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Wednesday, Oct 27, 2021
Outlook.com

From One Crisis To Another

As the country plunges into confusion, President Leghari tries to weaken Benazir—politically

From One Crisis To Another
From One Crisis To Another
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

BENAZIR Bhutto’s dismissal by President Farooq Ahmed Khan Leghari may not have evoked a negative reaction from the people but, contrary to expectations, her unceremonious exit has plunged the state of Pakistan into a deeper crisis. An interim set-up, enjoying virtually no political backing, is struggling to make an impact since taking over on November 5. As confusion mounts, politicians worry about the future—and wonder whether elections will be held as scheduled on February 3.

President Leghari and the new set-up have so far failed to justify the dissolution of assemblies. Leghari seems to be caught up in a crisis of his own making. Under the Constitution, the president virtually becomes the chief executive of the country once assemblies are dissolved. But his selection of ministers for the caretaker government has left much to be desired. From caretaker federal ministers to senior officials in the bureaucracy and provincial governors, almost every appointment is controversial.

Apart from performing its constitutional duty to hold elections on time, the biggest promise on which the caretaker government’s goodwill stands is ensuring accountability of the corrupt. But if its actions in the first few days are any indication, it will not be a quick, clean job. Even after 10 days, deposed prime minister Benazir Bhutto’s notorious husband Asif Ali Zardari was in custody without any charges. Though officially under "protective custody", Zardari is believed to be in real trouble because he is being detained by the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI), a fact official circles do not want to admit. This means he is being investigated by the army too. Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) insiders say unless Benazir strikes a deal with the Establishment, her husband would find it difficult to escape the...

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