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Friday, July 17, 2009

Turkmenistan Desert Sea, Success, Ulloo, Ayaz Amir, Fatima Bhutto

Turkmenistan has launched the latest stage of a plan to channel water across thousands of kilometres of desert to create a vast inland sea. The lake will be filled with drainage water from the country's cotton fields. Turkmenistan to create desert sea

Success has many fathers but defeat is an orphan:)

Her shaakh per ulloo baitha hay, anjaam e gulistan kiya hoga?

Those egging on the judiciary to overstep its limits are forgetting a few simple facts. Their lordships put under house arrest by Musharraf were freed not by any storming of the Bastille but by a few plain sentences uttered by Prime Minister Gilani even before his swearing in. In his maiden address to the National Assembly he said the judges would be freed and, lo and behold, hardly were the words out of his mouth before the barriers guarding the judicial colony were swept away. Is the irony lost on the self-appointed champions of the judiciary that while the lawyers' movement had boycotted the February elections, it was the outcome of those elections, the emergence of a popular National Assembly, and not any long march, which led to this outcome? Ayaz Amir

Guernica: Looking ahead, what are Pakistan’s greatest challenges?
Fatima Bhutto: Corruption. [Pakistan has] a government universally known for graft, with the state treasury at its disposal. What that means is if you go to a state hospital just about anywhere in Pakistan, you are more likely to die than to receive treatment; they don’t have electricity, they don’t have sanitary conditions. If you are a child of school-going age in just about any rural area in Pakistan and your only option for an education is a government school, you’re going to end up illiterate. There are no teachers, no books, nothing. We’re an incredibly rich country in terms of our resources; we’ve got oil, gas, natural resources, we grow our own fruit. So forget the foreign aid for a moment. What that [corruption] means is that you create a vacuum; that vacuum has been and is still being filled by militant Islamic groups that come into these rural areas and bring schools. Everyone will naturally think that a madrasa is a jihadi training ground; that’s true in a lot of cases. But if your child is either going to be illiterate or is going to learn how to read and how to read the Koran at that madrasa, parents are going to take that option. It would be crazy to ask them not to. In 2005, we had a devastating earthquake in the northern part of the country. I went to a lot of the affected areas about a month after. We didn’t see any evidence of the state of Pakistan in these towns. But what we did see were a lot of Islamic charities, groups that had set up a mobile hospital unit, tent villages. If you want to look at the Taliban’s presence in Pakistan today, you can directly tie that to the corruption. If you want to look at the illiteracy rate in Pakistan today, you can tie that to the corruption. If you want to talk about the lack of democracy, that can again be tied to the corruption. An interview with Fatima Bhutto


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