13 June, 2021

"Vajpayee Is Taking A General's Approach"

The Pakistan Prime Minister in his first one-to-one interview since assuming power.

"Vajpayee Is Taking A General's Approach"
Pakistan Prime Minister Mir Zafarullah Khan Jamali is a man of immense grace and simple tastes. Dressed in a beige salwar kameez with a dark-shaded waistcoat, he gets up to greet me with a traditional salaam, in contrast to the handshake that had been in vogue under the military regime. As he raises his hand, I notice he still wears the two rings with huge inlaid stones that he used to during his days as an ordinary politician.

The room where the PM receives me is airy; two French windows overlook the garden where roses are in bloom. Instead of sitting across an imposing desk he takes the sofa, imparting an air of informality. The decor is subtle, none of the outlandish Mughal decor of Nawaz Sharif or those imported crystals of Benazir Bhutto. Upholstery is in subtle shades of raw silk, the only decorative piece a silver artifact with a lapis lazuli set into it—and even this is in an adjoining room where I had to wait a few minutes before being ushered in.

Jamali has brought with him the great Baloch tradition of hospitality; the staff ensures that a glass of...

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