Keeping an Eye: US diplomats concerned over speculations

Contemplating if there is any truth to media reports suggesting President Zardari is on his way out.

Kamran Yousaf December 08, 2011


Every minute that President Asif Ali Zardari’s status – politically and in terms of health – remains unconfirmed will be a nervous one for foreign capitals invested heavily in the region, particularly Washington.

The president’s sudden departure to Dubai for medical treatment is being monitored very closely by western missions, diplomats in Islamabad told The Express Tribune on Wednesday given the repercussions for the region in case of political instability in Pakistan.

“At the moment we will go by the statement issued by the Pakistani government,” said an American diplomat, who asked to remain anonymous because of the sensitivity of the matter.

The diplomat referred to remarks made by US Ambassador Cameron Munter and a statement by the White House spokesperson, who wished for the president’s early recovery.

However, the diplomat added that they are trying to understand if there is any truth to some media reports which suggest that President Zardari is on his way out.

“I can personally imagine that President Zardari must have been under lot of stress over the recent developments,” said another American diplomat but added that he could not comment on what exactly transpired between President Obama and President Zardari during a 36-mintue telephonic conversation last Sunday.

The diplomat said they are certainly ‘concerned over the speculations because political instability can have negative impact on regional developments.’

Over in Washington, in response to a question on the press gaggle on whether the White House had any additional information on President Zardari’s trip to Dubai and if there was more to the story, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said, “Well, I don’t have anything beyond to say that we have seen the reports, we’ve heard what the – I guess the government spokesman has said.  And we certainly hope – wish him a speedy recovery from his medical condition.”

It is feared that political instability in Pakistan can make matters worse for the west, particularly for the US, which is struggling to push the decade-long war in Afghanistan to a conclusion.

The recent Nato attack in Mohmand Ageny that killed 24 people has already dented fragile hopes of reaching a political settlement to the conflict.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 8th, 2011.


Babloo | 11 years ago | Reply

Mr Haqanni sacked. Mr Zardari retired hurt.

democracy in full flow in Pakistan.

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