Pakistán en el Precipicio

ISLAMABAD - El presidente paquistaní Asif Ali Zardari regresó precipitadamente a Karachi en la mañana del 19 de diciembre, tras una ausencia de 13 días para recibir tratamiento médico en Dubai, donde vivió en tiempos de su exilio. El gobierno no emitió una declaración formal sobre la salud de Zadari, pero sus partidarios revelaron que había sufrido un leve derrame cerebral que lo dejó inconsciente por varios minutos.

El súbito retorno de Zardari alimentó las especulaciones sobre su futuro, pero, más importante aún, sobre el futuro del gobierno civil en Pakistán. Su decisión se produjo tras una reunión de tres horas entre el primer ministro Yusuf Raza Gilani y el general Ashfaq Pervez Kayani, jefe del Ejército paquistaní. La elección de su destino -Karachi, la mayor ciudad de Pakistán y su base política, en lugar de Islamabad, la capital del país- sugiere la profundidad de la crisis que ya asoma desde debajo de la superficie.

Zardari ha estado en el poder desde 2008, tras haber sido elegido ocho meses después del asesinato de su esposa, Benazir Bhutto. Incluso después de que una enmienda constitucional en 2010 hiciera del primer ministro el ejecutivo en jefe del país, Zardari ha continuado siendo el principal tomador de decisiones. Su ascenso político va de acuerdo con la tradición del sur de Asia de dinastís políticas cuasi-democráticas: asumió el liderazgo del Partido Popular de Pakistán (PPP) de Bhutto -fundado en 1967 por su padre, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto- y designó a su hijo Bilawal como copresidente del partido, basando su decisión en un testamento manuscrito dejado por su esposa. Para subrayar el vínculo, el hijo pasó a llamarse Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

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