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While delivering his Holi address in Karachi, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif spoke on a range of issues including protection of minorities in Pakistan, but the speech took an awkward turn when he brought PML(N) leader Khialdas Kohistani into the conversation and then proceeded to talk about his 'weight'.
Way into the address, Sharif brought up Kohistani's name and asked him to confirm whether the Karachi law and order situation had improved. When the party leader agreed, the Prime Minister suddenly digressed for an entire minute about Kohistani's weight, reports Dawn.
Addressing the audience, he first said, "Tell him to lose a little weight," to which he received quite a few chuckles from the seemingly amused audience.
"I'm saying this in his interest. I have a lot of love for him and I want him to be healthy. When he was giving his speech, he could barely breathe. [When I saw that,] I decided then that I'd tell him to lose weight. You may be called Kohistani but you don't look it," he said.
However, the taken aback leader took the Prime Minister's quip in his stride and responded saying, "People say if I lose weight, [PM Sharif] won't notice me anymore. They say you notice me because I'm fat."
Later in his address, PM Nawaz added, "I'll visit Kohistan. You go mountain climbing a little, and I'll go mountain climbing a little. When you become less breathless, I'll [start development] in Kohistan."
Despite the sheer awkwardness of the topic of conversation between Prime Minister Sharif and Kohistani, both leaders maintained a congenial attitude throughout the discourse.
Earlier, while greeting the Hindu community on the occasion of Holi, Sharif had asserted that forcible conversion and destruction of worship places of other religions is a crime in Islam and in Pakistan, adding that "no one can force others to adopt a certain religion."
"Islam gives importance to every human being regardless of his caste, creed or religion and I say it clearly that forcing anyone to convert his religion is a crime and it is our duty to protect the worship places of the minorities in Pakistan," the Prime Minister said.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)