Imran flays Zardari’s India visit amid Siachen tragedy

Published: April 9, 2012

Imran Khan is seen delivering a speech in Abbottabad’s College Ground. PHOTO: PPI

ABBOTABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan criticised President Zardari’s visit to India in the wake of the tragedy afflicted on Pakistan army in Siachin.

Addressing a public gathering at College Ground on Sunday where some 20,000 to 25,000 people were in attendance, Imran said: “The nation will not forgive leaders who have no respect for the nation and its institutions, and who do not know how to stand by the state in trying times.”

Assuring the public of PTI’s devotion to prosperity, Khan said that his party would follow the Turkish model of development once it comes into power.

Levelling criticism against the West, Khan said PTI would part ways with the American sponsored war on terrorism “which was being fought for dollars.”

He added that the tribal people were ‘brothers’ and that negotiations should be held to resolve issues rather than engaging in conflicts. However, he chose to remain vague while referring to ‘tribal people’ and did not name any particular group.

Lauding the youth for their support for PTI, Khan said his party would elect its leadership from ordinary citizens instead of rewarding people with names and “suffixes of Bhutto and Sharif.”

Khan reiterated his support for the local government system and said his party plans to introduce a strong local bodies system to empower the people at the grass root level with effective accountability.

In response to pro-Hazara slogans, Khan said his party was in the favour of small administrative units as that was the need of the hour.

A stampede started following a bomb hoax during Javed Hashmi’s speech. Fortunately, there were no serious injuries.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Ali Asghar Khan, Dr Azhar and Asif Zubair Sheikh also spoke at the gathering.

According to some locals, this was the largest political gathering held in Abbottabad.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 9th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (66)

  • siddique
    Apr 9, 2012 - 9:47AM

    Tsunami sweep hazara wonderful

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  • siddique
    Apr 9, 2012 - 9:49AM

    not 25000 more than lac

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  • Baby ka Husband
    Apr 9, 2012 - 9:50AM

    IK you need to put some umph! in your rallies. Speaking on 4th day of Siachen Tragedy and after the Prez with his family has returned from the Delhi junket, its too late to make these halfhearted suggestions. You need to be proactive as a leader leading your followers and nation. Not become a second guessing leader who follows others. I am a great fan of yours but lately your PTI leaders, especially Javed Hashmi (on MehranGate and Haif Saeed’) have made me unsure of the strange bedfellows you now have. You better correct this before the election, otherwise this Tsunami is going overwhelm you. Politics is all Timing. Your engine is miss-timing right now.

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  • Yuri Kondratyuk
    Apr 9, 2012 - 9:54AM

    This comes across as being a little funny. IK should tell what he expects Zardari to do and set an example by doing the same himself. After all, lack of constitutional power shouldn’t come in the way of shouldering responsibility.

    IK would do well to remember Gandhi’s words, “Be the change you wish to see in the world

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  • Paindoo
    Apr 9, 2012 - 9:57AM

    I don’t understand why media always try to show the numbers low for PTI Jalsas?

    The number of participants were clearly more than 50,000 even without any media coverage. Some of the newspapers didn’t even mention about this historic jalsa in today’s newspapers.

    Totally agree with these bottom lines :)

    “According to some locals, this was the largest political gathering held in Abbottabad.”

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  • nadeem
    Apr 9, 2012 - 10:00AM

    not according to some locals, yes it was the largest gathering in Abotabad…but look at the media coverage…are they responsible for big cities only???? who will cover small cities issue/politics

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  • malik
    Apr 9, 2012 - 10:14AM

    great khan

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  • neltajohn
    Apr 9, 2012 - 10:17AM

    A politician’s promise is a consolation to a fool’s heart

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  • Mard-e-Haq
    Apr 9, 2012 - 10:31AM

    Why didn’t Kaptaan Khan visit Siachen himself? Holding a political jalsa while the Pakistani army is frantically trying to seek any survivors seems like indifference to me.

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  • All BS
    Apr 9, 2012 - 10:32AM

    Did this happen in another country?? Coz I could swear there was not one minute of coverage on the local media channels

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  • Qasim
    Apr 9, 2012 - 10:35AM

    Zardari has a knack (or misfortune) of persisting with such trips in the wake of major domestic tragedies. He has harshly criticized for European excursion during last floods but fails to learn a lesson.

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  • ashok
    Apr 9, 2012 - 10:36AM

    Abottabad

    Oh so close to Osama!

    Since 1999 when he initially supported Musharraf’s dictatorship, and until 2011 when he was adopted by the ISI, Imran Khan himself has been a Greek tragedy in Pakistan politics.

    Like a one-man army or a general without an army.

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  • Zoaib
    Apr 9, 2012 - 10:44AM

    “Lauding the youth for their support for PTI, Khan said his party would elect its leadership from ordinary citizens instead of rewarding people with names and “suffixes of Bhutto and Sharif.”

    This is the most important thing he said and differentiates PTI from all other parties in the government.

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  • MarkH
    Apr 9, 2012 - 10:54AM

    What has PTI done for the Siachen efforts? Doing nothing is doing nothing no matter where you are.

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  • Mukhtar
    Apr 9, 2012 - 11:26AM

    Why there was no coverege from media?

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  • ishaq
    Apr 9, 2012 - 11:53AM

    @Mard-e- Haq…..Is Khan holding any executive position to do anything for the rescue of Siachin affectees??If he goes there , wouldnt it be the exploitation of a disaster for political gains?? Is his visit can rescue the affectees??

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  • Muhammad Naeem
    Apr 9, 2012 - 12:14PM

    Only True leadership like Imran Khan can save and rebuild Pakistan.

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  • True Face of Pakistan
    Apr 9, 2012 - 12:16PM

    IK has forgot the massacre of GB people, and he should know that soldiers suffered at Siachen belongs to NLI regiment, which also hails from GB…..His tsunami doesnot know about GB…becoz Tsunami’s are meant for coastal areas, Mountains will not get effect, so since day first, he never talks about GB and its political deprivation.

    Its nothing bad to start friend ties with India and other neighbors, at least friend ties will help to de-militarize forces from Siachen…….

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  • Waqar Hassan
    Apr 9, 2012 - 12:32PM

    Excuse me “Tribune”, may I say you that you are a biased newspaper? U referring that there were around 20,000 to 25,000 people gatherings, ohh my God this is biggest bluff :P
    I am the witness of Jalsa place, there were not more than 5000 people. Come on :P

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  • Anonymous
    Apr 9, 2012 - 12:32PM

    And Imran is searching all through Siachen instead of giving press conference, I hope.

    Pot calling Kettle BlackRecommend

  • waqar
    Apr 9, 2012 - 12:43PM

    Some people have to criticise Imran and pti just for the sake of criticisem. If there id any body else in politics better than him the change would have come by now.infact Imran and his party are the only who can do it,as honesty is the best policy.

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  • Mo Sheikh
    Apr 9, 2012 - 12:57PM

    @MarkH:
    PTI is not sitting in the Government. You cannot question a minions responsibilities.

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  • PTI VOTER
    Apr 9, 2012 - 1:03PM

    Non coverage from media cannot alter the TRUTH. And the TRUTH is that CHANGE IS NOT COMING CHANGE HAS COME
    PTI will Inshalla sweep the elections. The nation stands with you Imran Khan

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  • Farhan
    Apr 9, 2012 - 1:07PM

    Imran is envious of what Zardari extracted from India visit, especially when his visit was supported by media and a large number of TV commentators.

    Imran Sahib, please stop point scoring on national tradegy of Siachen.

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  • adeel
    Apr 9, 2012 - 1:17PM

    If somebody want to see Jalsa pics, go to below link.

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150669743404527&set=a.10150651394394527.390056.151626539526&type=3&theater

    http://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.10150651394394527.390056.151626539526&type=3

    http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10150669744719527&set=a.10150651394394527.390056.151626539526&type=3&theater

    Further, Jahangir Tareen having conference today in Islamabad with media persons where he will disclose PTI rural local government system which PTI will implement as soo come to power.

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  • Sam
    Apr 9, 2012 - 2:16PM

    And what great did IK did for people struck near Siachen ? He is becoming like other politicians, always criticizing for sake of it. President’s meeting was scheduled many days in advance and world cannot come to a stand still for what happened in Siachen, other soldiers were already working on it. Did IK personally visit Siachen or their relative or he maintained his speeches.

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  • Ahmad
    Apr 9, 2012 - 2:35PM

    and what is that Turkish development model? He has no clue what it is, but it forms a good sound byte just like tsunami corruption et al. so he blurts it out. What will he now say about Dr. Chisti? The one who was just granted bail by the Indian SC? If nothing had happened he would have been on Zardari’s case for that too. If this visit helps open the dialogue again, and does indeed bring Manmohan Singh to Pakistan, as has been indicated, then it was worth it, but of course IK is the ONLY pakistani who can do any good. the rest 180 million or so are just idiots or corrupt, so no use appreciating their actions.

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  • Apr 9, 2012 - 2:50PM

    Zardari’s visit to Siachen must have saved lives of all the soldiers buried under the Avalanche.

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  • Satya Issar
    Apr 9, 2012 - 3:01PM

    Imran Khan would have shown affinity with the families of the servicemen and civilians by using the platform of the meeting (Jalsa- 20000, 25000, 50000, or even i lac ?) to start a fund for the affected victims.

    The trouble is that IK is an opportunist and readily criticizes every one else when he is on the crest of his so called TSUNAMI.

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  • akram
    Apr 9, 2012 - 3:10PM

    Dawood Ibrahim is from bombay so evacuate it now!!!@ashok:

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  • shahzad
    Apr 9, 2012 - 3:32PM

    All of u

    imran is not a leader he is zero in the filed of politic he have no plan to run a country

    imran is nothing…………………….

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  • Waqar Hassan
    Apr 9, 2012 - 3:55PM

    All of the under-privileged or middle class families beloved soldiers who are buried under the avalanche in Siachin sector. I wonder why only those poor families beloved one are being exploited, whom unfortunately don’t have any references to protect them-selves from that swear conditions. is it not that called paradox?

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  • Salmanj
    Apr 9, 2012 - 4:27PM

    After hearing some of the comments all i want to say is haters will always be haters..
    i am sure some commenting dont even know where siachen is. Siachen is not a city district or a village where you can can just walk in to help.
    i think it is better to admit that this government has failed rather criticizing imran khan blindly. Criticism on valid points is fair but doing an empty rhetoric of hate is unfair. Do note the positive things he talks about

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  • Uza Syed
    Apr 9, 2012 - 4:59PM

    OK —- bad Zardari is visiting India while soldiers face Siachen avlanche—–well, he is a bad guy—–how about this “good” guy? what’s he doing in addition to playing dirty politics. He could at the very least visit the families of those struggling for their survival up there. Recommend

  • Jibran
    Apr 9, 2012 - 5:59PM

    @ishaq:
    “@Mard-e- Haq…..Is Khan holding any executive position to do anything for the rescue of Siachin affectees??If he goes there , wouldnt it be the exploitation of a disaster for political gains?? Is his visit can rescue the affectees??”

    By the same logic, the President does not hold any executive position, and must not go there. His presence and protocol will hinder the rescue efforts. Besides the COAS also hasn’t visited the site yet. He visited some snow-less hilltop, miles and miles from the actual glacier. And what was the point?

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  • Jibran
    Apr 9, 2012 - 6:04PM

    @waqar:
    Some people have to criticise Imran and pti just for the sake of criticisem.

    Please be honest. Isn’t this what Imran and PTI are and have been doing all along against the government and opposition. Just look at this news item, and check the substance of what Imran has said.

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  • Imran
    Apr 9, 2012 - 6:17PM

    Imran Zindabad

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  • Imran
    Apr 9, 2012 - 6:20PM

    Imran. Zardari cannot do anything even when US force attacked for UsamaRecommend

  • Zaheer
    Apr 9, 2012 - 6:39PM

    IK you are now like a broken record. We know the others are all rubbish but tell us what you plan to do instead of repeating real and imaginary faults in others. Something contructive please for a change or just stay quiet!

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  • khalid
    Apr 9, 2012 - 6:57PM

    @True Face of Pakistan: he did talk about GB in this jalsa and web site u ignorant garbage of ppp.

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  • khalid
    Apr 9, 2012 - 7:03PM

    its more then 50000 people but ET is PMLN tribune so we can aspect bias news from them.

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  • Dr.A.K.Tewari
    Apr 9, 2012 - 7:32PM

    PTI is worst than other existing national parties in Pakistan . The patty has extended suport to jehadee mentality that has spoiled the country . For the sake of political power it has opted to follow a low grade pilitics and not hesitating to politicise the national tragedy . There are so many instances that clearly reveals the fact that PTI is not fit to govern the country .

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  • johnny
    Apr 9, 2012 - 7:58PM

    Its was a shameful act by media that they didn’t air Imran Khan jalsa at Abbottabad.

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  • Imran Mohammad
    Apr 9, 2012 - 8:04PM

    20,000 to 25,000

    Really ET, that is BFE ( bad faith estimate). It was much bigger than that. Shame on whole electronic media for not covering while it was too busy discussing biryani served to Zardari.

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  • gujranwala789
    Apr 9, 2012 - 8:17PM

    Irman khan´s strength lies with the ordinary youth of this country escpecially in punjab and khyber pakhtunkhwa, he does not need any media coverage, the cat is already out of the bag, now media blackout cannot stop his tsunami.

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  • Khan
    Apr 9, 2012 - 8:41PM

    @Uza Syed:
    C’mon he’s not in power as yet or the help would have been the first priority..

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  • fam
    Apr 9, 2012 - 8:42PM

    @Baby ka Husband: you don’t even know when did he say this but made an opinion:P should I trust your other accusations?

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  • afsar ali
    Apr 9, 2012 - 9:04PM

    Imran Khan comments on Zardari , visit to india in the time of tragedy faced to the Pak army is absolutely correct..because Zardari ,s visit was totally private and related to Ziyarat . It is not first time this happened in presen regime . Abbott Abad attack by U S army was not hide from common man where ppp and muslim leaque (Q) were sharing ministries among each others in the time of turmoil. so this is not a new thing for this government. Because this is Awami Hukumat.

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  • raw is war
    Apr 9, 2012 - 9:19PM

    so what?

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  • A. Khan
    Apr 9, 2012 - 9:49PM

    Its just as well some “VIP”s are out of country. Otherwise they would engage helicopters for their useless joyrides to the area, whereas helicopters are needed to participate in rescue efforts.

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  • Mirza
    Apr 9, 2012 - 9:56PM

    When more than a hundred lives are at stake the faithful should go to the holy places and pray not hold politcal events to get mileage out of it. The manstream Muslims traditionally go to holy places and mosques and pray for a miracle to happen. Let us hope and pray that the troops are still alive, amen. Please stop making political hay out of every religious pilgrimage and every tradegy.

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  • Zoaib
    Apr 9, 2012 - 10:11PM

    To all the posters above justifying Zardari’s visit on one pretext or the other, should first realize that Zardari is the President of Pakistan and the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces. His “personal” visit to a shrine in India should not have gotten preference over this tragedy on which we should already have seen at least one statement from him (haven’t seen any yet). Something’s are symbolic especially when you are at the highest office in government. It is exactly how Zardari ran off to inspect his French Chateau when the country was going through the worst floods of its history. Criticism was justified at that time, and so is it now.

    And if you expect Imran to do so much, then please vote for him next time and then expect him to do everything that all our politicians have failed to do over the years :) He started his speech at Abottabad with mention of the soldiers and there was a special one-minute silence for the same, even while the entire media of the country and Zardari were busy in the purposeless India visit…

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  • Apr 9, 2012 - 10:40PM

    @Dr.A.K.Tewari:

    I am astonished to read your comments about PTI and Imran Khan. You seem to be a well educated person but unfortunately you have failed to comprehend the PTI policies. By the way what do you mean by Jihadi mentality? If Jihad is a struggle against injustice, exploitation, corruption and for the sake of defense of Pakistan then every patriotic Pakistani will love to become a Jihadi. Imran Khan has never supported terrorism and has the ability to steer this country out of this so-called war on terror which has devastated us.

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  • Vicky
    Apr 9, 2012 - 11:31PM

    From last two years, IK is habitual of criticizing politicians like other parties. It is OK if he expose at certain level but always saying on trivial issues for gaining people influence is stupidity. Also, he has been defensive on arguments rather than realistic like other politicians.
    Just think, what would president do with this avalanche incident? Is is president or rescue team leader?
    Better focus on action plan rather being Jalsa hero.

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  • Apr 10, 2012 - 12:52AM

    @akram:
    correction was! and Mumbai not Bombay.

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  • Bombay dude
    Apr 10, 2012 - 1:09AM

    Mr. Imran, What Good Are you doing for Siachen tragedy by being in Pakistan ? what do you expect Zardari to do ? Take a showel and start digging out soldier himself ? Not that I am fan of Zardari, but this sentence reflects cheap politics.

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  • Nasir
    Apr 10, 2012 - 1:26AM

    If the tribal people are our brother’s why have they been responsible for killing more Pakistani civilians and Army jawaans then the Americans? – The fact is they are murderers and not my brother but obviously yours!

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  • syed ali
    Apr 10, 2012 - 3:56AM

    Imran shoulld not play politics on indo-pak relations. We need to normalize them realistically and that’s what imran himself wants to do. So Imran should avoid being difficult on this key matter.

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  • s shah
    Apr 10, 2012 - 4:05AM

    @Nasir, @Ahmed, @Mirza: Well said!

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  • wolfie loves kulfi
    Apr 10, 2012 - 4:30AM

    First tell me why Imran khan has not moved to sakrdu or siachen to personally see the rescue operation?

    i think imran khan is just playing politics.. all politicians are just as useless all talk no walk..
    just making everyone emotional fools ..

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  • Dr.A.K.Tewari
    Apr 10, 2012 - 7:12AM

    @Akhtar Malik , Unfortunatly interpretation of Qaran and its terms have been different by different people and so you and me are not exception . But for your query I must say that i am talking about that jehadi mentality which has created the present condition in Pakistan . It is that jehad which permit non state acters to use arms and explosives even in other countries . PTI should know that better means only leads to better end .

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  • Uza Syed
    Apr 10, 2012 - 1:20PM

    @Khan:

    Power? what power? In power he might never be; but than how does it prevent him to be with families of the victims and show sympathies and solidarity.

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  • Apr 10, 2012 - 2:14PM

    Levelling criticism against the West, Khan said PTI would part ways with the American sponsored war on terrorism “which was being fought for dollars

    That’s not a criticism against the WEST! it is a criticism against the American war-of-terror! There is more to WEST (and America) than the immoral wars!

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  • Apr 11, 2012 - 12:23PM

    @MarkH:
    Can you please advise what he could do here?? Please think twice before writing anything foolish on such public forums. Its very easy to criticize the others I believe you didn’t even pray for those soldiers even once.

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  • Its (still) Econonmy Stupid
    Apr 12, 2012 - 4:38AM

    IK may end up with foot in the mouth problem. My understanding is after amending the constitution now Gilani is the boss for army and he is the one suppose to take charge of rescue mission not Zaradri. Ah but it is hard to resist fifteen minutes of fame.

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  • Apr 12, 2012 - 8:25PM

    @ishaq:

    “Is Khan holding any executive position to do anything for the rescue of Siachin affectees??If he goes there , wouldnt it be the exploitation of a disaster for political gains?? Is his visit can rescue the affectees??”

    Your ex-cricketing-hero, not holding any executive position
    and
    wouldnt it be the exploitation of a disaster for political gains??

    ….did visit flood-affected areas in Mianwali and other places. Check in the newspaper archives.
    .
    .

    Every time Zardari is away on a trip, the country suffers from a catastrophe.
    A simple solution would be to chain him inside The Presidential Palace.

    The gain would be: Saving money for the national exchequer.
    Air tickets for his quarter dozen children.
    Air tickets for two dozen of his security staff.
    Air tickets for three dozen of his lackeys.
    Hotel bills for his army of retinues’ including food, drinks or extra room services.
    Any one at AGPR can do this simple calculus.

    Sounds Chinese, but it is going to be Win Win.Recommend

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