Dr Ishratul Ebad, the longest serving governor in Pakistan’s history, who now lives quietly in Dubai, disclosed in a TV interview that PPP leader Asif Zardari had offered him the party membership, but he opted for wait and see approach.
“Zardari sahib and Bilawal came to me on my son’s wedding in Dubai, I was grateful for the regard. It was offered party membership, but I after expressing gratitude, apologized, for still I needed time to study the situation closely, which I am doing, and will decide about my future course of action at an appropriate time”.
“ I may decide to join a political party, float my own party or do nothing” he said candidly, adding that that he was thinking to write his memoirs, title of which will be “ what I could not say”.
He agreed with the questioner that Dubai has become the hub of politics. He was there,Zardari and Bilawal too keep coming here, and spending time, former president General Pervez Musharraf too is here. I have been meeting them, but he explained that politics for Pakistanis is more of “emotionalism, rather than logical.
In such complex situation, he needed time to observe things, study them carefully, and take a decision.
Ebad replied in affirmative when asked whether Altaf Hussain, his former mentor and leader continues to have a role in politics. He cited the example of Nawaz Sharif, who was in difficulty at one stage, and his future seemed unknown, but then when he returned to Pakistan after long exile, his party,PML(N) which appeared nearing a finish, revived overnight and today he is back at the helms.
He said he did have connections with Altaf Hussain, but immediately after taking over Governorship, he had detached himself from party membership, which was a requirement, and later his connections broke with Altaf. However he is a reality, and could prove very much effective, can bounce back.
He agreed that he was part of the establishment, but explained that army is generally regarded as “establishment’ in Pakistan. He was representative of federal government, President of Pakistan being thee supreme commander of the armed forces, and if he was working with army, the force also was Pakistani. What is wrong then in working with army. Army and civilian authorities can together work for growth and development of the country. He too contributed his bit in 14 years he was in office.
Ebad said he always avoided picking confrontation with people, never answered accusations even from worst enemies, but got worked up when replying to allegations from former mayor and his party colleague Mustafa Kamal because “red line” had been crossed. Of local government representatives, elected recently( a reference to mayor Waseem Akhtar) and others, he said that they will have to work within the law, which could be amended, but even if it remains the same products and projects could be negotiated on positivity note.