British media turns guns on Zardari


Staff member
Thursday, August 05, 2010
Independent says Mr Ten Per Cent determined to thrust his son into politics; Guardian tells Cameron five things he must know about Pakistan; Telegraph says Zardari amassed billions of pounds; The Times shows concern at cost and purpose of Pak presidents visit

LONDON: The British media turned its guns on President Asif Ali Zardari as he was holed up in his luxury Churchill Hotel Royal suite with his entourage.

The media highlighted how a country literally drowning as a result of the worst floods in living memory could afford a president and his lifestyle after images of the 16th-century chateau, built for the widow of King Philippe VI and now owned by Hakim Ali Zardari, were flashed where the president had stopped over for two hours.

The president was busy holding what a source in the High Commission of Pakistan called in-house business meetings. He also made a telephone call to the former prime minister Gordon Brown and met Conservative Party chair and cabinet minister Sayeeda Warsi.

The British media has been regularly covering the floods in Pakistan but as the true scale of the damage done to the country emerged, the editorials here adopted a hostile tone questioning whether it is right for the head of a democratically elected government to abandon the whole nation at such a time of mourning for a so-called official engagement from which little mileage is to be expected.

The Guardian called Pakistan a washed-out state in need of international aid in its leader comment and feared that an inadequate civilian response to a disaster may let the Islamists back in power in areas like Swat just like they did in the aftermath of the earthquake in Kashmir five years ago.

The Times said that the concerns at the cost and purpose Mr Zardaris European visit will not have been allayed by pictures showing the Pakistani leader taking off in a helicopter from the 16th century Chateau de la Reine near Rouen in Normandy, which is owned by his family.

It said that there was growing anger to the governments flood response, especially President Zardaris official trip to Europe. The Mirror newspaper highlighted how Pakistan was suffering very badly in a news piece titled a flood of compliant and noted the reaction of British Pakistanis who expressed their opposition to the presidents visit. It predicted that David Cameron would give little ground over the terror row at Fridays talks at Chequers.

The Independent said that the real, officially, for Saturdays speech is to shore up the Pakistani leaders support in Britain but the real reason for his appearance will be the young man sitting beside him in a smart suit.

The paper compared Bilawal Zardari with his contemporaries and said while they will be worrying, after graduation, about paying off their heavy debts, Bilawal is stepping straight into the political limelight as a novice 21-year-old statesman and the heir apparent to a wealthy political dynasty with an unending talent for bloody internecine strife.

The paper said that Mr Ten Per Cent was determined to thrust his son into global politics as he (Zardari) is badly in need of a boost to his support among influential British Pakistanis. The paper speculated that on Saturday afternoon, a new member of the Bhutto clan will step forward to accept that strangest of modern political roles - the dynastic democrat.

The Daily Telegraph published a big piece titled Asif Ali Zardari: life and style of Pakistans Mr 10 Per Cent and charted the presidents rise to power. The paper, quoting the Accountability Bureau, claimed that the president has amassed a property empire worth billions of pounds, with a chateau in France, homes in Britain, Spain and Florida, and bank accounts in Switzerland.

The paper, relying on information provided by the corruption probe body, wrote that the president has interests in three properties in London and went on to describe the once ownership of 335-acre Rockwood House (known infamously as Surrey Palace in Pakistan) in the North Downs in Surrey that came to symbolize his wealth and ambition.

For the benefit of President Zardari and his team, the Guardian published a list of what the visiting head of Pakistan should educate the UK prime minister about after Pakistani officials said Mr Zardari will attempt to educate David Cameron about their country and region when the two men meet at a summit on Friday.

The paper highlighted that since Mr Zardari is not necessarily the most objective teacher, David Cameron should know five things about Pakistan before their meeting.
1- Terror: Pakistan is more victim than perpetrator where more than 3,000 people died in terrorist attacks in 2009, compared with about 2,000 in Afghanistan;
2 - Af-Pak Border: the Afghan-Pakistani frontier, is largely imaginary and the current border related problems were made in Britain;
3- Kashmir: India routinely blocks international discussion of Kashmir and quoted a Guardian commentary as such not mentioning Kashmir is as sensible as not mentioning Gaza when discussing the Middle East and asked the plain speaking PM not to try to dodge this issue;
4- Democracy: There are signs that the current army chief, General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani may be getting too big for his boots and posed a question to Cameron whether he would like to deal with democrats or another dictator; and
5- People: Doubling Britains annual 130m aid to Pakistan would be an audacious move at a time of domestic financial austerity.

The paper said it would serve the British national interest - and after the bitter arguments of recent days, would send an overdue, positive message in typical Cameron Direct style.


Chief Minister (5k+ posts)
Our idiot President came here despite all criticism thinking he can make headlines by following same Strategy as Musharraf did with Indian Media in his first visit to India.
He shifted from Pakistan's historic stand on Kashmir and other issues, made Headlines, everyone applauded because he was hinting towards solutions out of box which suited India.

Zardari feels he can hit the jackpot with one or two BOLD statements and declare victory when he comes back home that we have told the West bla bla. He will fail miserably and put Pakistan under furuter pressure as David Moron is not a miniter of his cabinet, he owes nothing to Zardari to help him out.

British Media was quiet about Zardari visit and normally state heads come and go without too much Media publicity. But one statement from Zardari has opened the Pandora Box and they will not admit that they are losing war in Afghanistan (which they surely will) but attention has diverted to Zardari as a person, which he as a president and we as Pakistanis could have lived without.
Shame on you Mr President and your Advisors. Wajid Sahms is an idiot of highest quality, not worthy of a peon job let alone be an Ambassador.
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Senator (1k+ posts)
what do they say on the streets of Pakitstan, Zardari ***** haye haye ? They should change their slogan to " BEGHAIRAT ***** HAYE HAYE "
I don't think any head of state has been bashed so harshly specially when he is an ally on several fronts . This is also the first time I think that a visiting head of state was humiliated so much more by that local media than the media in his own state. a
Yes we condemn his moves , his corruption , his ideas (if any) his 10 percentage ( which I believe in reality is 90% now) in the local media but not enough ...brit media obviously dn't fear this bas**rd.
I also have stated believing that west is his god father but also that he is a direct US and indirect Indian agent who was and still being paid heftly to destabilize Pakistan and to have his wife murdered . I feel disgusted being known as Pakistani when he is represting me .... I want another term created ," Politician hating Pakistanis" or at least "zaradri hating Pakistanis" once more "beghairat ***** haye haye !!! ( I apologize for using the word ***** ,MOD but I think it's only fair to call someone what or who one is )


Chief Minister (5k+ posts)
میڈیا کے کیمروں میں گولیاں نہیں ہوتیں ؟

Hoti Hain, Need to Contact the French Agency who Interviewed Ahmed Shah Masood.


Politcal Worker (100+ posts)
u are right geog but UK media k cameroo mein bullets kion hogi jab k UK ka maqsaad zardari pora kar raha hay without even attacking the ppl of pakistan. which is slow and painful death.


MPA (400+ posts)
kitney cameray they 10 sardar wah 10 aur zardari aik..................kya sooch rahey ho 10 cameray aur MR 10% phir bach gaya........................ha ha ha ha 10% khaphay khapay khapay


Democracy is a best revenge .............Joke said by Haji barbadee President of Pakistan in his book Khicha Tuee

Star Gazer

Chief Minister (5k+ posts)
Friends why do we think AAZ is illeterate or cold and callous or this or that? He is doing what he set out to do in the first place when he married BB. He is collecting the most precious commodity. Wealth is what is going to give him and his family eternal life, aticket to heaven as he bribes his way through, love from the poor downtrodden masses of Pakistan, security and protection, respect among the world leaders(people he percieves to be leaders!).
People and nation of Pakistan are just the means to the end. Please do not loose temper with him, understand his dilema,his choices and plan. Now do we all know how powerful the people are via democracy!!??


President (40k+ posts)
Zardari is Ghairat & Sharam Proof

I think Western Media doesn't know that Zardari is "Ghairat & Sharam Proof"


Saladin A

Minister (2k+ posts)
Shameless Zardari enjoying his holidays in Europe

Half of Pakistan is sunk in deep waters and its besharam, beygairat president is enjoying his holiday abroad at the expense of millions of poor peoples' lives.

What possible could he achieve when the whole world knows that this man is no 1 corrupt and means very little for Pakistan? He is in the UK to have as much fun as possible and to promote his nineteen years old son as the next heir apparent to Bhuttos throne and future president of Pakistan at a time when Pakistan is drowning in floods. At this time of horrendous tragedy and natural catastrophe all that President thinks and worries about is to launch his son's future prospects.

Asif Ali Zardari has become a liability and insult to Pakistan integrity and slur for its nation.


New Member
The refusal of two Labour politicians to meet Zardari, Pakistan’s president, on his trip to London will undermine the credibility of Pakistan’s already beleaguered civil government.

The pair, both born in Pakistan, criticized Zardari for not returning to deal with the floods that have killed upwards of 1,400 people. They argued that as the country’s figurehead he should have cut short his European tour to take control of efforts to relieve the suffering of his people.

However, MP Khalid Mahmood and Lord Ahmed’s snub undermines Pakistan’s fragile democratic institutions by implying that the government in Pakistan is unconcerned by the welfare of its own people when they are at their most vulnerable. This kind of glib criticism does nothing to alleviate the dire humanitarian situation. It also further alienates the Pakistani leader at a time when mutual cooperation between the Pakistan and the UK is crucial.

These views are reflected by groups such as the Pakistani Taliban who have used the catastrophe to attack Zardari and to claim that they are the only ones capable of providing humanitarian relief.

Mahmood and Ahmed both have strong ties with Pakistan and therefore, many would argue, have a duty to engage positively with the democratically elected leader of this important UK ally.

Zardari, for all his failings, has a democratic mandate and their refusal to meet him will merely exacerbate tensions already high following UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s criticisms last week.

The blanket criticism of Zardari from UK media is at odds with this view. It will be interesting to see if hearts and minds change after this weekend’s rally in Birmingham.

Daniel J Morgan
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