LAHORE - Punjab Governor Sardar Latif Khosa and Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif exchanged taunts, wits, satire and rare pleasantries on Friday when they had a brief chat on the sidelines of an oath-taking ceremony arranged for Justice Umar Ata Bandial, the new LHC CJ, at the Governor House.
The chief minister was warmly received by Governor Khosa before the ceremony’s start. He was accompanied by Law Minister Rana Sana Ullah, Sardar Zulfiqar Khosa and Senator Pervaiz Rashid. Speaker Punjab Assembly Rana Muhammad Iqbal arrived a little earlier than the chief minister.
The two leaders had last met six months back at the same venue when Justice Azmat Saeed was sworn in as Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court. According to sources, Khosa took his PML-N guests to Ivory Room of the Governor House for chitchat, minutes before start of the ceremony. Justice Umer Ata Bandial was also present.
As they settled down, the governor congratulated the chief minister over establishment of the first IT University in Lahore, and the latter thanked. In the meanwhile, drinks arrived, but the chief minister preferred water to fresh juice served to all the guests.
The chief minister then turned to Justice Ata Bandial and complained, though in a lighter vein: “Khosa sahib does not consider me even a member of the Punjab Assembly.” Upon this, Khosa smiled and said that he was only referring to his dual membership case pending in the court.
Now it was the Speaker’s turn. He told the chief minister that according to Governor Khosa, South African leader Nelson Mandela also belonged to the Khosa tribe. The CM laughed out loud. The governor, to add to the laughter, then said it was true but the Khosa tribe in DG Khan and the one in South Africa were a bit different. He further informed his guests that the last word of the name of Mandela’s tribe, ‘Tembu Xhosa’ gave the sound of ‘Khosa’ in the native African language. More laughter.
Earlier, when the chief minister reached the Governor House along with his team and Governor Khosa was leading him to the Ivory Room, the governor cut a joke at Shahbaz Sharif, saying, “Mr Chief Minister, you are surrounded by two Ranaas. Be careful of them.” It was a reference to Speaker Rana Iqbal and Rana Sanaullah accompanying the CM who only passed a smile in response to the governor’s satirical jibe.
Before departure of the CM, both reportedly agreed to continue meeting in the future as well to bring about a pleasant change in the political atmosphere.