Rehman Malik to celebrate birthday at Taj Mahal - courtesy Indian govt

Published: December 5, 2012

India agrees to Malik's personal request of celebrating 61st birthday at Taj Mahal with wife. PHOTO: PID / FILE

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is not going to visit Pakistan just yet but India will have a significant Pakistani visitor on a significant day – Interior Minister Rehman Malik – whose birthday will see a grand celebration sponsored by the Government of India.

Singh wrote to President Asif Ali Zardari saying although he would like to visit Pakistan, the timing was not conducive just yet. This puts paid to the expectation that the visit might happen during this tenure of the Indian and Pakistani prime ministers.

Pakistan is expected to go to polls in May and India, in May next year. It is reasonable to expect therefore, that now, a trip that has been long awaited might materialize only after 2014, when a new government is in place in both countries.

However, India has agreed to accommodate a personal request from Malik and will host him from December 11 to 13 to enable him to spend his 61st birthday at the Taj Mahal with his wife on December 12.

Malik’s earlier scheduled visit was cancelled because it came immediately after Ajmal Kasab’s hanging. The Indian government’s official reason was that Home Minister Sushil Kumar Shinde would be busy with Parliament.

But the Indian Parliament will still be on when Malik comes visiting and will in fact, see Shinde’s ministry having to answer questions according to a prescheduled roster.

His minister of state will reply to questions on the floor of the House.

Shinde on Tuesday wrote to Malik, proposing December 11-13 and the two ministers are expected to sign operationalisation of the liberalised visa agreement either on December 11 or 13, since Malik will be away to Agra on December 12.

A joint press conference is on the cards. However, India has got no special assurance from Malik if he will be bringing along voice samples of the 26/11 accused in Pakistan.

on Twitter, become a fan on Facebook

Reader Comments (66)

  • ali khan
    Dec 5, 2012 - 12:45PM

    Malik Please!

    Recommend

  • Noble Tufail
    Dec 5, 2012 - 12:47PM

    what non sense .. as if we did it and now waters are calm.

    Recommend

  • True Indian
    Dec 5, 2012 - 12:48PM

    I dont think it will happen….MNS will oppose it tooth and nail and rightly it should….Malik is not Imran Khan or Hassan Nisar or Faryal Gouhar.. Recommend

  • Khalid
    Dec 5, 2012 - 12:51PM

    For us even the mobile phones and motorcycles are banned, but your highness will celebrate at Taj Mahal… Wah re Wah…Recommend

  • asim
    Dec 5, 2012 - 12:53PM

    Great game player just like Mughals

    Recommend

  • hum
    Dec 5, 2012 - 12:55PM

    Is he the new Louis XVI of Pakistan !!!!!

    Can someone tell him he can save dozens of people from dying of hunger tonight if he delays his plan for this spending spree, as no way India will be picking the tab. Wake up Pakistan.

    Recommend

  • Clear Black Bag
    Dec 5, 2012 - 1:02PM

    At least Rehman Malik has been succeeded in his mission to go to India even for celebrating his 61st birthday…….Much the best,excellent and august gamesmanship Rehman Malik……

    Recommend

  • WB
    Dec 5, 2012 - 1:03PM

    How long do we have to suffer?? Shame on all who voted for PPP

    Recommend

  • Sohaib YAHIA
    Dec 5, 2012 - 1:04PM

    Hmmm!!!! This visit would worth anything if Mr. Malik could at least make Mr. Shinde promise to spend his next birthday at Shahi Qilla in Lahore

    Recommend

  • Dec 5, 2012 - 1:07PM

    i need job

    Recommend

  • Dec 5, 2012 - 1:11PM

    The political elite will continue to send their children to Ivy League schools, they would continue to buy Hermes Birkin handbags, they would still buy chateaus abroad, they would feed their horses with panjiri and they would continue to celebrate their birthdays at the world’s most exotic locations. All we can do here is enviously rant about it, throw our tantrums, and get back to our routines! Sad but true!

    Recommend

  • Careless Whispers
    Dec 5, 2012 - 1:13PM

    He neva fails to amuse us……

    Recommend

  • Sheikhupura
    Dec 5, 2012 - 1:35PM

    Probably should stay there as well

    Recommend

  • Mashhod Ulhasan
    Dec 5, 2012 - 1:38PM

    He is Phd from karachi University too, please he can celebrate any where on earth or anywhere else

    Recommend

  • Mard-e-Haq
    Dec 5, 2012 - 1:43PM

    For the elite, the skies are the limit in Pakistan. For the rest, there is always religious fervour whipped up by the elite.

    Recommend

  • MAD
    Dec 5, 2012 - 1:49PM

    Sighhhhh

    Recommend

  • yaz
    Dec 5, 2012 - 2:15PM

    Why shouldnt he celebrate his birthday? After all the hard work he puts in, doesnt he deserve a break. We should only hope (& pray) he loses his return ticket. India can do with a competent Interior Minister :)

    Recommend

  • pashtun
    Dec 5, 2012 - 3:33PM

    just cool down…its his personal visit and very much personal affair…and i dont think anything bad in it..you my criticize him for his job, not his personal likings and dislikings..

    Recommend

  • Roti, kapra aur..
    Dec 5, 2012 - 3:35PM

    It was more of an invitation for readers to comment.. ET pleeez! it doesn’t qualify as a top news item.

    Recommend

  • Amer
    Dec 5, 2012 - 3:40PM

    He deserves a break from all the hard work he’s been doing shutting down the mobile services across the country and all.

    Recommend

  • THINK
    Dec 5, 2012 - 4:38PM

    Why is this a cover page news?
    Its his private affair – as long as he is not using govt money.
    If, in case he is, then who is accountable for this? who needs to take action?

    Recommend

  • J.Sandhu
    Dec 5, 2012 - 4:48PM

    A very warm welcome to you Mr Malik, and we hope you and your wife will have a pleasant stay.

    Recommend

  • Prince Nasar
    Dec 5, 2012 - 4:59PM

    He has proved that he is born in barber’s house. The nation is made prejudice and the leaders are……

    Recommend

  • Adnan Siddiqi
    Dec 5, 2012 - 5:34PM

    Just watch how he would stand right in front of Taj Mahal and declare in front of media, “I am outside Lincoln Memorial – not Taj Mahal.” :D

    Recommend

  • Nabeel ur Rehman
    Dec 5, 2012 - 5:35PM

    Very unfortunate…. people of Pakistan are suffering from one of the hardest time after existence and her key position guys are enjoying their birthday in India (one of its biggest opponents). This shows their love for the Pakistan and their affiliations with it :(
    I’ll like to request all the people who are wasting money in such way, please for God, we as a nation cannot afford this much… its a wastage of country’s time, money and efforts.
    Very Sad :(

    Recommend

  • Ashish
    Dec 5, 2012 - 5:52PM

    This is Gangnam Style….welcome to India.

    Recommend

  • unna_pakistani
    Dec 5, 2012 - 6:06PM

    i hope rss shiv sena give him a good welcome

    Recommend

  • ALI
    Dec 5, 2012 - 6:09PM

    It is wish of my Lord Bilawal.
    If you bow every day in front him you can celebrate at moon too, Pakistan has money for its Leading Junta always to visit any whrere

    Recommend

  • ALI
    Dec 5, 2012 - 6:10PM

    It is wish of my Lord Bilawal.
    If you bow every day in front him you can celebrate at moon too, Pakistan has money for its Leading Junta always to visit any where..

    Recommend

  • Kamran
    Dec 5, 2012 - 6:13PM

    Wow Lucky The Malik and his wife, the most exotic place to celebrate love. I am jealous.
    I wish I can do the same

    Recommend

  • Its (still) Econonmy Stupid
    Dec 5, 2012 - 6:19PM

    Mr Rehman is visiting Taj Mahal as part of a case study: The objective of the study is to learn first hand that responsibilities increase when you are in power and to learn: How to protect graves of great Islamic leaders? Under his tenure grave of number of sufi saints shrine are damaged. How to protect the shrines of minority? Majority Hindu has preserved various Islamic shrines and important historic monument in India out of respect for the minority. In the climate where even the grave of Prophet in KSR is facing endanger preserving shrines is a good communal as well as business sense over and above moral obligation. He should also ponder that thank god for Indian liberal society he can visit Taj or any other shrine with a female without any imposed restriction on dress code on either sex. Hope you make some fond memories.

    Recommend

  • Born Renegade
    Dec 5, 2012 - 6:34PM

    I need to smack someone !

    Recommend

  • Atiq Ur Rehman
    Dec 5, 2012 - 6:35PM

    Amazing ,if it is all True , how can our leaders just ignore dozens of people being killed in Karachi under the pre text of Target killing and to make things really sad these are just common people ,vendors, daily wagers ,labors and the families being just left to struggle on their own with difficulties .Not to say what is happening elsewhere in the Country ,do they really ever think the Day of Justice when they face Allah and there would be No Lawyers with hefty Fees to get another Date with some lame excuses ,on that day their body parts will Testify against them .

    May Allah Guide them but i still hope this is not true and just a rumor .

    Recommend

  • Thor
    Dec 5, 2012 - 6:44PM

    Seriouly? I want to blow candles on my birthday..

    Recommend

  • Dec 5, 2012 - 7:23PM

    Welcome to India with open arms. We welcome anyone in our country, friend or foe.

    Hope you have a nice stay.

    Though wondering if one of our ministers would get same response in pakistan, oh wait the pak army is already destroying any place (temples etc) our minister would like to visit.

    Recommend

  • Noman
    Dec 5, 2012 - 7:41PM

    Taj Mahal will be closed for a day now :)

    Recommend

  • Omar Malik
    Dec 5, 2012 - 7:48PM

    Agra – get ready to have your cellular network turned off!

    Recommend

  • Zalmai
    Dec 5, 2012 - 7:54PM

    Rehman Malik now needs to brush up on his prayers (Kulhowallah) so he can offer prayers to his Mughal ancestors.

    Recommend

  • A. Khan
    Dec 5, 2012 - 7:55PM

    The resident buffoon strikes again. Sincerely hope he is paying for it out of his personal stash.

    Recommend

  • A. Khan
    Dec 5, 2012 - 7:58PM

    To paraphrase Winston Churchill : ” Never in history of mankind have so many been made fools of by so few.”

    Recommend

  • KPK.GB.KHI
    Dec 5, 2012 - 8:23PM

    Now here the Canons of the Passimists of the Pak nation goes off again. Guys! Didn’t you ever make an excuse to see you desired goals finalized by any way or means possible? To see that special one(pm etc.) one last time with the excuse to return her book or pen for example? Do you think our leaders realy went to see the maches in past?

    Recommend

  • Nadeem Ahmed
    Dec 5, 2012 - 8:25PM

    Hope he never comes back, please entire PPP party with you and never return.

    Recommend

  • Dec 5, 2012 - 8:26PM

    i think he should go and celebrate but what to say of karachi plz any reasons

    Recommend

  • LionOfPunjab
    Dec 5, 2012 - 8:35PM

    @Born Renegade
    “I need to smack someone !”

    Smack the guy you see in the mirror…he deserves it!

    Recommend

  • Siddique Malik
    Dec 5, 2012 - 8:38PM

    He has the right to spend his money — how he got it might be questionable — on things that please him. But if even a penny of Pakistani taxpayers’ money is spent on this trip, he, upon his return to Pakistan, should be tried for corruption and abuse of power. The media should remain focused on expenses related with this trip.
    Siddique Malik, Louisville, Kentucky, USA.Recommend

  • Sudheer
    Dec 5, 2012 - 8:47PM

    The comments above are in bad taste. The guy is over sixty year old and wants to spend his 61st birthday with his wife at the abode of love, the Taj Mahal. Is it such a crime? Agreed, he is a public figure, but, people with public lives have also a private life. We must respect that.
    No one has a right to jeer him or comment on his personal affairs.

    Recommend

  • Adnan Siddiqi
    Dec 5, 2012 - 9:14PM

    For our esteemed contributors from across the borders – Please do us all a favour, confiscate his passport and keep him in India for as long as y’all want. We would more than happy if you folks can export Chindanbarum to us as a trade-off. With Rehman Malik ending up being the Union Home Minister of India, ya’ll would at least learn how a ban on pillion riding is enforced and the effeciency with which Rehman Malik would pull the plug on cellular network during Diwali – before you can even say “Vande Mataram!”

    Recommend

  • curious
    Dec 5, 2012 - 9:27PM

    Yes whoever gets to see Taj Mahal in person is very privileged indeed. It truly is beyond this world. Totally breathtaking.

    Recommend

  • curious
    Dec 5, 2012 - 9:31PM

    But this also shows how difficult it is for a Pakistani to visit India. Really you are privileged to visit India.

    Recommend

  • Yoghurt lover
    Dec 5, 2012 - 9:41PM

    @Sudheer who comments “The comments above are in bad taste. The guy is over sixty year old and wants to spend his 61st birthday with his wife at the abode of love, the Taj Mahal.”

    My dear, if you knew a little history, you wouldn’t make comment in such a bad taste. Taj Mahal is no abode of love. Taj Mahal is built on the blood of thousands of poor people. It’s a symbol of slavery, it’s a symbol of oppression, it’s a symbol of all that is evil on this earth.

    You need to read more, my dear. As a fellow Indian, I am ashamed of people like you.

    Recommend

  • Its (still) Econonmy Stupid
    Dec 5, 2012 - 9:42PM

    @Sudheer:
    Here is an example of private trip that all public figure should try to emulate.
    Wednesday, Mar 21, 2007. NEW DELHI: Pakistan’s acting Chief Justice-designate Rana Bhagwandas, a central figure in the political maelstrom unleashed after the ouster of Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhary, has been located at a spiritual retreat in Uttar Pradesh.

    Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf had announced that Justice Bhagwandas, who is slated to participate in the hearings on corruption allegations against Justice Chaudhary, would take the oath of office on his return from a personal visit to India. However, his failure to return to the country in the midst of a nationwide political crisis led Opposition leaders to allege that the Pakistan Government’s claim that the judge was in India was untrue. However, Justice Bhagwandas has now been traced to Lucknow, where he has been attending a satsang led by the Lucknow-based mystic Neelu Bhagwan.

    Sources in the Lucknow police confirmed that Justice Bhagwandasalso visited the Asuda Das Ashram on the occasion of Cheti Chand, the most important event in the ethnic Sindhi community’s religious calendar.

    While In Lucknow, Justice Bhagwandas has been hosted by the Ram Advani family, which owns a prominent city landmark — the Advani Book Store dealing in rare and antique books. Like Ms. Bhagwan’s satsang, the Advani Book Store is located in Lalbag, near the Halwasia Chowk area. The area is home to many of Lucknow’s ethnic Sindhi families, some of which came to India as Partition refugees. In Lucknow he traveled by rickshaw and declined secuirty cover offered by local police.
    http://www.hindu.com/2007/03/21/stories/2007032117820500.htm

    Recommend

  • ashwinn
    Dec 5, 2012 - 10:24PM

    seriously something really wrong with Pakistanis why do you guys want to come to hatefull hindu India,after all we Indians have a small heart

    Recommend

  • Pro-Malik
    Dec 5, 2012 - 11:03PM

    Mr. Malik is a fun loving, hard working dude. He has the right to spend some quality time with his family too. His efforts to restore peace in Karachi are extremely productive and nerve wrecking. The entire nation is witness to his impecable management of Ashura processions and maintaining ideal law and order in the country. I wouldn’t mind even if he takes the liberty of hiring a top indian dance troupe, in case he wishes to appreciate a juicy item number at the Taj Mahal. The man deserves it.

    Recommend

  • Riz
    Dec 5, 2012 - 11:05PM

    he should celebrate his b’day in Lyari (his home town)

    Recommend

  • Pro-Malik
    Dec 5, 2012 - 11:13PM

    India should feel honoured that a man of his stature is willing to spend his most valuable time worth millions at Taj Mahal. Indians should be grateful to him, otherwise he is going to book eifel tower for his birthday, which is a day of national importance for the Pakistanis.

    Recommend

  • shahid
    Dec 5, 2012 - 11:17PM

    Niros are fiddling while the Rome burns !!!

    Recommend

  • Dr.A. K.Tewari
    Dec 5, 2012 - 11:18PM

    @ yoghurt love. Do you want to say than we should bombard on Tajmahal as done by Taliban at Bamiyan .

    The monument is the stored history of India and not the fabricated one as we flnd in Pakistan .Recommend

  • Sudheer
    Dec 6, 2012 - 12:59AM

    @Yoghurt lover
    OK comrade, I am sure that you have never ever visited and ever try to visit Taj Mahal, Kutub Minar, Jantar Mantar, Red Fort, Temples of khajuraho, Temple of Meenakshipuram, magnificent palaces of Rajasthan etc. or go abroad to the places like Pyramids of Egypt, great wall of China etc. After all, every one of those great monuments is a symbol of slavery, oppression and represents all that is evil on earth.
    @Its (still) Econonmy Stupid,
    Justice Bhagwandas was on a private visit, whereas Mr. Malik will be visiting India as state guest. Please, understand the difference.Recommend

  • A. Khan
    Dec 6, 2012 - 1:35AM

    @WB:

    Request to PPP voters : Please don’t vote for them again. If you don’t have an alternate, then just register your protest by not voting at all. Your vote for PPP affects all people in this country for the benefit of an elite few.

    Recommend

  • Old Bombay
    Dec 6, 2012 - 1:36AM

    @Yoghurt lover:
    @Dr.A. K.Tewari:
    You guys can bomb anything you like there, or any bombing you can get away with. Mughal buildings in Pakistan are being turned into Sikh Museums already for tourists attraction and an ego trip for Sardars. Only benefit a country gets from historic buildings is tourism industry i.e, the trickle-down income it brings, from airlines to hotels to local guides and taxis etc. Britain makes $10+ billion in tourists season by showing Wax Museum and old Big Ben. If Taliban were smart enough they would have saved Bamiyan and did not have to rob the banks, jewelry stores, smugling or kidnapping rich kids or their parents for money.

    Recommend

  • confused
    Dec 6, 2012 - 1:39AM

    Malik sb can never do this. He is a true patriot and a simple soul. He doesn’t believe in such extravaganza I am sure he will give sadakat to the poor in his home country in such a way that even his other hand will not know it. He is a kind hearted minister who has upheld the ordeals of Quaid-e-Azam all his life. Do you think he will spoil his impecable track record by going to india just to spend his birthday. No sir, this news must be double verified please.

    Recommend

  • Dr.A. K.Tewari
    Dec 6, 2012 - 7:58PM

    @ old bombay , try to understand the meanning of my comment and then react ,plz.

    Recommend

  • Arzoo Khan
    Dec 7, 2012 - 8:32AM

    Woe to the day when people like him came to this world!!! It should be the day of mourning and not celebration…People of Pakistan must get rid of this government in the upcoming election…or hold their peace forever! Rise above your differences, unite to save your country…My prayers are with Pakistan and all its well-wishers.Recommend

  • yousaf
    Dec 7, 2012 - 6:58PM

    I want to remind Malik Riaz that Taj Mahal is basically a GRAVE.There is nothing to celebrate on graves like birthdays as one is a sign of the END while other is a sign of beginning.Please don’t make a joke of Pakistan of whose you are an interior something

    Recommend

  • yousaf
    Dec 7, 2012 - 9:38PM

    @P.S:::.Please make correction in my previous comment where I wrongly typed the name of M,Riaz.Actually I wanted to tell Mr.Rehman to avoid celebrating his birth-day at a Mughal era grave as it will not be a good omen

    Recommend

  • m.b.f.h.
    Dec 7, 2012 - 10:06PM

    If you are a depressed and hopeless person its very easy to see Negative side of any or all positive activities on earth, nomatter what occasion or person its about. Try it and see how easy it is too even convince others too about your views! To be bright and ambitious must be a challenge in this environment. One can work harder and succeed in any endevour by just being optimistic.

    Recommend

More in Pakistan