Friday, November 24, 2017
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(Frank of The Times of Fancyland met Nawaz Sharif the other day, Here are extracts from their conversation)

FRANK:   Mr Sharif—do you mind if I address you as Mister Sharif and not Miyan Sharif?
N.S: You are welcome to address me by any name. What’s in a name?
FRANK: You mean that a rose would sound as sweet if it is called Sharif?
NS: Not me personally. But every sharif person can be likened to a rose.
FRANK: Who do you think is a ‘rose; among Indian politicians
NS: Well you know...
FRANK: Am I to understand by your reluctance that you find more thorns among Indian politicians than roses
NS: I won’t say that.
FRANK: But if you were asked to name the biggest thorn--the thorn in Pak flesh—whom would you name?
NS:Tell me, have you come here to test whether I am a good gardener and have expert knowledge on roses and thorns?
FRANK: If you ask me whom I regard as rose and thorns in your country I can easily...
NS: Don’t, please don’t. You will start another controversy and that may result in bomb blasts here, there and everywhere- near your Indian High Commission building as well. But I would permit you to name any Pakistani whom you regard as a Rose.
FRANK: That is very easy
NS: Why ? Is it me...or Zardari...or IMran Khan...or
FRANK: You are flowers. Some will call you cauliflowers. My rose is Ghulam Ali the ghazal singer. The whole of India regards him as the Rose of not just Pakistan but the entire sub-continent. He is among the biggest living legends among the ghazal roses of the country.
 NS: I admire your cunning diplomacy
FRANK: Why cunning?
 NS:: Because you are a product of English-medium education. Surely you hardly know any Urdu. I know  you will try to disprove me by reciting a couplet or two rendered by Ghulam Ali.  But you have come prepared with it mugged it up without understanding its meaning.
FRANK: Coming back to the ground reality, I want to know from you how you feel about the prospects of Narendra Modi becoming the next Prime Minister of India? Exit polls have confirmed it
NS: If that is what the voters in India have decided what can I say?
FRANK: But he belongs to BJP. And BJP’s last Prime Minister came to shake hands with you by bus. Wasn’t that a good gesture? Will you expect Modi to come by bus too to Lahore to meet you
NS: That is a very hypothetical question. Let the final results be out and let him b sworn-in as Prime Minister, We would like to listen to his maiden speech and study what he has to say about India’s relations with Pakistan under his leadership.
FRANK: You must have noticed that there are two Modis—one the fiery, explosive Modi who blasted every one during poll campaigning and the other Modi is the quiet, analytical one, who answered every question raised by T V interviewers in a very sober and dignified language
NS: But there were some questions that he did not answer or perhaps he told the interviewer in advance not to ask them.
FRANK: Do you think he will carry out his threat to raid Dawood Ibrahim’s hideouts and give him the same treatment that Obama gave to Osama Bin Ladin? If that happens will you hit back with your nuclear arsenal?
NS: You are trying to provoke me into saying something nasty in retaliation. I will not say that – because he has still not won the election officially.
FRANK: But Pak TV channels show that even Hafiz Sayeed is nervous. If Muslims of India have voted for Modi why should Hafiz feel so annoyed and panicky? Is he afraid that Modi will bombard his hideouts?...  Tell me Sir. Do you or do you not want Modi to win
NS:My wanting and not wanting makes little sense. Let the people of India say it.
FRANK: All right. Now can you tell me whom do you regard as a rose in India? Sonia? Sushma? Smriti? Mamata? Maya? Jayalalitha or Modi, Advani,  Kejriwal, Rahul and Lalu?
NS: They are all roses. But the Queen Rose is Lata mangeshkar whose songs I adore
FRANK: But she has backed Modi?
NS: I am not referring to her political choice but solely and only to her songs.
FRANK: Any special song?
NS: Allah tero naam Ishwar tero naam...God’s name will sound equally divine whether you call him Allah or Ishwar. Thank you Lataji for expressing such a noble thought. Good day, Good-bye. May you get the best man to rule the country.

 

 

 

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