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Monday, March 24, 2008

Media Watch Desi Mar 23: Elahi to Spoil the Party, New Govt. Should Support Bangladesh, Dwindling Houris, Anjum Niaz, Shobha Dey, MQM, Humayun Gohar .

Yusuf Raza Gilani may be a blessing in disguise for Makhdoom Amin Fahim. Oil and Water do not mix. This coalition, cobbled together in hatred would not last the 5 yr term.

With problems facing the nation that Gilani’s cabinet will face - it will just be a matter of time before the euphoria wears off.

Initially, the new cabinet will play the oldest game in politics - blame the previous government for all that ails - but this will lose its usefulness pretty quickly. Pakistanis want results - electricity, essential commodities’ price check...water...fuel...employment….and since there are no quick solutions…people would not listen to blame-the-previous-government excuse past 3-6 months. What happens next? The interim co chairperson as per will himself?

Chaudhry Pervez Elahi to step in after Dr. Farooq Sattar withdraws to spoil the unanimous election sought for Yusuf Raza Gilani.

“Almost seven years ago, Ayaz Amir had posed the following rhetorical questions: ‘Does any newspaper-reading man in Pakistan doubt Benazir’s and Asif’s guilt? Does anyone think they got no commission from the Swiss firm, SGS-Cotecna? Does anyone doubt the financial acumen of the then ruling couple who turned Islamabad into an open auction mart where every deal, no matter how outrageous, was on offer provided the right palms were greased?’ The Sharifs’ notions of government were intensely private: which is to say, have your own man at every key post …“And Amir concluded: ‘The common factor between both parties is gangsterism and corruption. Shahbaz Sharif resembled nothing so much as a Mafioso don. What does Asif Zardari look like? In any Godfather sequel he can easily get a part. As for moneymaking it is hard to figure out who beat whom: the PPP leadership or the Muslim League? My own guess is the Sharifs were professionals: subtle about their money. Zardari left a trail, which goes all the way to Rockwood, French submarines …’” Our Sunday curmudgeon Ardeshir Cowasjee quoting a senior columnist Ayaz Amir.

Anybody following the Lahore Badshahs creating a storm in ICL?

President Pervez Musharraf’s main ally, the PML(Q), will field former chief minister of Pakistan’s Punjab province Chaudhry Pervez Elahi as its prime ministerial candidate for the Monday election, the party said on Saturday.

The decision to nominate Mr Elahi was taken after Muttahida Qaumi Movement decided to withdraw party leader Farooq Sattar as its joint candidate with PML(Q) for the post of Prime Minister, PML(Q) chief Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain told reporters here. PML-Q to field Pervez Elahi for PM contest

So, what to say to someone so irrational, demented and desperate? Simple. Talk to him about rapture. But with a twist. Tell him paradise is running out of hoors. Thanks to so many suicide bombings recently, scores of bombers have already reached heaven and bagged all of the blissful fair maidens. Tell him it’ll take a bit of time for the new hoors to grow (on trees), and that it would be wiser for him to delay his dramatic, headless departure by, say, another 20 to 30 years. Hole in the sky By Nadeem F. Paracha

Writing about the plight of politicians caught with their pants down Anjum Niaz ends her column in Dawn with these words: "Politicians in Pakistan, beware! The eye of the public is upon you and the glare of the media is more than ever powerful. One little slip and you’ll be toast!"

May I remind Anjum she'd have no such luck. Ask a certain Maulana Sandwich;)

And a happy 60th birthday first to Ms. Shoobha Dey. She wants to know "
.., why did he not use intuition to warn his wife about the heinous assassination that awaited her?" Elementary my dear!

According to her, Asif was not just the most engaging of friends -- attentive, chivalrous and generous -- but an intuitive mind-reader as well. That was quite a revelation. She insisted Zardari would frequently go into a ‘trance’ and make scarily accurate predictions that would leave her gasping. She also mentioned his wit and intelligence that charmed the ladies in ways that made other men awfully jealous. The man I see with such frequency on news channels these days is a picture of sobriety and gravitas. He speaks exceedingly well. Makes a lot of sense, and is certainly leading from the front.

What puzzles me (assuming my girlfriend was not fibbing) is, if the man has all these mystical powers, why did he not use intuition to warn his wife about the heinous assassination that awaited her? Then again, no human being on earth is endowed with such supreme gifts as to predict death. It would be fascinating to monitor how Zardari deals with the current situation. Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t it the first time in recent history that a role reversal has taken place and a widower has stepped into his late wife’s sandals to assume power?

Mr Zardari did not move towards the MQM without “taking permission” from the leader of the party’s coalition partners — whom he called his “senior” partners — Mr Nawaz Sharif, Mr Asfandyar Wali and Maulana Fazlur Rehman. Similarly, Mr Altaf Hussain discussed the projected move with the leader of the PMLQ, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain. The consent given by both sides of the political divide in the parliament has consequences which must be studied carefully. One easy reaction expressed over TV was that the development denoted the terminal phase of the isolation of President Pervez Musharraf. But there is almost a certain indication of a contrary development. EDITORIAL: The PPP-MQM reconciliation

The above was corroborated by the Nation's Editorial which says: “The MQM leaders have taken us into confidence about their decision that they would join a coalition government in Sindh in larger interest of the people of the province,” PML-Q President Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain told a press conference at PML House.

Humayun Gohar makes an interesting observation: There could be more optimism round the corner. Nawaz Sharif could help transplant the People's Party's 'liberalism' rooted in western social and political constructs into native soil, while the PPP could temper Sharif's confusion of Islam with mullahism and his (past?) admiration of the Taliban. One is pro-America; the other not so. They could play good-cop-bad-cop to keep America's unreasonable demands at bay. A new prime minister as stopgap makes sense.

When India's first parliament met, Maulana Hasrat Mohani took a bus. I was reminded of this when I read Amina Jilani: An AFP report in the national press last week commenting on the arrivals at the National Assembly on the day of the speaker's election described the fleets of 'gold-rimmed SUVs' idling outside the parliament, the parking lot 'crowded with new sports utility vehicles festooned with flashy tire rims and hoot ornaments', the trappings of 'ostentatious wealth', the boast of one representative being 'a dual citizen of Canada', 'feudal landlords', 'wealthy elites'. There was no alighting from democratic buses, taxes, rickshaws or bicycles. All 'a bit of a charade', one onlooker put it.


Dear friends and fellow supporters of Kareem Amer,

The Free Kareem Coalition, in collaboration with the Committee to Protect Bloggers, are holding a new campaign called "Flood the Jail with Mail!" (taking place from April 7th-21st) aimed to get as many people as possible to send Kareem letters of support so that he can remain hopeful and in high spirits.

Kareem has spent over one year in prison, with no sign of his freedom yet. This past November, he was tortured by both prison inmates and guards while being asked to repent for holding certain beliefs. This is unacceptable. We cannot go on referring to Egypt as a democratic or modern state for as long as Kareem is still in prison. This unjust crime of imprisoning him has to be corrected immediately as it's a serious abuse against the freedom of speech clause which Egypt constantly claims to adhere to.

We still await his unconditiona
l release, and are continuing to do our best to secure his freedom.

But while we do that, we have to make sure that Kareem knows that we are all thinking about him. And for this purpose, we have launched a new campaign:


Please read the details here. It has all the details that you would require in order to pariticpate in this campaign, which will soon be joined by Reporters Without Borders and any other organization interested in making this initative as successful and effective as possible.
Free Kareem Coalition


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