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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Media Watch Desi Mar 28: Why the SC is Silent on Such Travesties, Burney Yearns, Haqqani Grabs, Pakistan is No Honduras, Oldest Conservationsit,

Will the learned judges take suo moto notice of child marriages, women married to Qur'an, the killing that goes on in the name of honour? Read this: Islamabad, March 27: A nine-year-old girl was allegedly married off to avenge her father’s marriage to his maternal cousin in Pakistan’s Punjab province. The marriage was allegedly ordered by the village council in Burewala under the custom of "vani" according to which little girls are married off to their family’s enemies. "The panchayat made the ruling after Rab Nawaz, the father of the victim, married his maternal cousin," the girl’s mother Anwar Bibi was quoted as saying by the Daily Times.

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani girls may be getting hooked to smoking as early as 15 years, says a new study. The study conducted by the Aga Khan University shows that 16 per cent of girls have tried smoking by the age of 15, while over six per cent smoked at least once a month by that age. Interestingly, the users were found to be aware of the hazards of smoking. The university, which published its study in the International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease, interviewed 644 Karachi girls with an average age of 15. Pakistani Girls Smoking Early

Islamabad, March 27: Leading rights activist Ansar Burney, who was the human rights minister in Pakistan’s caretaker government, will visit India in April to meet the family of Sarabjit Singh and gather any evidence about his innocence and to trace Pakistani prisoners in Indian jails. Mr Burney said he would go to India on April 2 at the invitation of Punjab chief minister Parkash Singh Badal. "I plan to meet Sarabjit’s family and his sister Dalbir Kaur to gather evidence they claim to have regarding his evidence. This will make it easier for me to work for his case," Mr Burney said on Thursday. "At the same time, I will also try and meet the Pakistani prisoners who are in Indian jails. Obviously I will also try and do whatever is possible for their release," he said. Burney will meet Sarabjit’s family By REZAUL H. LASKAR

[As hinted at in Baithak previously] Islamabad, March 27: Hussain Haqqani, a close aide of slain former Premier Benazir Bhutto, was on Thursday appointed as ambassador at large for Pakistan’s new government formed by PPP and its allies. Mr Haqqani will also serve as senior adviser on foreign affairs and national security to Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani, official sources said.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — If it was not yet clear to Washington that a new political order prevailed here, the three-day visit this week by America’s chief diplomat dealing with Pakistan should put any doubt to rest. The visit by Deputy Secretary of State John D. Negroponte turned out to be series of indignities and chilly, almost hostile, receptions as he bore the brunt of the full range of complaints that Pakistanis now feel freer to air with the end of military rule by Washington’s favored ally, President Pervez Musharraf. “How is Pakistan different to Honduras?” Mr. Saleem asked, a query clearly intended to tweak Mr. Negroponte about his time as ambassador to Honduras in the 1980s, when he was in charge of the American effort to train and arm a guerrilla force aimed at overthrowing the leftist government in Nicaragua. He was later criticized for meddling in the region and overlooking human rights abuses in pursuit of United States foreign policy goals. The diplomat demurred, according to Mr. Saleem, saying, “You have put me on the spot.” Today's Pakistan is No Honduras

Years ago my friend Wali Mohammad Manganhar from Shahdadkot (Larkana district) told me of the fish of Pir Chattal. Deep in the heart of Kachhi district of Balochistan, this shrine lies just below the great brown loom of the Khirthar Mountains at the mouth of the Mula River and pass. The legend according to Wali Mohammad was that the fish were sacred to Pir Chattal and thus under his protection. Anyone eating them suffered a painful and embarrassing punishment on the day after as the fish emerged squirming out of the eater’s sphincter. Who Pir Chattal was is not told and there are no further legends concerning him. But one thing is certain, this saint whoever he or she was, has been around for a good bit of time. Our oldest conservation programme —Salman Rashid

A picture is worth a million words.

May she rest in peace!
May the CJ rest in apolitical peace!
May Goldy smile in peace!


Photo credit the Nation

In 1979, I was the only general who opposed the hanging of Bhutto in the Corps Commander Conference, because, it was unjust and at the behest of USA and a political disaster for Pakistan. In 1979, I opposed Gen Zia's policy to support the Iraqi invasion of Iran, in a cabinet meeting, because it was not our war... In 1988, in a meeting with the president and the prime minister, I opposed the signing of the Geneva Accord, without determining the modalities for a peaceful transfer of power to the Afghan mujahideen... In 1991, in a cabinet meeting, I opposed Mr Nawaz Sharif's policy of supporting US war on Iraq, because it was a direct assault on the heartland of the Muslim world and control of oil resources. Since 1999, I have continued to oppose the military take over and regime change at the behest of USA. Since 2001, I have no contact with General Musharraf, because, I opposed the government policy to join the American war against Afghanistan because, it was not our war. Thus Spake the General

If terrorism has to be fought we must do it on our own. The Americans, as we have seen, will make the problem worse. Thus the first condition of fighting terrorism is getting rid of American advice and assistance. The Frontier Corps doesn't need to be recast by the Americans (as they propose to do). Is the new Iraqi army any better for being outfitted by the Americans? There is even – and this is really silly – a USAID programme for the 'capacity-building' of MNAs and MPAs. As part of this programme there is a 'capacity-enhancing' centre (with newspapers and computers, etc.) right in the Parliamentary Lodges in Islamabad. Madam Speaker, your urgent attention please.) Goes to show how busy our American friends have been, and what unlikely corners they have penetrated, these past seven years. And thus spake the born again MNA/Columnist


Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a Pakistani living in America I think Professor Husain Haqqani's appointment as Ambassador-at-Large is very well deserved. Professor Haqqani is someone who knows the US and Pakistan decision-making structures equally well. If there is one man who would work for national interest and not narrow institutional interests (Pakistani institutions), it is him. If he comes to Washington DC, he would be a known and respected Pakistani here. He would not have to make any introductory calls.

A request to the Ambassador is that wherever he goes, he would be in a position to ensure that the Mission serves the Pakistani community with due-diligence, compassion and kindness, irrespective of status. All Pakistanis should be made to feel at home and honoured in consular offices. With "higher" state interests primarily taking precedence, it would be great if the Ambassador could also crusade for compassion at the consular window. I am sure he would.

March 30, 2008 3:01 PM  

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