When Bilawal met Rahul

Jim Yardley in New York Times’ IndiaInk, on the differing style of two hereditary politicians

It did not take Bilawal Bhutto Zardari long during his first visit to India to show he is a very different type of political prince than Rahul Gandhi – at least when it comes to public relations. The moment the son of Pakistan’s president, Asif Ali Zardari, and the late former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto landed Sunday in New Delhi, he launched what became a daylong monologue on Twitter.

“AOA India Peace be with you,” he tweeted, presumably using shorthand for the greeting As-Salamu Alaikum, upon arriving. “I have just landed in Delhi. 1st ever visit.”

If Sunday’s main event was the meeting between the Pakistani president and India’s prime minister, Manmohan Singh, the choreographed interplay between the younger Mr. Zardari, 23, and Mr. Gandhi, 41, who sat next to each other at lunch, proved an irresistible sideshow.  The two men share similarly tragic pasts. Mr. Gandhi lost a father and grandmother to assassination. Mr. Zardari lost his mother to assassination while his grandfather was deposed and later hanged. more

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