Monday, June 20, 2005

Musharraf visit: wrapup

President Musharraf flew out of Auckland last night - not that you'd know, since local coverage of his visit seems to have dried up completely since MFAT cancelled all his interviews.

Looking at the international coverage through Google News, Musharraf had more talks with Helen Clark on Saturday, discussing trade and cooperation on agriculture, education and healthcare. He visited a dairy-farm and GPS manufacturer NavMan, and addressed the Pakistan Association of New Zealand on Indo-Pakistani relations and his policy of "enlightened moderation". The two governments signed a couple of memorandums of understanding on trade and technical assistance, but nothing major. Overall, Musharraf got to play statesman and boost his reputation back home, and we got to shake hands with a torturer. If you're feeling used, it's because we have been - and our government actively collaborated in it.