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He Came, He Saw, He Conquered. – By Anas Muhammad

On Wednesday January 13, the President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari arrived at Lahore. The city that is believed to be strictly the opposition’s (PML-N) turf. The irony was that both the leaders of PML-N, the Sharif brothers, were surprisingly not in town.

Youtube: Punjabi Speech in Lahore

The President, who is also the Co-Chairman of the ruling Pakistan People’s Party, took this opportunity to give the speech that is believed to be the game changer. The speech was delivered in the local language Punjabi and was aimed aggressively at addressing the grievances of the workers of his party. With this speech he did not only revived the party worker’s spirit but also kicked off for the upcoming competition for the local bodies’ elections.

President Zardari started the new year on road traveling around the country re-organizing his party and signaling that he is still in-charge and is here to stay for his full five year term. With the local bodies’ elections approaching, Asif Ali Zardari seems to be playing the game wisely. During his stay in Lahore President inaugurated many social and development projects, which he suggested will directly benefit the poor. This he said was the promise and the vision of his late wife Benazir Bhutto, which he has been honored to fulfill.

In the latest speech, President Asif Ali Zardari, also claimed that it will be his party that masses will support in the upcoming local bodies’ elections. He also took the opportunity to formally launch the membership drive for his party, with which he wishes to revitalize the party at the grass-roots level throughout the country.

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  • In an opinion piece in TheWashington Post on Friday, President Zardari has told his foreign audience that his government has a plan to build “a functioning society and economy” and that it has courageously taken some “unpopular steps” to save the country from the “fire of terrorism”.

    Is the president right? Yes and no.

    Yes, the government has got at least two fundamental things right so far: one, it has rescued the economy from the verge of collapse; and two, it’s strong support for the war against militancy has genuinely helped in tackling the biggest internal security threat the country has faced in decades, and possibly ever.

    Since neither of those two tasks — turning around the economy and re-establishing the internal sovereignty of the state — is anywhere near completion, the government has not always got credit for its role so far. Thankfully, though, the president did not use his opinion piece to lash out at his critics: even if the government has been unfairly criticised, it must act with restraint and focus on projecting what it believes to be the successes of the government so far.

    Where we do not agree with the president, however, is the suggestion that the government is moving to consolidate what it has achieved while in crisis-management mode. Consider Mr Zardari’s claim that: “On taxes, education, agriculture and energy, we have shown that we must adapt, reform and become self-sufficient.” The government has certainly talked a lot about overhauling those areas of the economy, but in terms of actionable plans that have already begun to be executed, we have seen little. And on the security front, the Ashura bombing and its aftermath in Karachi have shown that the line between order and anarchy is still unacceptably thin, a terrifying prospect in a city that is definitely home to all manner of security threats.

    The problem is not so much that a lot remains to be done but that the government is not necessarily demonstrating the urgency and seriousness of purpose that the challenges facing the country demand. Pakistan needs and deserves more from its government.

    Taking stock
    Dawn Editorial
    Sunday, 17 Jan, 2010


  • PML N boycotted the reception in honour of President Zardari, CM abstained by migrating to Turkey and The Law Minister Punjab let the “PPP Jiyalas ” to cross over Governer’s House Boundry wall “just to avoid any bitterness with the coalition patner”. This is criminal attitude. Just to avoid bitterness the Law Minister confesses that he had paved the way for any one in the guise of PPP worker to enter and do whatever he wanted. I think these very people in their hatred with PPP are hell bent to create another 27 Dec, 2007 like situation. These are liars and conspirators.In comparison see the PPP gesture. Nawaz Sharif just a Quaid of PML N without any representation in assemblies fro Sind and Balochistan was welcomed in Karachi by none other than The CM Sind just a week ago.