Cyril Almedia is one level headed analyst who I take very seriously, his regular friday columns are a must read to get a decent idea of how the pulse beats within Pakistan’s political circus. This Fridays column for Dawn is a must read where Cyril analyses the various options that could possibly take Zardari out
The judicial option? NRO or no NRO, the fact is Zardari hasn’t been convicted of anything yet and as president has immunity in fresh criminal cases …… Perhaps later, once Zardari is out of his office, they [CJ Iftikhar and his team of non-PCO judges] will get their chance — but that doesn’t really help the minus-one brigade right now.
The PPP? Perhaps, some hope, PM Gilani and the ‘real’ PPP will realise the folly of their ways and will ‘reclaim’ the party. An internal coup of sorts. But PPP 3.0 — Zardari’s PPP — shows no sign of those strains, despite the best attempts to drum up talk of internal dissent.
Gilani may not be the happiest guy in the world, overshadowed and made irrelevant as he is by his all-powerful boss, but that is beside the point. He was picked to be prime minister not because he’d happily acquiesce in his reputation being ground into the dust but because his pain threshold is high.
Could parliament impeach Zardari? A glance at Article 47 of the constitution should be enough to discard this theory. First, a majority in either the National Assembly or the Senate must submit a written notice of its intention to seek Zardari’s removal. Then, a two-thirds majority in a joint-parliamentary session must vote to impeach him. It ain’t happening
What about the generals? What about creating an atmosphere of crisis by, say, trotting out epic tales of alleged new corruption and throwing mud at Zardari’s inner circle? What about the Americans, whose fickle love for Pakistani democracy may cause them to cut Zardari loose if he becomes more a political liability than a useful ally?
Bottom line conclusion that Mr. Almedia reaches is that for the moment Zardari may be safe from the minus-one brigade but is he safe from himself?