Tuesday, July 29, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

For Pakistan’s president, a singular achievement

By
From page A10 | September 25, 2013 |

The issue: Zardari is the first elected leader in the nation’s history to finish out his entire five-year term

Asif Ali Zardari, who stepped down earlier this month after five years as president of Pakistan, does not seem likely to go down in history as one of that country’s great leaders.

TO BEGIN WITH, he was an accidental president, elected in 2008 on a sympathy vote to succeed his assassinated wife, the formidable Benazir Bhutto, a two-time prime minister.

Zardari, 58, was widely viewed as corrupt. Pakistan’s powerful military muttered — sometimes behind his back, sometimes openly — about ousting him in a coup. Zardari feared that his own security service was plotting to kill him.

He was the object of a vendetta by several senior judges, including one who was determined to unseat him on corruption charges.

He has a political tin ear. When devastating floods in 2010 displaced hundreds of thousands of Pakistanis from their homes, Zardari elected not to interrupt his vacation at the family estate in France.

An attempt to broker a peace in the restive province of western Baluchistan failed badly. The Taliban regularly threatened to kill him. He was a figure of ridicule in the country’s newspapers.

When the political going got rough, Zardari regularly retreated to his second home, in Dubai.

THE COUNTRY’S economy is a wreck. The International Monetary Fund this month had to approve a $6.6 billion emergency loan on top of an earlier $5.3 billion emergency loan.

In May, Zardari’s political party, the Pakistan People’s Party, was nearly wiped out at the polls. In June, his longtime rival, Nawaz Sharif, was named prime minister.

During his years in power, Zardari accomplished little except for one singular achievement. He became the first elected president in Pakistan’s 66-year history to finish out his entire five-year term.

As Adil Najam, a Boston University professor of international relations, inelegantly if accurately told The New York Times, “Zardari’s achievement is to walk away from high power with a smile on his face — not going out in a coffin, or in handcuffs, or in disgrace.”

THOSE MIGHT NOT be the words Zardari would want chiseled over the door of the presidential palace, but no other freely elected Pakistani president can make that claim.

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    That’s the ticket: Mondavi gets dynamic with pricing

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Tickets, sponsorships available for 10th annual Village Feast

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Ramco launches innovation center outreach effort

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Bob Dunning: Just be glad we don’t want fingerprints

    By Bob Dunning | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    House to vote on slimmed-down bill for border

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Crews make gains on foothills wildfire

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

    Groundwater expert will speak in Woodland

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Pets of the week

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Forum will explore injured veterans’ issues

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Humphrey Fellows share tales from their countries

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Hear Julie and the Jukes in the park

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Fair entries due soon for veggie, flower exhibitors

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    Exchange program seeks host families

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

    Square Tomatoes celebrates its anniversary

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    .

    Forum

     
    Our own policies do us harm

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Pat Oliphant cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A4

     
    It’s all the ecologists’ fault

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A4

    Refrain from generalization

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A4

     
    It hurts, but not as much as the truth

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

    Accusations tear family down

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    .

    Sports

     
    Republic sets attendance record

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Cats let win slip away in Tacoma

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Houston continues to be a problem for A’s

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Thorpe named UCD head softball coach

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Lawrence Okoye preparing for the NFL

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Pirates plunder S.F.

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8 | Gallery

     
    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 (set 1)

    By Creator | From Page: B5

     
    Comics: Tuesday, July 29, 2014 (set 2)

    By Creator | From Page: B7