The day Mr Asif Ali Zardari announced that he would contest the election for president; he became the favourite punching bag of the international and national media. The foreign press timed its Zardari bashing to coincide with his nomination for the presidential slot. The Wall Street Journal came out with a story that Zardari has suffered multiple psychological illnesses during his long detention of nearly 10 years. Another newspaper started beating the dead horse of money laundering alleged against him. It was enough meat for the local media to keep itself busy until the conclusion of the presidential election. Mr Zardari is the most maligned person in Pakistan. NAB had played the leading role in the ugly slander campaign against Zardari and Benazir Bhutto (Shaheed). Zardari was slapped with numerous cases of corruption and misuse of office and also drug trafficking. For nearly eight years he was tried in different courts of Pakistan; he was not convicted in a single case. This proved beyond doubt that all cases registered against him and Benazir were politically motivated and meant to keep them out of politics. The government has acted sensibly by deciding that the NAB law would be repealed. This law was nothing but a tool in the hands of the dictators to harass and defame the politicians. Zardari had no intention of entering politics. It did not appear politically appropriate for the husband of the leading political leader, BB, to dabble in government or party affairs. Therefore, he had decided to keep himself detached from politics. That was the reason he did not accompany Ms Bhutto when she returned to Pakistan to lead the PPP election campaign. The assassination of Benazir changed everything. It compelled Zardari to rush back to Pakistan and continue the mission of the restoration of democracy which was started by Benazir. Ms Bhutto had willed that if anything happened to her, her husband should lead the PPP as co-chairman until their son Bilawal, who was named chairman, completes his studies. The PPP senior leaders endorsed Mohtarma's decision and Zardari took over the command of the PPP as co-chairman. Bhutto's confidence in Zardari was fully vindicated when he proved his mettle by running the PPP election campaign most competently like a veteran leader. He visited every nook and corner of the country reassuring the downtrodden people that PPP would bring back democracy and replace the rule of the elite by people's rule. It was his hard campaigning that PPP emerged as the largest party. It heads the government in Islamabad and Karachi and is a coalition partner in the governments of NWFP and Balochistan. Mushahid Hussain Sayed, PML-Q candidate for president, has come down strongly on Mr Zardari's alleged illness. He argues that Mr Zardari should respond to this allegation because if elected president he would be the supreme commander of the armed forces and head of the nuclear command authority. Mr Mushahid is trying to say that Zardari may order the armed forces to mount an invasion or he may push the nuclear button bringing havoc to the region due to his bad mental health and therefore he may not be in control of his senses. Mr Mushahid has drawn a most outrageous scenario in case Mr Zardari was elected president. It is a ridiculous scenario to say the least. Zardari was in jail for a long period. He might have been given some facilities like newspapers and a fridge but these facilities are not a substitute for freedom. He might have gone through some bouts of depressions. He might have suffered mental agony as a result of living alone and away from his family. It was unbecoming of Mr Mushahid Hussain, considered a liberal and non-conformists but living in the sea of semi-fundamentalists, to interpret Zardari's temporary depression and mental agony as psychological illnesses. Mr Mushahid himself has been incarcerated for many months. Though his incarceration was not in jail but in his own house, still he must have suffered depression and mental agony on being deprived of freedom especially when he had committed no crime. Another foreign newspaper came out with the news that the Swiss case against Zardari has been dropped and frozen money amounting to 60 million dollars returned to him. This news was lifted by the domestic media and published by adding some more slanderous accusations. Zardari bashing was now at highest level. The PPP co-chairman while talking to renowned journalist said that the previous regime had failed to prove anything against him for eight years and tried to blackmail the PPP leadership through the Swiss case. He said that the magistrate who was investigating the case was bribed by the previous regime. He added that the magistrate wrote a biased judgement against him four years ago just before his retirement. This was the reason, he said, "The Swiss public prosecutor dropped charges against me because there was no substance in the charges." Zardari explaining his financial position said, "I belong to a business family. I am not very rich, but I am well off. The propaganda against me in the media is evidence that I don't have the money to buy people." He has promised to pay 30 million dollars to anyone who could prove that he got 60 million dollars back from the Swiss bank. There has been enough Zardari bashing in the media and by the leaders of the opposition parties. Such behaviour of slandering and maligning the head of the biggest political party is no doubt reprehensible and disgraceful. How these detractors would justify their Zardari bashing after September 6, the date when Zardari would surely be elected President of Pakistan. It would be an unacceptable excuse that they were just repeating the slander. They should know that the repeater of slander is as guilty as the originator of slander.