PPP: Shooting the messenger in desperation

When I had reported from Abu Dhabi on Nov 7 that the talks between a high level MQM delegation led by Anwar Bhai and Governor Ishratul Ebad and Rehman Malik and Zulfikar Mirza of the PPP were deadlocked on MQM’s demand for President Asif Ali Zardari’s resignation to save democracy, many PPP eyebrows were raised and the campaign to target me and the Geo TV was seriously launched.On Wednesday and Thursday when the Sindh interior minister almost declared full war on the MQM, revealing that all the closed criminal cases of the MQM were done fraudulently, the reality has now come to the surface. This is the final showdown the PPP is trying to start so that if President Zardari is disqualified, the Sindh Card, as it is generally known, could be played effectively.

I delayed my response to President Zardari’s tongue in cheek attacks, dubbing me as a “political actor” in his famous speech from the bunker because it was in my knowledge that it is not just an anchor or a newspaper editor who were bothering the country’s president, it was the fact that whatever we were writing or saying was the truth and things were playing out exactly as it had been narrated in our programmes on the Geo TV or in columns of The News.The problem with President Zardari and his cronies is that they don’t know how to defend their past corruption and how to convince their coalition partners and the relevant players in the establishment that they have changed their ways. This lack of defence is driving them into desperation and as officially announced by Zulfikar Mirza, the ultimate weapon they have is the Sindh Card to save themselves, or, if they fail, to take the entire system down if they fail.
I am a proud Pakistani and also a proud Sindhi, but I don’t believe in the Sindh card. I am sure that such a card does not exist anymore. It is again wrong to suggest that father of the nation Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah used the Sindh card for creation of Pakistan. It is simply childish to say that adoption of resolution in favour of Pakistan in the Sindh Assembly in 40s was an exploitation of the Sindh card. It shows lack of sense of history. The passage of resolution by the Sindh Assembly establishes the negation of the Sindh card.The Thursday’s outburst by Mr Mirza at a news conference that if the NRO cases were reopened against PPP leaders, he would provide official files to the Supreme Court that would prove that the 3,500 criminal cases of MQM were not legally and properly closed and the MQM had committed a fraud, showed that he wanted the Supreme Court to take suo moto notice of what he was saying.

I know for a fact that in the Abu Dhabi talks between Rehman Malik, Mirza and the MQM leaders, these issues were discussed threadbare, and the MQM had refused to oblige the PPP. President Zardari had realised then and there that the NRO was going to be the noose around his neck, and thus a strategy was devised to show that the infamous law had benefited so many people that if it was struck down, the country would descend into a turmoil.When my TV programme highlighted the NRO and kept it into focus, the PPP leadership was upset because they wanted to divert the attention from the NRO and the president to the larger ramifications if the law was struck down by the Supreme Court. This is the strategy of the party even now. They want to step up pressure on the SC to consider the ramifications of declaring the law null and void ab initio.
They also want to bring the establishment under pressure because the president believes that the NRO will ultimately be the tool to force him out of the office, not by holding a gun to his head but by making political life impossible.The basic “crime” of my TV show has been that it has not diverted a bit from the main focus of discussing the NRO and its ramifications. That is what has hurt Mr Zardari the most and that is why he has decided to single me out for his vicious threats and by using the authority of the State to close my show in Dubai. This is petty thinking and even worse, defeatist politics.

The News