Pak PM discontinues old practice of meeting President Musharraf after US visit

August 3rd, 2008 - 12:25 pm ICT by ANI  

Pervez Musharraf

Islamabad, Aug 3 (ANI): Pakistan Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has discontinued, may be temporarily, an old practice of meeting President Pervez Musharraf before and after every foreign visit.

It is not required under the rules that the premier should meet the President every time he embarks on or comes back from a foreign visit, a senior official said.

As per its considered policy, the Gilani Government kept Musharraf at an arms length on the Prime Ministers all-embracing maiden official tour to the US.

Gilani did not consult with the President before departing for Washington. A day after his return to Islamabad from the US, he left for Sri Lanka to attend a summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC), and did not meet Musharraf.

Before and after his first couple of foreign visits, Gilani made it a point to call on Musharraf to consult with him on his talks with foreign leaders.

At the time, the relations between the President and the government were somewhat normal. However, with the worsening of their ties, Gilani too has stopped meeting Musharraf, toeing his party line, The News reported.

Sources said that Gilani’’s future meetings with Musharraf about his foreign visits would depend on how the relations between the President and the PPP chief would develop.

Not only the Prime Minister has maintained a wide distance from the President, but other cabinet members and a horde of advisers and ambassadors-at-large have also done the same.

No member of Gilani’’s entourage to Washington especially cabinet ministers and officials has so far met Musharraf to talk about his US visit.

Credible officials, privy to the Musharrafs views, say that he is disturbed over Gilanis unimpressive performance in the US. Particularly, Musharraf is greatly upset over the malicious campaign against Pakistan premier spy agency, ISI, at different levels and forums in the US as the Prime Ministers visit was in progress. (ANI)

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