Appeasing the military: How Zardari trying to save his skin?
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2016-02-27 11:09:44

Appeasing the military: How Zardari trying to save his skin?

saz

 

 

Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) on Wednesday denied its co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari gave a statement over the retirement of army chief General Raheel Sharif and announced that it will investigate how it was released by its media cell. The statement, which was attributed to Zardari by the media on Tuesday, had termed Gen Raheel’s announcement that he would not seek an extension as army chief ‘premature’. Talking to reporters in Islamabad, PPP leaders Khursheed Shah, Qamar Zaman Kaira and Nafisa Shah said the statement did not come from Zardari himself. Shah termed the army chief’s retirement a constitutional matter and called for stopping unnecessary debate on the issue. While Mr Zardari has now disowned the crux of his statement on Tuesday and his party spokespersons have gone into damage control mode, it is worth considering the implications of Mr Zardari’s ruminations on a possible extension for Gen Sharif. Perhaps most astounding is how unaware Mr Zardari appears to be of his own role in making it possible to have a debate on an army chief’s extension in the first place. Five years ago, had Mr Zardari not cravenly submitted to a power-hungry Ashfaq Kayani, then army chief on the verge of retirement, it is almost inconceivable that an extension for an army chief in civilian times could be considered today. It is possible that at the time Mr Zardari had calculated that an extension for Mr Kayani would have ensured the PPP a full term in office, an unprecedented achievement in the massively interrupted democratic history of the country. Yet, just a few months after the extension was granted, the Memogate controversy rocked the PPP government — and it quickly and abundantly became clear that the targets were none other than Mr Zardari himself and his handpicked ambassador to the US, Husain Haqqani. Worryingly, Mr Zardari appears to have learnt no lessons from his own and very personal history with extensions and the institutional problems they can cause. Was Mr Zardari hoping to win a reprieve for his party in Sindh? Or was he hoping to drive a wedge between the federal government and the military leadership? If so, to what end? Mysterious indeed have become the ways of Asif Ali Zardari.

 

 

pk.shafaqna.com

 

Categories:   Pakistan ، Society ،
Tags:   PPP ، Asif Zardari ، Raheel Sharif ،
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