Islamabad: Pakistan`s Foreign Office
apparently sent an official known for his ability to read
faces to receive Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao on her
arrival in Rawalpindi in a bid to find out what was on her
When Rao flew into Pakistan on a special flight, she
was received at the airport by Director General (South Asia)
Afrasiab Mehdi Hashmi, who is famed for his uncanny ability to
read the faces of people and predict what they are thinking,
diplomatic sources told agency.
According to protocol, Rao would have been received by
a junior officer but instead Hashmi was sent because of his
reputed talent for judging a person`s character from their
facial features a questionable science known as physiognomy.
The Foreign Office has never officially acknowledged
this use of Hashmi`s talents but he was included in the
Pakistani delegation that went to New Delhi in February for
Foreign Secretary-level talks for his ability, the sources
At that time, the Foreign Office spokesperson
confirmed Hashmi`s mastery of face reading but said he was
unaware of its utility at the official level.
Hashmi, who has served as Deputy High Commissioner at
the Pakistani mission in India, is also known for his razor
sharp memory. He can recall even minute details of events or
meetings that have taken place several years ago.
He is said to have had the ability to read faces since
birth. People close to Hashmi were once quoted by The News
daily as saying that it "becomes very difficult to hide one`s
inner self in front" of him.
Hashmi also has some skill in predicting the immediate
future. According to one story, he predicted the death of
former military ruler Zia-ul-Haq while serving at the UN in
When a senior Pakistani diplomat was briefing junior
colleagues about an upcoming visit by Zia to the UN General
Assembly, Hashmi, who was part of the gathering, remarked: "He
When he was asked why he had said so, Hashmi ran out
of the room without replying and refused to speak about the
issue. The next day, Zia was killed in a mysterious plane