Sharif Asks Aides to Explain 'Dehati Aurat' Remarks

Ajay Kaul and Lalit K Jha/ New York
Sharif Asks Aides to Explain 'Dehati Aurat' Remarks

The 'dehati aurat' comment attributed to him is learnt to have upset Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who in immediate damage-control, sent a message to his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh that he never used such a language against him.

According to senior Pakistani officials here, Sharif directed his close aides to get in touch with Indian officials as soon as he came to know that a controversy had erupted over the purported comments.

Sharif is understood to have tasked his Foreign Secretary Jalil Abbas Jilani to pass on the message to Singh on the factual position that he never used such a language against him.

It was early in the morning that Jilaini called National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon to explain him the Pakistani position.

According to sources, Menon told Jilaini that he has already verified the authenticity of such a statements and is aware about the factual position.

The Prime Minister too has been informed about it, Menon is believed to have told Jilani.

This came as a big relief to the Pakistani delegation and the Prime Minister Sharif.

Earlier, a Pakistani journalist who was present at the breakfast hosted by Nawaz Sharif denied that the Prime Minister had used any word like 'dehati aurat' for Singh.

He, however, said Sharif was not pleased that Singh 'complained' against Pakistan when he met US President Barack Obama in Washington.

"He never uttered any such word," said Absar Alam, anchorperson Aaj TV of Pakistan.

He said Sharif made his displeasure known by citing a anecdotal story.

"The story goes like this – after a party all people sleep in a hall. One of them wakes up next morning and starts praying. In his prayers he says Allah! Look I am praying to you while all these others are sleeping. Some other person woke up and heard him. He told him why do not you concentrate on your prayers instead of complaining against us," he said.


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