KARACHI: Dapper politicians and suave business executives mingled at an iftar-cum-dinner, held at the US Consul General’s residence on Thursday evening, abandoning rhetoric for gossip.
Among the guests was philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi, who sat on a settee with his companions and said, “While I am still doing well I still feel weak. I am 92 after all!”
Politicians walked in, made their way to Edhi to say hello, and were then greeted by the consulate staff, many of whom have just taken up their assignments in Karachi.
The guest list was a who’s who of Sindh politics: Sindh Assembly speaker Nisar Khuhro, Pakistan Peoples Party ministers Agha Siraj Durrani, Sharjeel Inam Memon, Murad Shah and Tauqeer Fatima Bhutto, Muttahida Qaumi Movement’s Syed Sardar Ahmed and Dr Sagheer Ahmed, Jam Madad Ali of the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional, Shaharyar Mahar of the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid, Jamaat-e-Islami’s Mohammad Hussain Mehanti and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s Saleem Zia. As guests mingled with the politicians, snatches of their conversation floated: a comparison of Kabul and Karachi’s security situation and developments in the Sindh government.
The guest list also included members of the American Business Council of Pakistan, former Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry chairperson Majyd Aziz, economist Kaiser Bengali, Oxford University Press head Ameena Saiyid and Pakistan Software Houses Association President Jehan Ara.
US Consul General Michael Dodman said effusive helloes to his guests. “This is the first event I’m hosting at my new home and quite a home it is!”
CG Dodman said that he’d been in Karachi for a little over two weeks and was excited to be here. While he had met with many of the attendees prior to the dinner, the guest list, he said, were people his staff had said that he ‘needed to meet’. He said he was ‘incredibly honoured’ and hoped to have a ‘great relationship’ with the people present.
“Karachi is a place where so much is happening. We can try and boost the economy and bolster the civil society” said Dodman as he made his way into the room. “I’m looking forward to spend and to talk to each of you.” He appeared to have been very-well briefed and knew of the projects that the US Consulate has supported.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 3rd, 2012.
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