Addu city’s resorts have probably never seen so many suits in its equatorial climate before – and probably never will, unless a convention of undertakers comes to town, writes Rameeza Majid Nizami for The Nation.
“As harried delegations tried to squeeze in hurried meeting after meeting to obtain maximum benefit from the event, the feeling remained that all eyes on SAARC were in fact on the two most powerful countries there, India and Pakistan. This time around, I got an opportunity to observe the difference between the work ethic and style of the two regional powers, which I will attempt to describe here. After all, Pakistanis are masters of reverse engineering – when we see something that works well we believe in paying the compliment of ‘imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’. And there is no doubt the Indian side at SAARC were the perfect example of doing something simple, well.
“The Indian approach to their work is meticulous. From the diplomats, to the journalists, planning, setting modest, achievable goals and securing equally modest wins through burning good old-fashioned foot leather is the strategy of their success. The speech of the Prime Minister appeared to have been written to portray an image of a humble billionaire and benevolent sugar-daddy.
“Pakistan, by comparison, was to put it in an analogy, the prettiest girl at the party in the dowdy dress and unflattering accent. Exhibiting tremendous potential and receiving the kind of attention reserved for someone genuinely important, whose relevance is expected to continue to increase, Pakistan was observed with keen interest. Trying to deal with every subject under the sun, the Pakistani delivery at SAARC lacked focus, simply because, through the best of intentions, it tried to deal with too much.”