I really don’t know what to make of this.
With some overly friendly comments to Gov. Sarah Palin at the United Nations, Asif Ali Zardari has succeeded in uniting one of Pakistan’s hard-line mosques and its feminists after a few weeks in office.
A radical Muslim prayer leader said the president shamed the nation for “indecent gestures, filthy remarks, and repeated praise of a non-Muslim lady wearing a short skirt.”
Feminists charged that once again a male Pakistani leader has embarrassed the country with sexist remarks. And across the board, the Pakistani press has shown disapproval.
What did President Zardari do to draw such scorn? It might have been the “gorgeous” compliment he gave Ms. Palin when the two met at the UN last week during her meet-and-greet with foreign leaders ahead of Thursday’s vice presidential debate with opponent Sen. Joe Biden, the Democratic vice presidential nominee.
But the comments from Zardari didn’t end there. He went on to tell Palin: “Now I know why the whole of America is crazy about you.”
Regardless of the absurdity of the comments, and the reaction, this is not the kind of impression that a new head of state wants to make on his people.