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Sunday, March 30, 2008

Mediawatch Desi Mar 29: Rumour Mongering Nation, Dalrymple, Against Forced Union, Rafia , Probable Ministers, Bhandara on Khushwant Singh

Somebody is fanning rumours. Nation and its sister paper Nawai Waqt have been spreading this rumour. When I heard this sometime yesterday I tried to check it out from other sources without much success. I leave it to some in the Pakistani media to decide who is jumping the gun or succumbing to "interests" in spreading such news.

As a reader, you should ask yourself cuo bono? Who benefits? In this case by planting news of rift between the President and the new PM on his second day in office?

ISLAMABAD - President General (r) Pervez Musharraf has declined a request from Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani’s secretariat to administer oath to the new cabinet on March 29, citing his engagement out of the capital on the same day. President turns down PM’s maiden summary - Afzal Bajwa

Pakistan's cities, in particular, are fast changing beyond recognition. As in India, there is a burgeoning Pakistani fashion scene full of ambitious gay designers and amazingly beautiful models. There are also remarkable developments in publishing. In nonfiction, Ahmed Rashid's book Taliban became the essential primer on Afghanistan after 2001. Ayesha Siddiqa's Military Inc. and Zahid Hussain's Frontline Pakistan are two of the most penetrating recent studies of the country and essential for understanding the politics of Pakistan. Siddiqa is especially good on the economic and political power of the army, while Hussain's book is the best existing guide to Pakistan's jihadis. There have also been particularly impressive new works of fiction by Pakistani writers, among them Kamila Shamsie's Kartography and Broken Verses, Nadeem Aslam's Maps for Lost Lovers, and Moni Mohsin's End of Innocence. One of Daniyal Mueenuddin's short stories, his wonderfully witty "Nawabdin Electrician," was published in The New Yorker of August 27, 2007. A New Deal in Pakistan By William Dalrymple

It is in this context that Muslim bodies and Islamic scholars at a meeting in the national capital of New Delhi unanimously decided that "in Islam, the girl has every right to marry the boy of her choice and her parents cannot impose their decision on her since the Sharia (Muslim law) gives the girl right to choose her future husband." This meeting, attended, amongst others, by members of All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), and Dar-ul-Uloom Deoband under the banner of Islamic Fiqh Academy (IFA) made truly a landmark decision -- even if it remains to be tested. Muslim Leaders Speak Out Against Forced Marriage By Deepali Gaur Singh

At the its core, the lessons to be learned from Ross’s study in the Pakistani context is this: while the presence of some elite women in politics may give women better symbolic visibility, the real work of women’s empowerment can only be done when large numbers of women are attracted to the workforce and build a movement on their collective strength. Oil and women —Rafia Zakaria

The sources said that PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari and PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif had approved a list of ministers. The potential PPP ministers and their possible portfolios are as follows: Makhdoom Shah Mehmood Qureshi, foreign affairs; Syed Khurshid Shah, labour, manpower and overseas Pakistanis or parliamentary affairs; Sherry Rehman, information and broadcasting; Raja Pervez Ashraf, water and power; Syed Naveed Qamar, privatization or communications or ports and shipping; Farooq Naek, law, justice and parliamentary affairs; Qamar Zaman Kaira, Northern Areas and Kashmir Affairs or environment; Chaudhry Ahmed Mukhtar, defence or commerce; Nazar Gondal, narcotics control and Babar Awan, human rights.

The following are the PML-N members whose names have been approved by the party:

Ishaq Dar, finance; Khwaja Mohammad Asif, petroleum and natural resources; Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, defence production; Ahsan Iqbal, education; Khawaja Saad Rafiq, youth affairs and Sardar Mehtab Abbasi, railways. Rana Tanveer and Tehmina Daultana are also expected to become ministers in the first phase of cabinet formation. Cabinet Portfolio Speculations in Dawn

He is 94 years old. He is perhaps India's most widely known English columnist, novelist and translator of Urdu poetry. His remarks are polemical, arrow-straight and honest. His pen as a newspaper columnist can make the mighty shiver in their boots. His short stories can compare with the best of Maupassant and the very best of Manto. His longer novel, written half-a-century ago -- Train to Pakistan -- is a classic: it probably ranks in the top ten in its genre of sub-continental writings in English; in the anguish of this novel he tries to come to terms with the tragedy and bloodshed of Partition. M P Bhandara on Khushwant Singh


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