From the Dawn editorial today:
The report in this paper about the Zardari-Shahbaz Sharif meeting carries a couple of very significant sentences that bring out the drift of Mr Zardari’s politics. “…[T]he PPP has strengthened its ties with the MQM. An MQM leader said the PPP had accepted all major demands of his party.” This is consistent with the course that Pakistani politics has taken since the general election last year. There are a number of small but powerful stakeholders who today stand at a distance from the PML-N and who are firmly in the camp that President Zardari has assiduously built for himself. These include the MQM, the ANP, the JUI, as well as some other smaller parties that have a good presence in the Frontier and Balochistan. The current alignment that pits the PML-N of Punjab against the grouping representing smaller provinces could have very serious repercussions for the federation.
It reminds me of a really interesting entry I read a while ago on another blog, East Pakistan Vs. Punjab (Parallels?)
Reading “War and Secession: Pakistan, India and the Creation of Bangladesh”, and finding alarming and disturbing similarities in the way things unfolded in the east. The reactions (and obstinacy) of Mujib seem eerily similar to how Nawaz Sharif is steering the ship currently.
To understand Zardari’s attitude better (ie; what “bibi taught him”) look at this quote in that book, this is Zulfikar Bhutto speaking to an Italian writer Oriana Fallaci:
Politics is movement per se–a politician should be mobile. He should sway now to right and now to left; he should come up with contradictions, doubts. He should change continually, test things, attack from every side so as to single out his opponent’s weak point and strike at it. Woe to him if he focuses immediately on his basic concept, woe if he reveals and crystallizes it. Woe if he blocks the maneuver by which to throw hi opponent on the carpet. Apparent inconsistency is the prime virtue of the intelligent man and the astute politician.
That quote from ZAB is just great.