Bhutto’s party

June 24, 2015 OPINION/NEWS

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By

Sattar Rind

Ex-president of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari (AAZ) is currently co-Chairman of the once largest political party in the country, the PPP (Pakistan People’s Party). This party has shrunken considerably in the Sindh province of Pakistan, no one being sure what will happen in the nation’s forthcoming elections, particularly in said province.

All of this has become apparent only since Asif Ali Zardari became chairman of the PPP in 2007,  following the assassination of the party chairperson Benazir Bhutto.

In a meeting last week AAZ addressed workers and leaders of the newly created so called fifth province of Pakistan Gilgit-Baltistan, where his party lost massively in the recently held provincial election.

AAZ abruptly and unexpectedly lashed out against the most powerful establishment of Pakistan, the Army. His speech went live on every channel and he even went as far as to threaten the army of dire consequences. It was perhaps his hardest ever speech in his political career.

Without naming the Chief of Army staff of Pakistan, General Raheel Sharif, and other Generals, he had extended the threat that if he made known the secrets of the various Generals’ wrong-doings to the public, then they would not be in a position to explain their transgressions. From this he inferred that they should be careful and not push him into a corner, politically.

Within the few minutes the issue became so heated that it was discussed at length on every channel. The major question in most discussions was what was the reason for the sudden outburst. Since his speech last week the issue continues to boil in the electronic and print media. Nobody knows the for certain the answer,  but rumours persist.

Most people however are indicating that he was not happy with the army’s intervention in the Sindh province from day one. Eighteen months ago an operation was started to rid the city of Karachi from criminals, targetting killers as each day more than a dozen people were killed, land grabbing being at its peek.

Kidnapping for ransom was also the was daily activity, the forcefully taking of ‘monthly’ which means getting money from shopkeepers or businessman on a monthly basis as per in Karachi, the capital city of the Sindh province. If the criminal had not been paid the money demanded or if they refused to pay, then they were sent a letter with a shot gun bullet enclosed as a ‘soft’ message that he has to pay and if he still did not pay, the criminals would then shoot him.

It was felt that the government was the criminals’ silent partner as they neither took any action nor showed any interest in preventing such a phenomenal state of affairs. This extreme situation brought great fear to the Karachi people, causing millions to leave Pakistan to live in Dubai, Canada and other European country in the last few years.

Besides, since AAZ became leader of the party he has given its heads free reign in terms of financial corruption, potentially paying him more than 80% of the looting and plundering money every month. The government had become nothing but a tool of corruption, crossing all boundaries at the same time.

AAZ’s sister, Faryal Talpur, even went as far as to break her brother’s record of the worst governance, handing many lucrative departments to their own illiterate servants.

There are some very interesting factual stories relating to this, Everyone knew about it but were helpless to do anything. Corruption at this time had reached its peak, the government breaking all records in this awful rule. Sindh, the second largest province, has observed its most horrifying governance system in history. It is after all AAZ’s home province and the leading base of political support in Pakistan for the PPP since the reign of  Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and daughter Benazir Bhutto.

General Zia had created a Muttahida Qumi Movement (MQM) under the leadership of Altaf Hussain on purely ethnic grounds to counter the PPP in Sindh. Later, the MQM become synonymous with the destruction of Karachi and the killing of people with drill machines, cutting off the pieces of the body. Since the MQM came into existence in 1985, Karachi never at any time observed peace. They fought against the Punjabis, Sindhi and Pakhtoon and killed people in their hundreds with extreme torture, even cutting the breasts of women, burning them alive also. They also claimed that only Urdu speaking people had the right to live in Karachi, who were originally migrated from India to a newly born Pakistan in 1947.

Karachi is the largest city in Pakistan, having a sea port, the largest industrial hub and generating 70% of the revenue of the total GDP of the country. Being the centre of economic activity it therefore pulls all ethnic groups from the each corner of Pakistan to come and live in Karachi.

When the time came that the MQM were unable to get the other ethnic groups out of Karachi, the alternative method used was to employ the mafia, anyone being able to hire them to kill and create within and around Karachi. AAZ for numerous reasons, went out of his way to support the MQM during his seven years at the head of government in Sindh.

Meanwhile, the exiting Chief of Army Staff General Raheel Sharif decided for all of the criminal activity in Karachi to end, beginning the operation to cleanse the city in a true, genuine spirit. The army, by its semi-paramilitary force the Rangers therefore took unofficial control of Karachi. It is unfortunate that rumours persist that AAZ was also found to be involved in such criminal activities.

Paramilitary forces started killing the criminals in fake encounters, now referred in Pakistan as extra judicial killings following interrogations and intelligence from the criminals themselves. This way the forces had killed a great number of criminals and arrested the political people who were behind these criminals. People are silently supporting this action, having learnt through their experience that the criminals somehow get their freedom from Court.

The Army also learnt that behind these criminal activities a large amount of corruption money was playing a major role in enhancing crime in Karachi. Since the Major General of Rangers Mr. Bilal informed the media in a huge press conference on 12th June in Karachi that for criminal activities, 230 billion rupees are being collected every year by different methods to continue these crimes.

They have also therefore started to observe and investigate the corrupt people. This way they have recovered more than 30 billion rupees. One case in which a huge amount was being smuggled through a boat to Dubai and from the house of a Minister, they recorded four billion rupees. The Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) arrested a model and singer Ayyan Ali who was going with half a million US dollars to Dubai, her fifty six trip in one year. The singer is claimed to be close to AAZ. She is currently in Rawalpindi prison and her lawyer is PPP leader and ex provincial Governor of Punjab Latif Khosa.

It is assumed that all of these activities made the ex-president very angry, potentially placing him in a situation whereby if the army went into a defensive position then he would continue to assert pressure and ultimately bring them to the table to make a deal. If this is true, he had in the past played this kind of gamble and had always succeeded. This time however he looks to have failed, his political dice no longer favouring him. If the result of him being assumed as depressed and trying to take back his threatening words by saying that he never talked for existing generals but ex-generals and the president of Pakistan, responsible for the killing of his wife Benazir Bhutto.

It is not true however as the PPP had never lodged any formal investigation against General Mushraf for the murder of Benazir Bhutto. However, Benazir Bhutto herself in her written letter named three persons that if she had been killed, then they would be the ones responsible.

One of the names was Gerneral Mushraf, second the then Chief Minister of Punjab Pervaiz Elahi and thirdly the then head of the Intelligence Bureau (IB) Ijaz Shah. When the PPP came into power, Ijaz Shah had escaped out of fear to Australia, soon only to return back and move freely within the PPP government’s tenure.  The second accused person by the BB, out of the blue and without any rationale, became the second prime minister in the PPP government, Praviz Elahi and AAZ still very close friends.

Benazir Bhutto also handed over the same letter to a CNN anchor/host of a talk show Wolf Blitzer with a request that if she had been assassinated then the letter must be released to newspapers and he did so. In that letter she also named the abovementioned names as responsible for her assassination.

Asif Ali Zardari has effectively finished the PPP and is now going to meet his political end. It would be hard to believe over the coming decades that he ever was the fourth chairman of the PPP. Those that know the history of the PPP and had observed the party’s struggle against the worst dictator of Pakistan, General Zia, must be saddened to think what happened with Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and his family and how the party finally met its end, not by a dictator, but his son of law.

 

 

 

 

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Sattar Rind

Sattar Rind lives in Sindh, Pakistan. and is an Author with four books to his credit. three poetry and one on politics. As a Columnist he has written for a number of newspapers and magazines since 1991. Sattar can be contacted at the following email address: sattar-rind@hotmail.com

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