Zardari lacks ‘public leadership’ skills: WikiLeaks


20 pc Karachiites support MQM, claimed President
Islamabad—In a cable sent on Saturday, 20 June 2009 by US Ambassador Anne W. Patterson wrote; ‘although he (President Zardari) is not a popular leader and admits himself that he came to high office without previous direct experience as an elected politician.

The cable also said, ‘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.

The text of the cable read: 1. (C) Summary: After losing strength in his spring match-off with opposition leader (and former Prime Minister) Nawaz Sharif, President Zardari has regained much of his political capital by garnering national support for the military campaign.

9. (C) While far from perfect, you will find Zardari is pro-American, anti-extremists and eager to be seen as working with the USG. Zardari runs the show on the civilian side, although he is not a popular leader and admits himself that he came to high office without previous direct experience as an elected politician. Secular and westernized, Zardari sees himself as viewing the world the way Americans do; this same image works against him with the public.

11. (C) 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. Gilani has stiched together all party Parliamentary sessions that have forged cross-party unity on the need to tackle terrorism and 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.

12. (C) 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.

29. (C) President Zardari is personally in favour of improving Pakistan’s relations with India, but efforts early in his tenure (including on opening trade between Indian and Pakistan-held Kashmir) were overcome by the Mumbai terror attacks and India’s reaction to what it perceived as Pakistan’s complicity in them and by the Pakistan Military’s lack of approval for such initiatives which Zardari can not take on his own. Zardari is conscious that he must not be perceived as reopening negotiations on Kashmir now if he wants to keep Pakistan’s military focused on the western campaigns and not its institutional enemy, India.

According to WikiLeaks President Asif Ali Zardari told the then US Ambassador Anne W Patterson that Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) hardly enjoyed support of 20 per cent population in Karachi. He was also quoted by the WikiLeaks telling Paterson that MQM had adopted aggressive posture but his party wanted to take them along.

According to leaked diplomatic memos, the MQM always emerged victorious only on the basis of delimitation of constituencies Zardari further told her.

Leave a Reply