Pakistan

ISLAMABAD – Former President Asif Ali Zardari will attend the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump in the US on January 20, according to media reports.

Trump, who won the US election against Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton in November 2016, will take oath on January 20.

The US government’s invitation to Zardari, co-chairman of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) is being considered as a push for the former Pakistani president to take power after 2018 polls, as well as an image-building exercise that will help Zardari to win by-elections. On his return, Zardari is set to contest by-polls to return to the National Assembly.

PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari will also be in the US after the PPP’s Lahore-Faisalabad rally, which is scheduled to be held on January 19. He will also take part in by-elections, thereby officially starting his parliamentary career.

PPPP Vice-President Senator Sherry Rehman told The Nation that Zardari had a “packed schedule” in the US. “He will meet several Republicans and key Democrat leaders”.

The lawmaker, who is part of Zardari’s US-bound delegation, said: “This is obviously not a state or official visit but it represents an engagement cycle that is about sustained public ties with the global community.”