Zardari snubs Brown, cancels joint press conference

Zardari snubs Brown, cancels joint press conferenceLondon, Apr 27: Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari has cancelled a joint news conference with British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, as he arrived in Islamabad for talks with the Pakistani leadership.

Brown, who arrived in Pakistan this afternoon after talks in Afghanistan, told reporters on the plane that he would hold a meeting with President Zardari.

But instead of a joint press conference with Zardari in Islamabad, it has emerged that Brown will appear alongside Pakistani premier Yusuf Raza Gilani.

Downing Street tried to play down reports that the Zardari had cancelled the press conference at the last minute as a snub to Brown, The Times reported.

“It is entirely appropriate that he has a press conference with his counterpart,” a spokesman said. However, on his last visit to Pakistan in December, Brown and Zardari did stage a joint press conference.

Brown was visiting the region today to discuss Britain’s new strategy for dealing with the terror threat on the Pakistani-Afghan border, as international alarm spreads over Taliban advances.

Earlier, on a visit to British troops in Afghanistan, Brown described the area between Afghanistan and Pakistan was a “breeding ground for international terrorists.”

“There is a crucible of terrorism in the mountainous border between Afghanistan and Pakistan,” he added. (ANI)