In the words of Hasan Askari Rizvi, the NRO setback can be attributed to President Asif Ali Zardari and his close associates who failed to understand the ground political realities outside the presidency. They appear to be less inclined towards recognising the importance of consultation and accommodation in politics. Instead, they decided over and above the prime minister to send the NRO to the parliament and did not feel the need of consulting the coalition partners on this issue. They were trying to run the 4-party coalition like a single party (PPP) government.
This was not for the first time that the presidency functioned in an autocratic manner. It kept the coalition partners in dark on the restoration of the chief justice and other judges and the Kerry-Lugar bill. The same strategy was adopted on the NRO but, in this case, as the approval of the parliament was needed the partners got the opportunity to express their resentment by refusing to vote in favour.
The presidency’s isolation can also be attributed to its policy of not accommodating the PMLN on the Charter of Democracy and especially on reduction of powers of the presidency. Despite repeated commitments, the presidency refused to take any concrete measure to fulfil its obligation on these issues, ostensibly for not giving any concession to the PMLN. (Source)
‘Zardari’s media advisory team an utter failure’
Islamabad, Sep. 15 (ANI): Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari’s media advisory team has drastically failed to counter the negative publicity against him.
According to The Nation, the team of politicians looking after the political affairs at the Presidency, including Rukhsana Bangash, Faranaz Isphahani and Senator Faisal Raza Abedi, were rarely seen working for image building of Zardari.
Even the presidential spokesman Farhatullah Babar does not receive calls after 10.00 pm to comment on some of the very important issues or the meetings taking place in the Presidency, the report added.
At the Iftar-dinner at presidency, Zardari’s media handling came under criticism when only a few anchorpersons were allowed near his table. Zardari spoke on many sensitive issues but most journalists could not listen anything.
Some journalists saw this as a failure of Zardari’s media team which should have asked him to keep the event informal and not divulge on sensitive matters like deal with former President Pervez Musharraf.
Manny senior PPP leaders have also expressed displeasure over the way the people around Zardari were handling the affairs – be it his public image or handling of the party affairs.
They were not happy with the way Zardari is isolated from the party leaders and workers in the name of security. (ANI)
A similar advice was offered by Irshad Ahmed Haqqani in the following op-ed: