↑ Grab this Headline Animator

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Baithak Desi Apr 26: Musharraf between Zadrdari and Gillani, Ejaz Haider, Taliban - S Shahzad, Rafia, KSE, Shiv Kumar Batalvi,

The following two news links give out different vibes. One talks of clipping wings and the other is conciliatory in approach towards the presidency. How would you interpret them if you were Nawaz Sharif? And how would you decipher if you were Musharraf?

ISLAMABAD: Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif have decided to make history by clipping all the powers of the president through a constitutional amendment despite all internal and external pressures. The coming constitutional package will change the whole balance of power in Pakistan and President Pervez Musharraf will have no option but to resign because he will become a Chaudhry Fazal Elahi who was just a ceremonial president. According to the highly-placed sources, the real target in the coming constitutional package will not be the office of the chief justice but the president. Initially, Nawaz Sharif was of the view that President Musharraf must be tried in a court of law under treason charges but Asif Zardari disagreed. He suggested that instead of targeting one individual, they must target the powers of the president, which were used to weaken democracy in Pakistan. Zardari told Nawaz Sharif that the Army high command would react negatively to any humiliation of their former chief. Zardari, Nawaz decide to clip Musharraf’s powers

“He has been President for eight years. He has willingly doffed his uniform. And he has recently conducted an election; one that has brought pro-democracy forces into power. I don’t think we will have any problem from him,” said Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gillani, in an exclusive panel interview carried out by the Nawa-i-Waqt Group.

We are told that General (retd) Pervez Musharraf spent Rs1.5 billion on foreign trips in the last eight years. - Ejaz Haider
[Please also tabulate the total spent on Umrah trips, per year, spent by the Govt. since Zina ul Haq's days - this may perhaps be a better barometer]

Where Have We Heard This Before?
Street crime in Karachi now zero, claims Qaim

KARACHI - The Taliban and their al-Qaeda associates, in what they considered a master stroke, this year started to target the Western alliance's supply lines that run through Pakistan into Afghanistan. Their focal point was Khyber Agency, in Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas, a key transit point for as much as 70% of the alliance's supplies needed to maintain its battle against the Afghan insurgency. The majority of the population is Brelvi-Sufi Muslim, traditionally opposed to the Taliban's Deobandi and al-Qaeda's Salafi ideology. Being an historic route for armies and traders, the population is politically liberal and pragmatist, not easily swayed by idealist and Utopian ideology such as the Taliban's and al-Qaeda's. When the Taliban's new tactic emerged, the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) - which Pakistan's intelligence community says maintains its biggest South Asian presence in Pakistan - sprung into action and staged a coup of its own. But that's getting ahead of the story. Taliban bitten by a snake in the grass By Syed Saleem Shahzad

Smugly pretending to champion the rights of the poor in Pakistan, who are admittedly largely uneducated, this argument follows the fatally flawed route of saying that removing the “graduation provision” would suddenly reform Pakistan’s social and political equalities. Scarcely has a bigger farce been sold to the Pakistani people as an action meant to emancipate the poor and promote the accessibility of political office. Even the most cursory glance at the members of the new parliament as well as previous members of parliaments (when the graduation provision was non-existent) provides ample evidence that it is landlords, business leaders, feudal scions and other elites who largely constitute Pakistani legislative bodies.
Rafia Zakia

ISLAMABAD - Speaker National Assembly Dr Fehmida Mirza Friday referred the 2005 Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) scam which caused a loss of Rs 700 billion to small investors to House Standing Committee on Finance.The decision was welcomed by thumping of desks by the members. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar responding to a point of order by Ayaz Sadiq, said that it was very unfortunate that small investors were deprived of their earnings through a scam and the previous government tried to cover up the issue. He said Rs 700 billion, $ 11.6 billion, were lost when the stock exchange crashed in 2005 adding, “The scam involved many big names.” NA body to probe Rs700 billion KSE scam [The KSE is closed for the weekend. This would indicate a sizable drop in the index when it reopens on Monday.]

Watching this interview with the Punjabi poet, the late Shiv Kumar Batalvi, I could not but reflect that poetry, and art in general, is far greater than its creator. Once the poet’s idea finds a language, the language works on its own- the shared repository of mankind’s long history and engagement with ideas and emotions, it cannot but dwarf its lonesome creator. Batalvi’s talk is almost child like in the interview, and his answer to questions about “getting away from myself” and the death of an intellectual are as naive as they are innocent. Same for his answer to the question of the inspiration of his poetry. Batalvi was not a great Punjabi poet, at the same time, his poetry is marked by a melancholy lyricism that brought a freshness to the language. As in a previous post on Batalvi, I wonder if its melancholy has something to do with the partition and confusion of ideas and identities, rather than a purely personal sadness. Batalvi’s answer seems to confirm that it was more than something purely personal- he seems to have had a happy life as he states in the interview. A Rare Interview with Shiv Kumar Batalvi


Post a Comment

<< Home