Pakistan am Abgrund

ISLAMABAD: Der pakistanische Präsident Asif Ali Zardari ist am Morgen des 19. Dezembers nach 13-tägiger Abwesenheit zum Zwecke ärztlicher Behandlung aus Dubai, wo er während seines Exils gelebt hatte, abrupt nach Pakistan zurückgekehrt. Eine offizielle Erklärung der Regierung zu Zardaris Gesundheitszustand gab es nicht, aber seine Anhänger teilten mit, dass er einen leichten Schlaganfall erlitten habe, bei dem er für mehrere Minuten das Bewusstsein verloren habe.

Zardaris plötzliche Rückkehr heizte die Spekulationen über seine Zukunft, aber auch – und dies ist wichtiger – über die Zukunft ziviler Herrschaft in Pakistan an. Seine Entscheidung folgte auf ein dreistündiges Treffen zwischen Ministerpräsident Yusuf Raza Gilani und General Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, dem Oberbefehlshaber der pakistanischen Armee. Zardaris gewähltes Ziel – es war Karachi, Pakistans größte Stadt und seine politische Basis, und nicht die Hauptstadt des Landes, Islamabad – lässt die Tiefe der derzeit unter der Oberfläche köchelnden Krise erahnen. 

Zardari ist seit 2008 an der Macht; er wurde acht Monate nach dem Mord an seiner Frau, Benazir Bhutto, ins Amt gewählt. Selbst als 2010 eine Verfassungsänderung den Ministerpräsidenten zum Chef der Exekutive machte, blieb Zardari der wichtigste Entscheider. Sein politischer Aufstieg steht damit im Einklang mit der südasiatischen Tradition quasidemokratischer Dynastiepolitik: Er übernahm die Führung der 1967 von Bhuttos Vater Zulfikar Ali Bhutto gegründeten Pakistanischen Volkspartei (PPP) und ernannte seinen Sohn zum Co-Vorsitzenden der Partei, wobei er seine Entscheidung mit einem handschriftlichen Testament seiner Frau begründete. Um die Verbindung zu unterstreichen, wurde der Sohn in Bilawal Bhutto Zardari umbenannt.

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