PUBLIC criticism of the President's being too much in the limelight as opposed to the head of government, a member of his own party, is not unfounded, but does go over the top a lot of times. Even if he were to do the things those two gold standard adjectives for Presidential meekness, Fazal Elahi Chaudhry and Rafiq Tarar, did, he would still be criticised for trying to hog the press. If he goes on foreign visits, that's what heads of state do. If he greets foreign heads of government and state, well, that's his job. But even with that sympathetic understanding, it is still puzzling why the President is on yet another visit to China, his fourth since assuming office last September. What is more interesting is that this visit is not Beijing-centric. Having visited and met with the Chinese central leadership, the President appears to be "touching base" with the provinces. Last time, the President visited Hubei and Shanghai. This time, he is going to be visiting the Guang Dong and Zhe Jiang provinces. The logic behind the decentralised approach is a little tough to grasp. California, the world's sixth largest economy if it weren't a part of the US, does have missions interacting with other countries. Sao Paulo in Brazil gives independent international investment ads and the Punjab government in Pakistan has started calculating its own GDP. But these are issues of decentralised commercial independence. It wouldn't make any sense for a head of state to visit these. It would also make only slightly more sense for a Prime Minister to visit them. These are fundamentally the domain of Foreign and Commerce ministries and civil services. Out of necessity, the US and NATO engage many players in Afghanistan for lack of centralised power. Why they have taken to doing the same in Pakistan doesn't make any sense. But why we are doing the same in China, a highly centralised polity and economy? It is these thoughts that run through the minds of the more informed of the public. The President should indulge in less of these lest an inflation of his presence lower his value and, ultimately, that of our country. It can't be said that nothing good comes out of these visits, like the Memorandum of Understanding that the two countries signed for construction of the Bunji dam in the Northern Areas of Pakistan. Or the advocacy of Pakistan as an export route. But a rethink of diplomatic protocols and proportions is needed, not just relating to foreign visits but also to who meets who when foreign dignitaries are visiting Pakistan.