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Thursday, April 18, 2024

NAB against all odds: Zardari planning on taking over?

Asif Ali Zardari, former President and co-chairman Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), has made it clear that his party intends to topple the government, not democracy in Pakistan. Mr. Zardari was speaking to media outside the parliament. The former president has been arrested after the Islamabad High Court (IHC) dismissed his pre-arrest bail in the fake bank accounts case which, as per the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) version, helped him launder money.

News Analysis |

According to the anti-corruption watchdog, Zardari fraudulently obtained Rs1.5 billion in loans for his Park Lane Company through other firms. The bureau has alleged that Zardari, in connivance with former prime minister and fellow party leader Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani, illegally obtained three luxury bullet-proof cars, two BMWs and one Toyota Lexus from the Toshakhana (the state gift repository), which were gifted by the governments of UAE and Libya.

The PPP co-chairman has stated more than once that he intends to send this government home because of its sheer incompetence. On April 4, while addressing a ceremony on the 40th death anniversary of PPP founder Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari and Co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari, bashed the PTI government and threatened to topple it instantly. Mr. Zardari also announced that he would march towards Islamabad along with his party workers to oust the incumbent government. “The time has come that we stand up and save this country,” said Asif Ali Zardari.

The PM, recently, made it clear: ‘you talk about sending this government back home; it’s too little to sacrifice because I can give my life for this national cause’. 

Analysts believe that the opposition neither has the capacity nor any planned mechanism to topple the democratically elected government which enjoys popular legitimacy. Prime Minister Imran Khan had always talked about accountability and promised to bring the looted money back. He assured the nation during his more than 20 years long struggle that the money which has been sent abroad through illegal channels shall be brought back.

Therefore, there seems to be little or no reason which may suggest a soft treatment by the prime minister towards the opposition leaders. The PM, recently, made it clear: ‘you talk about sending this government back home; it’s too little to sacrifice because I can give my life for this national cause’.

Journalist Hamid Mir once disclosed at a talk show, Breaking with Malik on Hum TV, that a member of the Sharif family contacted the Prime Minister and requested him to sign a deal with them. “Prime Minister has WhatsApp messages which he can show to anybody,” Mr. Mir confirmed.

Read more: Zardari warns “Go Imran Go” slogans to echo across the country

When it comes to Zardari’s statement of sending the government home, it is very much reflective of the opposition’s sufferings under PM Khan who is adamant not to offer any concession. This may further aggravate with the passage of time since the courts are yet to decide the fate of Hamza Shahbaz, Asif Ali Zardari and his sister.