The resignation of President Musharraf from office has opened the door to power to an individual whose 11 years as a political prisoner in Pakistan resulted in psychiatrists concluding he was a bundle of nerves and traumatized by the experience. Asif Ali Zardari, appeared to psychologists who examined him as a man who had a complete mental breakdown and couldn’t even remember being married to Benazir Bhutto or his own birthday. But, today, due to his wife’s assassination last fall, he stands at the pinnacle of power and will undoubtedly triumph in his quest for the presidency by defeating arch rival Nawaz Sharif. In November, 2007, he merely hovered in the background as his wife dominated the scene, but with her death, the Pakistan People’s Party(PPP) was compelled to appoint him to the position of co-chair with his son.
Zardari is a man bent on revenge and he is willing to break promises or agreement in his quest for power. He originally agreed with Nawaz Sharif that once back in office, Supreme Court justices would be restored to power, but Zardari feared such an action might place in a position of power justices who not only would rule against Musharraf, but himself. He fears powerful judges who might investigate charges of corruption against him.
There is no effective leadership in Pakistan and there will still be none once Zardari is elected president. The future may well lie in an assumption of power by General Ashfaq Kayani, the chief of staff. Someone has to deal with the myriad of problems facing the nation and Zardari is not the man for that task.