Baithak Desi Apr 11: Altaf Hussain, Walkouts, Ayaz Amir's Spin, Javed Chaudhry, Kishwar Nahid, Kaaba Key, Attiya Daud Poem
This reminds me of Gamal Abdul Nasser who resigned after the '67 war. A spontaneous groundswell against that resignation "forced" Nasser to withdraw it.
What does this mean? The Rabita Committee and other in the higher echelons are announcing their inability to lead the party and are announcing their individual and collective resignations. This gives Altaf Hussain:
* A "clean" slate to reorganise MQM
* To reinvigorate MQM with new faces
* A force of strength to his allies and his detractors
* To stress for peace and non-violence in his core
It is also being speculated that Altaf Hussain will shortly give in the pressure and withdraw his resignation.
Walkouts? Yesterday the journalists staged a walkout from the NA press gallery and the opposition staged a "boycott" of the NA proceedings. Both should have been avoided.
The journalists had the whole media to express their displeasure/grievance - and walking out was not a protest but a dereliction of duty.
The opposition parliamentarians were not only guilty of dereliction of their duty but also guilty of not setting a good precedence. Whether in government or in opposition, they have to honour and respect the public's mandate who voted them in to represent them in the NA.
Because eight and a half years of Musharraf, eight and a half years of his ruinous policies, have distorted the psyche of the Pakistani nation. We weren't like this when Musharraf arrived on the scene. But we have become like this after eight and a half years of tinpot disaster: economic policies serving the interests of the rich, a foreign policy at the service of the United States, sundry military operations on our own soil against our own people, leaving a trail of blood from the mountains of Balochistan and Waziristan right to the heart of Islamabad. Ayaz Amir.
If someone can point out to the honourable MNA and journalist why this psyche of the Pakistani nation not as badly damaged in the aftermath of the longer reigns of Ayub Khan and Zina ul Haq? I expected some better analysis from him, but sadly, he is turning out to be no better or worse than other run of the mill 'spinner'.
Worth two tear drops (in Urdu) Javed Chaudhry (click on his name in the drop down menu under columns) and Kishwar Nahid
The key to the Kaaba - the ancient cube-shaped shrine in Mecca - went to an anonymous bidder at Sotheby's. The auction house said the price set a record for the sale of an Islamic work of art.
Made of iron and measuring 37cm in length, the key is engraved with the words "This was made for the Holy House of God". The key was the centrepiece of Sotheby's Islamic art sale, which realised more than $40m (£21.5m) in total. Holy Islamic key sets sale record
India's supreme court today gave the go ahead for almost 50% of places at the nation's publicly funded universities and colleges to be reserved for lower-caste and other disadvantaged people. In extending the world's largest and oldest affirmative action system, the court accepted that higher education institutions had to reserve a quota of seats for untouchables, tribals and "backward classes". The system of "reservations" is one of modern-day India's defining institutions. The preferences were enshrined in the nation's first constitution in 1950 in an attempt to erase inequalities fostered by the centuries-old caste system. At present the law maintains that 22.5% of all places at India's universities are guaranteed for indigenous peoples and dalits, or untouchables, found at the bottom of the Hindu caste hierarchy. The government wants to extend this scheme to secure seats for the remaining "backward" sections of society, who make up 27% of the country's 1 billion people. India reserves half of university places for lower castes - Randeep Ramesh and NYT report