Thursday, October 03, 2013

"Dehati aurat": A message, not an insult

Nawaz Sharif, Pakistan's prime minister was hosting a breakfast for two journalists, one from Pakistan and the other, Barkha Dutt in USA during Manmohan Singh's recent visit there. After the breakfast, the Pakistani journalist remarked that Nawaz Sharif opined that Manmohan Singh behaved like a dehati aurat (village woman) in seeking President Obama's help in curbing terrorism emanating from Pakistan.

Barkha Dutt contested this version and clarified that Nawaz Sharif was only allegorical and that the reference was not an insult. She did not deny the happening.

It is plausible that Nawaz Sharif did not mean to insult Manmohan Singh and was only suggesting that as prime minister of a huge neighbouring country, Singh could as well handle the situation directly by hitting at terrorist spots in Pakistan, if necessary. This interpretation gains credibility in the light of suggestions that Osama Bin Laden was caught by the Americans only on specific input from the government of Pakistan which preferred, for obvious reasons, to remain as an anonymous source of information. This interpretation becomes all the more credible because the Pakistani government preferred not to defend its airways when the American jets thundered in. 

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