(Disclaimer: this is a work of fiction. Learn to take a joke; you’ll live longer.)
ISLAMABAD – A true master in the art of international relations, Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi on Wednesday came third in a round of trilateral ring-a-ring-a-roses with his counterparts from Saudi Arabia and the UAE, in a move that could result in massive diplomatic gains for Islamabad.
The game that was played following the meetings with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir and Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the UAE Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan saw the Saudi and Emirate ministers finishing joint first, with Qureshi coming third.
Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi told journalists that concessions are an integral part of international relations.
“If losing a game of ring-a-ring-a-roses results in Saudi Arabia and the UAE standing by Pakistan on the Kashmir issue, then it is worth losing. This is called Baazigar diplomacy,” he told the press conference.
“Although, of course, I was the first to fall after we all said ‘ha-dishoo ha-dishoo, we all fall down’ – but I got back up within the blink of an eye and let his highness Adel bin Ahmed and his highness Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed fall down first,” Qureshi added.
Later, a statement issued by the foreign ministry acknowledged the gains of the visit of the Saudi and Emirati foreign ministers.
“The visiting Ministers underlined the strong bonds of Saudi Arabia and UAE with Pakistan and took full cognizance of Pakistan’s perspective. In that regard, they confirmed that the prospect of playing Pakistan’s traditional children’s games baraf paani, pithoo garam, kho kho and neeli pari will be discussed at the next meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Coorperation (OIC),” the Foreign Office of Pakistan confirmed.