Thursday, December 04, 2008

Asif Zardari's (Many) Foreign Trips

Now I'm all for travel and discovering new places, but Asif Zardari really takes the cake. Since I'm supervising an exam right now, I've actually had the time to do some research on our Dear Leader's jaunts across the world. Here's what I've discovered:

Asif Zardari took oath as President on September 9, which was 86 days ago. Of those 86 days, our Dear Leader has spent 29 days abroad. Put differently, Zardari has been in office for less than three months but has spent a month outside the country. During this time, the longest stretch Zardari has been in Pakistan has been 18 days (between October 17 and November 4).

Listen, I know Pakistan's not always the most fun place to hang out, and the nightlife kind of sucks, and the traffic can get kind of crazy at times, but is this really necessary? Does Zardari have some sort of reverse-travel-affliction, where he can't bear to stay at home for more than two weeks? I'm genuinely curious. I mean, I'm pretty sure for all of Pakistan's troubles, Zardari's life at home is fairly comfortable. It's not like he has to put up with load-shedding or people snatching his cell-phone at gunpoint at a traffic signal. Why is he always running away?

Anyway, here are the relevant details on his time in office, and his time outside the country:

September 9: Takes oath as President.

September 12-17: A six-day "personal" visit to Dubai and London, where he manages to meet Gordon Brown for two and a half hours, and drop his daughters off to school.

September 21-30: Off to London (the day after the Marriott attack, mind you) on his way to New York. Meets Bush and Condi, and finds time to hit on Sarah Palin, which Dawn's typically understated editorial board ascribes to "inner compulsions". Gets back to Pakistan just in time to offer Eid prayers at Aiwan-e-Sadr.

October 14-17: A four-day trip to China, which a Chinese spokesperson disingenuously described as Zardari's "first foreign visit after ascending to the presidency”. Um, ok.

November 4-5: A two-day trip to Saudi Arabia, of which the stated aim was to get a bailout to avoid having to take an IMF loan (how'd that one work out, by the way?). Took three chartered flights and 200 people in his entourage, which Prime Minister Gillani explained away by claiming Zardari paid for it personally.

November 11-15: A five-day trip to New York, for something called the inter-faith conference, where participants engaged in a "culture of peace" dialogue.

November 24-25: A two-day trip to the UAE.

December 4 (today): Goes to Turkey. Don't know when he'll be back.

So to recap: 86 days in office, seven trips, two each to New York and London, all for a grand total of 29 days abroad. I think it's time we start designing "My President went on another foreign trip and all I got was this lousy non-bailout" t-shirts.


supersizeme said...

so?? dont be a hater!
this widower's simply embraced his inner loafer. he's relishing his newfound freedom.
plus, it's ok! the bill's on america (rest assured, he'll be way out of the scene before they ask for it back).
does anyone else feel zardari's a really 'fun' guy? :)

Ahsan said...


I don't know about anything else, but I can promise you that the bill is most assuredly not on America. It is on Pakistan's downtrodden taxpayers.

zeyd said...

Can't blame him, what with his horde of Russian hoes situated all over the world. Inner compulsions indeed.

supersizeme said...

ahsan; that's usually the case isn't it.

khair, if nothing else at all, i'm glad he's the president, just one look at musharraf used to have me wanting to slit my wrists (did anyone else feel like his face read ''the end of the world is nigh''??), he was such a miserable, depressing man! zardari's presence miraculously allayed my fears, we'll live to fight another day.. not to worry!

i'm a hopeless optimist, i know!

negeen said...

awesome post =)

Ahsan said...


Wouldn't it be cheaper if he just flew them to Pakistan?


Alright, then.



humaira said...

very cool post :)