Nawaz criticises Zardari over UK visit

CHARSADDA: Pakistan's main opposition leader on Wednesday piled pressure on President Asif Ali Zardari to cut short a foreign tour and deal with the aftermath of the worst floods in living memory.
Nawaz Sharif, head of Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, spoke to reporters in Charsadda, one of the northwest areas worst hit by devastating floods that have affected 3.2 million people and killed an estimated 1,500.
“We have been let down very badly by Mr Zardari. We have been let down more by him than the statement by David Cameron,” Sharif told reporters.
The British prime minister claimed last week that Pakistan promoted the “export of terror,” sparking a diplomatic row with London and Zardari has said he will use a meeting with Cameron to explain the anger “face to face”.
Sharif also criticised the government over its response to the crisis, echoing growing anger from many of the destitute survivors whose homes and livelihoods have been washed away.
“The government has failed to perform its duty in the crisis. They should have used all their resources to help the flood victims,” he said.
Zardari's visit to Europe started in France, where he met President Nicolas Sarkozy and visited the Zardari family's rural stately home.
The trip was labelled a “joy ride” by one flood survivor, and a number of British lawmakers of Pakistani origin have pulled out of a planned lunch with Zardari on Thursday.
Officials have sought to defend the cost of Zardari's trip, issuing a statement insisting he was staying in the “cheapest five-star hotel in London”and was avoiding the royal suite in favour of a “relatively cheaper” one. – AFP

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