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Sunday, September 28, 2008

Neocon Haqqani Upstages Haroon: Zardari Miffed - Shaheen Sehbai

Neocon Hussain Haqqani's attempt to upstage Hussain Haroon ended as pie in his face. A miffed Zardari walks away without addressing the gathering, reports Shaheen Sehbai.

Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations Hussain Haroon stayed away from President Asif Ali Zardari’s dinner for PPP leaders from across the US as the event ended on a note of utter confusion on Friday night in the heart of Manhattan when the president left suddenly without addressing the audience.

Hussain Haroon was not even invited to the dinner though top sources in the presidential camp said he had even asked for an invitation card but was denied one. So he stayed at his home entertaining some guests. When journalists asked him for comments on phone, he admitted that he had not been invited to the function.

There is a tradition in the UN that the permanent representative always hosts a grand dinner for the president or the prime minister at his home in which the community notables are invited and that opportunity was denied to Mr Haroon.

But the turf war between the two Pakistani envoys was swept aside by President Zardari when he arrived late and left without any public announcement or information whether he would come back to address the crowd.

A senior official of the embassy told some journalists later that the president had gone for a private dinner to a popular New York restaurant, Geisha, located at the Madison Avenue and 61st Street, a place he used to visit while he was living in New York before he returned to Pakistan.


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