Alert Sign Dear reader, online ads enable us to deliver the journalism you value. Please support us by taking a moment to turn off Adblock on Dawn.com.

Alert Sign Dear reader, please upgrade to the latest version of IE to have a better reading experience

.

PM turns to faith-healers

September 19, 2012

raja-pervez-ashraf-AFP-670
Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf waves upon his arrival at the Supreme Court in Islamabad on September 18, 2012. — Photo by AFP

ISLAMABAD, Sept 18: If all things material and real fail you, tap instead into the powers of the unseen and unheard.

It’s a formula that Pakistani politicians have stuck by for decades, and a ‘chirping bird’ in the Prime Minister’s House confessed that the incumbent prime minister rows the same boat.

Like his predecessors, Benazir Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif, Prime Minister Raja Pervez Ashraf has a spiritual guide, Pir Abdul Majeed Khan.

And like the chief of his political party, President Asif Ali Zardari, who keeps Pir Mohammad Ejaz at the Presidency, ‘Pir Khan Sahib’ has been given unhindered access to the PM’s Office.

A source revealed that soon after taking over as the prime minister of Pakistan and before going to the Supreme Court for his first hearing, the PM had in person visited Bari Imam and Golra Sharif shrines.

The source said: “Premier Ashraf meets different spiritual leaders but has a special affiliation with Pir Khan Sahib who hails from Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa.”

The source added: “Mr Ashraf often consults him on a number of issues which remain strictly confidential between the two of them.”

“The last time the two met, Prime Minister Ashraf was happy with the advice Pir Sahib gave him and told us that all issues had been addressed well,” the source continued.

Rumour has it that PM Ashraf’s family is equally in awe of Pir Khan Sahib, and on the eve of the first hearing at the Supreme Court on Aug 27, prime minister’s two sons travelled all the way to the residence of Pir Khan Sahib.

They stayed there till the premier returned home without any strict penalty imposed by the Supreme Court.

When Dawn approached the official spokesman for the office of the Prime Minister, Mr Shafqat Jalil, he quoted the PM to have said: “I have a spiritual affiliation with Pir Sahib and it’s an old relationship.”

The official spokesman could not offer any more quotes by the prime minister on this matter.  He insisted: “It’s a personal matter of the premier and I can’t comment on that.”

When asked whether Pir Abdul Majeed Khan had called on the prime minister in the last few weeks, the spokesman responded: “The prime minister usually meets a number of people from different sects and backgrounds and no doubt he is meeting people with whom he has special affiliation or inclination.

I think having an affiliation with some religious personality is his personal affair.”