Two prime ministers, two different receptions

Published: October 5, 2014
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The writer is a former caretaker finance minister and served as vice-president at the World Bank

The writer is a former caretaker finance minister and served as vice-president at the World Bank

There is a good reason, which will soon become apparent, why I begin this article with a long quote from a story in The New York Times. It covered the reception the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, received at an event organised by the large Indian diaspora in the US. “They wore his face on their chests, waved it on posters, chanted his name and quoted his slogans, 19,000 fans drawn to a single star. His image stared down from the big screen at Madison Square Garden and emerged on canvas in a live speed-painting onstage. And when the man himself emerged, the capacity crowd on Sunday, September 28, in New York’s most storied arena roared as one. ‘Modi! Modi! Modi!’ the audience chanted, drowning out the announcer’s attempt to introduce the man who needed no introduction: Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India, whom 19,000 people had travelled from around the country and Canada to see speak on his first visit to the United States since being elected in May… The event was broadcast live around the world and watched in ‘super Modi’ parties across the United States.”

Pakistan’s prime minister was also in New York at the same time for the opening session of the UN General Assembly. The large Pakistani diaspora in the US made no attempt to project their country by suitably greeting the Pakistani leader. Instead, there was a crowd waiting for him outside the UN that shouted “go Nawaz go”. These two very different receptions speak volumes about the political situations in the two countries and how they are perceived by the world outside. Nawaz Sharif’s reception was obviously the consequence of his political troubles at home. He was faced with the demand from two different groups, the PTI and the PAT, to resign his office.

These different treatments of the two visiting South Asian prime ministers reminds me of the question I was asked by LK Advani when I visited him years ago at his home in New Delhi. Advani asked me about the way the Pakistani expatriate community wrote about their country. “A lot of this writing is very negative and I find that puzzling,” he said to me. “If you read our newspapers, you would have seen that we don’t spare each other in domestic discourse. But outside the country, we see ourselves as the nation’s ambassadors, protecting our image and advancing our reputation.” That, he thought, was not the case with the Pakistanis living outside their country.

One extremely negative consequence of the 2014 protest movements in Pakistan is to increase its isolation. Ever since the country came to be identified as one of the world’s most dangerous places, it has been shunned by foreign visitors, investors and airlines. It is worth noting that while speaking at the Madison Square Garden, Modi asked each of the three million or so members of the Indian community in the US to encourage at least 10 American friends to visit what was once their homeland. This will mean an additional 30 million tourists to India, which would make a large contribution to the Indian economy. The Indian prime minister was correct in underscoring that tourism creates the kinds of jobs his country needs the most. Tourists would want to eat local food prepared by local cooks; hire taxis and rickshaws to visit local sites; and buy locally produced goods. Tourism, in other words, would bring employment for the relatively less well-to-do, creating the kind of jobs that would not be done by large firms making large investments in large projects. Asking the Indian diaspora to produce tens of millions of additional visitors to their former homeland, would not produce the kinds of number the prime minister had in mind. But his suggestion had an impact of the type he may not have expected. It gave a strong message to Indians in the US to promote the attractive side of their homeland by giving the right impression to their American friends. By having the ‘Modi story’ picked up by major newspapers in the US, the prime minister did a lot of good to his country. The opposite was the case with the reception given to Prime Minister Sharif.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 6th, 2014.

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Reader Comments (55)

  • Pandu
    Oct 5, 2014 - 11:51PM

    Both LK Advani and you are partially correct, only partially. It is true there is a large pro-active Indian disaspora but there are also significant minorities of Marxists, pseudosecular, left wing extremist Indians all over the world who carry out vicious hate propaganda against their own country. Some of them were responsible for the denial of visa to Modi.

    What these left wing extremists did not realize and many of them are still not able to realize is that such fake, false hate campaign has boosted Modi’s popularity!!! There was no precedence or any justification whatsoever for such denial of visa. Especially when you think of the fact, US presidents routinely wine, dine and have photo shoots hugging various dictators, heads of religious exclusivist terrorists!! So this was like Count of Monte Cristo moment for Modi and the Indian Americans who went through this amazing display of hypocrisy by American government.

    “All human wisdom is contained in these two words–“Wait and Hope.”
    ― Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo

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  • Jay
    Oct 6, 2014 - 12:02AM

    The difference between Modi and NS is that of a Suzuki and a BMW.. Both will take your there ,but the ride will be a lot more bumpy in a Suzuki…

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  • Its (still) Economy Stupid
    Oct 6, 2014 - 12:03AM

    Two Nation theory: 67 years later 48 people came to hear Pakistani PM Nawaz and 19,048 people came to hear Modi in New York.

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  • BlackJack
    Oct 6, 2014 - 12:09AM

    Nawaz Sharif got a larger mandate than Modi did. I think the difference in the way they are received abroad lies in reasons for electing Modi, and and the hope that he symbolizes for his core support base, which includes the middle class and the youth, as well as the Indian diaspora that hungers for positive news about their country (I’m sure the Pakistani diaspora does too). This enthusiasm echoed resoundingly from the walls of Madison Square Garden that night. This has to do with Modi’s bipartisan mission of improving India’s economy and standing in the comity of nations, as well as the average Indian’s trust based on his existing reputation as a hardworking and incorruptible CM of Gujarat. So what Pakistan needs is a grassroots politician who can pull the country out of the current morass and give it hope, having delivered consistently in the past – and not just in a cricket match. I don’t think anyone like that exists.

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  • ahmed
    Oct 6, 2014 - 12:44AM

    Mr. Bruki you as an expatriate banker should know that Pakistanis living in the USA are no dummies and they know the difference btwn a Nawaz and Modi. Modi transformed his state into a powerhouse and was dutifully rewarded as a prime ministerial of India. Modi is a patriot his priority is to make his nation powerful. On the other hand Nawaz is spent cartoos and he has no vision beyond waiting what meat dish would be for dinner. He certainly deserves the treatment he got because Pak politicians should know that if you become a billionaire at the expense of poor of the country you are not better then a peon to the rest of the World. If Nawaz and his family palatoon had put that much effort in making Pakistan a powerful nation then he would have received the same welcome as Modi. Nawaz is living like a king without an ounce of care for the current state of affairs. In fact Indians are more ethno centric and Pakistanis are not …Indian gujratis are dominant and love Modi. However Pakistanis could care less where leader is from as long as they did something for the country. When Musharruf and Zia and Ayub visited they got different receptions then Zardari and Nawaz and it is something they have to answer and not the Pakistanis in the USA.

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  • Deepwater
    Oct 6, 2014 - 2:17AM

    Many Pakistanis consider religion far more important than their nation which means that there isn’t as strong a sense of nationhood. On the other hand, if the nation state were to take precedence over religion, then that would undermine the TNT. It is a fundamental flaw in design that will get ever harder to reconcile. Many moderate ex-pat Pakistanis therefore identify with India and Indians more than they do with their own country.

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  • Ali Shah
    Oct 6, 2014 - 5:24AM

    Why should the Pakistani diaspora give a warm welcome to someone who they think does not deserve to represent them? If the Pakistani diaspora believe Nawaz Sharif to be a crook who stole the public’s mandate, why would they come out and cheer for him? In fact they did the right thing.

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  • RHS
    Oct 6, 2014 - 5:43AM

    Shahid, many overseas Pakistanis have thrown in the towel and given up. The “Pakistan” brand name is a tough sell anywhere these days. OP Pakistanis long for the days when Pakistan and its people could do no wrong in the eyes of the West. Today, they can’t seem to do anything right!
    We have had some remarkable political leaders in Pakistan. One was hung and more than one shot dead. Pakistanis could not even protect one woman, a major political leader, or even a girl who wanted to go to school.
    The sad fact and question today for Pakistanis is “What are you selling which is positive?”
    If you are selling political Islam, nobody is buying.
    To conclude, Imran Khan is currently selling a nostalgia of “winning” days to overseas Pakistanis. He is not the brightest chap but he has been a winning Captain of a cricket team that scored just 96 runs today against Australia and lost by 6 wickets with 8 overs to spare. Overseas Pakistanis want the old winning team back. That is all.

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  • Shamsher singh bajwa
    Oct 6, 2014 - 5:57AM

    Great article!

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  • Bumpy
    Oct 6, 2014 - 6:41AM

    Modi has to worry about bringing in additional visitors to India – yes, India has to earn the additional money. However, Pakistan does not have to worry about that because “American aid to fight terror” is always there to Pakistan – all for free-;)

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  • suresh kumar
    Oct 6, 2014 - 6:47AM

    A sane voice of Pakistan.

    suresh kumar

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  • Ricky
    Oct 6, 2014 - 7:12AM

    Kudos to you for telling the truth and asking us to use some common sense. All our politics is hate based and self promotion nothing more than that. We love a person when he joins our fav party but hate him like he is Lucifer if he leaves. Country is the last thing in our thoughts. Party comes first the country last.
    India is not going to Mars for nothing. They are leading in science and technology. i have visited India and was impressed by their progress. God help those who help themselves.

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  • Iqbal Hadi Zaidi
    Oct 6, 2014 - 7:21AM

    Did PM Nawaz earn glittering laurel or black spot in New York? Why my compatriots except Imran raised their voice condemning PM Nawaz to burn our money by staying in the same hotel where Obama stayed when Obama was not meeting him whereas Modi stayed at much cheaper hotel but yet Obama hosted dinner honoring Modi? Who still does not want to shout GO NAWAZ GO? Iqbal Hadi Zaidi

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  • ModiFied
    Oct 6, 2014 - 7:51AM

    India is a Soft Super Power and next only to USA. Modi did a great job in extending India’s soft power further by highlighting the role of Martin Luther King Jr and how he learned from Gandhi’s teachings. One could not believe Modi and Obama walking together in Martin Luther King memorial compound. Its extremely rare for an American president to give such conducted tours to a foreign dignitary. When Modi was having meeting in white house, India folk artists were performing in the front grounds. Indians literally mobbed Modi everywhere he went. Modi has energized India on many fronts. Let us hope momentum continues and Indian attains higher level domestically and internationally.

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  • Mirza
    Oct 6, 2014 - 7:53AM

    This is good and practical writeup that can open some eyes. Thanks ET for bringing out scholars for us.
    Pakistani politics is like a straw kite and every lifelong leader of various parties is looking to grab it. If he could not get it he would make sure the others do not get it either. Same goes with power in Pakistani politics. The PNA agitated to remove ZAB from power in the guise of new elections knowing full well that only army would benefit. After fanatic Zia took over the demands for new elections were evaporated. Same game is played today all over again.
    The point is each Pakistani ruler is badly DE-legitimatized even before he/she is able to do anything. Zaradri was not even in power but a “believed” corrupt man who does not deserve to be elected and if he is then let us remove him. Similarly each army dictator was tyrant, and enemy of people. In short each ruler has been painted evil and corrupt especially to donors.
    After a while most in the world believe that we are all corrupt and crooks. Our own diaspora made west believe that rulers are plunderers and should not be given any govt or private money and support. Not a single Pakistani leader is tried and punished in Pakistani court despite keeping them in jail sometimes for decades. Zardari and Hashmi are couple of examples. Why should the world respect any of our leaders when we don’t? Sharif brothers used filthy language against sitting president elected overwhelmingly and wanted to drag him in the streets of Lahore. Now IK is doing the same to them. It is the law of retribution.

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  • indian
    Oct 6, 2014 - 8:30AM

    why Pakistan has to do what India did..based on stature and size of country Pakistan can do something and cannot do something.. If you are born fox you cannot be elephant..realize this and be happy.. India is union of 30 odd states and one or two of these states are bigger in population and size than Pakistan

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  • Rajesh
    Oct 6, 2014 - 10:41AM

    A decade of propaganda by congress ensured that he was always shown as a negative character. But performance cannot be hidden forever. Indians realised this and supported him. Indian muslims are also slowly recognizing his talent and have started supporting him.

    I can feel pakistanis have also begun to realize that this man is something special. He is not so bad as made out to be, after all.

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  • Toticalling
    Oct 6, 2014 - 1:08PM

    Both countries have democratically elected PMs. One difference is that in Pakistan people do sit ins against elected civilian leaders, whereas India accepts the people’s choice. But that is the case in many other countries. In Egypt, elected Morsi faced with agitation which gave excuse for the army to step in. Many in the world are expecting the same here. The army boots come and people have a sigh of relief. It appears those brought up under dictatorial fathers, expect the same in the government.

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  • Ranjha
    Oct 6, 2014 - 2:44PM

    O’ great author, respect is earned, not manufactured!

    You cannot compare a tea boy who rose to power through delivering on the economic front, despite his repulsive hatred for Muslims, with a “Haji” who spends time ooting the public money, “whitening” the plunder through elaborate money laundering structures, and then investing it in foreign ventures and when all done, goes to Mecca or the Medina and cries in front of God for forgiveness for his sins.

    If Nawaz had done half as well as Modi and not stashed billions of loot and plunder in overseas banks, the Pakistani expats would be chanting “Long Live Nawaz” not “Go Nawaz go.” I mean, how many rocket scientists (or retired babus) does it take to figure this one out?

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  • sridhar
    Oct 6, 2014 - 4:47PM

    @Jay:
    Not a good analogy.
    Modi will take India somwhere. Nawaz is not taking his country anywhere.

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  • Someone
    Oct 6, 2014 - 6:38PM

    Sorry, what projection are you talking about? The only projection I saw was when Modi went to White House and there were noisy Indians creating a rucus outside the building, some of them Hindutva BJP loyalists and some of them anti-Modi and pro-Khalistan/pro-Kashmir activists. Everyone was watching the tamasha.

    Oh, and not to forget how US courts held Modi by the collar on his Gujarat campaign the moment he landed. So much for projection.

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  • Asif
    Oct 6, 2014 - 7:07PM

    The only reception I saw was when US courts grilled Modi on his atrocities on Gujarat. Indians may be blind, but the rest of the world is not.

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  • nrmr44
    Oct 6, 2014 - 7:08PM

    Take a look at Pakistan today. If you were residing abroad, would you want to be seen promoting it? Best way to lose what little social equity you may have gained there through your own hard work.

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  • Oct 6, 2014 - 8:22PM

    As dubbed by the Indian Press ‘The Butcher of Gujrat’ received a rock star
    welcome at Madison Square Garden. Perhaps as many as a 100 devadasi
    fainted in the aisles While the screaming moaning delirious crowd was in a
    hypnotic frenzy. Throwing money at the stage, as is the hindu custom. Huh??
    Strange, how things change, a ‘cleared by the court’ accused, who sells hate;
    won an election on hate and promises future hate is leading a hindutva Hindustan.
    The Indian Pied Piper is headed toward an Saffron Abyss. Like breakaway train.

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  • Dr. Abid Shah Mashwani
    Oct 6, 2014 - 8:54PM

    I think this article showes the difference between “free and fair Electoral process”, and “independent Judiciary” in one country versus “corrupt electoral process” and most importantly “Corrupt judiciary” in other country. Additionally, it also showes the difference between a leader who thinks of his nation (Modi) and someone who is using his power to enhance his personal businesses.

    I am sure every overseas Pakistan wish to invite many of his friends to see most beautiful (especially in our KPK and northren areas) parts of Pakistan but when we are not sure for our own safety, justice and protection then how could we risk our friends.

    Burki sahib – what Advani told you was true but Pakistani don’t say bad about Pakistan rather they say bad about looters in Pakistan (corrupt politician, corrupt generals, corrupt beaurucracy).

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  • Murthy
    Oct 6, 2014 - 9:21PM

    A very matter of fact article! I wonder how much more time will Pakistan take to look inwards and figure out by itself what needs to be done. If, more than six decades after independence, a country is unable to have a clear vision and an identity, there is something seriously wrong. It is high time it did some introspection.

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  • hey
    Oct 7, 2014 - 12:51AM

    comparing two very different things….. on one hand we have a leader who has won trust of billion people….has won a fair and transparent election…. on other hand we have a election hijacker ……..y wouldn’t there be a difference ….

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  • usman171
    Oct 7, 2014 - 6:51AM

    Respect is earned old chap… it’s earned not given.

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  • waheeda islam
    Oct 7, 2014 - 9:01AM

    Yes, yes, the reception of Pakistan in USA was not as good as India. But, who cares about the kafir nations. But guess who will enter al-Jannah, Allah’s heaven? Who do you think will get the better reception there? Not Obama or Modi. But the true beleivers, their leader and their land (our land). Who will be laughing then?

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  • Arifq
    Oct 7, 2014 - 9:34AM

    Very well written article.

    There is a clear disconnect between the so-called elected PM Nawaz Sharif and public in general, may they be domestic or expatriate. This process of disenfranchisement of the people has been going on for the last thirty-forty years, the Sharif’s and Zardari’s product of this era do not have the skill or urge to reach out and be “representative” of their voters, for them this is “business” thus the disconnect.

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  • Mohiyuddin
    Oct 7, 2014 - 12:53PM

    Mr Burki, this is a very disappointing article. As a Pakistani residing in New York, I actively promote Pakistani interests here. Still, comparing Nawaz with Modi is completely irrational. They are two very different leaders. If we have a leader like Narender Modi, Pakistanis will travel from all over the US and Canada to hear him too.

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  • naeem khan
    Oct 7, 2014 - 5:00PM

    a few clowns chanting nonsense on behalf of megalomaniac IK dont represent Pakistanis in US

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  • sneha
    Oct 7, 2014 - 5:03PM

    @Asif:
    Grilled? He dint even visit court, then what grilling are you talking about? He has immunity. Plus he’s leader of one billion plus people no western nation will dare to spoil relations with india. And daily people file frivolous cases against famous people be justin bieber/rockstars or politicians making claims be in america or india. In india too cases where filed based on which Usa “rejected his visa” on violation of religious freedom when he applied, but not the name calling words you like to use. And there is lot difference between banning a person and rejecting a visa once which a person can reapply.
    2. Now that the Supreme Court has cleared the case. It serves no purpose for Usa to entertain some fame hungry person filing complain with malicious intent.

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  • Oct 7, 2014 - 6:12PM

    @Ranjha:
    Teaboy. And also known as the Butcher of Gujrat. Even Hitler delivered
    economic miracles. By revitalizing the arms and ammunition sector of
    the German manufacturing. Preparing for war. India only buys junked
    aircraft carriers, refits them. No, the Teaboy, did not and is not delivering
    any economic miracles. Far from it. A Tiger? More an Asian dark spirit.

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  • Singh
    Oct 7, 2014 - 7:16PM

    @Asif: Wake up Asif. good Morning.

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  • Bilal
    Oct 7, 2014 - 8:49PM

    @Asif:
    Keep dreaming…

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  • Freeman
    Oct 7, 2014 - 10:01PM

    @Ali Shah: Before people get carried away, a couple of observations need to be accounted for. Modi has been in office for only a short time and is a new guy on the national and international stage.. Let’s wait and see what he can accomplish before reaching any conclusion about success. One wishes him and others the best for the sake of his nation. Unlike Modi, Nawaz Shariff has been around for a long time. So the “new PM” smell has worn off. I wish him and his people much success, too. In the end, it does not matter the reception the two got in the U.S., but what these gentlemen do at home. In contrast to Indian politics, which has been stable for a long time, Pakistani political environment is rather strange and dysfunctional. This dharna business is a manifestation of it. Why don’t transitions from one regime to another take place with grace, rather than unseemly bickering and accusations?

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  • Oct 7, 2014 - 10:55PM

    There are clever politicians who are corrupt, honest leaders but inefficient. Is there any statesman in Pakistan who can rescue the country out of its present abyss. Anybody?

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  • csmann
    Oct 8, 2014 - 12:35AM

    @Pandu:
    So anyone who opposes Modi is a communist and pseudo-secular.Isn’t that the most unsecular thing to say?And you conveniently forgot to mention Dalits,the most and longest oppressed minority in India who rightly bring out their grievances wherever they are.The stain of Modi’s complicity in the Gujrat riots is going to stick with him even if he were to be the best PM of India.Off course Pkaistanis have a tendency to accentuate the negative image they alrady have.

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  • Freeman
    Oct 8, 2014 - 3:07AM

    @waheeda islam: Well, Waheeda, I suppose your assumption is that everyone believes in your Jannah (or is it Jinnah?) and Allah. How can you be so sure?

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  • gary
    Oct 8, 2014 - 4:02AM

    @sridhar:
    He will take his country to the caves.

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  • someone
    Oct 8, 2014 - 8:03AM

    @Pasrur wala:
    Well india ko modi mubarak aur pakistan ko nawaz. Happy? I wish nawaz another 20 years of pakistani prime ministership.ameen.

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  • Karachi 3
    Oct 8, 2014 - 12:30PM

    One marked difference is that India does not allow dual citizenship whereas Pakistan does and some of out leaders in power either have dual citizenship or their families do.Loyalties get split.
    Pakistan has made a mess of nearly all it’s major policies (foreign affairs,finance,taxation,commerce,power and energy,agriculture etc) and like it or not the Military rulers and the bureaucrats are responsible for this

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  • Abdullah
    Oct 8, 2014 - 1:34PM

    @RHS: you spoke my heart, dear! agree 110%

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  • Rajesh
    Oct 8, 2014 - 4:49PM

    Wake-up guys wake-up. Sad to see when the world of intellectuals is applauding India and its efforts in 21st century the neighboring green country is still in medieval times, ideologically and otherwise. And ya, no rocket science, to understand it , needed.

    And those who are happy with the present state of Pakistan, I wish and pray almighty god to endow you the same , till eternity .

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  • Rajesh
    Oct 8, 2014 - 5:01PM

    However, I am also of believe that a good and healthy relationship between both these countries would benefit everyone in these countries. We must realise that either this side of the border or that side of the border a large number of people are living in poverty and sour relations between I & P are draining resources which otherwise can be well utilized for betterment of the section that need these resources the most.

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  • Rakib
    Oct 8, 2014 - 7:02PM

    @RHS: Insightful post. If I may suggest:-Depend not only on politicians. Trust your sportsmen, musicians, actors much more to get you The Name!. To illustrate: It’s improper to compare A. Bachchan & N. Modi.But there is one piece of trivia comparable: crowds of 19000 v/s 24000!. Modi, younger of the two, is a successful actor too going by audience response even as Bachchan failed as a politician, Both are idolised by the masses, but also, Amitabh by some that are discerning, Modi by some that are disconcerting..Not many recall though that an enterprising Gujarati Kirit Trivedi put up youthful Amitabh show at same Madison Square Garden over 30 years ago. The phrase “NRI” didn’t exist & they were a much smaller number, most were FOBs & not that well off. And yet the event sold 24000 tickets at bumper profits to all (Kirit had oversold & the passageways & aisles were chock-o-block). This was followed by 60000 tickets sold for the show at the then Giants stadium, New Jersey. Amitabh became first Asian ever to walk on to the Madison stage that had seen the likes of Kennedy, Sinatra, Presley & Ali. Considering the decades & the build up by NRI parvenus, Modi has done well but has still some way to go to reach such popularity. Modi would be first to admit he is only one of the many stars that have brightened India’s name on foreign shores.

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  • malik
    Oct 8, 2014 - 10:01PM

    The reason is Pakistanis are Muslims first and Pakistanis later.

    If some great Sunni preacher (who advocates longer beards and blacker burqas) had come, he would have got better reception than Modi.

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  • Rezwan Ali
    Oct 8, 2014 - 10:07PM

    A very good article from Shahid Javed Burki.
    Go Nawaz Go” become a weakness of PM Nawaz Sharif, which has ashamed him outside the country.

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  • Hassan
    Oct 8, 2014 - 10:23PM

    A lot of people have given valid responses. It’s not about Pakitanis projecting negativity about their country and Indians not, when Pakistanis did not greet Nawaz Sharif. Modi is a humble patriot guy who selflessly worked towards betterment of his people (regardless of the controversies). Nawaz Shari, on the other hand, had his government ruled for 6 terms in the biggest province in Pakistan with absolute zero acheivements to show on his resume. In the wake of the flood victims in Pakistan, the elitist PM of Pakistan decides to stay in one of the most expensive hotels in the US on the taxpayer money and spends almost US$ 100,000 in 10 days. What did he acheive? NOTHING! Overseas Pakistanis are Pakistanis, we live like ambassadors like any other national of another country. However, te educated ones will never endorse a crook. Send us a humble and patriotic PM like Modi, and we will gather to greet!

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  • Freeman
    Oct 9, 2014 - 1:17AM

    @Karachi 3: I agree with you. Dual citizenship is a horrible concept, as you said it connotes split-loyalties. In the case asymmetrical dual citizenships in which one citizenship is of a less developed country and another of an advanced Western country (like Canada in Qadri’s case and UK in IK’s case), the split in loyalty is biased towards the latter. If conditions in the “native” country become dire or worsen, then that “dual citizen” can quickly retreat to the advanced country. Thus both countries of nationality are being exploited and not benefitting from any loyalty. In the end, the people of the “native” country see through this and assume it is so for all the members of the ruling class. Even a military ruler like Musharraf ended up living abroad until he returned to face the music. Mark my word, in the end he’ll go free. Concept of patriotism that attends the concept of citizen, thus, is not applicable to such politicians who maintain citizenship of two countries but allegiance to neither.

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  • Freeman
    Oct 9, 2014 - 1:19AM

    @Rezwan Ali: Mr. Burki was one of my favorites on DAWN. Rational, reasonable, and persuasive. DAWN’s loss is Express Tribune’s gain!

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  • uzma
    Oct 9, 2014 - 4:03AM

    Great thought and right observation!Recommend

  • Oct 9, 2014 - 11:48AM

    @Freeman:
    Well,..you are a paid hindu troll waxing poetic,…makes the whole thing moot.
    Your phrasing sentences they are composed by a hindu.

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  • globalobserver
    Oct 9, 2014 - 12:31PM

    @BlackJack:

    “. So what Pakistan needs is a grassroots politician who can pull the country out of the current morass and give it hope, having delivered consistently in the past – and not just in a cricket match. I don’t think anyone like that exists.”

    I think you are missing the situation in Pakistan entirely. It it not because of no “progressive politician” exists in Pakistan that Pakistan is going backwards. There are and have been may visionary Pakistani intellectuals and potential leaders.

    The real reason for Pakistan’s ills is the four letter word- ARMY. Expanding this further, there are the three A’s that have had a negative effect- Army, Allah and America, with the last two A’s being the instruments of the first A- the Army.

    The army and the Deep State will never allow any “grass roots politician” to take full and real control of Pakistan and take it on a new enlightened path. They will be either eliminated or intimidated into submission.

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