Islamabad, June 4: President Asif Ali Zardari, whose party was trounced in the general elections, is "resigned to his fate", a Pakistani daily said Tuesday.
In his first talk with journalists since the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) suffered a humiliating defeat in the 2013 elections, Zardari said last week that he had no intention of trying to run for a second term in office.
"...the president spoke like a man who has accepted defeat and is resigned to his fate - but still not forthcoming enough to accept the blame for the disaster that struck his party under his watch," said an editorial in the News International.
He admitted that the PPP had suffered but "still obliquely stuck to the theory that some international conspiracy had hit the party. Moreover, he chose to hide behind the rather flimsy argument that he could not speak more about it as he was also the president of the country".
"Appearing rather modest, which he certainly was not when running the show for five years, he stated that he would be willing to serve the party in any capacity if he was asked to. This could well mean he was willing to quit but he also knows that no one in the party can, at least at the moment, dare to ask him to do so," it said.
The daily observed that Zardari was gracious in welcoming Nawaz Sharif to take up his new set of assignments as prime minister.
"Somebody who was once all and all, he shifted blame and responsibility, ducked key questions and ran for cover on many occasions, instead of answering some tough questions that needed straight answers. The interview thus proved to be a rather soft ballgame," it said.
The editorial assessed that Zardari appears "to be looking for a safe exit at the end of his tenure".
"The PPP and its politics today appear to be in trouble. After ruling like a king for five years, Zardari largely seems uninterested. This despite the fact that the party is in urgent need of restructuring and new leadership if it has to survive as a political entity. By the look of things, Zardari will hang around till he deems it all right to withdraw from the scene. The PPP leadership must ponder on that - and now," it added.