Pakistan born writer and commentator, Tariq Ali, blasted the feudal method by which power was transferred in the Pakistan Peoples Party. “A triumvirate consisting of her husband, Asif Zadari(one of the most venal and discredited politicians in the country and still facing corruption charges in three European courts) and two ciphers will run the party till Benazir’s 19 year-old son, Bilawai, comes of age. He will then become chairperson-for-life and, no doubt, pass it on to his children. The fact that this is now official does not make it any less grotesque. The Pakistan Peoples Party is being treated as a family heirloon, a property to be disposed of at the will of its leader.”
Ali questions how western politicians can take seriously a political organization that is run in this feudal manner. Dynastic politics is a sign of weakness, not of strength. The solution of a triumph for the PPP is part of the problem confronting Pakistan– how does democracy emerge when no democracy is practiced in the inner workings of a major political party? Ali points out that the initial attack on the Pakistan Supreme Court was carried out by former prime minister Nawaz Shariff, who now has cast himself as defender of the supreme court against the violent actions by President Musharraf against that body.
Tariq Ali suggests Pakistan needs a government which encompasses the entire political spectrum led by a person who is not corrupt. This government might then restore the deposed Supreme Court and ask it to undertake an investigation in order to clear the way for a government that is legitimate and prepared to move forward in creating a democratic Pakistan. It is time for America to cease shouting about democracy because the present conditions will not result in such an outcome, regardless of who wins the election.