BENAZIR Bhutto is getting the wrong end of the stick. Since her government fell, a hostile president, caretaker government and judiciary have constantly bothered her. With her husband in detention since she was unseated, the government has moved fast to arrest bureaucrats, including her principal secretary, Ahmed Sadiq, and chief of the National Bank of Pakistan. Then on November 19, it arrested her political and personal secretary Naheed Khan, her closest aide, who is believed to have made a fortune when she was in power. In between, the Supreme Court threw out her petition against the ouster, saying it contained scandalous language.
That Benazir has lost goodwill in recent months is something few contest. And the blame is entirely hers. Her arrogance, recklessness and the corruption in her government proved to be her undoing. The economy, that she said her predecessor, Nawaz Sharif, had messed up, only worsened.
But as the days go by, the novelty of the caretaker government, whose members were handpicked by President Farooq Ahmed Khan Leghari, is wearing off. The new government is negotiating for new loans from international multilateral institutions. This is hardly a recipe for reducing budget deficit.
But does this attack on Benazir reflect that the establishment is gunning for her? It would seem so, but many observers are not so sure. The army, which constitutes the most powerful part of the establishment, appears to be aloof. Benazir and her partymen are pinning the blame on the president, giving a clean chit to the army. Says Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Pakistan Peoples Party spokesman: "What credibility will this set-up have if only one political party is the focus of all adverse moves?" And what about those already arrested, like Zardari, who are still in jail? To add to this is the nagging query whether...