Belfast Telegraph

Home News World

Zardari criticised over trip to UK

The president of Pakistan should have postponed his "lavish" trip to Britain to help people in his own country as they struggle to cope with catastrophic flooding, Imran Khan has said.

The former cricketer and opposition politician added his voice to criticism levelled at Asif Ali Zardari for pressing ahead with the tour amid a disaster which has claimed up to 1,400 lives and affected two million people.

Meanwhile, the diplomatic spat between Pakistan and Britain was rumbling on after Mr Zardari warned that the war in Afghanistan is being lost.

The leader delivered his blunt assessment of the Nato campaign's progress against the Taliban as he arrived in the UK on Tuesday for what promises to be a fraught visit.

He also made clear that he would be challenging Prime Minister David Cameron personally over his suggestion that elements in Pakistan were promoting terrorism.

Asked why he believed Mr Zardari should have stayed in Pakistan, Mr Khan - currently in the US raising money for a cancer hospital and the flood victims - told GMTV: "Simply because of the devastation, floods - there are about two million people homeless.

"There is the threat of disease spreading because it's monsoon time. There's the threat of cholera, malaria. Him, as the head of state, should be in Pakistan.

"Any talks can be postponed - surely the priority should be your own people. And then to go on this lavish tour.

"This money could be used on the victims. Remember Pakistan is bankrupt right now so the government doesn't have enough money. So he should be mobilising people to help these victims of the floods."

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.


From Belfast Telegraph