British Pakistanis comment on Zardari's visit to the UK


Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari has ended his visit to the UK with a speech to supporters in Birmingham.

Mr Zardari has come under fierce criticism, at home and abroad, for visiting the UK while his country endures the worst monsoon floods in 80 years.

British citizens with Pakistani origins have been sharing their views of this visit with the BBC.

Ambreen Malik is "shocked" at the timing of Zardari's visit

Zardari is busy wining and dining and spending time in Normandy on a private visit while people in Pakistan are dying - I'm shocked.

We as a nation are to be blamed - he was voted in to power. The nation had chosen its own Nero.

If Zardari is trying to get more support for the fight against terror, he won't manage it. I don't know who is advising him but whatever he's doing, it's backfiring. Even if his intentions are good - which I doubt - it's not working.

The situation in Pakistan is terrible and the commander in chief needs to be at home. Every time a bomb goes off, my heart skips a beat and I silently pray 'I hope my family is safe'. Myself and thousands of overseas Pakistanis in the UK feel helpless because we're unable to help Pakistan.

We can contribute by sending foreign exchange home, which we religiously do. But there is nothing much else can do, despite being desperate to help.

Turan Zaman thinks Zardari is the "bigger man" for talking to Cameron

Many Western countries are deciding to cut funding to the region. They're pulling troops out of Afghanistan - we're still suffering the consequences of what happened when the Soviets left, and now this might happen all over again.

Zardari is in the UK to ask for funding at a time when Britain is not intending on increasing its share because of the ongoing financial crisis.

The media has been very negative about Zardari's reasons but he's the bigger man who agreed to talk to Cameron despite his comments about Pakistan exporting terror. He aims to educate Mr Cameron, giving him insights about the region.

The government is so broke that organisations linked with terror are providing better aid and tents to the flood victims. They're winning the hearts and minds of the people.

I think Zardari is a very intelligent man who planned his visit when the floods were forecast, so that the world could see the damage caused. This way, he hopes to get much-needed money for the flood victims and funding for the army.

Raja Mohammed says the floods will be Zardari's "Hurricane Katrina"

Given the sheer size of the tragedy in Pakistan it is ridiculous that Mr Zardari has continued with his visit to Europe. The talks between leaders are nothing compared to what's happening in Pakistan. The president could have sent a foreign minister, talked on the phone or held a video conference instead.

If four million people are destitute in your country a few days from Ramadan and you can't put off a meeting for a few days, it says a lot about you. Not only is it politically stupid, but putting politics to one side, it's morally insensitive.

His argument may well be that his prime minister or army chief are dealing with the relief effort, however, the head of state has symbolic importance. Zardari's current 'symbolic' actions demonstrate his utter contempt for the people of Pakistan - they just crave a show of support, love and leadership.

It's akin to the neglect that the President of USA George Bush showed during Hurricane Katrina; his presidency did not recover from the negative implications.

More comments sent from British people of Pakistani origins

Zardari's continued absence from the country at this time is an indictment of his character and of his utter contempt for the people he purports to govern. This man has no interest in serving the people of Pakistan, or in helping fight the war against extremists. His absence has created a vacuum which has been quickly filled by extremist groups. These are taking the opportunity to gain popular support by providing relief to those most affected by the floods. Khurram, London, UK

There is quite a bit of anger and disgust towards the president. The outcome of the meeting with David Cameron is absolutely critical not only for himself but also for his political party. A strong appreciation from David Cameron of the sacrifices the people and the institutions of Pakistan, including the army, has made is the least he should show. He needs to go further and retract some of the outburst he made in India, at least by saying that he believes that the Pakistani army and the government are committed towards the war. Usman Butt, Dartford, Kent

My family in Pakistan are ashamed of Mr Zardari's visit to UK in these hard times. It is said that a president is like a father of a nation - I would like to ask Mr Zardari whether, if his own son or daughter would have been facing troubles or disease, he would have visited the UK and left his own offspring in the way that he did with the nation. Ghulam Ali Memon, Northampton

The president of Pakistan should reinforce bilateral relations between two countries. In Pakistan, there is a hatred of the USA but there is no such hatred for Britain. The people of Pakistan love Britain. It is the first time since independence that a sense of hatred has spread against Britain after Mr Cameron's remarks. The remarks are shameful not only because of their content but also because of the place chosen by Mr Cameron to make them, India. Shah, Glasgow

Pakistani people know about the sacrifices they and the Pakistani army have made to combat the militants in the North West Frontier Province. But Pakistan has always been deprived of the honour and recognition they deserve for the efforts and sacrifices they made. Foreign forces have already suffered in Iraq and Afghanistan and those who have died are called heroes but unfortunately the sacrifices that Pakistanis have made are not recognised by the media. In return they are labelled as the exporters of terror. Shahid, Manchester

Zardari could have talked later and could have called off his UK visit - but I am not against his trip. He has got the chance to clear up the comments made by the Tory leader, defend the country and improve relations between the UK and Pakistan. Ahmed Khan, London

Media caption,
Prime Minister David Cameron and President Asif Ali Zardari make a statement after their meeting at Chequers

I don't believe that Mr Zardari's visit will yield much in diplomatic terms. I don't believe that he has the capacity to change David Cameron's views on Pakistan's involvement with terrorist groups. Ali Raza, London

It is disturbing for me to hear of Zardari's visit to England in such desperate times back home in Pakistan. His visit could have been delayed. Wasim, Essex

Zardari should talk in a tough manner with British prime minister and say that 7/7 is one incident, but we are facing these types of incidents in Pakistan every minute. Zardari should talk to the British media, explain what Pakistan is doing and inform British tax payers that their money is ruined in the so-called war against terrorism. Osman Malik, London

We have a lot other leaders in Pakistan who can look after the flood victims. But still, Zardari shouldn't have come to the UK. Tanveer, London

Zardari's meeting with Cameron cannot be as important as Pakistanis losing their homes due to the floods. Kamran, Derby

I find Mr Zardari's actions disgraceful. Despite a national tragedy in Pakistan, the priority for him is to launch his son's career. A Mahmood, Birmingham

I think Zardari's visit is important. He can discuss the misunderstanding between Pakistan and Britain, created by David Cameron. I think Western countries shouldn't neglect the sacrifices made by the Pakistani nation. This will be best way to concentrate on the war against terrorism. Rahim Khan, Nottingham

I am of Pakistani origin and feel deeply saddened by the scale of the floods and lack of responsibility, sensitivity and compassion shown by the president of Pakistan. The callous neglect by the civil authorities and the army in Pakistan has, unsurprisingly, opened the door to Islamic extremist groups who are reportedly 'serving our people'. Watch this space. Dr Abdul Jaleel, Darlington

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