So the president has ended his self-imprisonment in the Aiwan-e-Sadr and after visiting Kashmir and Karachi has landed in Lahore, though hasn’t received a star-studded reception what he used to receive earlier as head of state. Not a single top or middle leader from PML-N was present at the airport to receive him. Before his arrival, both Nawaz Sharif and Shahbaz Sharif went out of country. When Rana Sanaullah, the minister of law in Punjab Assembly was asked as why he didn’t go to receive president, Sana said that it was needless.
Zardari has come out of bunker and it is quite clear that he is visiting different areas of Pakistan as co-chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party. That and he intends to strengthen his image and his grip on the party as much as possible, before his government ends prematurely. He is also scheduled to be holding public meetings in Pakpatan and Faisalabad as show of power. He is also there to discuss chances of PPP taking over Punjab from PML-N. It is quite possible that they once again attempt the governor raj as they unsuccessfully did last year.
President Zardari has convinced himself that the daggers are drawn for him and its just matter of time before he is absolved from Islamabad. He is now out there to make some ties with the public to gain some footings after getting ousted from the rule. He believes that establishment has decided to get him out with the connivance of judiciary, media and the PML-N. That is why he is succumbing to every demands of MQM and ANP, and that is why he is keeping people like Salman Taseer in toe to combat PML-N.
But if Zardari thinks that the people of Pakistan will weep upon his departure or take it to the roads to protest his premature departure, then he is in for a choking shock. The failure of his party’s government to deliver has made everyone of them as unpopular as Musharraf was, and even the sympathy vote of Benazir Bhutto’s assassination is not going to help them out this time, not especially in Punjab, NWFP and Balochistan. Even in interior Sindh the condition of PPP is quite dismal.
These visits of Zardari including the Lahore one are the part of campaign for the midterm elections.