‘Asif Ali Zardari: the godfather as president’

‘Asif Ali Zardari: the godfather as president’ by Tariq Ali for The Guardian, September 7, 2008

He may be a pliant partner for the west, but with his record of corruption, Zardari is the worst possible choice for Pakistan

Asif Ali Zardari–singled out by fate to become Benazir Bhutto’s husband and who, subsequently, did everything he could to prevent himself from being returned to obscurity—is about to become the new President of Pakistan. Oily-mouthed hangers-on, never in short supply in Pakistan, will orchestrate a few celebratory shows and the ready tongues of old cronies (some now appointed ambassadors to western capitals) will speak of how democracy has been enhanced. Zardari’s close circle of friends, with whom he shared the spoils of power the last time around and who have remained loyal, refusing all inducements to turn state’s evidence in the corrruption cases against him, will also be delighted. Small wonder then that definitions of democracy in Pakistan differ from person to person. read more

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