NationalVOLUME 14 ISSUE # 21

Machiavellian politics in Pakistan

On 10th June, former President Asif Ali Zardari was arrested from his Islamabad residence by a team of the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) accompanied by police personnel after the Islamabad High Court rejected his bail application in a fake accounts and benami transactions case. The arrest is bound to create some ripples in the politics of

the country.

The PPP’s central executive committee (CEC) has already decided to launch country-wide protests after Zardari’s arrest. PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, in a press conference, said “You are threatening my workers, my family, you arrested my father. I will show you what a protest is.”

Following the arrest of her father Asif AIi Zardari, Aseefa in a series of tweets said, “This cowardly selected government thinks throwing the opposition into jail will legitimise it. No case, no conviction, no plausible cause.” She went on to say, “Arresting Asif Ali Zardari will not silence the voice of truth. He was vindicated before and he will be vindicated again.”
PML-N leader Maryam Nawaz tweeted, “Fake prime minister [Imran Khan] used to say there were separate laws for the rich and poor in Pakistan, but the fact is that there is one law for the rich and poor and another for the fake PM and his investors”.

Moreover, PPP politicians in the parliament called for the speaker to issue Mr Zardari’s production orders. Interestingly, both the PPP and the PML-N blame on the PTI government for the arrest, which was absolutely wrong and factually incorrect. In fact, the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) case against Mr Zardari came to light in 2015, as a result of a Federal Investigation Agency (FIA)’s probe into fake accounts and fictitious transactions conducted through 29 “benami” accounts in Sindh Bank, Summit Bank and UBL. Later, the Supreme Court took a suo motu notice on the delay in the FIA probe into the case. The Apex Court also constituted a Joint Investigation Team (JIT) to probe the matter.
So, in reality, the arrest was a result of a court ruling, which has nothing to do with the PTI government. But, the PPP and the PML-N want to make the arrest a political issue, just to put pressure on the government for protecting their corruption and political interests. In the coming days, both parties will try to use the issue for inciting violence in the country, especially in Sindh and the Punjab. The corrupt leaders can do everything to save themselves from the law and earn an NRO. The PTI government and the judiciary should not yield to their pressure. Every party has a right to hold peaceful protests in a democratic country. The PPP should also launch peaceful and non-violent protests on the streets. But if it indulges in violent protests, the state should deal the party and its protests

with an iron hand.

The PPP and the PML-N leaders are not giving answers to the questions which the NAB and courts are asking from them about money laundering and other corrupt practices. Rather, they are shrewdly twisting the questions towards the poor prevailing economic situation which is also a result of their government’s poor and corrupt policies.
In a press conference, Bilawal said, “When the government is selected and weak, it is scared of criticism — whether the criticism is from me, Zardari, Shehbaz Sharif, Hamza Shehbaz or Manzoor Pashteen”.

“They have arrested Zardari, (former prime minister) Nawaz Sharif — when all the “corrupt” people are in jails and this government is “uncorrupt”, then why are people’s pockets still empty? What did they do with the money that was saved from getting rid of all the corrupt

people?” asked Bilawal.

Regarding the role of the establishment in the recent

developments, Bilawal said:”They are running everything; we know this, you know this, they know this as well. But THE PPP has always tried to uphold democracy and convince them that in democratic, civilised countries,
army is posted in three positions: at the border, at the barracks and in the battlefield”.
The statements from Bilawal, Maryam and Aseefa clearly manifest that the PPP and the PML-N have become united to criticise the PTI government and the army.

It is also a fact that the NAB is reluctant to take action against the PTI members. NAB Chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal allegedly told a journalist that references were ready in the NAB office against many PTI members and its allies. The NAB is not pursuing these references in the national interests. Because, if these references are taken up, the PTI government would fall in 10 minutes.” It is the duty of the NAB to take action against all corrupt people without any fear. There is no doubt about it that the PTI government has proved very incompetent.

The people of Pakistan are suffering due to the PTI’s bad economic policies. According to the Economic Survey of Pakistan, the PTI government has failed to meet targets in nearly all sectors in 11 months. The new budget would bring more suffering to the common man. In the health sector, the PTI government has also failed to improve the facilities. Unfortunately, around eight new-born babies died at the District Head Quarters (DHQ) Hospital in Sahiwal after the air- conditioner ran down in the nursery. While, the National Nutrition Survey 2018-19 has reported that every third child in the country is underweight.


It stated, “Every four out of 10 children are malnourished. Over 40% children are affected by malnutrition in which the number of girls is higher than boys.”

Giving the break-up of the malnourished children, the report stated, “In the country, 40.9% boys are malnourished, while 39.4% girls are victims of malnutrition and 28% are underweight.

The PTI government is also involved in nepotism. Zartaj Gul, State Minister for Climate Change, has used her influence to secure a position for her sister in the National Counter Terrorism Authority.


Unfortunately, the PTI government is doing nothing to get rid of the problems. It is putting the blame on the PML-N and the PPP governments for the prevailing mess.


In fact, the PTI government and the opposition parties, including the PML-N and the PPP, are following the Machiavellian politics to deceive the people and protect their political interests in Pakistan.