Sherry Rehman Resigns from the Cabinet

Federal Minister of Information Sherry Rehman has resigned from the cabinet.  The dramatic move comes after President Asif Ali Zardari decided to block the transmission of GEO News and make it difficult for Pakistanis to view other channels, such as Aaj Television.

Through resigning Rehman regains some of the legitimacy she has lost during her service under the increasingly autocratic Zardari-dominated government.  As information minister, Rehman had to put herself before the firing line and defend Zardari’s indefensible behavior with verbal gymnastics. The humiliation has been mounting.  In late February, Zahid Hussain reported in the Wall Street Journal that Zardari called a senior minister a “witch” in a recent meeting.  The consensus is that Rehman is the unnamed minister.

Prior to joining politics, Rehman was an accomplished journalist.  She was editor of the Herald, a respected Karachi-based monthly.

The announcement of Rehman’s resignation brought to end a volatile day in Pakistani politics.  In the afternoon, reports of a virtually finalized deal between the PPP and PML-N — ‘guaranteed’ by Washington and Army Chief Gen. Ashfaq Kayani — emerged.  Over the next few hours, denial came from all sides.  And then during the evening, GEO News’ broadcasts in much of the country were shut off at the order of President Zardari.

It is unclear where anyone stands in this complex political battle.  Are Zardari and Gilani playing a good cop/bad cop game?  Or is Zardari the lone man out?  Is this his last stand?  Is he trying to go out with guns blazing?  Will Bilawal be getting a new roommate?  Or is Kayani in on it too?  If not, will the danda strike within 24 hrs?

I am expecting even bigger news — possibly another, far far more significant resignation — within the next 24 hours.  But today’s events demonstrate the futility of predictions involving such volatile characters.  Over the past two weeks, the PPP and PML-N have been trying to make things harder for the other by releasing false leaks through anonymous quotes and planting stories in newspapers.  The game has been dirty.

So, fasten your seat belts, Pakistan.  You’re on the Zardari Express.  And I think it’s about to crash.

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Category: Asif Zardari, Sherry Rehman


5 Responses

  1. Anwar says:

    This indeed is a positive development. Either AZ is going to make a deal or fracture his party… There are a number of prospective leaders waiting in the wings to lead PPP. The party will survive without the Bhutto trademark…

  2. Riaz Haq says:

    Not only has she demonstrated her independence to her journalist friends, Sherry Rehman has also restored her democratic credentials by this action. I think this is a good sign for the future of democracy which appears to be in serious jeopardy at the moment in Pakistan.

  3. Sohail Khamisa says:

    This is the flair of Democracy . Nobody has courage in Gen.Musharaf regime to Speak & resign against his arrogant policy.
    All donkeys like Sheikh Rasheed, Wasi Zafar , Mohd.Ali Durrani & many others speak out after down fall of Mushraff Regime – All are mean & coward & corrupt.

    We must salute her on courgeous step.

    Pakistan Zindaabad – Bravo Lawers & Civil Society

  4. Kaiser says:

    All the mice abandon a ship before it sinks.I think Mr.AZ should have the sense enough to kick out Mr. Rehman Malik who is ruining PPP, before serious and irrepairable cracks surface in the PPP.I couldnt care less about politics,however I am more worried for Pakistan because this stubbornness will ruin the economy alongwith the poor people like us and also the Government.
    An advise for Mr. AZ, You are not stronger than Musharraf both morally or public support wise.Cant you see where we are heading? Probably nature is dispensing DIVINE JUSTICE, for the sins which nature knows but we know not!

  5. Amber Kiani says:

    It is a shame how uncivilized we act under pressure situations, this Govt has dug it’s own grave and soon Pakistan will bury it …
    Restoration of the Judiciary is inevitable…it is a Revolutionary Movement.

    Sherry’s act is commendable, she sure has secured her future in the politics of Pakistan (Good Call!)

    Kudos Sherry for where you are heading!
    Peace for 2009 Pakistan

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Arif Rafiq, a Washington, DC-based consultant on Middle East and South Asian political and security issues. [About]

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