Sunday, May 3, 2015
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

    Breaking barriers: For Prieto, it’s all about hard work

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Council to hear about drought pricing

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

     
    For the record

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

     
    Peaceful Baltimore demonstrators praise top prosecutor

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    Nigeria: Nearly 300 freed women, children led to safety

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Graveyard thefts land three Woodlanders behind bars

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A3

    Downtown altercation leads to injuries

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

     
    Woman arrested for brandishing knife on overpass

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A3

    Yolo DA launches monthly newsletter

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Can plants talk? UCD prof will answer that question

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    A Scottish setting for local author’s next book

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Indoor Fun Fly comes to Woodland

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Free beginner yoga class offered

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Video discusses surveillance of prostate cancer

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    NAMI support group meets May 10

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Dr. G featured on the radio

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Fee proposed on rail cars that haul oil, other flammables

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Internships move UCD doctoral students beyond academia

    By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A5 | Gallery

    Make Mom a warm vanilla sugar scrub

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

     
    The secret to Mother’s Day gifting success: Give time, not stuff

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Letter book is series of collected missives thanking Mom

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

     
    If your mom fancies something fancy, consider a tea party

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A7

    Out of Africa and back to Davis: James Carey will give special presentation

    By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    Big Day of Giving makes philanthropy easy

    By Tanya Perez | From Page: A10 | Gallery

    Tuleyome Tales: How are a snake and a mushroom alike?

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

     
    Tuleyome hosts Snow Mountain camping trip

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12 | Gallery

    .

    Forum

    Please help Baltimore

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

     
    End of life doesn’t mean life must end

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4 | Gallery

    Advancing education for California’s former foster youths

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B4

     
    With sincere gratitude

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

    A wonderful day of service

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: B4

     
    Eyewitness to the ‘fall’ of Vietnam: It was not a bloodbath

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B5 | Gallery

    He can’t give it up

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B6

     
     
    Dangers from prescription pills

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: B6

    .

    Sports

     
    Defending champ DHS clinches a baseball playoff berth

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    UCD softball splits with Titans

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Trifecta of Devil teams open playoffs Tuesday

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Sports briefs: DHS boys win to reach lacrosse playoffs

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B3 | Gallery

     
    Making memories at Aggie Stadium

    By Wayne Tilcock | From Page: B3 | Gallery

    Pro baseball roundup: Hudson pitches Giants past Angels

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B12

     
    UCD roundup: Aggie women speed past Hornets

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    Marrone opens new greenhouse

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    New firm helps students on path to college

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A8

     
    Yolo County real estate sales

    By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A8

    Arcadia partners on soybean trait to improve yield

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, May 3, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8