Monday, July 21, 2008

Marriage, Golf and Smoking

Apologies for the lack of posting. This is going to become a habit over the next month, I promise. I’m getting married in August and have already been driven insane.

Anyway, since I have a little bit of time on my hands, here are a few news items that caught my interest.

Pervez Musharraf, Ashfaq Kayani and Salmaan Taseer played a round of golf at Bhurban and the reaction is as hysterical as it was during the Tiger Woods-Rocco Mediate playoff. Everyone knows Taseer and Musharraf are on friendly terms, but that wasn’t why Zardari made him Governor of the Punjab. It was Taseer’s hatred of Nawaz Sharif, pure and simple. This reminds of the infamous story from a while back that rumoured Musharraf was quitting because Kayani paid him a late-night visit. Remember, all conspiracies take place deep into the night, just watch the new Batman movie if you doubt that.

Speaking of Kayani, the New York Times has a story on him that isn’t meant to be positive - they make him out to be manipulative and two-faced - but I ended liking him more. You have to respect a person who rolls his own cigarettes.

During meetings, he will often spend several minutes carefully hand-rolling a cigarette. Then, after taking one puff, he stubs it out.

The News criticises Gillani’s maiden address, which is fair enough, as the prime minister tends to be somewhat dull and matter-of-fact. Nearly as dull, in fact, as the man The News praises to the skies in comparison. For our younger readers, keep in mind that Nawaz Sharif has improved a great deal as a public speaker during his exile. Before that, he could barely utter a coherent sentence.

Nawaz Sharif used to ensure that his speech to the nation left an excellent impact. His media team would advise him on each and every point. Sufficient time was spared to write the address. They would make it a point that its delivery and message hit the audience. However, what Gilani said in his maiden address went unnoticed because there was nothing that would have attracted attention.


Ahsan said...

Hahaha yeah I was going to post the NYT piece on the ISI. I loved that handrolling tidbit too; it was the only useful part of the entire story. I can't figure out why he would stub it out after one puff though. Maybe he knows smoking is bad for him but simply likes the practice of rolling because of its positive assocations?

Congrats on getting hitched. This is clearly Rs.5's wedding year. Come on, AKS and NB. Step up.

Anonymous said...

Bubs, an early congratulations on your marriage.

AKS said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
AKS said...

Preemptive congratulations Bubs.

I do have to disagree with you here as I think The News makes a valid point (unintentionally, of course). Nawaz Sharif had a knack of making people notice him. I certainly took notice of the "Apna Ghar Housing Scheme", which even as a 15 year-old I recognized to be a really dumb idea. Then there was the "Mulk Sanwaron, Qarz Utaro" plan; the Yellow Cab Scheme featuring Mercedes Taxis (which mysteriously disappeared within a few days of the scheme leaving us only Mehrans and Cuores); and the "Meray Gaon Main Bijli Aaee Hai" (populist but unnecessary and unsustainable expansion of an already crumbling National Grid). And then there was the whole 'Ameer-ul-Momineen' thing.

Nawaz was certainly the first politician about whom I had strong feelings. I certainly recall abusing him with Maan Bhen Gaalis!

By the way, I drove past the Sharif Raiwind Estate for the first time a couple of weeks back. It's unbelievably huge!