The departing president threw a farewell dinner, an alwidayya, as it is known around these parts. Well, the presidency, not known generally to be a gourmand’s treasure trove, pulled out the stops at this dinner. The repast was attended by the who’s who as well as those regulars on the free food circuit known as journalists.
But it was a damned-if-you-do-damned-if-you-don’t for the president. For the wagging tongues were now discussing how inappropriately expensive the whole affair was.
PS: Also seen at the dinner was a famous pir of the president who, it appears, doesn’t enjoy the president’s attention anymore. The chap was heard asking others what the president thought of him.
If there’s one department where the PPP can trounce the League(s) any day of the week and twice on Sundays, it is their admirable attendance record in parliament. Be it the late BB, or Yousuf Raza Gillani or Raja Pervez Ashraf, they all made it a point to attend the sessions. The other cabinet members, seeing the leader of the house, used to follow suit.
The current prime minister, however, has maintained the abysmal attendance record of his first two terms. His ministers have followed suit, including the standoffish interior minister.
All are equal in parliament. Primus Inter Pares; first amongst equals. That is all that the prime minister is. The only member at a slightly elevated position, literally and figuratively, is the speaker.
Such egalitarianism doesn’t bode well for the League’s leadership. One is reminded of the time when the younger Sharif attended a session of the Punjab Assembly after a very long absence. The jeers of the opposition: “Stranger in the house!”