Faced with growing opposition and an ever dwindling grasp on power, Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari railed against “non-government actors” today, which he accused of plotting against democracy.
The comments were his first high profile speech since his ruling Pakistani Peoples Party lost immunity for its assorted crimes and a growing number of his government’s top members face impending indictment.
The threat to “gouge the eyes” out of democracy’s enemies was not well received, with analysts noting that the speech seemed aimed chiefly at unifying the notion of Pakistani democracy with that of his own tottering regime.
Zardari has vowed to fight to retain his grip on the country’s presidency, but not even two years into his administration he has already declared “emergency rule” once and turned most of the nation’s north into a perpetual warzone. It seems however that the Supreme Court’s decision to revoke his immunity may be the straw that broke the president’s back, and it is difficult to imagine how his government could survive unscathed.
In the meantime opposition leader Nawaz Sharif, likely the big winner in the event the Zardari government falls, urged the president and others facing charges to defend themselves before the courts.
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