Diplomatic breach, as minister fails to show up

Islamabad – The guests at the Algerian National Day reception witnessed the highest order of diplomatic breach, as the Federal Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Shiekh Aftab – who was the chief guest – didn’t show up.

The Ambassador of Algeria Lakhal Benkelai stood at the reception line along with his wife and deputies with eyes fixed at the entrance door.

The time of the invite was 7 pm. However, there was no sign of the chief guest. A group of ambassadors, seated on the stage, did not feel the pain in their heels like the others who were flitting in the ‘Sheesh Mahal Hall’ along with a selected lot of Pakistanis. Little did they know that ‘all the King’s men’ were at the Punjab House for the roll call and to mark their attendance with the headmaster Nawaz Sharif who had descended from a PIA London – Islamabad bound flight after a sojourn of 27 days. “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs should have arranged a surrogate, foreign secretary or additional secretary to come over for the traditional cake cutting,” said Malik Asad, the former Minister of State of Foreign Affairs in PPP government.

The Algerian Ambassador seemed to be in a state of disbelief. “He had committed and confirmed so how could he not show up,” the ambassador was heard asking a guest who had come to relieve his excellence’s stress.

The minions in the house of Sharif’s are duty-bound, as their master could call out the name of any one of the many couturiers and a no-show would cost him his ministry. For them, it’s not a risk worth taking.

So was the discussion on Ishaq Dar, the minister in hiding. The guests were of the opinion that county’s treasurer will not and should not take the risk of coming back to Pakistan until things are settled. “Once bitten twice shy. I think knowing Ishaq Dar’s repute and temperament, even Sharif brothers would not want him back in Pakistan. Every time he appeared at the courts, the cameras showed a few kilos of weight loss.

“He has aged during the trial proceedings. With all accounts and assets frozen, the Damocles Sword hanging over his head, Dar is in a thick soup. Once an approver, always an approver,” said a seasoned politician.

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