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Friday, March 28, 2008

Media Watch Desi Mar 27: Qayyum Resigns, Cabinet Trading, Qehhat uk Rijaal, Mahmud Sipra, Mariana Babar,

The Cabinet is afflicted with BS (Bhai Syndrome) or to be more precise with BBS (BaRa Bhai Syndrome.) The heat is turned up in the family of bhais over cabinet posts. Not only they are fighting over who gets what, it has been also reported there are also heated discussions over who should not get invited to sit at the centre table.

And a fox is being considered to guard over the hens. The fox is Rahman Malik who was Bibi's constant companion while Goldy was incarcerated. He is being considered as an "Home Advisor" with cabinet minister's rank and perks. (Advisor, because he is not an MNA.)

THERE is a fascinating article by Andrew Roth Jinnah’s new republic in an American weekly (The Nation) datelined Dec 13, 1947 that puts its finger on Pakistan’s most critical weakness — the quality of its leadership. Reporting from Karachi, the author comments on the country’s first cabinet: “With enormous problems, Pakistan has only a very ordinary set of leaders to cope with them”, barring a few “the other members of the cabinet are all mediocrities.” The exceptions identified by the author were the “brilliant” Mr Jinnah, the prime minister and the finance minister. In 2008, the problems have become much more enormous and the leadership has become much more mediocre. Even the exceptions at the very top are conspicuous by their absence. This is written by Samia Altaf in today's Dawn. [This reminds me of the classic line uttered by Ayub Khan's older brother who was the leader of the Opposition - her shaakh per ulloo baitha hay/anjaam e gulistan kiya hoga]

The Pakistan Steel Mill produces thousands of tons of a “waste product” known in steel parlance as “slag”. ...“slag” is the basic raw material required in a 21st century technology used for producing a proven and patented building material called “slag cement”. It takes upwards of USD250 million and three years to put up a million-ton capacity conventional cement plant. It takes only 50 million euros to put up a plant that will do the same thing in 18 months. The end product is reportedly three times more durable then conventional cement, is eco-friendly and costs 20 dollars a ton less to produce. Which is probably why one of the largest steel producers in the world, a man called Laxmi Mittal, is busy trying to negotiate a license to produce slag cement. Mahmud Sipra

Marianna Babar has an different take on the meeting of mid rank US diplomats' meeting with Zardari. While the majority of the media critcised Zardari for visiting the diplomats she criticses the diplomats for not calling on Zardari. "It is also being frowned upon that nowhere in the world condolences and congratulations are offered at their own residences. It is expected that to condole a tragedy as great as that of Benazir Bhutto, all "excuses" of "logistics" should have been put aside, and the US officials on behalf of President Bush should have driven to the Zardari House to condole and congratulate the PPP leadership on their recent election victory." What kept US officials away from Zardari House?

Asif Ali Zardari, co-chairman of Pakistan Peoples Party, is clearly playing a double game. On one hand, his party is one of the main partners of the anti-Musharraf coalition while on the other hand he is maintaining close links with pro-Musharraf elements. His unilateral decision to bring MQM on board at the eleventh hour without prior approval of the coalition partners may arguably be justified in view of the situation prevailing in Sindh. However, his secret meeting with President Musharraf’s principal secretary Tariq Aziz in the wee hours of Wednesday points to something else. Naeem Chisti Bats for Nawaz Sharif

Sad news: after A-G Qayyum's departure Hum Sub Ummed Say HaiN will have no competition for ratings! Pakistan Attorney General Malik Qayyum tenders resignation ISLAMABAD, March 27: The Attorney-General of Pakistan, Malik Qayyum tendered his resignation from the post, a local TV channel reported. The Attorney General, who is a retired chief justice of the Punjab High Court, tendered his resignation to President Mushasrraf on Thursday. The private channel reported that President Musharraf had accepted Malik Qayyum’s resignation. (Posted @ 20:48 PST)


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