Wednesday, 27 August 2008

An open letter to Mr Asif Zardari

Reza Hossein Borr

If you know what will happen to you after you become the president, you have to look at the fate of those who have become president before you. What happened to them will happen to you. There is no exception in history of Pakistan. Pakistan swallows its Presidents and Prime Ministers. If you want to be hanged like your father in law, if you want to be killed in an aeroplane crash like general Zia, If you want to have the disgraceful fate of General Musharaf, then become the president or Prime Minister.

I am writing this letter to you because your father was a good friend of mine. When he used to come to London he visited me regularly. He loved Persian poetry and I arranged for some of my great Persian poets to meet him in my home and read poem for him. I also met you once when I and your father arranged a meeting between you and your wife and a great Iranian friend of mine that I cannot name. And you are a Baluch and I don't want a Baluch statesman to go in history as a disgraced leader. Stupidity is not monopolized only by other nations. All of us had a share of it. But this is pure stupidity.

People want to become rich because they see the rich people enjoying life. If people love to become celebrity, it is because they see that the celebrities enjoy enormous popularity, wealth and fame. You have all of these things now without being accountable. You enjoy fame and power and you are not accountable to anybody. Why anybody should change this exceptional privilege? You are like a king with authorities and without responsibilities. At the same time, you have the authority to make things happen and appoint other people to do things and when they do not succeed, you can bring them down and make them accountable. This is a position that can happen really in history. The Gandhis are enjoying the same status. It seems that they have understood and the importance of respect and dignity.

If you want to go into a profession, first look at those who have gone in that profession before you and what has happened to them. Surely you do not want to happen to you what has already happened to previous president and prime ministers. Mr Zardari, your future is quite clear. It will be the same as of Bhutto, General Zia and General Musharaf. It would not be any different unless a miracle happens. You have acted like a statesman after the death of your wife, Mr Zardari. You have shown that you have the capacity to learn many lessons from the history of Pakistan but if you accept to become the president of Pakistan, You would prove that you have not learnt anything from the history and you deserve to become another victim of your ignorance. Ambition without skills can kill.

When you got married to Benazir Bhutto everybody said that you won a lottery. I did not agree with them. At that time the Bhuttos were abandoned by their friends. It did not seem that Bhuttos can bounce back. Yet, you took a great risk in marrying Benazir Bhutto. You helped her recover herself from the betrayals of friends and foes. When she became the Prime Minister, there were a lot of rumours that you got involved in large-scale corruption. You are the only person who knows whether those charges were true or not. If you were rightly charged, you paid for them when you were thrown into prison for a long time.

Maybe prison was the place where you learnt to become wise. Now when a lot of people flatter you, recall the days that you were in prison. Prison is still there. If you do not want to go back to the prison do not do what you did before. When people are in power they forget that their power will end one day. Surely you know that very well. You know the Baluch leader Akbar Khan Bugti. You know that he was a controversial figure. He did many things in his life but in the last days of his life he realised how well to die. Many people know how to live but most of them do not know how to die to achieve lasting life. Akbar Khan Bugti turned himself into a national hero when he refused high positions and went for justice and equality. It was the seeking of justice that made him eternally great, not seeking of high position.

It is your turn now, Mr Zardari. You have a chance to make history. But more than that, you can make yourself a great part of history. Kingmakers are more important than kings.

Reza Hossein Borr is an NLP Master Trainer and a leadership consultant and the creator of 150 CDs and 14 Change management models. He is also the author of Manual Success, Manual of Coaching and Mentoring, Motivational Stories that Can Change Your Life, and a New Vision for the Islamic World. He can be contacted by email:

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