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Friday, April 18, 2008

Baithak Desi Apr 17: The Silence of Asma Jahangir, Schezee Zaidia, On Inclusive and Exclusive Politics, Pakistani Media - Kamila Hyat , Fasi Zaka, H..

She (Asma Jahangir) said the treatment done with Dr Sher Afgan and Dr Arbab Ghulam Rahim was condemnable and no one supported it but what happened in Karachi on April 9 when lawyers were burnt alive was much more condemnable. The April 9 Karachi carnage could not be equated with the episode of Sher Afgan manhandling in Lahore, she said.

On this scale of condemnation, where would she put the killing, looting and raping in Sindh in the aftermath of Dec 27, 2007?

It must be way low on her scale, for we have not seen any condemnation from the usually active and visible Ms Jahangir.

Storytellers will tell their tales that would continue to portray the chronicling the old and new traditions. As long as there are writers and storytellers, most of what is important will be retained and nothing will be lost. Writers are the new mythmakers. With such words and feelings, the book distribution ceremony hosted at Pakistan Academy of Letters by Italy based Pakistani writer Sarfraz Baig to launch his two new books of fiction and short story collection, articulated a unique cohesion with the greatness of all writers, whether big or small, new or old. Expressing solidarity with all writers, Sarfraz Baig launched his new books ‘Clandestitni’ & ‘Saeen Internet’, portraying the tales of pain and pleasures of immigrants as they settle down in a distant land away from their native country. Both books are a storyteller’s moving narratives of immigrant lifestyle. A storyteller’s moving tales of immigrant lifestyle - Schezee Zaidi

His initiatives are certainly not popular in his own primary constituency. (sic) still Asif Zardari has shown great courage. That is what leadership is all about – the ability and willingness to take unpalatable decisions in the greater national interest. Mian Nawaz Sharif is a national leader and not only the leader of Punjab. He must now boldly reach out to the MQM to ensure that what is left of the Quaid's Pakistan is not divided again. Do not force the MQM out in the cold, get them back into the national mainstream. Nations are a composite of the sum of the individuals who live in them, race and religion being the focus one cannot play with the feelings or beliefs of human beings. Political leaders need to shun demagoguery to attract votes on account of race and/or religion, political maturity requires that care is exercised so that rhetoric does not lead to tragedy. Individuals can never be bigger than institutions, leaders can never be bigger than the people they want to lead. Stoking passions, inadvertently or not, amounts to criminal conduct. Our leaders are on a borderline, it is time to step back from the abyss. On Inclusive Politics in Pakistan - Ikram Sehgal

And Prof Khurshid Ahmed of Jamaat e Islami writes On Exclusive Politics in Pakistan: Similarly, the MQM has to be cut to its size, not because of its past misdeeds alone, but also because of what it has done as the armed wing of Pervez Musharraf, as amply demonstrated by the nasty game of May 12, 2007. Though Musharraf had himself declared before a group of senior journalists in Islamabad that Altaf Hussain was a traitor, he has been hand in glove with him during these last five years. Altaf Hussain's anti-national instance has been reaffirmed time and again by the shady record of his policy and pronouncements as head of his own group of MQM. Hundreds of MQM activists, who were behind the bar on charges of murder, arson and subversion, are enjoying now the fruits of power under the president's patronage.

On Pakistani Media:

Moulded by the now omni-present TV channels which in many living rooms are almost never turned off and newspapers, the definition of 'news' has been forced into an increasingly narrow frame. More and more people know precisely what is taking place in terms of political developments, but does this in any way mean they are more aware of the reality as it exists today? .... The realities of the time we live in must be faced up to. For this, people everywhere, perhaps most of all media professionals, must reconsider what makes news. Their definitions after all play a major part in the shaping of perceptions and the determining of social priorities. Today, with inflation and unemployment having made life harder than ever before for millions, while growing intolerance has added to the violence we see everywhere, there is a genuine need to reassess these priorities so that a change can be ushered in before the situation spirals completely out of control. Kamila Hyat

Last week Ghazi Salauddin was right on the mark when he questioned the disproportionate media focus on the roughing up of Dr Sher Afghan Niazi and Arbab Ghulam Rahim when another compelling story slipped away from the radar of the electronic fourth estate, the lynching of a factory worker Jagdesh Kumar for alleged blasphemy. Fasi Zaka

Upon his return Shahid Masood did a programme on Benazir's assassination forcing others to revisit the subject. Hamid Mir's column (in Urdu) is the latest foray into the conspiracy theories. The interesting thing to note is nobody spends any time on cuo bono. Perhaps understandably.

Despite that he (Justice Falak Sher) made an application to revise his seniority keeping in view the judgment in Al-Jehad Trust versus Federation of Pakistan commonly known as the Judges’ Case (PLD 1996 SC 324). According to this judgment, the most senior judge of a High Court had ‘legitimate expectation’ to be appointed as Chief Justice. Although the Judges’ Case did not extend this principle to the Supreme Court, this principle was used to remove Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah through a judicial coup in 1997 when Justice Irshad Hasan Khan was sworn in as Chief Justice in his place. After keeping Justice Falak Sher’s seniority application pending for almost five years, President Pervez Musharraf decided to grant him seniority and appoint him as Chief Justice during the judicial crisis of 2007. This offer was wisely turned down by Justice Falak Sher. It is quite possible that, in order implement Minus One Formula to get rid of Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry after his second restoration, the presidential camp may like to appoint him Justice Falak Sher as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. As such a move to install a new chief justice through an administrative order may backfire the chances are that Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry will be removed in the same manner as Chief Justice Sajjad Ali Shah was dethroned by his own colleagues in 1997 during Mian Nawaz Sharif’s second term as Prime Minister. Whether or not such a judicial coup against Chief Justice Iftikhhr Muhammad Chaudhry will be successful is beyond the scope of my today’s article. Another Judicial Coup - Dr Naeem Chishti

Kabir Dohas - 2

Bura Jo Dekhan Main Chala, Bura Naa Milya Koye
Jo Munn Khoja Apnaa, To Mujhse Bura Naa Koye

I searched for the crooked, met not a single one
When searched myself, "I" found the crooked one

My Understanding
This doha deals with our perception behavior and tendencies. It has been invariably noticed that we tend to find fault with someone else for our situations and circumstances. Our "I", the ego, always tries to put blame on others. Non-awareness of our own self is the cause of this attitude. Resultantly, we find ourselves being busy in criticizing and condemning others and conveniently term them as crooked or evil.

So Kabir says that instead of finding fault and maligning others, dive deep into your own-self. Amazingly, an honest introspection will reveal that all fault lies with "me" and "my" own perceptions and attitudes. If there is any evil or crookedness, it is in "me". Correcting this and opting for a loving and compassionate attitude will change one's perceptions and the world will appear wonderful all over again.

Rajender Krishan

Visual Art by Simi Nallaseth


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