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Saudi king's 'rotten' Zardari greatest obstacle to Pak progress remark may hit ties

By Abdul Nisar

Lahore, Nov 29(ANI): King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia had called President Asif Ali Zardari the greatest obstacle to Pakistan's progress, according to a cache of confidential U.S diplomatic cables made public by WikiLeaks.

The material was released to the New York Times and other organizations, and discloses frank comments behind closed doors.

Dispatches from early this year, for instance, quote the aging monarch of Saudi Arabia, King Abdullah, as speaking scathingly about the leaders of Iraq and Pakistan.

Speaking to an Iraqi official about Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Kamal al-Maliki, King Abdullah said: "You and Iraq are in my heart, but that man is not."

The King called Zardari the greatest obstacle to Pakistan's progress, and added: "When the head is rotten, it affects the whole body."

The remarks by the Saudi King explain why relations between Pakistan and the Saudi kingdom have remained cool and almost frozen during the current rule of the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), the News reports.

The reported feelings of the Saudi King about Zardari also explain, to some extent, why a Saudi member of the Royal family sent a scathing letter about corruption in the Pakistani Haj operations.

WikiLeaks, founded by Australian Julian Assange, has previously published tens of thousands of documents detailing the U.S. handlings of the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

He is regarded as a digital folk hero by many and a dangerous menace by the American government.

The Pentagon has even claimed that WikiLeaks has put U.S. and allied soldiers in danger. (ANI)

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