Zardari prepared for assassination, named his successorDecember 1st, 2010 - 12:29 pm ICT by ANI
London, Dec 1 (ANI): Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari, who feared he would be assassinated, had made extensive preparations for his family to live in the United Arab Emirate, according to US Embassy cables.
Zardari, whose wife Benazir Bhutto was killed in a suicide bombing in December 2007, told US Ambassador to Pakistan Anne Patterson that if he was assassinated “he had instructed son Bilawal to name his sister, Faryal Talpur, as president”.
In 2010, Zardari requested the United Arab Emirates to allow his family to live there in the event of his death.
Benazir lived in self-imposed exile in the UAE for years before her ill-fated return to Pakistan in 2007, The Guardian reports.
The WikiLeaks cables provide a changing portrait of Zardari. A 2008 description of Zardari notes that he hails from a tribe with non-significant social standing in Sindh.
“There is a story that as children, Sindhis were told ‘a Zardari stole it’ if something went missing”.
But later dispatches portray him as a more capable leader, The Guardian reports.
Zardari is frank about the strength of the Taliban: “I’m sorry to say this, but we are not winning” the war against extremists,” he told US Vice-President, Joe Biden, in 2009 - indicating his own limitations.
“I am not Benazir, and I know it,” he told Patterson after his wife’s death.
The cables, which were put in the public domain by the whistleblowing web site WikiLeaks, also record embarrassing mistakes in the American embassy’s efforts to manage its relationship with the power elite in Pakistan. (ANI)
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Tags: ambassador, american embassy, anne patterson, asif ali zardari, benazir bhutto, cables, capable leader, dispatches, exile, extremists, joe biden, power elite, president joe, public domain, sindh, taliban, talpur, uae, united arab emirates, winning the war