Zardari Becomes Pakistan President– Now What?

There was scant suspense as to who would be elected president of Pakistan since the Pakistan People’s Party(PPP)which has a majority was bound to have its leader, Asif Ali Zardari assume that position. However, he inherits a society that is fragmented, angry, confused, and divided as to how to proceed. Zardari, widower of the popular hero, Benazir Bhutto, must now deal with a host of problems and there is nothing in his background to suggest he has the capability of being an effective leader. Nighat Anis, a retired teacher in Islamabad, summed up the feeling of many when she said: “my worries are terrorism and rising prices, not the politics. Our children are either becoming militants, suicide bombers or victims of terrorist attacks. If he does it(solve problems)the whole nation will support him.”

Many people believe Pakistan support for the war in Afghanistan is a major reason why there nation is being targeted for terrorist attacks. Noor Ali, a fruit vendor, expressed the frustration of many, “Tell him we don’t want any more fighting. We want peace.” There undoubtedly is strong support for driving the Taliban from Pakistan soil, the problem is how to achieve that goal.

Most probably, at the core of conflict in Pakistan is the need to create a viable economy such as that found in India, one which offers economic opportunities to all within society.