Peter Hoskin

Zardari drops a rhetorical bombshell

Zardari drops a rhetorical bombshell
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David Cameron isn't the only world leader who can lob rhetorical hand-grenades about the struggle in Afghanistan, you know. Speaking ahead of his visit to the UK, Pakistan's President Zardari has said that the "international community … is in the process of losing the war against the Taliban." Adding that, "And that is, above all, because we have lost the battle for hearts and minds." Given his pivotal, front-seat role in proceedings, it's got to go down as one of the most significant statements on the war so far.

Is this intended as a riposte to Cameron's remark about Pakistan and terrorism? I'm not sure. In the same interview, Zardari does say that, "It is unfortunate that certain individuals continue to express doubts and fears about our determination to fight militants to the end." But Ben Brogan has an insightful post outlining why Zardari may not be too angry with Cameron after all. In which case, two questions remain. Why this? Why now? I'm sure they'll get an airing when the two leaders meet at Chequers on Friday.