged coalition. The president-elect has also spoken of looming challenges. His most immediate tasks will be to tackle militancy (whose latest manifestation was a massive suicide bombing outside Peshawar over the weekend), combat federal friction and take on economic disarray. These are obviously huge missions. But the reports that Zardari is already planning new policies for FATA and for Balochistan, and has been assured of full military support by General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani are encouraging. 

The key to stability in Pakistan lies also in building greater regional harmony. Mr Zardari’s success in the presidential contest has brought in swift congratulations from India and an equally quick agreement to attend his oath-taking from Hamid Karzai in Afghanistan. These gestures from both nations offer a possible opening to making a good start with them. The reality is that cooperation with both is critical to solving Pakistan’s multi-faceted internal problems, ranging from terrorism, to food shortages to inflation. Mr Zardari has lost no time in opening up parleys with various key players within Pakistan. He must also do the same as far as Pakistan’s neighbours go.

Asif Ali Zardari, by cancelling the senseless decision of a holiday in Sindh to celebrate his victory, has also sent out a message of sorts. He has indicated he is aware of the need to work hard, and with commitment, given the national situation. But clear-cut goals and a sense of purpose need to be created. Asif Ali Zardari’s most important priority must be to give a country that sometimes seems to have lost its way, a definite sense of direction towards which it can set out, seeking a future that is more harmonious and less violent that its present.

Asif Ali Zardari (born 22 July 1955) is the President-elect of Pakistan and the Co-Chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). Zardari is the widower of Benazir Bhutto, who twice served as Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Member of National Assembly

Asif served as a member of the National Assembly, and he was Minister of the Environment during his wife’s second term as Prime Minister (1993–1996). Initially he was interested in the Finance Ministry, but Bhutto opted to put him in a non-revenue generating department instead. During his time as Environment Minister, he claimed in a televised news conference on STN that every school in Pakistan had an Environment & Forestry department which motivated every student to plant one tree.

He also served as a Senator until the October 1999 coup by General Pervez Musharraf, in which Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif was ousted and the Senate and assemblies were dissolved.

Criminal charges and allegations

In 1990, Zardari was arrested on charges of blackmail, based on allegations that he attached a bomb to a Pakistani businessman, Murtaza Bukhari, and forced him to withdraw money from his bank account.

He was kept in custody from 1997 to 2004 on charges ranging from corruption to murder. He was granted bail and released in November 2004 when a judge released Zardari under great pressure. However, he was re-arrested on 21 December 2004 after his failure to attend a hearing in a murder trial in Karachi.

Former leader of Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew, wrote that he found Zardari “a likable rogue” who tried to impress with chatter about his real estate and export deals.

Zardari’s nickname “Mr. 10 Percent” stems from accusations that he took a cut from government contracts while his wife Benazir Bhutto was in office.

Corruption

A 1998 New York Times investigative report claimed that Pakistani investigators had documents that uncover a network of bank accounts, all linked to the family’s lawyer in Switzerland, with Asif Zardari as the principal shareholder. According to the article, documents released by the French authorities indicated that Zardari offered exclusive rights to D assault, a French aircraft manufacturer, to replace the air force’s fighter jets in exchange for a 5% commission to be paid to a Swiss corporation controlled by Zardari. The article also said a Dubai company received an exclusive license to import gold into Pakistan for which Asif Zardari received payments of more than $10 million into his Dubai-based Citibank accounts. The owner of the company denied that he had made payments to Zardari and claims the documents were forged.

Bhutto maintained that the charges leveled against her and her husband were purely political. An Auditor General of Pakistan (AGP) report supports Bhutto’s claim. It presents information suggesting that Benazir Bhutto was ousted from power in 1990 as a result of a witch hunt approved by then-president Ghulam Ishaq Khan. The AGP report says Khan illegally paid legal advisers 28 million rupees to file 19 corruption cases against Bhutto and her husband in 1990-92.

The prosecutors had alleged that their Swiss bank accounts contained £740 million.Zardari also bought a neo-Tudor mansion and estate worth over £4 million in Surrey, England, UK.The Pakistani investigations have tied other overseas properties to Zardari’s family. These include a $2.5 million manor in Normandy owned by Zardari’s parents, who had modest assets at the time of his marriage.Bhutto denied holding substantive overseas assets.

Zardari and his wife Benazir denied corruption allegations ever since they were first levelled in 1990.In August 2004, Zardari admitted owning the £6.35m estate in Surrey, England, including a 20-room mansion and two farms on 365 acres, or 1.5 km², of land which the Pakistani authorities had alleged was bought with the proceeds of corruption. He was given the nick name “Mr ten-percent” because that was his cut in every corrupt deal which was happening in Pakistan at the time.

French, Polish, Spanish, and Swiss documents have fueled the charges of corruption against Bhutto and her husband. They faced a number of legal proceedings, including a charge of laundering money through Swiss banks.Asif Ali Zardari spent several years in prison on corruption charges.After being released on bail in 2004, Zardari suggested that his time in prison involved torture; human rights groups have supported his claim that his rights were violated.

Switzerland

On 23 July 1998, the Swiss Government handed over documents to the government of Pakistan which relate to corruption allegations against Benazir Bhutto and her husband. The documents included a formal charge of money laundering by Swiss authorities against Zardari. The Pakistani government had been conducting a wide-ranging inquiry to account for more than $13.7 million frozen by Swiss authorities in 1997 that was allegedly stashed in banks by Bhutto and her husband. The Pakistani government recently filed criminal charges against Bhutto in an effort to track down an estimated $1.5 billion she and her husband are alleged to have received in a variety of criminal enterprises. The documents suggest that the money Zardari was alleged to have laundered was accessible to Benazir Bhutto and had been used to buy a diamond necklace for over $175,000. The PPP has responded by flatly denying the charges, suggesting that Swiss authorities have been misled by false evidence provided by the Government of Pakistan.

On 6 August 2003, Swiss magistrates found Bhutto and her husband guilty of money laundering.[19] They were given six-month suspended jail terms, fined $50,000 each and were ordered to pay $11 million to the Pakistani government. The six-year trial concluded that Bhutto and Zardari deposited in Swiss accounts $10 million given to them by a Swiss company in exchange for a contract in Pakistan. The couple said they would appeal. The Pakistani investigators say Zardari opened a Citibank account in Geneva in 1995 through which they say he passed some $40 million of the $100 million he received in payoffs from foreign companies doing business in Pakistan.[20] In October 2007, Daniel Zappelli, chief prosecutor of the canton of Geneva, said he received the conclusions of a money laundering investigation against former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto on 29 October, but it was unclear whether there would be any further legal action against her in Switzerland.

The money was allegedly stashed in Swiss banks. The public proceedings were required to be dropped against Bhutto due to her death; but the proceedings were still continued against Zardari until end of August 2008. In the end of August, however, all of the cases against him in Swiss courts were closed, leaving him with all 60 million dollars (41 million Euros) restored, which were frozen due to alleged money-laundering case against him.

Zardari’s challenge to his critics

On the news of Chairman Zardari’s receipt of $60 million, he quickly denied the allegation. He even declared that he would give half of all the money ($30 million) to any person who proved him the recipient.

Poland

The Polish Government has given Pakistan 500 pages of documentation relating to corruption allegations against Benazir Bhutto and her husband. These charges are in regard to the purchase of 8,000 tractors in a 1997 deal. According to Pakistani officials, the Polish papers contain details of illegal commissions paid by the tractor company in return for agreeing to their contract.It was alleged that the arrangement “skimmed” 103 million rupees ($2 million) in kickbacks. “The documentary evidence received from Poland confirms the scheme of kickbacks laid out by Asif Zardari and Benazir Bhutto in the name of (the) launching of Awami tractor scheme”, APP said. Bhutto and Asif Ali Zardari allegedly received a 7.15% commission on the purchase through their front men, Jens Schlegelmilch and Didier Plantin of Dargal SA, who received about $1.969 million for supplying 5,900 Ursus tractors.

France

Potentially the most lucrative deal alleged in the documents involved the effort by Dassault Aviation, a French military contractor. French authorities indicated in 1998 that Bhutto’s husband, Zardari, offered exclusive rights to Dassault to replace the air force’s fighter jets in exchange for a five percent commission to be paid to a corporation in Switzerland controlled by Zardari.

At the time, French corruption laws forbade bribery of French officials but permitted payoffs to foreign officials, and even made the payoffs tax-deductible in France. However, France changed this law in 2000.

Helicopter scandal

In 1998-1999, an enquiry was conducted by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of Parliament to investigate the matter regarding the purchase of the helicopters. The case involves defrauding substantive sum of $2.168 million and $1.1 million public money. The record shows that the case was not pursued properly nor diligently. FIR No 1 of 1998 was registered with Federal Investigation Agency, State Bank Circle Rawalpindi on the complaint of the Cabinet Division. A thorough investigation was conducted by the committee headed by Chaudhry Muhammad Barjees Tahir and two other members, namely Faridullah Jamali and Jamshaid Ali Shah. During this investigation the committee Chair Barjees Tahir summoned both the former President Farooq Leghari and former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto along with others, and they were investigated. The case received extensive media coverage both inside and outside Pakistan. The recommendations of the committee, obtained from the file, are as under:

6.1: FIR may be lodged against (1) Malik Allah Yar Khan of Kalabagh (2) Zia Pervez Hussain (3) Dr M.A. Khan and criminal proceedings be instituted against them defrauding the government.

6.2: The amount of $2.168 million be recovered from Malik Allah Yar Khan, Zia Pervez Hussain and Dr M.A. Khan by attaching their properties etc in Pakistan or abroad for this purpose. FIA may be directed to take steps to recover this money through Interpol, if necessary. Any banker or foreign national involved in this fraud may also be taken to task by the Federal Investigation Agency.

6.3: As Benazir Bhutto, she is clearly responsible for this loss to exchequer as major decisions in respect of this contract were taken with her approval or direction and passed on to the Cabinet Division through former PS PM (Ahmad Sadiq). FIR may be registered against her for causing loss to state by misuse of her authority as PM, and criminal proceedings be initiated.

6.4: Farooq Leghari knows that his name has visibly come up in this case. He has tried to plead innocent. It is unimaginable that those operating in this scandal could have easy access to the top bureaucrats like Cabinet Secretary, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister and even to the Prime Minister herself without the backing and active support of the President. FIR against him must also be registered and criminal proceedings initiated.

6.5: As for the senior civil servants involved in the case, Ahmad Sadiq former PS PM, Humayun Faiz Rasul and Sahibzada Imtiaz former Cabinet Secretary, no action can be taken against them at this stage as they already stand retired/superannuated.

The case was further referred to the National Accountability Bureau in 2000-02 but no action was taken.

Western Asia

In the largest single payment investigators have uncovered, a gold bullion dealer in Western Asia was alleged to have deposited at least $10 million into one of Zardari’s accounts after the Bhutto government gave him a monopoly on gold imports that sustained Pakistan’s jewellery industry. The money was allegedly deposited into Zardari’s Citibank account in Dubai. Pakistan’s Arabian Sea coast, stretching from Karachi to the border with Iran, has long been a gold smugglers’ haven. Until the beginning of Bhutto’s second term, the trade, running into hundreds of millions of dollars a year, was unregulated, with slivers of gold called biscuits, and larger weights in bullion, carried on planes and boats that travel between the Persian Gulf and the largely unguarded Pakistani coast.

Shortly after Bhutto returned as Prime Minister in 1993, a Pakistani bullion trader in Dubai, Abdul Razzak Yaqoob, proposed a deal: in return for the exclusive right to import gold, Razzak would help the government regularise the trade. In November 1994, Pakistan’s Commerce Ministry wrote to Razzak informing him that he had been granted a licence that made him, for at least the next two years, Pakistan’s sole authorised gold importer. In an interview in his office in Dubai, Razzak acknowledged that he had used the licence to import more than $500 million in gold into Pakistan, and that he had travelled to Islamabad several times to meet with Bhutto and Zardari. But he denied that there had been any corruption or secret deals. “I have not paid a single cent to Zardari,” he said. Razzak claims that someone in Pakistan who wished to destroy his reputation had contrived to have his company wrongly identified as the depositor. “Somebody in the bank has cooperated with my enemies to make false documents,” he said.

Fatima Bhutto, Benazir Bhutto’s niece, and others have publicly accused Bhutto of complicity in the killing of her brother Murtaza Bhutto in 1996 by uniformed police officers while she was Prime Minister.

Mental illness

The British newspaper Daily Telegraph has revealed on 26 August 2008 issue that Asif Ali Zardari is suffering from mental illnesses.

Mr Zardari, co-chair of the Pakistan People’s Party, was diagnosed with a range of psychiatric illnesses, including dementia, major depressive disorder and post-traumatic stress disorder.

The illnesses were said to be linked to the fact that he has spent 11 of the past 20 years in Pakistani prisons fighting charges of corruption. He claims to have been tortured during his incarceration.

In March 2007, New York psychiatrist Philip Saltiel found that Mr Zardari’s time in detention left him with severe “emotional instability”, memory loss and concentration problems, according to court documents seen by the Financial Times.

Co-chairman of the PPP (president of Pakistan)

Benazir Bhutto was assassinated on 27 December 2007, shortly after returning to Pakistan from exile. On 30 December 2007, Asif Ali Zardari became the co-chairman of the PPP, along with his son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, who is currently studying at Oxford. Bilawal is intended to fully assume the post when he completes his education.

After the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, Zardari reaffirmed his disinterest in the prime ministership. Chairman Zardari and Mian Nawaz Sharif, leader of the PML-N, along with some smaller political parties, joined forces in an electoral coalition that won a heavy majority in the elections and unseated Musharraf’s ruling PML-Q. After the election, he called for a government of national unity, and divided cabinet portfolios among coalition partners on proportionate basis. Asif Ali Zardari and former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on 21 February 2008 that their parties would work together in the national parliament after scoring big wins in the election. On 5 March 2008, Mr Zardari was cleared of five corruption charges, including corruption and illegal use of property under NRO, the National Reconciliation Ordinance He had another trial on the remaining charges on 14 April 2008, when he was cleared under the same NRO. On 19 April 2008, Zardari announced in a press conference in London that he and his sister, Faryal Talpur, would participate in the by-elections taking place on 3 June and that, if necessary, he would contest to become the country’s next Prime Minister, even though his party voted by a 2/3 majority to announce that Yousaf Raza Gillani would be the PM for a five year term.

Candidate for the presidency following Musharraf’s resignation

Zardari, in alliance with Nawaz Sharif, was preparing to impeach president Pervez Musharraf, and a charge-sheet and draft of impeachment had already been prepared, when Musharraf, in accordance with his advisors, resigned from the presidency on 18 August 2008. Chairman Zardari has been confirmed by the Central Executive Committee of the PPP as well as endorsed by the rival ethnic party MQM as candidate for the post of President of Pakistan.There is nevertheless strong disagreement among the current coalition partners, and Nawaz Sharif’s PML-N party is threatening to leave the coalition as a result. According to the Constitution, elections must be held within 30 days of the previous president stepping down. The electoral college is composed of the Senate, the National Assembly, and the four provincial assemblies.

Pakistan’s Election Commission on 22 August announced that Presidential elections will be held on 6 September, and the nomination papers can be filed from 26 August. Many analysts have predicted that if Zardari is elected President, Pakistan’s political, economical and financial position will suffer heavily.[citation needed]

It has been reported by the New York Times that Zalmay Khalilzad, United States Ambassador to the United Nations, had been unofficially advising Asif Ali Zardari.Khalilzad, an Afghan native, is rumored to be flirting with the possibility of returning home to challenge President Hamid Karzai when his term expires next year. Should Khalilzad return home, a good working relationship with Islamabad would be critical.

Zardari as President of Pakistan

Zardari was elected president of Pakistan, as Chief election commissioner Qazi Mohammad Farooq announced that “Asif Ali Zardari secured 281 votes out of the 426 valid votes polled in the parliament,” In Sindh, Zardari had 62 of the 65 electoral votes while his two main opponents got zero votes; in North West Frontier Province Zardari got 56 votes against 5 by Siddiqui and one by Hussain; in Balochistan, 59 votes while Siddiqui and Hussain got 2 each.BBC reported that Zardari “won 481 votes, far more than the 352 votes that would have guaranteed him victory.”New York Times said that Zardari would be sworn in “as soon as Saturday night or as late as Monday or Tuesday, diplomats and officials said.”

Zardari, leader of Pakistan People’s Party, was challenged by Justice (Retired) Saeeduzzaman Siddiqui, a former judge nominated by Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) (PML-N), and Mushahid Hussain Sayed, who was nominated by Pakistan Muslim League (Quaid-e-Azam) (PML-Q), that backed Musharraf. According to the Constitution of 1973 presently in vogue (but declared for major amendments by President-Elect Zardari) the President of Pakistan, who must be a Muslim and a male, is elected by an electoral college composed of members of the two houses of parliament – the 342 seat lower house National Assembly and the 100 member upper house Senate, as well as members of the four provincial assemblies – Sindh, Punjab, North West Frontier and Balochistan. The assemblies have total of 1170 seats, but the number of electoral college votes is 702 since provincial assembly votes are counted on a proportional basis. The new president, who obtains the largest number of votes, will serve for five years as Pakistan’s 11th president since 1956, when the country became an Islamic Republic, excluding acting presidents and CMLAs [Chief Martial Law Administrators] during times of military rule. Voting was in progress at the Parliament House, while the Senate members finished casting their votes,