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Saturday, November 24, 2007

What opposition? - Fakir S. Ayazuddin

The president has proved himself to be the most outstanding politician in Pakistan, and while he has shown nervousness at times, he has nonetheless emerged as the outright winner in the political sweepstakes. He could not have achieved this without the greed of his adversaries.

Benazir was offered the prime ministership for Makhdoom Amin Fahim, the leader of the PPP in the National Assembly, three times by Musharraf. She refused all three times, and would settle for none other than herself. The cost to her party cannot be calculated. The party standing in the Punjab has been eroded, and today it is non-existent. She has absolutely no one she can blame except herself. Somehow the spell she has on the Americans holds her in good stead, but even that was shattered when Negroponte refused to meet with her on his recent trip. The PPP hierarchy is still in a state of shock, but none dares to ask Benazir why she has brought the party to such a state. It is almost as if she deliberately set about destroying the position of the PPP in the political games that are being played out. The street power in Sindh was shown as hollow. And completely non-existent in the Punjab.

After the initial reception at Karachi, the numbers just vanished, and try as she did, nobody showed up. In Larkana her home it was worse, and after spending just one day she rushed back to Karachi. The Western media also packed their bags, and went back to seek other more sensational spots, for the excitement of an adoring mob failed to materialise. In a word she was passé. After Lahore and Islamabad, the picture was clear. The chief minister of Punjab had done his homework, and Benazir had played into Musharraf's hand by her confrontational stance. This proof was laid before Negroponte, along with the NRO, which showed the US that Musharraf had indeed kept his word by pardoning her considerable corrupt practices. This pardon may prove extraordinarily expensive for the president in the end. She, however, had no cause for her obdurate stance. Will the PPP consider the damage to her party? Her insistence on a short date for the elections has brought a date of January 8, 2008 a scant six weeks away. When I asked some PPP stalwarts, they were not hopeful of putting together a proper fight in such a short time, nor do they have the funds. It is unlikely that she will open the Bhutto accounts for them!

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Read an interesting post abt Benazir at:

November 26, 2007 11:17 PM  

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