The triumph of the Pakistan People’s Party(PPP) in the last parliamentary elections was expected to result in the PPP focusing on immediate national needs and putting off any action against President Musharraf who is detested by party leaders. However, due to pressure from coalition partner, the Pakistan Muslim League-N, the PPP has decided to immediately proceed with impeachment charges against the president. Asif Zardari, co-chair of the PPP, claims President Musharraf misappropriated millions of dollars in US aid. He charges $300 million of the $1 billion in aid goes to the military, but about “$700 million a year (is) missing. The rest has been taken by Musharraf for some scheme or other and we’ve go to find it.” Zardari hinted part of that money might have gone to fund rogue elements of the ISI which was accused by the US of funding the Taliban.
Zardari, the widower of slain PPP leader Benazir Bhutto, believes Musharraf is guilty of economic sabotage and has not done much to develop energy sources the country desperately needs for its survival. Zardari will also charge the president with violating the Constitution last fall when he removed several judges from the Supreme Court.
Rumors are floating around that Zardari wants to become president once Musharraf is impeached. Of course, Zardari himself has a notorious record of fraud and has been repeatedly cited for his corruption when previously in power. Pakistan may well get rid of one corrupt leader only to inherit a new one.