Sunday, September 14, 2008

Why The Hell Is Asif Zardari Going To Dubai And London?

This is ridiculous. Pakistan is mired in one of its gravest foreign policy crises since Kargil, its citizens are suffering due to rampant inflation, electricity outages are wreaking havoc in urban centers, and Mr. Asif Ali Zardari is taking this opportunity to...(drumroll please!)...
President Zardari left for Dubai on Friday night. From there he will fly to London on Sunday.

Why, pray tell?
Zardari is visiting Britain to get his daughters Bakhtawar and Asifa admitted to educational institutions there.

Yes, Bilawal should hardly be the only one allowed to attain a top class education. Anyway, seeing the dusty 4th day surface, one PPP spokerperson tried to put some spin on it:
President Asif Ali Zardari will leave for London on Friday via Dubai on his first official visit. Officials claimed President Zardari will meet the Dubai ruler and thank him for facilitating the Bhutto family during their days in exile.

Later, President Zardari will leave for London and meet British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and discuss the alarming situation emerging on the Afghanistan and Pakistan border after the US threat to target militants on Pakistani soil.

Gordon Brown told the media he will soon meet Pakistan’s new president Asif Ali Zardari to discuss authorisation for cross-border raids. Brown says a new strategy is needed to halt the flow of Taliban and militant fighters between Pakistan and its neighbour.

PPP circles claimed the president will also meet MQM chief Altaf Hussain in London and thank him for his party’s support during the presidential election.

But the more important PPP spokerperson - Farahtullah Babar - made sure to correct the record.
When contacted PPP's spokesman Farhatullah Babar, he confirmed that the president was departing to Dubai and from there he would go to London.

However, he termed it a private visit, saying that, "It is a private visit to London in connection with the admission of his daughter. The first official visit of President Asif Ali Zardari will be to China."

But at the same time, he also confirmed that during his visit the president would also meet British Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

Yes, it's nice to see Zardari make time for the whole "head of state" job in between all this. Only twenty four hours in a day, you know!

Look, it was pretty egregious when Zardari was running things and pulling strings from Dubai and London in between February 18 and his election as President last week. But now that he has occupied an official position - the President of Pakistan for the love of God - isn't it reasonable to expect that he actually sticks around for a while? Incidentally Zardari is also scheduled to go to New York next week for the UN General Assembly meeting. I can't wait to see the size of that entourage. You guys remember the 90s right, when plane loads of people would go for these lovely jaunts half way around the world at the Pakistani taxpayers' expense? Good times.

Anyway, I'm taking an exam over the next couple of days so you won't hear from me until Wednesday.

Photo credit: The Telegraph


Majaz said...

Frankly I really don't care if he goes to Timbuktu (or Hell for that matter). I just don't want him to use the taxpayers rare rupees.

Hira S. said...

Considering he's been living in idle luxury for all these years on the taxpayers money, and the taxpayers don't seem to mind seeing how he was voted "democratically' (you know by the people, for the people, of the people etc) by them, well...whats the big deal?
It's not like we didn't know this would happen.