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Sharif asks Zardari to cut short UK visit over Cameron remarks

Last Updated: Wednesday, August 4, 2010 - 18:41

Islamabad: Pakistan`s main opposition PML-N
chief Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday said the country has been "let down
very badly" by President Asif Ali Zardari who went ahead with
a visit to Britain despite Premier David Cameron`s remarks
linking Pakistan to terrorism and asked him to return home.

The former Prime Minister demanded that Zardari cut short
his visit to the UK in protest against Cameron`s remarks which
he made in India last week and to deal with the worst floods
in the country in eight decades.
"We have been let down very badly by President Zardari.
We have been let down more by him than the statement by David
Cameron," Sharif told the media in Charsadda, one of the areas
in Khyber-Pkhtunkhwa province worst hit by the floods that
have killed 1,500 people and affected 3.2 million more.

Cameron had warned Pakistan to sever links with groups
that promoted the "export of terror." His comments triggered a
diplomatic row between the two countries and political leaders
urged Zardari not to go to Britain after ISI chief Lt Gen
Ahmed Shuja Pasha cancelled a visit to London.

Sharif, who earlier said that Zardari`s visit would be
"totally inappropriate," also criticised the government`s
handling of relief operations in the wake of the floods.

Many victims of the floods have complained that the
government has been slow in providing the relief and

Political leaders, including Sharif, said the government
should have used resources allocated for Zardari`s visit to
help the flood victims.

The Pakistani media today played up reports that Zardari
had visited his family`s rural stately home in France before
traveling to Britain.
Zardari`s aides have defended his decision to go ahead
with the visit to Britain, saying it will give him an
opportunity to explain Pakistan`s position in the war on
terror during a scheduled meeting with Cameron.

The aides have also said the government has kept the
expenses on the trip to a minimum as Zardari is staying in the
"cheapest five-star hotel in London" and avoiding all
unnecessary expenditure.


First Published: Wednesday, August 4, 2010 - 18:41

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