White Lies


We hear that Aslam Bhatti, a Dubai-based businessman that does not believe in tariff barriers, recently celebrated the launching of a movie he financed and he did so in Dubai naturally. The venue was a five-star hotel and the guest list for the mega event included celebs past and present. Since no Pakistani event in Dubai is complete without former President Pervez Musharraf, now a resident of Dubai, the general naturally was the non-Bollywood star of this particular show. Unfortunately though, Bhatti has several private bankers working voluntarily as his event managers and agents, he does lack a protocol officer who understands the sensitivities of dinner table groupings.

We hear that some body slipped up somewhere or at least some one had no update on Pakistani politics. The table allocated to Musharraf had among others, two of his former ministers and once ardent supporters, Humayun Akhter and Sheikh Rashid sitting besides him. Both have since “seen the light.” Observers tell us there was a very uncomfortable silence after the initial greetings were exchanged and both former ministers remained tense before their former patron. Musharraf however pretended that he hardly knew them which may be an accurate description of their relationship past and present.

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 On Monday, the Zaman Park women decided to put up a show of strength for the son of the park, Imran Khan. It was a moving effort and they managed to bring out not just the young but also the old and some very old, to cheer their hero. There were several octogenarians and one immaculately groomed and saree-clad lady who could be touching a century.

When the Khan arrived with Javaid Hashmi on toe (right after a press conference to install Hashmi as President of PTI) he was cheered but he was also held accountable for arriving late at the venue. One lady that had a very uncomfortable moment was the wife of Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi. When Imran was asked if Qureshi had left PTI, she got up and retorted in a fiery manner that if he had she would not be there. She has a point and also one has to believe the wife.

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The highly emotional moment when Pakistan won and Bangladesh lost the Asian Cup final brought out a sea of nostalgia and mixed emotions among viewers in Pakistan. One viewer shared a story that was popular among cricketers in the sixties.

Apparently, the cricket heroes of the time were very fond of songs sung by singers from “East Pakistan”. At one point when asked to recite the national anthem on foreign soil they realised they did not know the complete words. An embarrassing moment but they improvised and sang a song by Dolly Azad an MNA from “East Pakistan” who had the voice of a nightingale. The foreign audience thought it was the anthem and the matter went totally undetected.

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