The official line is that Gilani called off his visit as he wanted to oversee relief operations in flood- hit Sindh


Pakistan Premier Yousuf Raza Gilani called off at the eleventh hour his planned visit to the

US after President Barack Obama refused to meet him on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session, PTI quoted Pakistans alt39 Dawnalt39 daily as reporting.

The Prime Ministers House announced on Friday that Gilani had called off his visit as he intended to personally supervise relief operations in flood- hit areas of Sindh, but alt39 Dawnalt39 quoted its sources as saying that one reason for the move was the US Presidents ” refusal to meet” Gilani on the sidelines of the UN session in New York.

Gilani has now directed Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar to represent Pakistan at the UN General Assembly session.

There were indications that the strained relations between Pakistan and the US had led to Gilani cancelling his trip to America, where he was to address the UN General Assembly session, the daily reported.

The Pakistan embassy in Washington and the Consulate General in New York had ” tried hard to arrange a meeting between Prime Minister Gilani and President Barack Obama but failed,” the report said.

The visit was cancelled at the ” eleventh hour” and ” all arrangements related to the trip, such as issuance of tickets to members of the delegation and their hotel bookings in New York, had been finalised,” the report said.

” Supervision of flood relief efforts is an excuse, because only this week the Prime Minister had a couple of daysalt39 trip to Iran,” a journalist, who was to accompany Gilani to New York, was quoted as saying.

Gilani had on Friday responded to the US criticism of Pakistans efforts in the war on terror by saying that it was ” now time that they ( United States) should do more” in the campaign against terrorists.

He said Pakistan had ” sacrificed much in battling the menace of terrorism” and the country should not be ” pressurised to do more.”

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