By Sarvat Hossain
It was a remarkable experience, witnessing the six minutes of frenzied chanting for German Chancellor Ms Angela Merkel on the 15th of January 2021 for her farewell bid. This was in appreciation of ‘The lady of the world’, who was once depicted as the equivalent of six million men.
The Germans decided to take the unprecedented step of creating history by standing outside of their dwellings on the balconies of their houses. They chanted for a good six minutes for Merkel. What a wonderful and a truly deserved farewell!
The Germans, as a nation, showed solidarity towards their 66-years-old first female Chancellor who has widely been described as a de facto leader of the European Union and the most powerful woman in the world. Many commentators also referred to her as the ‘the leader of the free world’.
This fond farewell makes one wonder what the leaders of Pakistan’s mainstream political party leaders can expect when their time comes to depart from the all-important leadership stage.
Can they be compared to this exceptional, devoted politician of Germany? Can any of them, indeed, the same question can be asked of most world leaders…. leave such a legacy behind when their time comes?
Ms Merkel was once at press conference when she was asked by a journalist why she had worn the same suit twice… ‘Don’t you have another one’, he asked? The answer was: ‘I am a government employee and not a model’. She led a simple life.
On another occasion when asked whether she has house aides who clean the house, prepare the meals etc., she replied: ‘No I don’t have female workers as I don’t need them, my husband and I do this work every day’.
On being asked by the media who does washing up at home, her husband or herself, she replied by saying: ‘I arrange the clothes and my husband is the one who operates the washing machine, and its usually at night, because electricity is available and there is no pressure on it, the most important thing is to take our neighbours into account’. From the inconvenience perspective, ‘the wall separating our apartment from our neighbour’s is thick’.
The pastor’s daughter changed the history of Germany and became the most appreciated and effective chancellor Germany has ever had. Her most remarkable achievement was probably to maintain stability and continuity of governance at one of the more challenging times in the history of Germany.
She dealt with considerable issues, such as the migration crisis, when Europe was all but paralysed by the huge influx of migrants, and all this whilst she was able to engineer and maintain a steadily growing economy.
Arguably, her greatest achievement was to prevent the Euro from disintegrating, and possibly the second was to keep the EU together as it is now. She might not be a big, ‘flash’ performer, and indeed, she might not be a huge visionary in the eyes of some, but she has certainly demonstrated to all that she has been a much-needed stable hand, in the right place and at the right time.
Angela Merkel served her country in the highest office for a wonderful 16 years of tenure. During this period, she was never challenged for any financial discrepancy, her name did not appear in Panama leaks, she faced no scandal of plot allotment, never purchased any aeroplanes, yachts or rolls- Royce cars, neither was any bank account in her name found in safe heavens.
Ms Merkel directly contradicted her new interior minister Horst Seehofer, on the topic of refugees. Seehofer sparked a furore when he told the Bild Newspaper that ‘Islam does not belong in Germany’. Merkel also slammed a planned Koran-burning event.
Germany has received more than 200,000 asylum seekers, and nearly one fifth of those refugees were from conflict-ridden Syria. She faced serious criticism over the refugee’s issues, but she she rejected these concerns and helped them to stand on their own feet in ‘her Germany’.
World has not seen a leader like Ms Angela Merkel in recent times. She has performed her duty like a true selfless hero. Hats off to your work Ms Merkel. Hope other politicians will learn and recognise the true spirit of your excellence, simplicity, and professionalism.
Pakistani politicians use tax payers money for their foreign trips and led a life like Royals. They attend conferences and meetings whole over the world but no positive changes or implementation to be observed in the country. Our female politicians may pay attention to Ms Merkel’s simple life and stop roaming around with Channels and Gucci’s bags. If we may remind them that Pakistanis can’t afford three meals in a day. Shame on you and start behaving like a true public servants. PAK DESTINY