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Thursday, May 15, 2008

Baithak Desi May 14: Rauf Klasra, Shireen Mazari, On Chasing Mirages, Naeem Chisti, Nazir Naji, Nasim Zehra, Benazir -North Korea, Headlines, Cartoons

Rauf Klasra is perhaps three or four of the veteran media persons in Pakistan with well grounded ears and informants in all political circles. In his latest write up he has made some interesting observations and revelations:

It is being said that in the name of opposing Musharraf, Nawaz is now doing everything which is politically questionable by all those who have long heard him make tall claims, first in Jeddah and later in London, that he would never do the politics of expediency and power. As if this was not enough to push the PPP into a political corner, unlike the general perception about him, Nawaz has now secretly opened the lines of communication even with his worst political enemies, the Chaudhrys of Gujrat.This new move, which almost went unnoticed in the national media, was launched by Nawaz, believing there were no permanent friends or foes in politics, only interests mattered. Ch Nisar Ali Khan has been given the mission to bring the Chaudhrys of Gujrat around and into the fold of PML-N Incidentally, or deliberately, Nisar who is also a shrewd politician, had already held a “chance” meeting with the Chaudhry cousins Shujaat and Pervez Elahi during an air trip from Lahore to Islamabad on a PIA flight.

These former foes are about to get closer in the name of confronting their common enemy - Musharraf. This hour-long chance meeting on a PIA plane has given a clear indication that Nawaz was finally preparing to accept his former colleagues to further isolate Musharraf.

Nawaz whose politics revolves around opposing Musharraf is now preparing himself for this great reunion and one fine morning may be seen smiling on television screens embracing the Chaudhrys under the guise of principled politics. He will market the twist and turn by spinning the story that he had accepted the Chaudhrys only to further isolate Musharraf.

In exile, Nawaz always promised not to do power politics or politics of expediency but now he is doing both and, surprisingly, is not being reprimanded from any corner.

Background interviews with some political sources revealed that Nawaz had paid a very small price in the shape of quitting the cabinet because he is said to have struck a secret deal with Zardari in their closed-door meetings that both would continue to cooperate in future as PML-N would not let his party government fall in Islamabad and PPP will protect the PML-N in Punjab. Nawaz emerges as wily master blaster By Rauf Klasra

In context of above Shireen Mazari's Chink of Light is telling:

In Pakistan, regardless of the people's sacrifices, the voice of the nation gets drowned in the cacophony of vested interests, backroom and extra-constitutional deals. For those of us who have chosen to stay in this land of ours through the good times and bad, it is a case witnessing that the more things seem to change the more they remain the same. That is why there is a chink of light piercing through the political darkness in the PML-N showing its responsiveness to its electorate on the judicial issue, its leadership's decision to contest elections and have its elected parliamentarians as the negotiating team on the judicial issue. We cannot let our resiliency and hope be destroyed because that is our greatest weapon against the forces of repression.

And seemingly, Nasim Zehra hasn't caught on yet: Is the break permanent?

And in his Urdu column Nazir Naji is also "hinting" at Nawaz Chaudhry rapprochement

And to lob a grenade: Chattha to replace Shujaat as Q head


... Mian Sahib has dealt some sly deadly cuts. He shrewdly manipulated to wangle all the key economic ministries in the coalition government for his own party. But his ministers, intriguingly enough, showed themselves up for inaction than for action. The people are presently going through a grave food crisis. Yet the PML (N) minister holding the charge of food ministry was found spending time in political parleys in Bhurban, London and what not, instead of struggling hard to overcome this food crisis and rid the people of its pains and tribulations. And while this is the critical time for budget making and for burning the midnight’s oil for an overtaxed and overworked finance minister, the PML (N) politico holding this post was happily while away his days mostly outside the country and indeed making noises that would scare away any prospective investor. Asif Zardari would be shooting himself in the foot irreparably if he doesn’t realise even now what deadly cuts has Mian Sahib slyly dealt the national economy by being part of the coalition. In no event can the 160 million people be let become hostage or pawns of someone’s political agenda and objectives. Zardari must rely mainly on his own political party. The PPP has all in it to become his stout prop, pillar and mainstay. He must let Mian Sahib stew in his own juices. Dr Naeem Chishti


The title of this book is somewhat of an anomaly - Chasing the Mirage - defines mirage as: optical phenomenon, esp. in the desert or at sea, by which the image of some object appears displaced above, below, or to one side of its true position as a result of spatial variations of the index of refraction of air.
2.something illusory, without substance or reality.

Who is chasing the mirage, if indeed, in Chasing the Mirage time will tell.


In this the first of four edited excerpts from his new book, Chasing the Mirage, Tarek Fatah explains why he is challenging fellow Muslims to be honest with themselves about the current state of their faith and their place in the world.

I hope my provocative invocations may trigger a spark, an iskra, that may lead us to do a serious self-examination about the direction in which we are heading.

My book is an appeal to those of my co-religionists who are chasing the mirage of an Islamic State. I hope they can reflect on the futility of their endeavour and instead focus on achieving the state of Islam. Islamists working for the establishment of an Islamic State are headed in the wrong direction. I hope to convince my fellow Muslims that clinging to mythologies of the past is the formula for a fiasco. I would hope they stand up to the merchants of segregation who have fed us with myths and got us addicted to a forced sense of victimhood. Conventional wisdom in the Muslim world dictates that to move forward, we need to link to our past. Fair enough, but in doing so, we have all but given up on the future, labelling modernity itself as the enemy. Triggering a state of Islam


And here is another book on Benazir Bhutto:

Benazir Bhutto, then Prime Minister of Pakistan, carried critical nuclear data on CDs in her overcoat to Pyongyang in 1993 and brought back North Korea’s missile information on her return journey, says a new political biography of the late leader. The shocking revelation about Pakistan’s alleged role in North Korea’s illicit nuclear weapons programme is chronicled in detail in veteran journalist Shyam Bhatia’s Goodbye Shahzadi. Mr Bhatia, who says Bhutto acted as a "female James Bond", has based his book on long personal conversations with the late Prime Minister. "As she was due to visit North Korea at the end of 1993 she was asked and readily agreed to carry nuclear data on her person and hand it over on arrival in Pyongyang," writes the London-based Mr Bhatia while recalling a conversation with Bhutto in her villa in Dubai villa 2003: Benazir carried nuclear secrets to North Korea


Pak House sets dowry limit at Rs 30,000

Budget-making plunges into chaos following resignation

Nawaz emerges as wily master blaster
Fatima Bhutto: The new “daughter of destiny”
For an "innocent" man Zardari is doing fine: Zardari exonerated of all pending charges
Hashoo Museum opens


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