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June 21, 2015

This farce of ‘reconciliation’ must now be buried


June 21, 2015

DUBAI: Asif Ali Zardari’s attempt to gather around him his old allies and partners in government, all collected in the name of politics of ‘reconciliation’ failed miserably with PPP leaders sending out confused and defeatist messages.
PPP Secretary General Qamar Zaman Kaira said the party had fully endorsed Zardari’s outburst and there was no chance of taking the words back but a more sober Sherry Rehman tried to divert the subject, praising Army Chief General Raheel. Both failed and were seen trying to grab the mikes, forcing their words, shouting and cutting each other short.
All the PPP partners in previous governments, some could even say partners in crime, refused to stand behind him, though they enjoyed a sumptuous dinner when the rest of Pakistan was protesting against power shortages on the streets.
So what emerged out of this failed APC of Zardari was the message that his charm had vanished, his policy of reconciliation was no longer working and no one was ready to protect him as the wheel of natural justice and the long arm of the law was closing in on him.
The catch phrase of ‘reconciliation’ was the biggest fraud committed against the people of Pakistan, coined by Benazir and perfected by Zardari and the then dictator Musharraf, as all of them wanted to protect their vested personal interests, power and loot.
The NRO, as a repentant Gen Musharraf now publicly admits, although years too late, was his biggest mistake. The NRO was struck down by the Supreme Court and cases were reopened but Benazir’s death and Zardari’s antics prevented the cases to reach their logical end.
Through his politics of deceit, Zardari while in power, pushed his cases through lower courts and quickly got not guilty verdicts. The way this happened has to be looked into and all these cases need to be reopened for independent and honest judges to re-examine the evidence.
But what is needed urgently is to bury this satanic concept of

reconciliation that has no comparable example in contemporary political history. Zardari’s reconciliation has been with criminals, plunderers, extortionists, political blackmailers, mafias and the corrupt of the corrupt in police, bureaucracy and lower levels of judiciary.
Normal straight politics is based on ideals, goals, manifestos, future plans for the betterment of the people, the institutions, the country, solving burning issues. But all this never figured in the reconciliation politics of Mr Zardari.
He reconciled his misdeeds with Musharraf through NRO, then reconciled and forgave all anti-people and anti-national elements in other parties, gangs, mafias and organisations and ruled with impunity, having disabled all mechanism that could check his free run from within the system.
Thus for eight years Zardari’s reconciliation produced a vacuum in politics, of governance and accountability, which was gradually filled in by non-political forces to the point that Apex Committees and joint army-politicians task forces and JITs were created. That was Zardari’s admission of guilt and declaration of failure of his reconciliation policy.
Now it is time for accounting for the wrong committed. There should be no more reconciliation with any criminal, any mafia or any political sponsor of these mafias.It is now for Mr Zardari, or if he is taken down, Mr Bilawal, his sisters and other somewhat cleaner PPP leaders like Raza Rabbani, Sherry Rehman, Qamar Zaman Kaira and others, to sit down, think and come up with a new PPP doctrine.They should bury reconciliation, stop covering up loot and plunder, think about some honest public service and let the people decide.

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