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Pak was humiliated at the NATO summit: Qureshi

By M Zulqernain
May 23, 2012 16:21 IST
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Former Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said Pakistan was humiliated at the NATO Summit in Chicago because of President Asif Ali Zardari's "zero credibility".

"Pakistan had not been taken seriously by the world owing to the zero credibility of the incompetent rulers. World leaders gave a cold shoulder to President Zardari at the summit. It is the humiliation of my country as the elected President was snubbed at the summit," Qureshi, who recently quit Zardari's Pakistan People's Party, said.

"It was sheer incompetence on the part of the PPP government as it failed to effectively fight Pakistan's case vis-a-vis the NATO supply routes though it had a strong basis to build its argument on," he added.

Zardari was extended a last-minute invitation to the NATO Summit that concluded on Monday though US President Barack Obama did not hold a one-to-one meeting with him due to Pakistan's refusal to reopen NATO supply routes to Afghanistan.

Pakistan closed the supply lines about six months ago after a cross-border NATO air strike that killed 24 of its soldiers.

Qureshi, who is now vice-chairman of the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf led by Imran Khan, said Zardari wanted an invitation for the summit at all costs while the government did not do its homework for the conference.

Before leaving for the summit, either the parliament should have been asked to review its recommendations on the NATO supply routes as Islamabad's relations with Washington were very critical, he said.

The authorities should have refused to attend the summit until the US refused to fulfill conditions drawn up by Pakistan's parliament for re-setting bilateral relations, including an end to American drone attacks and an unconditional apology for the NATO attack, he added.

Qureshi said the world would not take Pakistan seriously because its Prime Minister had been convicted by the Supreme Court while the legal community and political parties were vigorously protesting against the government.

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M Zulqernain in Lahore
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