Zardari lacks public leadership acumen, Gilani has "strong leadership skills": WikiLeaks

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Islamabad, Dec 6(ANI): Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari lacks public leadership acumen, while Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has shown strong leadership skills in building parliamentary coalitions in times of national crisis, a diplomatic cable unveiled by the whistle-blower website WikiLeaks has revealed.

"Prime Minister Gilani has shown strong leadership skills in building Parliamentary coalitions at times of national crisis and in the absence of public leadership by President Zardari," said the leaked cable, which was classified as 'secret' by the then US Ambassador to Pakistan, Anne W. Patterson.

"Gilani has stiched together all party Parliamentary sessions that have forged cross-party unity on the need to tackle terrorism and to endorse the military offensives against Pakistani extremists (often referred to as "miscreants"). He gave the impassioned address to the public May 7 asking the Pakistani people to support military action in Swat and surrounding agrees; a defining moment that marked the beginning of the sea change in public attitudes toward the taliban and granted legitimacy to the military's actions," it added.

The document noted that Gilani was also instrumental in bringing the "long march" crisis to a peaceful resolution, and "was the senior GOP official (not Zardari) who announced the reinstatement of the Supreme Court Justice."

It also stated that Zardari was not a "popular leader", and he himself confessed "he came to high office without previous direct experience as an elected politician."

Though "far from perfect", Zardari is "pro-American, anti-extremist and eager to be seen as working with the USG," said the cable, adding that he "runs the show on the civilian side".

"Secular and westernized, Zardari sees himself as viewing the world the way Americans do; this same image works against him with the public," the document added. (ANI)

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