Sunday, August 22, 2010

Pakistan's Leadership Deficit

Asif Ali Zardari has to be one of the worst (if not the worst) president in Pakistan’s brief history! The man has a set of brass balls to behave the way he does, and say things, that illuminates his incompetence.

For one thing, while Pakistan is facing one of its worst natural disasters, Zardari is on a grand tour of Europe. While visiting Russia, he made the following statement:

“Pakistan will come out of this a stronger nation,” Zardari said at a meeting with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. “We have... the capabilities, we have the people, and all tragedies always unite nations. This tragedy will again unite us,” he said. President Zardari called upon the international community and the regional partners to help Pakistan out of the difficult situation caused by floods.
It beggars the belief he would say such a thing, but it does display his leadership style: He doesn’t have any! He should be in Pakistan, doing all he can, providing succor and relief to the victims. No. Zardari can’t be bothered to mingle with the riff-raff.

While asking the world community for donations, Zardari, the billionaire, was visiting his various properties around Europe, estimated to be valued at over $1 billion. And God only knows how many millions are tucked away in secret bank accounts. Zardari could easily sell a fraction of his holdings to fund flood relief and still have plenty left to indulge his hedonistic lifestyle. But we know Zardari’s history all too well: the man is greedy.

This is bad enough, but the man also has no sense of national honor. When British Prime Minister David Cameron bad-mouthed Pakistan on Indian soil, protocol dictates a vigorous and visible protest. For example, Pakistan should have cancelled Zardari’s forthcoming trip to England. After all, national honor is at stake. Zardari not only went forward with the trip but was photographed smiling and shaking hands with Cameron like a couple of university chums. It was a shameful display.

Pakistan, in my opinion, faces a serious leadership deficit. Is there one decent fellow in Pakistan who can lead this country out of darkness?