As stories go, this one (copied below) is a nice one. It reminds me of the time when I met two Indian astrologers at an UN conference in Europe. The astrologers were part of a NGO delegation which was hoping to ink a few lucrative deals with Western donors. The chief of the NGO, a perceptive lady with a canny business sense, ensured that the astrologers, who were officially introduced as technical support staff , were strategically seated next to heads of donor agencies at a formal sit-down dinner hosted by the NGO. From my vantage position, I could see much of the palm-reading, hand-holding and whispering that went on right through the dinner. Next morning, I bumped into one of the astrologers who explained to me in great detail how the plot works. Astrologers, according to this man, are a big hit in such conferences because many of those in exalted positions are actually deeply insecure. They are, more often than not, terrified of what the future holds . There is growing fear about non-renewal of contracts, of being sidelined, of loss of a tax-free job, perks, social status and repercussions for family. In the material world, those who worry too much about what the future holds are destined to run into those whose bread and butter depends on future forecasting. My astrologer friends must be doing very well today..
The Pakistani delegation coming to India to take part in the foreign secretary-level talks on February 25 also includes a ‘physiognomy’ expert, who will read the faces of the Indian officials and predict what they ‘actually’ intend to say.
Pakistan’s ‘treasured guide’ Director-General for South Asia Afrasiab Hashmi is said to be an expert in judging a person’s character by reading his/her facial structure.
Though Hashmi has not received any special training in this unique art, many believe he harboured the skill right from birth.
Hashmi had previously served as Pakistan’s deputy high commissioner in India, China, Austria and the United Nations in New York.
According to sources, he not only has the ability to read faces, but can also predict the immediate future.
Hashmi first came into the limelight when he predicted that then Pakistan President General Zia-ul-Haq would not be able to attend the United Nations General Assembly in August 1988.The very next day, General Zia’s plane crashed.
According to some accounts, General Zia knew about Hashmi’s skills and is believed to have sent him a huge portrait of himself to know about his future. However, it is not clear what Hashmi told Zia at that time.
One of the officials who worked with Hashmi in India revealed that a top army officer of the Indian Army [ Images ] consistently enquired about his future from Hashmi.
According to the official, during a party, Hashmi had told the Indian Army official that his wife suffered from severe migraine, just after shaking hands with her.
“He had also told her that 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,” The News quoted the official as saying.