'Despised' Zardari under vitriolic attack from US, UK media

Washington, Aug.25 (ANI): Under attack from various quarters in the country for his government's slow response to the catastrophic floods, Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari's apparent failure to handle the crisis has also earned him criticism from the US media.

Both print and electronic media in America have launched a scornful attack on Zardari, blasting him for taking a trip to France and Britain when the massive floods were unfolding, and described him as an ineffectual leader.

Though Zardari, through his column in The Wall Street Journal last week, had tried to justify his foreign trip, but even that has not stopped columnists and analysts from slamming the President.

"Pakistan's cataclysmic floods have left the government of President Asif Ali Zardari in Islamabad isolated and despised by the public. The government's response to the inundations has been feeble and inept," prominent columnist, Eric Margolis, wrote in The Huffington Post.

"Most of the rescue operations were conducted by the military, which still remains popular. Expect accusations that aid money is being stolen by corrupt government officials," Margolis added.

He pointed out that people of Pakistan are furious with Zardari for enjoying a foreign trip while his countrymen were struggling to wade through the raging flood waters.

"Pakistanis were furious at Zardari for swanning around Europe while over a third of the nation was drowning. Pakistan's parliament has stripped Zardari, whose popularity is at minus zero, of most of his important powers, handing them over to the amiable but weak prime minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani, another compliant US ally," the column said.

The British media had also launched an assault on him for taking a foreign trip at a time when his country was reeling under the worst floods in recent times.

The Guardian called Pakistan "a washed-out state in need of international aid" while expressing fears that an inadequate civilian response to the disaster may let the extremists back in power in areas like Swat, just like what had happened after the deadly 2005 earthquake in the Kashmir region.

The Times reported that there was growing anger to the government's flood response, especially President Zardari's official trip to Europe. (ANI)

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