The charming mayor of London Sadiq Khan cut quite a figure during his visit to Pakistan. Informal and friendly, he acted like the role model that he is.
He suavely showed his love for Pakistan as well as his firm place as an immigrant in the UK (Homecoming? No, home is south London)
His Khadimness hijacked the Lahore part of the tour and was his dapper self at an event that was organised in Khan’s honour. Suited, with his famous ties and all. The mayor’s own sartorial sensibilities, however, were far more laid back. Business casual, much like our current prime minister.
At a function in Al Hamra, the program moderator asked him a question that would have delighted the Sharifs. When asked what he made of the xenophobic campaign run by opponent Zac Goldsmith in the mayoral race (which Imran Khan, as Goldsmith’s former brother-in-law, supported) the Mayor replied with a Michelle Obama quote: “When they go low, we go high.”
Tahir ul Qadir’s Minhaj ul Qur’aan is quite the centre of political activity these days. It is quite an eclectic mix of politicians that is calling on the Cleric From Canada these days.
There is the PTI (understandable, as they were allies in the ‘14 dharna); there is the PSP, lending some steam to the Establishment theory, and there is the PPP, which has taken many by surprise, given how much of a nuisance the man was during the party’s final year in their last stint as the federal government.
He is a good host, by all accounts, having arranged the special vegetarian cuisine that Zardari is partial to.
Only in Pakistan can an individual with no political standing to speak of become a prized mover and shaker for proper, established political parties.