As always, in affairs of the heart my heart always goes out to the more mundane and practical aspects.
Take for instance, the much rumored/reported relationship between Pakistan’s fetching Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar and Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, chairman of the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP). Bilawal, as many of you might know, is a son of his country’s slain former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and current President Asif Ali Zardari. As political lineages in South Asia’s sycophantic politics go it could not get bluer than this. Even if he does not do much more than just calmly breathe and blink his eyes from time to time, it is a fait accompli for him to one day lead Pakistan. (Let’s not introduce the vicious uncertainties and vicissitudes of being a high profile Pakistani politician here.)
I am not for a second lending credence to a report of their alleged relationship that first appeared in a Bangladeshi tabloid called Weekly Blitz. The story has been inevitably picked up by the Indian media with barely hidden glee. That said, my concern in this entirely is practical. If true, and that is as big an if as any in Pakistan, and if they do choose to get married, another massive if, the prospect of using “Hina Rabbani Khar Bhutto Zardari” does not appear to be practical in a news copy. My takeaway from this is just that much. Just saying it makes it sound as if the person is boasting about the enormous and historic political power packed into it.
Everything else is inconsequential for me. None of the issues that send many into moralizing paroxysms over a 35-year-old married mother of two, not to mention a serving foreign minister of the world’s most troubled country, having a relationship with a 24-year-old heir apparent to the same country’s political power bother me.
News reports have spoken of how the two were “caught in compromising positions” are laughable because the whole purpose of a love affair is to get into “compromising positions” as frequently as possible. And what is “compromising’ about those “positions”?
Speaking of positions, I take none on what Khar’s current husband Firoz Gulzar might have to say about this. Nor do I have any on what Bilawal’s father, the president, has to say about it, although if the affair does indeed exist, he would conceivably have an earful to say about it. I can guarantee that most of it would be strictly for Bilawal’s ears.
Perhaps the best indication that the foreign minister has run into difficulties over this alleged affair would be if she is asked to resign by her Prime Minister Raja Parvez Ashraf under promptings from Zardari. None of that has happened yet, nor, for that matter, any credible voice has commented on it. If true, there are so many grounds on which Zardari may disapprove but none as potent as the chilling effect it can have on his party’s electoral prospects in general and his son’s rise in particular.
I personally put no stock in this story, not because of its dubious sourcing but because it means nothing to me. Two life forms of any gender of any species feeling drawn to each other should hardly constitute news. What should make even less news are the ‘compromising positions.”
P.S.: I am not sure whether it is the same Weekly Blitz in question but here is a link to what appears to be so.