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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Baithak Desi May 19: Business As Usual, Ardeshir Cowasjee, Birdwood Barracks, Omid Safi, Headlines, Cartoons

After the parachuting of M/s Goldy, Haqqani and Durrani Inc. in support of Salar e Azam, the PM says: "“Pakistan was desirous of further expanding its strategic relationship with the US because [this relationship] was devoted to promoting peace, security and cooperation in the region”. Khuda Khair Karay

If the talking heads on TV and the prophets of doom and gloom in the media are to be believed, Pakistan is going to fall apart in a few days if the deposed CJ is not re-instated or if Zardari and Nawaz do not immediately do the ‘right’ thing. Fortunately these two men have shown remarkable restraint so far. They are politicians and they are practicing politics as they should, but within that constraint I believe that by not doing too much all at once, they are doing a lot.Things could be worse —Syed Mansoor Hussain
[While I endorse and support the first thought, I would dissociate and disagree with the part in bold. The myriad problems facing the nation is no secret AND by spending their energies solely on the reinstatement or resurrection of the Judiciary they have done precisely little to alleviate the miseries of the people. t]

The citizens of this city owe a debt of gratitude to Amber Alibhai, general secretary of Shehri, the backbone of this important NGO. Amber is a courageous and tenacious woman who has battled hard and long against land grabbers, most of whom (and the nastiest) are firmly ensconced in the bosoms of our irredeemably nasty political parties (some are ‘high-ups’). She and her family have been threatened and openly asked to withdraw cases in our courts. She deserves to be given the citizens’ award which overshadows all the ‘tamghas’ and ‘sitaras’. Now, we want Nazim Mustafa Kamal to continue with the good work and save many more open spaces of Karachi which are under threat. There is the Kidney Hill Park, now under litigation, and there is the 480-acre Gutter Baghicha open space in Trans Lyari, and the Chinna Ground on Kashmir Road in PECHS which has been encroached on by the CDGK itself. We are with Nazim Kamal; we will fight with him to try and make Karachi a greener city and thus to hopefully reduce the crime rate. Ardeshir Cowasjee

When land is needed for the public purpose of providing defence, then under our laws the federal government has the ability to notify any territory necessary as a cantonment for the purposes of housing troops. If this is so, then it stands to reason that if the military no longer requires land for defence purposes, then those cantonment areas should be returned to the government. It certainly shouldn’t be the case that cantonment land can be sold off to the highest bidder, especially when the money made by these auctions doesn’t go into a public exchequer but to an account maintained by the MEO. Birdwood Barracks: a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity Ahmad Rafay Alam

Acharming story is told about the famed Persian Sufi Abu Said-i Abi Al-Khayr in the hagiographic collection Asrar Al-Tawhid:

They told the Shaykh: ‘So-and-so can walk on water!’
He said: ‘That is easy! The frog and the finch can do the same…’
They said: ‘So-and-so flies in the air!’
He said: ‘A fly and a sparrow can as well…’
They said: ‘So-and-so can go from one city to the next in a single moment.’

He said: ‘Satan can go in a span of one breath from the East to the West. There is not much value to such things. A [real saintly] man is he who sits and rises in the midst of people, eats and sleeps, conducts trade with people in the bazaar, and mixes with people — and yet for one moment does not become neglectful of God in his heart.’
Excerpted with permission from Religions and Politics in Saljuq Iran By Omid Safi


Pervez’s one-liners see Pak through crisis
Govt likely to set up Federal Coal Authority
At right time, Musharraf will say goodbye: Rashid Qureshi
One of these days: PPP to steer Pakistan out of bad economy, says Zardari
Run Nasim Ashraf Out - Part II - Masood Hasan
Just short of "declaration of war" by Hamid Mir in Urdu

New International Sign #2



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