08 August, 2010

Politicking while Pakistan floods

The newspapers in England, and more particularly in Pakistan are demanding why President Asif ‘Mr 10%’ Zadari has been swanning around Britain while his people are suffering from the most appalling floods.

I am not here to defend Zadari, who is corrupt, as was his late wife Benazir, but with less political nouse than her.

In fact, a president is not required in such a disaster. The police, army and rescue services would prefer that he didn’t micro-manage the effort and there is not much he can do. The Prime Minister is in charge.

Zadari, apart from perhaps some personal business – you will recall there was a fair bit of investment in the UK by him and Benazir – was here on political business, shoring up his supporters, without, it seems, much success. What he needs to do now is to collect some increased aid pledges from us, the French and Germans and Father Christmas in Brussels, return to Pakistan and say ‘look, I have brought food, tents, water treatment. That is my job’.

In short, he needs some PR. I’m sure Peter Mandelson is free.

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