Pakistani team for talks with India equipped with physiognomy
An eight-member Pakistani delegation led by Foreign Secretary Salman Bashir reached New Delhi on Wednesday for talks with India. Interestingly, Pakistan has edge over its archrival India in the talks as its negotiating team includes an official having the God-gifted quality of face reading.
“We have come to India with open mind for bilateral talks. Pakistan-India talks would show us the way forward," said the Pakistan foreign secretary on reaching New Delhi. The Pakistan foreign secretary is scheduled to meet his Indian counterpart on Thursday.
ISLAMABAD: When Pakistani negotiators start their dialogue with the Indians in New Delhi on Wednesday, they will be informally helped by one of their team members who can read the faces of people and predict what they are actually thinking and feeling — an art known as physiognomy.Director-General for South Asia, Afrasiab Hashmi, may turn out to be a treasured guide for the country’s delegation by reading the faces of the Indian negotiators.Few people know about the God-gifted quality of Hashmi. He is an expert in judging a person’s character or personality from that mans facial characteristics and structure. Physiognomy and its practice dates back to the ancient Greece but was abandoned later.Hashmi is said to have harboured this skill by birth, not learning through any special courses. It becomes very difficult to hide one’s inner-self in front of Hashmi, people close to him say, though he gives his frank opinions only to frank friends.The Foreign Office spokesperson confirmed Hashmi’s mastery in face reading but said he was unaware of its utility at the official level.Hashmi, an officer of 12th Common, has previously served as Pakistan’s deputy high commissioner in India, China, Austria and the United Nations in New York. His initial posting after joining the foreign service was in the United Nations where his accurate predictions caught many by surprise.He also has some skills in predicting the immediate future. The story goes a senior Pakistani diplomat was briefing his junior colleagues on August 16, 1988 about the upcoming visit of the then-president Gen Ziaul Haq to the UN General Assembly. He won’t come, a budding diplomat seated on the backbenches shouted. How do you say so?, his boss inquired worryingly, prompting him to shout the same line again. He then ran outside the room.Hashmi was nervous, tired and terrified. As he was consoled and when asked he refused to open his lips till Zia’s plane crash made rounds of the whole world the next day.Well before Hashmi had joined the foreign service, Gen Zia knew about his skills and is believed to have sent him a huge portrait of himself out of curiosity to know what’s up for him in the future. Hashmi was then a student of the Government College Lahore. It couldn’t be known what Hashmi had forecast about Zia at that time. One of his staffers, who served with him in India, shared how a top Indian Army officer was running after Hashmi as he came to know about his skills. These were the early days of Hashmi in India. When he was invited to a reception, also attended by a former army chief, Hashmi shook hands with the uniformed officer and turned to his wife to say hi. As he saw the general’s wife, he pointed out that she was suffering from Migraine. Hashmi said her face was unusual and extraordinary. He had also told her the pain was due to her habit of excessive reading, which surprised her husband who dashed to his residence the next day for further information about his own home affairs.