Recently, a meeting took place between Mrs Recep Tayyip Erdoğan (the visiting First Lady of Turkey) and Mrs Kalsoom Nawaz. As per the universal protocol, the First Lady is the wife of the Head of the State and not the Head of the Government. However, Pakistan is the only country where it is the other way around. This strange practice owes its birth to Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto who, while stepping down from the presidency to the premiership in 1972, brought all the presidential protocol with him. It included the flying of Pakistan’s flag on his car, playing of the national anthem on his official appearances and of course the First Lady rule. In no other democratic country is the PM entitled to any such privileges. 

COL. RIAZ JAFRI (RETD),  

Rawalpindi, November 17.