Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) co-chairman and a former president of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari is meeting with his party leaders. Present are his sister Faryal Talpur, the party’s parliamentary leader in the Senate, Sen. Sherry Rehman, former Senate chairman Sen. Raza Rabbani, and National Assembly members, and former opposition leader Khursheed Shah, and Dr. Nafisa Shah.
Zardari, on the 15th cigarette, starts the conversation, “Only the other day, I had said that conspiracies are being hatched to put me behind bars, which however if materialize would make me even more popular, and now you have what.
“[Chief Justice of Pakistan] Saqib Nisar, hearing the National Accountability Bureau’s (NAB) appeal, declares that the Supreme Court has no option but to overrule Islamabad High Court’s ruling suspending the accountability court’s verdict against the Sharif family in the Avenfield property reference.
“This means that [former premier] Nawaz Sharif, his daughter Maryam and son-in-law [Capt. (ret.) Muhammad] Safdar are doing back to Adiyala.
“But was I off-target that being locked up would make one more popular? Just see what success Nawaz’s party had in the by-elections. They grabbed seats that they had lost to Imran Khan’s party… even Imran’s Lahore seat!
“All of us keep hearing about Al Capone. He died a few months before Pakistan came into being but more people know him than they know the name, Pakistan. He is even included in the Encyclopedia Britannica! Not just that, he is in history books. He is in folklore! Her served eleven years in prison.
“You saw how Maulana Fazlur Rahman was running around, trying to get me to join Nawaz. This is why I avoided it because see now Nawaz may be going back in, and our deal would have tarnished my image.
“I have been told that some people are maligning us and insinuating that PPP really means, Papa, Phuppo and Puttar (Father, Aunt, and Son). Yes, indeed, out of necessity of ensuring democracy, we have kept people under-educated and even uneducated, but critics need to look farther than their noses. My family did not enter our party and rise up from its ranks, but our party was founded by our immortal leader, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, and belongs to his progeny. Our party is based on oligarchy, which comes from the Greek word, oligarkhía, which from olígos, meaning ‘few’, and arkho, meaning ‘to rule or to command’ is a form of power structure in which power effectively rests with a small number of people. These people could be distinguished by royalty, wealth, family ties, education, corporate, or military control.
“I know Imran Khan is a master of loose talk, but if Asif Ali Zardari is arrested, then who will deposit large sums in poor peoples’ accounts?”