Son defends Zardari Europe trip | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, August 08, 2010 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, August 08, 2010

Son defends Zardari Europe trip


Bilawal Bhutto(left). Demonstrators protest outside the International Convention Centre in central Birmingham yesterday as President Zardari speaks to supporters during a visit to England. Zardari has faced criticism for leaving Pakistan to promote his son's political campaign while the country faces a national crisis due to severe flooding. Photo: AFP

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari yesterday vehemently defended his father President Asif Ali Zardari's visit to Europe despite the flooding disaster affecting up to 15 million people at home in Pakistan.
Opening a donation point at the Pakistani High Commission in London, the 21-year-old insisted his father was raising much-needed funds.
"He's doing the best he can and what he thinks is best to help the people of Pakistan," the Oxford University history graduate said.
"His personal presence in Pakistan would not be able to raise this much money," he said, adding that multi-million dollar donations had been made by France, Britain and Abu Dhabi.
The Gulf emirate had "also promised to come and help the rehabilitation after the floods have gone, after the media have gone, and after people are not paying attention," he said.
"If he thought he could be more useful in Pakistan, I'm sure he would be there."
Zardari has been criticised in Pakistan and by some in the British Pakistani community for carrying on his visit.
Bhutto Zardari's mother is Benazir Bhutto, the murdered former Pakistani premier. He became co-chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party alongside his father after her assassination in 2007.
He has said that he intended to continue his academic and political education and was considering studying law.
When asked about his plans to go into politics, Bhutto Zardari said he was focused on completing his education "as my mother wished."
President Zardari was on Saturday due to speak at an event in Birmingham in central England, Britain's second city.
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International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell defended Zardari's visit, which he said had served to highlight the disaster and help raise international relief funds.
"He is drumming up support internationally for the huge relief effort that is going to be required now in Pakistan and is going to be returning very soon.

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