Washington disappointed by new face of Pak democracy: Shaheen Sehbai
Shaheen Sehbai, The News, August 1, 2008
WASHINGTON: Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani came to Washington and has returned to Islamabad but the decision makers of DC are still confused what to make out of his unofficial ‘official’ visit.
The eagerness at every level to meet and see him was to assess and evaluate the man in terms of his usefulness as a replacement to their long-trusted but fading friend, Gen Pervez Musharraf, and the plain fact is that Washington is disappointed and has decided not to take him seriously.
It is so because the man who represented democracy in Pakistan fell short on many scores. Not that the official Washington did not know but the real Washington needed to have a firsthand look at the man they were being asked to deal with after Gen Musharraf.
This real Washington comprises scores of think tanks, lobbyists, Congressmen, retired diplomats, bureaucrats, generals and media gurus. They did not go home with the perception and confidence that Gilani was the right man who they could instantly start dealing with, trust and depend on.
What they found lacking was the depth of understanding and vision in dealing with complex international and security issues, articulation to comprehend and project Pakistani policies in a clear and candid way, more so on public places than in closed door meetings. They did not find the will and the capacity in the prime minister to grasp the importance of issues, take control of matters and make decisions which he could sustain.
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For a different viewpoint, see Gilani’s US visit viewed as highly successful - The News
PM's Performance Leaves Much to be Desired - The News
A Conversation with Yousaf Raza Gillani - The News