Strategic mistakes Zardari made during US visit could cost him dear: Paper

October 6th, 2008 - 6:42 pm ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama

Washington, Oct 6 (ANI): During his maiden eight-day US visit, newly elected Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari committed some strategic mistakes like not meeting the Democrats, even presidential and vice-presidential nominees Barack Obama and Joe Biden, respectively, the top PPP leadership In the US who had converged in New York from even as far as Canada, and not interacting with the media during the entire visit, except one press conference which was proceeded by some key events, said an article in The News.

Almost 90 per cent of those who called on the President were Republicans. If Obama wins the White House, most of them would be irrelevant and redundant and Pakistan will have to re-start its lobbying effort from square one, said an official who came from Pakistan and stayed in the same hotel with President Zardari said.

Influential Pakistani-Americans, who are said to be great friends of key Democrats, complained that they were deliberately kept away from President Zardari because the people who were in charge believe that the Republican candidate John McCain would win the November 4 presidential poll and, thus, there would be a continuity in the present policy of President George Bush as far as Pakistan is concerned.

The Pakistan embassy in the US is being blamed for the strategic mistakes because it was assigned the job of arranging meetings of the President. Hardly anyone in the presidential camp is prepared to own these mistakes, some deliberate and some not, said the paper.

The paper quoted a member of the presidential delegation to the US as saying: This could turn out to be a huge and critical misjudgment, and it could cost Pakistan immensely, but President Zardari cannot be blamed for the lapse. How can anyone bet on John McCain even if he is a sure winner because the purse strings would be controlled by a Democratic House and the Senate anyway.

The media team accompanying Zardari was not allowed to meet him even once for a background briefing about his activities and high profile meetings with world leaders. A news conference was all that the media got and most of the important events took place after that conference. No one was even there to explain the all-important joint statement issued after his meeting with the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and after some voices of protest were raised, the foreign secretary gave a briefing at the end of the tour. (ANI)

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