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Baby Bhutto and Daddy Dearest


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The assumption that the father and son had a major tiff is wrong. Not because they did not have a tiff, but because this is exactly what the father wanted to portray. Zardari succeeded in sending him away and making a major news out of it while his own recent visit to Dubai in order to lure him back is another stunt. Bilawal's absence in the coming election campaign will prove that.

Bilawal's decision to move to Pakistan to be a political leader took Zardari by surprise since he hadn't planned that for him yet. Still, except for a few security cautions, he let baby Bhutto proceed with his passion. The incident is well known, where Bilawal refused to share Bhutto's death anniversary speech with his father and the advisors, which was again something that was glorified instead of it being supressed from the media.

Afterwards, when Bilawal took charge of the ticket distribution, he actually went through the tedious trouble of making performance evaluation sheets of all members of national and provincial assemblies. One of the people helping him in doing all this was Faisal Raza Abidi. A couple of months ago, he also stated that PPPP will give 70 per cent tickets to the people with a clean record.

Everything was going just fine till the time the tickets had to be awarded and the launching of the campaign in earnest. Zardari had to do what was necessary; instead of letting the idealist Bilawal take charge, he kept him away from the filthy business that politics has been in the Islamic Republic. Clean record of ticket holders was Bilawal's major concern. Bilawal's clean record is what Zardai needs for the next time around and not for these upcoming elections.

Zardari has proven time and again that he just doesn't luckily survive every tide of the ocean that comes his way but he actually has a surfers' guide developed by himself alone. With all the bad governance and corruption in this tenure, Zardari knows using Bilawal card is not the best bet. (This does not mean necessarily PPPP will crash unceremoniously as most are predicting).

The criteria for awarding tickets in almost all constituencies was really different. People like Asif Hashmi who couldn't win a seat in 2008 elections have been awarded two tickets. He as chairman Matrooka Waqf Imlaaq had allegedly sold Gurdwara's trust property to DHA. What Fehmida Mirza did on her last day in the assembly was her qualifying certificate for the Badeen ticket. And the list for the women reserved seats sent by Phuppo didn't have Farzana Raja's name in the Top 10. When dear daddy got to know about it or, maybe when Farzana got to know, she offered the president election fund from the corruption in BISP and made Zardari promptly change the list.

That's why I believe, Addi and Muzafar Tappi are not as vital as people believe they are. Their decisions are neither unchangeable nor necessarily their own. They take guidance from the master planner too which in people party's case isn't God. It was really easy for Zardari to bring Bilawal back if he wanted to. All he was supposed to do was to reverse some decisions taken by Addi on Bilawal's request and convince Bilawal to compromise on some. He doesn't need 124 seats. He needs just enough to play a part in a coalition formation and retain his presidency. Every seat PTI wins, will make PPP stronger as PTI refuses to have anything to do with the main players. Do you think PPPP hasn't started their election campaign because of TTP threat? ‘ Tis not so … they haven't yet felt the need to.

I doubt any party will be able to form a government without nominating Zardari for the next term as president. I also doubt if they will be able to retain their government for five years. In case they do, Zardari will prove to be no friendly opposition ... in fact a hot coal. The next elections will be ripe for Bilawal to harvest the crop sown by daddy dearest and to ask people to honour his mom's blood.

This reminds me of the meeting BB called in Dubai before signing NRO. She asked all the CEC members if she should sign the NRO with Gen. Musharraf. Most of the party had the feeling that she wanted to and, therefore, nobody resisted the deal. In fact they appreciated it. The only person who went against the idea was Shah Mehmood Qureshi and he said that PPPP will suffer from the stigma of signing the deal with a general for all times to come. BB asked him if he believed they could win the 2008 elections without her being in Pakistan to which he replied in the negative. With this BB clinched the issue though Shah Mehmood soon after coming out of the room confided to his mates that BB had forgotten one option of coming to Pakistan and offering her arrest.

This is the time when the media went berserk saying it was a deal and Zardari held a press conference from Dubai when he uttered the golden words ''deal nahin dialogue''. The new Peoples Party might not be the best thing to ever have happened but that was inevitable. When you suppress somebody for too long, you unknowingly create an apparition bigger than the local exorcists can get rid off.

As I write this, I've read in leading newspapers that Bilawal is expected to take part in the function observing Bhutto's death anniversary. This is more of a family affair than an election campaign, which his father will like him to miss this time. Bilawal's inclination towards his grandfather's agenda will be used to greater effect by Zardai at the right time.

The writer is a member of the band Beygairat Brigade

The views expressed by this blogger and in the following reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

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The writer is a member of the band Beygairat Brigade.

The views expressed by this writer and commenters below do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Dawn Media Group.

Comments (57) Closed

S.P.Bansal Apr 03, 2013 09:00am
A good excellent show
Tahir A Apr 03, 2013 09:11am
Typical stuff from the old TV serial "Dynasty" way back in the 1980's. It seems, the "Feudal Lord" stranglehold is not going to disappear quickly in Pakistani politics.
Umair Apr 03, 2013 09:49am
Rajneeti, what a show.
Julie C Apr 03, 2013 10:29am
Thanks for the scoop. Certainly, there is no limit to how much lower the PPP can stoop. Nauseous!
Sonia K Apr 03, 2013 10:40am
a very good insight!
Khalid Apr 03, 2013 10:48am
I appeal to all Pakistani Nation to please do not look at the personalities when voting this time but see and feel the sufferings you have been through over the last many decades and the last five years in particular. Please open your eyes and do not sell yourself for little advanges which are only for very short time. Think about you and your childrens future and think long ahead. We do not need to see few prosper families in Pakistan but a PROSPER PAKISTAN and this is my humble request to all Pakistanis to please cast your vote this time for Pakistan and not for your own little benifits. We have tried all the parties again and again and what is harm to try PTI once. I live abroad and I have never met Imran Khan but looking at his sacrifices he extended to Pakistan over the last 17 years seem to be sufficient for him to earn Pakistani Nation's respect and their vote. The best quality I find in him is that he is honest which is currently a dire need for Pakistan, so please try him for once. I am very confident that he will not let us down.
haris Apr 03, 2013 10:55am
Rehney doo yaar Bilawal ki storyan matt sunaoo. 'Idealist' my foot
ZAK Apr 03, 2013 11:54am
Why is it that we never discuss or highlight what the people of this unfortunate country want. Or need. It is always about the leaders of one party trying to out-smart leaders of the other party. Let us please elect new leaders who we sincerely believe will serve the masses. I think time is running out for us.
Nauman Apr 03, 2013 12:28pm
Just what the hell is going on here. I would have expected Bilawal, if an honest Oxford graduate - i.e. someone who had genuinely passed a good degree by sheer hard work, would just be laughing at the silly things that are happening in front of him. He must be mature and intelligent enough (I would hope so) to put his foot down and bring about a total cleanup. Kids of this day and age are honest, frank and will not tolerate being an old fuddy duddy.
Ali Apr 03, 2013 12:44pm
Great analysis! Zardari is surely the most accomplished politician ever born!
Qamar Apr 03, 2013 01:01pm
Time to get rid of people that are just using Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto's name for perpetuating their crimes against the people of Pakistan. The real PPP died with ZAB, what is left is a family-owned criminal enterprise.
Cyrus Howell Apr 03, 2013 01:45pm
The leaders of the political parties like to serve people with parsley, Hollandaise sauce and a nice custard.
Cyrus Howell Apr 03, 2013 01:48pm
"It is surprising what one honest man can do." The Killer Angels
Cyrus Howell Apr 03, 2013 01:52pm
Mister Zardari is more impressed with himself than he is with his son.
Ahmed Apr 03, 2013 01:54pm
What has Bilawal done for Pakistan that he should be accorded this royal treatment? Is Pakistan doomed to have another divisive, hypocritical playboy like his grandfather who was long on promises of "roti, kapra aur makan" and short on delivery of anything other than more centralized power to himself? Thankfully, I think Pakistani society has matured and learnt the hard way not to make the same mistake twice.
Ambreen Apr 03, 2013 02:13pm
ys exacly
Mir Apr 03, 2013 02:15pm
You mean all the people that read dawn or any other english language paper? We wouldnt force educational reforms for 5 years and sitting in our drawing rooms wishing we had pushed educational reforms so that in the next 20 years the dawn readers would have grown to go vote and change the bilawals and his future sons taking over. Too late.
Ahmed Saeed Apr 03, 2013 02:16pm
There is a famous saying in Pushto " A clever birds will ultimately find himself in two cages". Please correct me if am wrong.
Fahad Apr 03, 2013 02:57pm
The real PPP died in 1974 when ZAB purged the NSF and non-feudal wings in the party.
Maulana Diesel Apr 03, 2013 03:01pm
What an innocent comment. Very true and loving. Excellent man.
BEA Apr 03, 2013 03:30pm
accomplished is talking rubbish.
Iqbal Apr 03, 2013 04:15pm
Baby Bhutto? no........ he is baby Zardari
observer Apr 03, 2013 04:36pm
typical pakistani comment
jd shami Apr 03, 2013 05:00pm
jd shami Apr 03, 2013 05:03pm
I tell you, you will be surprised, ZARDARI will be the president of Pakistan for the next five years. My gut feeling is that next government will be of PPPP. I hope i am wrong but this is gonna happen (GOD forbid).
Usman Lakhani Apr 03, 2013 05:05pm
Brilliant article! Also full marks to the blogger @BabyBhutto for coming up with the title Baby Bhutto
shabut Apr 03, 2013 05:19pm
shahid Apr 03, 2013 05:21pm
since PPP is out of Govt. all is getting well, how can you not make peace if you have a desire we are looking for that, please don't play with our country its already crying, Bilawal you are a foreign educated, how many times you saw a corruption taking place? aren't you a same human?
shabut Apr 03, 2013 05:23pm
Not most accomplished politician but rather a most accomplished trader who knows how to buy and sell.
Alam Khan Apr 03, 2013 05:27pm
This not Zardari accomplishments. This shows how igrant, naive and dumb people of Pakistan are
Ayub Apr 03, 2013 06:46pm
So relieved to find out that not everyone is believing what media feeds them. I had same opinion as soon as I got to know about the 'departure'. Great article.
Kausik Apr 03, 2013 07:43pm
These stories remind of old Maharaja's and Nawab's of british colonial days as dynasty still rules the roost as poor people are always swayed by names.we still can not produce selfless leaders
TK from USA Apr 03, 2013 09:47pm
PPP and the democracy died the day ZAB threaten to break the legs of the democratically winners of Awami League Party Leaders; if the enter then West Pakistan!
Ashar Pervez Apr 03, 2013 11:14pm
This band once claimed that they are not pro PPP yet the "columns" written by this person have only confirmed beliefs to the contrary. Dawn is presumably only publishing these "pieces" to gain some kind of publicity by associating itself with a "liberal" band.
Asad Ali Apr 04, 2013 12:56am
I think this article contains several conspiracy theories but there is no actual concrete evidence in relation to what has been stated by the writer. How can one expect to believe this 'scoop'?
Hassan Apr 04, 2013 01:14am
living an honest life is more challenging then to be a martyr. It is quite obvious we do not realize this. People doing politics on dead ones cannot deliver for the living masses; its a fact. Elect them 10 times you will get same results. Hope we do not use our vote to wipe crocodile tears this time.
Tariq K Sami Apr 04, 2013 03:01am
Enjoyed the article. Keep writing. The young Prince has much to learn. I have a feeling that he will send many Uncles and Aunties packing. Benazir Bhutto did all that at a younger age. Not just that she replaced her mom Nusrat Bhutto and took over the Party. So I do not find it hard to imagine that Bilawal too can get rid of his Dad. Bilawal is too much like his mother I could feel it his last speech. He sounds so much like his mother. It was almost like it was Benazir herself speaking (brought tears to my eyes). I had never liked BB while she was alive but now that she is a Shaheed I feel differently about her. I wish Bilawal and the PPP supporters the very best in these difficult times.
Tariq K Sami Apr 04, 2013 03:15am
Truth be told. There are 2 important things about Bhutto. He gave dignity to Pakistani nation. He was a recognised leader on the world stage. A champion of the poor and oppressed nations of the world against the powerful forces of Imperialism. Secondly, he laid the foundation of Democracy. He took politics out of the drawing rooms into the streets and gave its ownership to the common man. "Aiwan say nikla to sar-e-bazar woh aiya, Sardar wohi hai, sar-e-dar jo aiya",(Ahmad Faraz). He faltered and eventually failed. But his legacy lives on .
Shah Apr 04, 2013 04:00am
A message to Bilawal Zardari (Last name Bhutto is only used for political purposes): "Please DO NOT follow your father's footsteps. GOD has been kind to you. It is time that you are kind to HIS people. Those are the people who have played a big hand in helping you live the lavish life that most of us cannot even dream of. Gave you the education that most of us can only read about. Please humble yourself. The life you have lived in 20 years, we will never live in a 100." Thank You. A Pakistani who is waiting to return home someday and re-live his memorable childhood.
steadyfriend Apr 04, 2013 04:34am
This surely will rank as the greatest of accomplishments of President Zardari during his five year tenure! ..... one party co-chairman successfully persuading the other co-chairman to return home! This great act might even win PPP the elections! Imran Khan (PTI), Nawaz Sharif (PML-N) and Pervez Musarraf (APML) please take note!
ProPakistan Apr 04, 2013 09:19am
Its all a political stunt, I don't belive they had any spat between them. Zardari is very shrewd politition, he and we all know what PPP has done in past five years. So they are making way for baby to take over reins and portraying PPP leadership has sanctity, which I doubt he has. If they have, they need to prove. We all know NICL, Rental Power project, BISP etc. are facade to billions of ruppees corruption PPP has done.
Me Apr 04, 2013 10:31am
Your comment shows more of your emotional side than logical side. You said you "never liked BB while she was alive but after she is martyr you feel different". I am not saying whether she was a good politician or bad but please while casting your vote be logical. I hope you don't mind as it is just a piece of advice. Pakistan has suffered a lot. Don't want this Bhutto/zardari family any more.
Abdulkk1 Apr 04, 2013 12:30pm
She was NOT SHAHEED, she was killed in a political jaloos!
imran Apr 04, 2013 12:31pm
Brother Shah, you speak for millions and i completely get your emotions. I dont know if our politicians will ever listen to you, me and us, but lets not just stop here. If these people don't recognise their duties, you, me and all of us have to do what we are suppose to do. Drive this country slowly and gradually in the right direction, someday it will pay off. The biggest encouragement for us is look the number of people commenting here and other places, so people are trying, lets try a bit more harder and find ourselves good leaders who can make full use of our efforts unlike these thieves.
Shaikh Ahmed Apr 04, 2013 02:36pm
Zardari is not a clever politician in this world, if you see the world you will find amy shrewd politicians do make a change in there political changes for like wise we had elections in US see how it went. There are not only one or two things went all wrong entire system had been derailed by this PPP government. and they have made good money during this time. I do agree candidate make money in all the Government but not the way Zardari had made, and now you can see him negotiation between Zardari and Nawaz dawn photo will give you an idea. He try to put all of his mistakes on to General Musharraf, I know that is not the case for sure all the tax collected by the Government should not have any access to any Government, its a public money and it should remain in the State Bank of Pakistan. for all that time since the tax was collected. like wise it should be issued to only those Contractors who had the permission to carry out the work. Look at the corruption in the family of all the Ministers, why the money was given to them, during the time of elections. We all understand what is going in Pakistan. WE the overseas Pakistani should not send the money for the politicians to take that money in forms of many ways, for their use. in any form. I will suggest all Pakistani that they should not vote for People's Party or Nawaz Group for 30 years. then they will come to understand how the public treat them.
Shahzadi Apr 04, 2013 02:41pm
Finally someone is talking sense, thanks.
Shahzadi Apr 04, 2013 02:44pm
It definitely is part of Daddy Dearest's strategy in attempt to give baby Z credibility and show that he has a mind of his own thinks differently to what has PPP been doing in the past. If that fails then there is always the sympathy vote by celebrating anniversaries.
Maulana Diesel Apr 04, 2013 04:07pm
Dear Shah you have virtually moved us. These people have destroyed this country. How can a political scion possesses a wise mind who had been spoon fed throughout his life. Bilawal or anyone for that purpose has no idea what problems this country is facing. God help us. Apr 04, 2013 05:13pm
Well said
Ruhul Apr 04, 2013 06:20pm
The foundation of democracy and the future of Pakistan was ruined the day ZAB told Mujeebur Rahman, "Udher tum, idhar ham."
onemitha Apr 04, 2013 07:09pm
Bilawal will b;e the last nail in the coffine,
Muhammad Ahmed Mufti Apr 04, 2013 07:29pm
remember now ballot papers have the option to select the only candidate who satisfies article 61 /62/63 ..... "the blank selection!" wondering what would a blank win mean!
Muhammad Ahmed Mufti Apr 04, 2013 07:33pm
I think the Pushto saying goes like "a clever bird uses only one wing"
M. Alvi Apr 05, 2013 02:20am
It was actually her own foolishness.
Akbar Khan Apr 05, 2013 03:14am
Bilawal has blood of Zardari in his veins....dont expect something so nice from him...
DharmendraGoel Apr 05, 2013 04:03am
In the right Royal Mughal Empire's medieval history , repeatedly the Shanshahs had to face young hirsute bucks showing off rebellious quest for Gaddinishin's status when the old emperor was still sitting on the throne. So Bilawal desires to kick out the rank outsider Asif Zardari who happens to his consciousness a rank outsider in the haloed glory of Bhutto Clan. Incidently ,he happens to be his father! D. Goel
No hope. Apr 05, 2013 05:44am
Everyone knows everything about everyone yet the majority of the 180 million Pakistani's always seem to vote for the same and cry until the next elections,WHY? whats going to be different this time?? I'm really expecting the same results on election day which means the same old sufferings of the people,no electric,no water,no gas,no jobs,no education but alot of corruption,in other words,same results.Yes I'm very optimistic.