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Imran Khan slams Zardari, Bilawal over India visit

Last updated on: April 9, 2012 16:30 IST

Imran slams Zardari, Bilawal over India visit

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The sudden visit of President Asif Ali Zardari and his son Bilawal to India has attracted criticism from their political opponents in Pakistan, with cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan questioning the timing of the tour, as the country was still grappling with the tragedy of 135 soldiers missing in an avalanche in the Siachen glacier.

Hoping to ride to political power in Pakistan over the gathering anti-establishment fervour, Imran Khan trained his guns particularly on the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party's emerging leader Bilawal Bhutto, alleging that the 23-year-old leader didn't know the pulse of the people.

Taking a dig at Bilawal, who is considered a rising political star of the Bhutto family, Imran said the people "will not forgive leaders who have no respect for the nation and its institutions".

He alleged that Zardari and his son did not know "how to stand by State".

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Image: Imran Khan with his supporters
Photographs: Reuters

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Imran slams Zardari, Bilawal over India visit

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"Bilawal has no knowledge of the difficulties faced by the people of Pakistan and cannot even speak proper Urdu," said Khan.

Khan claimed that his party would elect its leadership from ordinary citizens instead of rewarding people simply because they were members of families that had enjoyed power for long.

In this regard, he named the Bhutto family that has led the PPP and the Sharifs, who lead the main opposition Pakistan Muslim League - Nawaz.

Some media commentators have questioned Zardari's decision to go ahead with his private visit to India a day after an avalanche hit a battalion headquarters of the Pakistan Army in the Siachen sector.

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Image: Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari waves after offering prayers at the shrine of Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti at Ajmer
Photographs: B Mathur/Reuters

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Imran slams Zardari, Bilawal over India visit

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Rescue teams have so far found no signs of survivors. The 135 people were suspected to be buried under up to 80 feet of snow when the avalanche slammed into the camp at Gyari.

Criticising the West, Khan said his party would part ways with the United States-led war on terrorism if it came to power.

He contended that the war had led to the death of countless Pashtuns and brought a lot of misery to Pakistan.

Negotiations should be held with the tribesmen of northwest Pakistan to resolve issues rather than engage in conflict, he said.

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Image: Bilawal Bhutto Zardari at the shrine of Sufi saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti at Ajmer
Photographs: B Mathur/Reuters

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