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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Hitting that pause button, Perks at the top, militray and secularism, In New York and Skipping

Well whatever… Down with pop psychology, I say. Bring back the spirituality that fasting brought. Better still drink deep at the ‘Meditations of Marcus Aurelius’ who said that men seek retreat for themselves, houses in the country, seashores, and mountains. ‘But this is altogether the mark of the common man, for it is in your power, whenever you shall choose, to retire into yourself. For nowhere with more freedom from trouble does a man retire than into his own soul, particularly when he has within him such thoughts that by looking into them he is at once perfectly tranquil… Constantly then grant yourself this retreat and refreshment; let your principles be brief and fundamental, which, as soon as you shall call them to mind, will be sufficient to cleanse the soul completely, and send you back free from all discontent with the stale things to which you return.’The ancient Greek ends with a question: ‘For with what are you discontented ? With the wickedness of mankind?’ Anjum Niaz

the above reminded me of the pause button i and the pause button ii ~~t

‘(HE) continues to receive a special pension of Rs2.07 lacs (Rs207,000) per month, has been given a one time grant of Rs2.5 million, he has been provided with 8 servants of his choice, a nurse and a physiotherapist visit him daily, a Chinese doctor is on call for him, a team of specialist doctors visits him every week, he is flown on special plane to visit his relatives, next door he retains a house as a guest house with rent and all bills paid by Government, four vehicles are provided to him for his personal use besides security vehicles along with other facilities, etc’ [sic]. The perks of life at the top? Not quite. This list of goodies forms part of Intra Court Appeal No 797 of 2009 filed by the Government of Pakistan. The respondent? Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan. Cyril Almeida

The country’s ruling elite and the military have traditionally used a particular aspect of religion to gain strategic dividends. While they can conveniently claim to have retained their secularism and saved one organisation from turning ideological, a similar claim might not be made for society at large. The proliferation of ‘jihad’ in mainland Pakistan is but the opportunity cost of strategy. Ayesha Siddiqua

Shehri, the environmental advocacy group, last week wrote a letter to Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani requesting him to issue a directive banning the use of suits, ties and jackets in the air-conditioned summer months in all government offices and ministries, as recently done in Bangladesh. The directive must ensure that air-conditioning temperatures are kept above 26 centigrade and heating temperatures below 18 centigrade. In the next phase, this campaign to combat climate change (plus electricity and gas loadshedding) can be extended to the private sector. Is anyone in Pakistan really listening? Certainly not its President, who due to a ‘more important engagement of his own’ opted out of the UN Climate Change summit in New York, which was also addressed by US President Barack Obama. Ardeshir Cowasjee


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