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Pakistan’s presidential question mark
Will Bhutto’s controversial husband make a good leader?
 

What happened
Asif Ali Zardari, the widower of slain former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, is heavily favored to win Pakistan’s presidential election on Saturday. Zardari, dogged by unproven corruption allegations, faces a troubled economy and a resurgent Taliban. He has won reluctant U.S. support. (The New York Times)

What the commentators said
Zardari’s victory “is a sure shot,” said Huma Yusuf in The Indian Express, but his presidency is certain to be “a wild ride." In a few short weeks, Zardari has underhandedly “tossed aside” his party’s coalition partners, and “banned the Taliban—only to give them breathing room a day later.”

Despite the “hatchet job” being executed by Zardari's critics, said Farahnaz Ispahani in The Huffington Post, the future president and his Pakistan People’s Party are taking a huge stride toward establishing democracy in Pakistan, wresting control from an authoritarian and undemocratic ruling elite.

Zardari has the numbers, so he “has every right to be president,” said Ayaz Amir in Pakistan’s The News International. “By the same token, people have every right to criticise him.” And while he could surprise us with the needed “bold and decisive leadership,” sadly, the more likely outcome “is too-clever-by-half showmanship.”

 

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