Zardari's ouster would have hampered fight against militants: US columnist

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Washington, Jan 11(ANI): An American newspaper columnist has described the failure of campaigns to remove Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and Pakistan's Ambassador to the United States Husain Haqqani as "good news", saying that their ouster would have hampered efforts to fight the militants.

"Zardari has deep flaws, but his ouster would have hampered efforts to fight the jihadis. So would the removal, now averted, of Pakistan 's effective ambassador to Washington, Husain Haqqani, whom the Pakistani military had unfairly blamed for conditions that Congress imposed on aid to Pakistan," Trudy Rubin wrote in an article for The Philadelphia Inquirer.

"Despite his reputation for corruption and poor governance, Zardari does recognize the existential threat that Islamic militants pose to the Pakistani state. He has urged the military to confront the jihadis and cooperate with the United States," she added.

Rubin further said that in contrast to former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, Zardari has been a silent leader, who has identified the problem areas in the country.

"Zardari seems to have finally realized that he needs to act like a leader and rally his own people. Unlike his late wife, former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, he had refused to travel the country, or visit war zones, or address a Pakistani public bewildered by economic crisis and a wave of grisly suicide bombings. However, in recent weeks, Zardari has finally begun barnstorming, talking of the dangers to democracy," Rubin said.

She also added that under Zardari's leadership the Pakistan Army has been able to gain control over militants on a larger scale.

"There are signs, far from conclusive, but promising, that key elements of the Pakistani army now recognize the danger. And there are even hopeful glimmers on the often-depressing Pakistani political front," Rubin said. (ANI)

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