'Zardari failed to connect with public'

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New York, Aug. 30 (ANI): Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has done little to connect with the Pakistani public or attempt to address popular concerns, which has resulted in his sunken popularity, a US daily has observed.

"Pakistanis still call him 'Mr 10 per cent', a reference to corruption allegations that have dogged him since stints in previous decades as a Cabinet Minister. He knows how to work a crowd of politicians, but he doesn't know how to connect with the public," The Los Angeles Times wrote.

At one hand, the media jabs his inability to solve crisis ranging from daily power shutdowns to a moribund economy; and at the other, he gets little to no credit for the military offensive to tame local Taliban force.

"None of it fazes him. He will come out of it. He is being portrayed as the worst kind of man. But he waits because he's seen those days when he was portrayed as the villain of the country. He is a very patient person," Fauzia Wahab, Information Secretary of PPP was quoted as saying about the President.

The rest of the country may not be as patient, remarked the paper, saying the 54-year-old widower of slain former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto is widely viewed in Pakistani society not as a helmsman, but a bystander.

It's an image that is largely of Zardari's own making, the paper cited analysts who contend that he has failed to forge any kind of connection with the Pakistani public.

"Zardari's public appearances are infrequent and he has held only two news conferences, both with visiting heads of state alongside. He has yet to set foot in the Swat Valley, a region his troops retook from Taliban insurgents who had extended their reach to within an hour's drive of the capital," the report said.

"There's a sense that the guy's in charge but doesn't really know where he is. Has it sunk in yet that he's President of 167 million people, and that it's not about running a business anymore?" it added. (ANI)

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