Tantrums of a Foreign Minister

It was Friday, October 26, 2012, just a day before Eid-ul-Azha, when I was sitting comfortably getting my eyebrows groomed at Nina G salon in DHA, Lahore. Before this day, I had a good opinion of the salon and the service they provide to their customers. I was only five minutes away from getting done so I called my husband to come get me. The young receptionist at Nina G walked up, with a sense of urgency, to the girl who was meticulously grooming my eyebrows at the time. The receptionist spoke the following words to the girl in a loud voice (not very characteristic of her), “You are still doing this, while I asked you to get ready to do a manicure”.

I was a little confused as this girl was with me for the last one hour and nobody had talked to her besides me. Perhaps seeing my bewildered face, the receptionist whispered to me, “I am sorry! I have to do this because a client is getting very angry at us”. I smiled, understanding her situation. I could imagine the agony of trying to satisfy the unreasonable demands of women who are often not that educated or too cocky about their money or social class. They love to throw their weight around even a day before Eid when everyone is running on a tight schedule.

Pakistan Foreign Minister in Style

Lo and behold! A lady walked in with extremely aggressive body language, getting annoyed at everyone and everything. Guess who? Spot on! Our Foreign Minister herself – Ms Hina Rabbani Khar! Her ever so familiar filmy hairstyle with the side partition and her facial profile was enough to recognize her from a distance, let alone the 2 feet of thin air between us. She was fuming with a frown on her face saying, “I have to get somewhere by 3 o’clock and you guys are just not doing your job”. Oops! It was already past 1 pm. Clearly, someone has to teach Ms Khar some manners, courtesy, and the importance of planning and time management. At least three female staff members who were already busy with other clients left to beautify Ms Khar’s hands and feet. As Ms Khar got comfortable in her seat, she perhaps remembered her ‘political’ getup and draped a maroon dupatta on her head.

Prior to this encounter, I did not have a bad opinion of this ‘face of Pakistan’. Although, I did think that she was more hoopla than substance. Her fashion sense is a bit much for a country struggling with just too many battles at home and internationally. I feel that Benazir Bhutto and Margaret Thatcher had an aura of wanting to do something far more significant than merely making a fashion statement.

With my husband waiting outside getting all worked up about the delay, I sat there hoping someone would finish doing what I had gone to Nina G for in the first place. The girl grooming my eyebrows had excused herself to do Ms Khar’s manicure. How convenient for Ms Khar! I didn’t see Ms Khar look around her even once. In a room full of female customers and staff, Ms Khar didn’t feel the need to charm her audience at all. You are a politician, woman! Don’t you feel that people should want to remember you as someone worth remembering, as someone who is charming, and who wins over people’s hearts somehow? Oh let me guess, you do not have to win over Pakistani people by charisma or your political mandate, you can win them over by the power of your daddy’s name and your money. You can wow international audiences by your chiffons, pearls, and exquisite designer bags, but I am deeply unimpressed. Whatever education and exposure Ms Khar got, clearly didn’t do her much good. Or perhaps LUMS only taught economics to her; seemingly a dated lesson entrenched in making money at the cost of everything else.

Nobody wanted to meet her or get a photo taken. Nobody was OK with her throwing her weight around. There were customers who wanted the parlor to have CCTV cameras to document the wrongs that these political figures commit when they visit. I reckon, thanks to the recent Ms Sharif incident at Sweet Tooth Café.

A customer wondered if anyone else would get their work done at the parlor during Ms Khar’s visit. She added – why do such high and mighty people not get their manicures and pedicures at home. I wonder too. While Ms Khar and I may pay the same amount of money, small businesses in Pakistan would extend more courtesy to her than to me. Why? Does she pay more? Does she pay so much more and create such positive word of mouth for Nina G that they leave all other customers to attend to her uncalled for tantrums? I teach Marketing and Brand Management to the promising youth of Pakistan who tomorrow will be determining the fate of companies here. Of course, I should be the last one on the priority list. The writing is on the wall for me. I have to become a sleazy politician to get work done on time in my own country. Becoming a leading professor just isn’t going to cut the deal. God bless Pakistan!

16 thoughts on “Tantrums of a Foreign Minister”

  1. Very enlighening……politicians are programmed to care about nobody but themselves. Not their fault I guess…thats what money and power does to you(as you rightly pointed out)……..so perhaps it is not worth discussing Khar as she is only a product of corrupt and self centred politial system of Pakistan.

  2. Could it be just a stressful day for her?
    But yes, I would like to have ms.thatcher as a leader of my country.
    And I do agree politicians should not make fashion statement especially when the country is suffering. For sure there is many things more important. President Ma's (Taiwan) daughter carries her own luggage around, and she wears t-shirt and jeans in public with her pony tail. That is why even the communists (China) like her, and want their politician's families to take her as example. http://www.noblechinese.com/guiren-news2/info/23834-2.htm

  3. Its not just Ms. Khar, the entire Khar dynasty had always been this way. To “Throw their weight” is in their blood. And by the way, LUMS is no where in their counting, even Cambridge can not teach them manners or humanity …
    Let just leave it to God !!!

  4. Her uncle mustafa khar was highly reputed in Pakistan people party despite of being given the highest award of the peoples party in Pid hall which was given to five people.Her uncle is remembered with another award which he was given by members of the party.same is the condition of her in the party. so , in a case she is highly respected figure and she should be respected.The mentality of political leader and political class of Pakistan shows why it can not become prosperous welfare state and highly recognised nuclear power despite of having so much talent.The history of khar family is worthfull, it is a noble with remarkable achievements with in the party premises.

  5. Her uncle mustafa khar was highly reputed in Pakistan people party despite of being given the highest award of the peoples party in Pid hall which was given to five people.Her uncle is remembered with another award which he was given by members of the party.same is the condition of her in the party. so , in a case she is highly respected figure and she should be respected.The mentality of political leader and political class of Pakistan shows why it can not become prosperous welfare state and highly recognised nuclear power despite of having so much talent.The history of khar family is worthfull, it is a noble with remarkable achievements with in the party premises.

  6. I am sad to say that it is the behaviour of any filthy rich guy in our country. The ” I own you” mentality is what we need to keep a check on, whether its Ms. Khar or Ms. Sharif.

  7. Wow! Just because hubby dearest had to wait outside for 10 minutes, Ms Khar gets this totally unfair bashing! Come on! You don’t like her because she had the audacity to not charm a bunch of rich housewives pampering themselves lying around in luxury? And what has her LUMS education got anything to do with how she chooses to live or act? People who’ve received the best education in the most expensive and reputed colleges of the world have gone on to become the worst imaginable swindlers and cheats in the corporate west. (Not that it justifies what Khar did to your eyebrows or your husband’s mood). My point is, criticize her for her politics, not for petty stuff.

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