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Angry Zardari calls media a " dragon" that feeds on "nice juicy democratic government"

By Nitsi

Karachi, Oct 7 (ANI): Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has berated the Pakistani media for unnecessarily raising the issue of a civil-military disconnect in the flood management efforts by the government following the natural disaster in the country, equating it to "a dragon that needs to be fed everyday".

In an exclusive interview to the Herald, Zardari said that if there was any disconnect in Pakistan, it was "between the media, the people and the pseudo-intellectuals," the Dawn reported.

He equated today's Pakistani media to "a dragon that needs to be fed everyday," and for whom "the best thing is to have a nice juicy democratic government which can't even bite back."

Blaming the media as well as some vested interests for carrying out a "negative campaign", he remarked that the rightwing elements in society had got together to destabilise the government.

"There is a challenge by the rightist forces to democracy. Democracy per se does not suit the rightists. And these forces get together and then there are interest groups. Pakistan People's Party and the political powers of the day cannot afford that any institution or individual or class of media dictate to them that tomorrow's prime minister will be made by them."

When asked why there was a perception that the military is not part of the government, Zardari said, "I don't think the military can even step out without the government's permission." Who pays the military, for the fuel they use, for the men flying helicopters? Who bought them these helicopters? Sixteen of (these helicopters) were given free to me last year by the Sheikh of Abu Dhabi. Some (of them) are at the army's disposal," he added.

Discussing the army's role in the nation's flood relief and rehabilitation, he said, "The army is one of (the government's) sectors. Anywhere in the world (when) there is a catastrophe the marines are called in," adding that the democratic representatives of the people never shied away from helping the flood-hit people. (ANI)

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