Brief on Asif Ali Zardari
President Zardari's Speech in United Nation (click here)
Asif Ali Zardari is the husband of Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto who was twice elected Prime Minister of Pakistan.
a. Born on 21 July 1956 at Nawabshah, Sindh
b . Educational Qualification
c. Business: Director of M/s Zardari Group (Pvt.) Ltd.
d. Social Status
Co-Chairman Senator Asif Ali Zardari is a prominent Baloch
family from Sindh. He is the son of veteran politician Mr. Hakim Ali
Zardari. On his maternal side he is the great-grandson of Khan Bahadur
Hassan Ali Effendi, the founder of the first educational institution for
Muslims in Sindh. The founder of Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali
Jinnah was among the prominent students to graduate from the Sindh
Asif Ali Zardari was arrested on the night of 4th November 1996 from Lahore (Province of Punjab), upon dissolution of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto's government by Presidential order. He was held incommunicado for two days and on Habeous Corpus petition filed before Lahore High Court, the then regime disclosed he was detained under Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance 1961 for a period of thirty days.
However, before the hearing of the petition could take place, the government withdrew the detention order and Asif Ali Zardari was shifted to Karachi (Province of Sindh) on 27-11-96. On arrival he was detained/arrested under fresh detention order passed under Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance 1961. The said fresh detention order was challenged before the Sindh High Court, Karachi, on 7th December 1996 which set aside the said order as being malafide and illegal and ordered for his release on 18th December, 1996.
During this period, policemen present during the shooting of Mir Murtaza Bhutto and other officers were arrested and tortured to implicate Senator Zardari. Army personnel were involved in their interrogation contrary to law. Three investigative officers were replaced and two sub divisional magistrates changed when they refused to record statements violative of the law in the matter.
Army officials took the magistrates to the detention centers to record the statement, an illegal act as the case being criminal in nature fell out of army purview.
Pursuant to the order of the Sindh High Court Senator Zardari was released on 18th December 1996. He was re-arrested in Mir Murtaza Bhutto Murder case the moment he stepped out of the prison on 18th December, 1996.
Senator Zardari, after re-arrest, was shifted to Women's police station Karachi for one week. Here he was tortured through sleep deprivation for several days and made to stand for hours with a bright light shining into his eyes whilst he was interrogated. This damaged his eye sight as he had had an eye surgery six weeks earlier aside from the physical discomfort and mental disorientation.
At the Women's police station, Senator Zardari was interrogated by army personnel in contravention of the law. He was pressured to wrongly confess to his brother-in-law's murder which he refused proclaiming his innocence.
He was remanded to prison when the Magistrate refused to grant further police remand.
Since the dismissal of the PPP government, the army backed regimes made numerous false and concocted cases against Senator Zardari with malafide intentions and ulterior motives. It was feared that they wished to judicially murder Senator Zardari as some of these cases carried the death sentence.
Simultaneously, scores of bankers, businessmen, bureaucrats, family and personal staff were arrested, tortured and offered inducements to give perjured statements or face financial and personal ruin.
This is the Eighth year that Senator Zardari is being held as an under-trial prisoner. During 1990 and 1991, he was held for three years behind bars. Not one of those charges, where the Senator pleaded innocent, was substantiated.
One conviction was obtained by the trial court in the Pre-Shipment matter in April 1999. That conviction was set aside by the Supreme Court of Pakistan in April 2001 which accepted the prayer that the trial court was biased.
And if Israel and Palestine can live in peace and security side by side, I pray for resolution of the equally difficult quagmire of self-determination for Jammu and Kashmir that has brought India and Pakistan to war three times, and threatens a nuclear Armageddon on the subcontinent of Asia.
March 8, 2005
Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto