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Zardari Feared Coup, Named Sister As Successor If Killed

London, Dec 1 : Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari had informed the US ambassador to Pakistan that "he had instructed his son Bilawal to name his sister, Faryal Talpur, as president" in the eventuality of
PTI December 01, 2010 10:36 IST
PTI
London, Dec 1 : Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari had informed the US ambassador to Pakistan that "he had instructed his son Bilawal to name his sister, Faryal Talpur, as president" in the eventuality of his assassination, the Guardian reported yesterday.
 
According to the latest cache of WikiLeaks published by the British daily, Zardari has made extensive preparations in case of his own assassination.
 
Last year Zardari told US ambassador Anne Patterson, that if he was assassinated, "he had instructed his son Bilawal to name his sister, Faryal Talpur, as president".
 
Zardari is frank about the strength of the Yaliban- "I'm sorry to say this but we are not winning" the war against extremists he told US Vice-President Joe Biden in 2009, one of the leaked US cables state.
 
"I am not Benazir, and I know it," he told US ambassador Anne Patterson after his wife's death. The Pakistan President reportedly feared a fresh army coup.

Zardari said he was concerned that Army chief Gen Kayani might "take me out", Biden reported to former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown during a meeting in Chile in 2009.
 
Brown said he thought it was unlikely. According to The Guardian report based on US cables, Pakistan opposition leader Nawaz Sharif had a "notoriously difficult personality" while his family is noted to have "relied primarily on the army and intelligence agencies for political elevation".
In a May 2008 meeting with a visiting American Congressional delegation, Zardari reportedly said: "We won't act without consulting with you."
 
Sharif repeatedly told the US ambassador that he was "pro-American", despite his often critical public stance.
 
He thanked the US for "arranging" to have Kayani appointed as army chief. "The best thing America has done recently," he said.
 
"The fact that a former prime minister believes the US could control the appointment of Pakistan's chief of army staff speaks volumes about the myth of American influence here," the Ambassador noted afterwards.
 
After General Pervez Musharraf resigned as president in 2008, ambassador Patterson pressed Zardari to grant him immunity from prosecution.
 
"We believed, as we had often said, that Musharraf should have a dignified retirement and not be hounded out of the country," she said.
 
The US and Gen Kayani worried that Zardari would renege on his word. "Zardari is walking tall these days, hopefully not too tall to forget his promise to Kayani and to us on an immunity deal," wrote Patterson. If Zardari didn't protect Musharraf then it would make him look bad.
 
 "I have to bring the army along with me," he said, also noting that the delay "does nothing for Zardari's reputation for trustworthiness".