Former president Asif Ali Zardari has been staying in Lahore for over four days. He was reportedly on a mission to net the electable politicians deserted by the PTI. But the arrival of Jahangir Tareen’s party has spoiled his party as the new king party has captured the PTI birds.
Regardless of whether Zardari can capture the electable candidates or not, the fact remains that Zardari has played the best moves in recent past. When Imran Khan was on a mission to decimate all rivals, Mr Zardari offered him sane advice. He asked him to play smart and work with the opposition for a better economy. He asked Imran to shun the politics of revenge. He asked Imran not to rely too much on the establishment. He asked Imran not to pick fights with the army.
Similarly, when the PDM ousted Zardari’s party for his refusal to tender resignation, Zardari remained composed. He advised the alliance that politicians’ power lies in parliament. If you leave assembly, you are directionless. His advice worked and now the opposition alliance is in power.
Zardari is a master of political chess. He knows how to play the long game. He is patient and he is always looking for an opportunity to strike. He is also a smart negotiator. He knows how to get what he wants without giving up too much. Similarly, he is always ready to even his place to win the heart of a rival.
The decades-long witch-hunt has made Zardari a controversial figure. But he forgets the past and forgives enemies and looks ahead. He has survived in Pakistani politics for over 30 years and he is still going strong.
It remains to be seen what Zardari’s next move will be. But one thing is for sure, he will be playing to win.
Zardari’s advice to Imran Khan
In 2018, when Imran Khan was on the verge of winning the general elections, Asif Ali Zardari offered him some advice. He told Khan to work with the opposition for a better economy. Khan ignored Zardari’s advice. He formed a government with a small majority and then proceeded to alienate the opposition. He also picked fights with the establishment, which led to his downfall in 2022.
Zardari’s advice was sound. If Khan had heeded it, he might still be in power today. But Khan was too arrogant and too blinded by his own ego to listen to anyone else. As a result, he lost his chance to make a real difference in Pakistan.
Zardari’s advice to the PDM
In 2020, when the PDM was formed to oust Imran Khan from power, Asif Ali Zardari once again offered some advice. He told the PDM that politicians’ power lies in parliament. If they left assembly, they would be directionless.
The PDM heeded Zardari’s advice. They stayed in parliament and eventually succeeded in ousting Khan from power.
Zardari’s advice was again sound. If the PDM had left parliament, they would have been unable to oust Khan. But by staying in parliament, they were able to use the democratic process to remove him from power.
Zardari’s legacy is mixed. He has been accused of many wrongdoings, but he has also made positive contributions to Pakistan. He helped to improve the economy and he also played a role in strengthening democracy.
As Pakistan moves forward, it is crucial for leaders to recognize the importance of strategic thinking, collaboration, and maintaining strong parliamentary foundations. Asif Ali Zardari’s experiences and counsel serve as a reminder that effective governance and sustainable progress can only be achieved through inclusive politics and rational decision-making.
Zardari is both loved and hated by the people but there is no doubt that history will remember him as savior of democracy. The 18th Amendment should be called Asif Ali Zardari Amendment. He will continue to be a force to be reckoned with for many years to come.