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Monday, March 31, 2008

All Hail the new PM!

After hearing his speech I, for one, came away not feeling quite as rotten or angry as I have in the past several years when General Disorder prevailed. We can be cynical about whether all the promises for the first hundred days will be delivered and, judging by what we have faced so far in our history, who'd blame us. But let's give these guys a chance (not that we have the option of not doing so).

Many of the promises were simple and are to be operable very soon, and we'll be able to see them unfold. None of them are large enough to turn the course of history ... but stuff of that level needs a roadmap of more than a hundred days, you'll agree.

To me, the small, seemingly unimportant bits, such as the doing away of the special counters at the airport for Parliamentarians, was worth the speech. I had never seen a similar privilege being accorded worldwide. Perhaps someone had, earlier, seen special counters for the disabled and, concluding that most of our parliamentarians are mentally disabled, suggested the idea to CAA/PIA. (Until a more logical explanation comes along, I'll continue to believe this).

There was one hilarious moment - though I heard no one, not even the opposition, giggle - when the PM addressed the Speaker as "Madam Prime Minister". I wonder if he, too, has been swept off by what many people are constantly saying ... that the Speaker bears a resemblance of sorts to the late lamented Bibi.

While everyone eagerly awaits the removal of the Big Brass from what are essentially civilian posts, the buzz on the street - once again based on experiences of the past - is that the posts will be filled with relatives and friends.

Don't let us down, Mr. Prime Minister!

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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Khoda pahaa∂ - Nikla chooha

... aur voh bhee mara hua!

Fitna turned out to be what we once used to call a 'chüzzzz' ... a kind of anti-climax.

To be fair, it really did make me angry. How dare Wilders call this tired product a film? Put together and presented PowerPoint style, Fitna is merely the stringing together of a bunch of videos easily available all over the net, some other pre-existing footage from archives, newspaper shots, and some stills. Background music comes from Tchaikovsky and Grieg who would have been as angered at this association as is the Danish cartoonist (though the latter is upset - in a twist of decency - about 'copyrights'). Suprimposed over an image of the Qurãn there are some comments/subtitles, but no original footage, no interviews, no revelations, nothing! Director Scarlet Pimpernel, too, offers little I would call 'Direction'. The credit - if any - must go to the Editor.

Both Jehan Ara and I (we watched the film together) were bored and upset at the time wasted. She, fortunately, was able to go back to reading and answering her eMail around 6 minutes into the movie. I had to force myself to see the whole thing because someone from France was going to call and get my views for a Web site to which some of us bloggers from Pakistan contribute occasionally. (I know of Teeth Maestro - who has blogged about this movie, too - and Jamash, but there may be others from here).

The short [non]film says nothing that hasn't been said before. Admittedly there are some horrifying and gory scenes that violence-voyeurs may have missed. "Yes," I told my French caller, later, "it will lead to protests, some violent, others not. And it could further put anyone who even faintly represents the West* at risk in some troubled parts of the world." ... After all, chootia provocations will draw chootia responses.
* ("Don't they all look so-o-o alike? How can one tell?" - a Chinese shipmate had once asked me when I had pointed out the the 'Englishman' he was talking to was, in fact, a Yugoslav and understood no English!)
Even the peaceful among Muslims who are angered by this film - and there is reason enough for many to be angered by the intent if not the content - could respond by putting up links to videos related to Jesus Camp - now there's a frightening scenario to match our choice madrassahs. But what would such mud-slinging achieve, other than further dividing people from each other? Some globalization!

Wilders is not the first politician to choose his path to fame by fanning the flames of hatred, although that role is far better served by the many priests of all religions. It is served most effectively, of course, when the role of politician and priest are combined in one person (as we see frequently in our own country and elsewhere). (Fortunately Wilders will not be accessing my blog or he could get an idea from this and join a Holy Order).

My verdict: I am inclined to agree with the friend quoted at the end of Ali Eteraz's post. (For those unfamiliar with AE's writings, a good place to start would be his Muslamism piece.)


An hour later: Have just seen that a German Web site has placed a WARNING screen before the actual video. I can't translate the rest of paragraph but the large warning in red and black says: ACHTÜNG! Have requested the webmaster to change that to ACHTHÜ!

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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

John Shelby Spong Re-Visited

I have frequently (including very recently) circulated, among friends, sections from the writings of Bishop Spong whom I hold in extremely high regard not only for the lucidity of his writing, but also for his analytical skills, sincerity, courage of conviction, and genuine compassion.

His bestselling "Jesus for the Non-Religious" requires some basic familiarity with The Bible. Its Audible edition has found a permanent space on my iPod along with Dawkins's "The God Delusion". While one would be inclined to think that a Bishop and an Atheist would make for odd neighbours, even in an iPod, read what Spong once had to say about Dawkins:
I think Professor Dawkins is both brilliant and an incredible communicator. The definition of God that he rejects is the same one I reject. The difference being that he thinks the God he rejects is the western God of Christianity and I believe that deity is a distortion of who and what God is. The Christian Church has made such incredulous claims about who God is and who God hates and how God acts that it is always on the defensive when new learning that challenges old definitions appears.

Traditional Christianity has been buffeted by the insights of Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Newton, Darwin, Freud and many others. They have destroyed the credibility of much of our God talk. Richard Dawkins points that out in powerful ways, feeding his conclusion that God is a harmful delusion that ought to be dismissed. I agree that God is in fact a delusion and ought to be dismissed. We disagree on the question of whether that God is the God encountered in Jesus of Nazareth or a gross distortion. I believe it is a distortion.

I met Richard Dawkins some years ago when I gave a lecture at New College, Oxford. I had just that day read his incisive book
The Selfish Gene in the Bodleian Library at Oxford so I was pleased to find myself seated next to him at the High Table for dinner.
From among Spong's many shorter pieces, the following paragraphs taken from On Faith (a wonderful Newsweek / Washington Post series) probably explain his amazing qualities and convictions best.
Obsessed with Sex, not Morality

This nation has a strange fetish with sexual sins. The press obsessed on President Clinton’s tawdry sexual behavior, but seems to regard the Bush administration’s distortion of truth about the presence of weapons of mass destruction in Iraq to justify its military adventure in that land to be of lesser significance. Even the intelligence report on Iran’s efforts to build nuclear weapons reveals that this administration was caught once again in what can only be called deliberate acts of misinformation. President Clinton’s actions, distasteful as they were, did not cost the lives of some 4,000 American military personnel and thousands of innocent Iraqis. Yet the Congress wasted time and money in impeachment procedures on the Lewinsky affair. The far greater, but not sexual, nature of this administration’s crimes has not had a similar response.

We live in a time of changing sexual standards. Premarital sex is almost a universal practice in the developed world against which an “abstinence campaign” is laughably ineffective. The reasons for this are not that we have become an immoral generation, as ecclesiastical leaders like to presume. Rather, it is caused by the fact that we have created a 10-to-15-year gap between puberty and marriage. That is not a reality that contemporary moralists seem to notice. Better health practices have lowered the age of puberty in girls, while the opening of the doors to higher education and thus for career opportunities for young women has postponed the age of marriage to new and more mature age levels. In the Middle Ages when life expectancy was much shorter, females tended to marry within 12 to 18 months of puberty. Today marriage in the late twenties for young women is commonplace. In the past the double standard that governed sexual activity meant that the male was not expected to be chaste until his marriage. Today, not only has that double standard disappeared, but so has the rigid chaperone system we once employed to protect the virginity of upper class females.

Is sex outside of marriage a sin? That is the way religious people still pose the issue, but that question does not address reality. As a pastor I have confronted issues where sex inside marriage was sinful. I have known rape to occur inside marriage. I have seen sex inside marriage used as a weapon in marital disputes. It is not marriage that makes sex holy and good; it is the quality of the relationship. So before answering that question we need to face these facts. Only then can we move on to the question at hand.

Are young people who live together prior to marriage sinful? If they love each other, if they are committed to that relationship and if their life together makes both of them more whole and more deeply human, then I do not think so. If they are merely using each other, then they have turned that relationship into an act of personal diminishment. A relationship that diminishes one or the other of the partners can never be called holy.

I have know post-married people, either divorced or widowed, who have formed bonded and sexually active relationships, some times in old age that are both beautiful and life-giving, though neither person ever planned to get married. I have known gay and lesbian couples whose fidelity to each other is wonderful to behold, but who are told by church and state alike that there is something defective and even evil about their relationships. I find that deeply prejudiced, life-denying and simply wrong [...] The issue is not about sex, either inside or outside marriage, it is about the quality of the relationship [...]

It is God’s business, not the state’s or the church’s, to determine whether any act is forgivable or not. Private morality does not seem to me to be the state’s business unless it compromises the public welfare. The sexual debates that go on in the public arena are to me little more than diversionary attempts to keep the public attention away from the great moral issues of our day such as war and peace, the corruption and exploitation that takes place in business, the environmental degradation that occurs in the name of the bottom line and the manipulation of the market place for private greed. Until the state and church pay attention to these moral issues, their credibility on matters of sexual ethics will have little about it that is worthy of much attention.


NOTE 1: I had blogged about him earlier, too, and received some flak offline and via email for daring to suggest that we need Muslim Clerics (see note below) with similar skills of analysis and communication. Around the same time, several anti-Spong pieces by Muslims also appeared on the 'Net, egged on particularly because of an NPR program in which he was praised by Irshad Manji, an almost certain way to gain unpopularity among the Ummah.

NOTE 2: While not clerics, two scholars do offer cool and clear views that, in general, differ from the views proffered my most hardliners (such as Dr Israr Ahmad) and many accepted historians. One is Dr. Ghamdi - now often seen on TV and the subject of fatvaas, hatemail and threats. The other, the lesser-known Professor Ziauddin Kirmani, whose book ("The Last Messenger with a Lasting Message"), has now been reprinted and is available at T2F. For several people, this rather unconventional study has been a source of great inspiration, while annoying many others for what Kirmani sahab referred to as "the clearing of cobwebs" around Islamic History. (Another Zia - the General - wanted to present him the Seerat of the Year Award, provided he would alter/delete certain parts but he refused to compromise his years of research.)

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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Guess he's got exactly what it takes!

He's going to be a PM who will not be a yes-man, the papers inform us. Joy! And such good tidings on Pakistan day? Double joy!! And, once again a PPP PM. Another hurrah!

Getting away from the mysterious [d]rift[s] of the other Makhdoom - I was eager to find out more about the man who seems to have the blessings of a diverse group that features the socialist-turned-rightwing PPP, the rightwing-posing-as-centrist conservative PML-N,the progressive ANP, the indefinable but most definitely secular MQM, and a roly-poly Maulana.

DAWN featured a profile that said the following about him:
• Mr Gilani was the first elected chairman of the District Council, Multan. He defeated the local government minister Syed Fakhar Imam, some 25 years ago.

• In the 1985 non-party elections, he was elected MNA and became the minister for housing and railways in the cabinet of Mohammad Khan Junejo.

• In 1988 elections, he defeated the then Punjab chief minister Nawaz Sharif on PPP ticket.

• In 1990, again on a PPP ticket, he was elected an MNA after defeating Makhdoom Hamid Raza Gilani, a former federal minister. In 1993, he defeated Malik Sikander Hayat Bosan and later became Speaker of the National Assembly.

• Mr Gilani contested the election in 1997 on a PPP ticket, but the party did not win a single seat in Punjab.

• He was jailed in 2001 over charges of misuse of his authority by giving jobs to undeserving people in the National Assembly Secretariat when he was the speaker.

• He spent six years in jail and could not contest the 2002 elections. During his detention, he also authored a book, ‘Chaahé Yusuf Say Sadaa’.

• He was made the senior vice-chairman of the PPP in 1998.
Not extra-ordinarily impressive, you'll agree, even if we include the (purposefully?) ignored honour: He was a member of Zia-ul-Haq’s Majlisé Shoora. I think we could list many others (in all parties) with similar records, give or take a bit.

Ahhh ... I missed the whole point, in my rush, by scanning quickly through the real qualifications that Pakistanis must be made to value. The 8 qualities above were sandwiched between the far more important qualifications:
• Yusuf Raza Gilani is a member of an influential political family of Multan and a Syed, to boot!

• His father was a signatory to the Pakistan Resolution.

• His grandfather and paternal uncle had been elected members of the legislative assembly in the 1946 elections.

• His great-grandfather was both mayor of Multan in 1921, a member of the Central Legislative Assembly of India, served as a member of the assembly from 1921 to 1936, and was known as the father of the Indian Assembly.

• He is also related to Pir Pagara, the head of PML-Functional.
(I wonder if an extra flag on his car can have a shield with the phrase 'Pidaram Sultan Bood' embroidered on it.)
Oh well ... The Presidential Palace may not be getting a fresh coat of paint ... but, at least, the PM house is getting whitewashed!

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Friday, March 21, 2008

The Day of Days

This is not a frequent happening.

The festivals of several belief systems and cultures have come together on March 21, 2008: Good Friday, Holi, Nauroz, and Eedé Meelaad-ün-Nabi have all fallen on the same day as World Anti-Racism Day, beckoning everyone of us to live in Peace.

In a saner world - considering that the event could have been reasonably predicted years ago - we would have made this a special international day of celebrating our diversities. Here's hoping it'll happen the next time around.

Until then, the least we all can do is

(The graphic has been taken from some website. Can't recall origin. Z)

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Howe to Mayke Bukkenade ...

(whatever in hell that is).

Since love is purely an emotion, it isn't really difficult to figure out which of Shakespeare's plays I love the most: Richard II. (No ... that's not a typo. I mean Richard the Second, not the more commonly performed Richard the Third, now forever and completely associated with Sir Laurence Olivier's controversial version featuring the unforgettably haunting "Now is the Winter of our discontent ...")

Less often performed, for many reasons, R-II brings together a host of characters whose traits I can recognize among those around me. And it has some of the most memorable lines, too. But, I guess, that holds good for most of Shakespeare. So why R-II?

For the oddest of reasons: It was in my High School course (SC '56).

Odd, because I'll be the first to admit that books (in fact, entire subjects) taught at school - however wonderful they may be - can be (and, generally, are) ruined for life! This is because they are taught not for giving you pleasure but to be tested and examined in, tortured by, paraphrased, memorised, referenced, and contextualized in a non-contextual kind of way. Finally, subjected to the mind/language/annotations of a teacher who has had her/his (shouldn't 'hir' do for such cases?) fill of it for years and has ceased to see any joy in it (and we are only talking about 'good' teachers, here), they become things to fear and even hate. Pummelled into a shape that the teacher has wrought - rather than letting your own imagination shape things as you'd like or can comprehend - most great texts are never picked up again for pleasure.

I was among those who had the good fortune of being taught this play by a Mr. Stanley D'Souza (nicknamed 'Gunboat' by students well before my time). Here was a man who loved language and made the most mundane of lines come alive. (Strangely, he was also 'used' by the school to teach Geography but could instill no life into that subject. Chirapoonji's annual rainfall figures can't really hold a candle to to good old Will, even when he is just going "hey Nonny...".)

In a senior class, the year before, I'd witnessed Mr. D'Souza (I wonder if today he'd be called 'Gunboat Sir' in this era of artficial camaraderie among the old and young) walk into class, cover the windows with newspapers and - in the dim light - transform into Lady Macbeth right before my eyes. (Fortunately 'beauty' was not a prerequisite for that role.)

That scene remains etched in my mind almost as vividly as the Romeo & Juliet balcony scene that Henry Fonda and the vivacious, sparkling Susan Strasberg (daughter of Lee Strasberg) played out in Sydney Lumet's Stage Struck, a film that also features a young Christopher Plummer, whom many will remember from The Sound of Music and more. (I adore most of Lumet's work, so I may be prejudiced ... but I'd suggest you see the film.)

'WTF', you must be thinking by now - and rightly so - 'has all this got to do with the strange title of this meandering post?' Aah. Not much, really. Except that among my crazy interests are old non-fiction texts, especially those that provide fun views of the days gone by. Recently the search led me to a cook book, "The Forme of Cury", compiled, about A.D. 1390, by the Master-Cooks of King Richard II. In that book I came across the following delightful recipe (quoted verbatim).

(Lunacy isn't easy to explain, but there is a method to my madness. Or maybe it's just I who think so.)


Take Hennes o˛er Conynges o˛er Veel o˛er o˛er Flessh an hewe hem to gobettes waische it and hit well. grynde Almandes unblaunched. and drawe hem up with ˛e broth cast o˛er inne raysons of Corance. Sugur. Powdour gyngur erbes ystewed in grees. Oynouns and Salt. If it is to to thynne. alye it up with flour of ryse o˛er with o˛er thyng and colour it with Safroun.

( The 'to to' isn't a 'mistayke'. It's the old form of 'too' ... See how much you learn on this blog? ;-) )

By the way, one film version of R-II featured Sir John Gielgud (more about this favourite of mine in another post) in the role of Richard's uncle, John of Gaunt. What a performance!

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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Anwar Shaoor at T2F

Poet Anwar Shoor has become synonymous with Sehlé Mumtina'a, a phrase that loosely means as simple as it can possibly get. It is applied to a form of poetry that uses everyday Urdu or simple words to convey a thought that may be much deeper than appears at first glance. And if it is not deep, partaking of the beauty of simplicity, alone, is worth the price of entry.

As you may have guessed, I am a sucker for this form, so here's something I'd like to share with you all.

Incidentally, Anwar learnt to perfect his poetry under the islaah of two great poets of our lifetime and both tremendous favourites of mine: the simplicity loving Masood Tabish (arsh-o-kürsee zaraa sambhal jaaén / pardah ek darmiyaañ say uTh'ta hae) and the incomparable Sirajuddin Zafar (jee chaahta hae bazm meñ ek sham'a-roo ke saath / tasveeré bayqaraarié parvaanah khayñchiyay)

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Friday, March 14, 2008


Wish I could take credit for this delightful word ... but it is derived from:

Where once journalists were active gatherers of news, now they have generally become mere passive processors of unchecked, second-hand material, much of it contrived by PR to serve some political or commercial interest. Not journalists, but churnalists. An industry whose primary task is to filter out falsehood has become so vulnerable to manipulation that it is now involved in the mass production of falsehood, distortion and propaganda. - Nick Davies

Journalist of the Year, Reporter of the Year, Feature Writer of the Year, the first winner of the Gellhorn Award for Investigative Reporting - it seems apt for Nick to now turn his gaze upon investigating his own field.

Says Nick: "There never was a time when news media were perfect. Journalists have always worked with too little time and too little certainty; with interference from owners and governments; with laws that intimidate and inhibit the search for truth. But the evidence I found in researching my new book, Flat Earth News, suggests our tendency to recycle ignorance is far worse than it was."

Having very recently discovered his writings - his oblique style, for want of a better description, fascinates me - I am looking excitedly forward to reading his latest book, Flat Earth News: An Award-winning Reporter Exposes Falsehood, Distortion and Propaganda in the Global Media, now available locally.

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Sunday, March 09, 2008

International Women's Day @ T2F

From 2 PM to midnight, T2F had loads of acivities, long and short, with intervals for coffee and change of audience (many were rushing between the numerous other events marking the day in the city).

The afternoon started with the screening of the 2001 telefilm, When Billie Beat Bobby. A turning point in the business side of tennis and a delightful strike for feminism, the match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs was termed The Battle of the Sexes.

The film is often repeated on TV channels and is well worth watching, if you have not seen it already. Billie is played by Holly Hunter, whom many will recall from her Oscar-winning performance in The Piano and also for her role, the same year, in The Firm.

The next session, Sex Sells, was well-attended and attracted many media & advertising personalities and feminists (some were all three!) discussing the exploitation and stereo-typing of women in ads. A short excerpt from Jean Kilbourne's Killing Me Softly 3 (short clips from which can be seen on YouTube) was followed by a few local tv commercials. Fair & Lovely ads seemed to be the most reviled by those present, almost everyone finding the 'fairness meter' a really obnoxious idea. On the other hand, senior ad execs told us that the product was the largest selling one. Not only did it respond to the inner desires of the majority of our females - as discovered by various focus groups - it's biggest buyers are those not seen recently, by many, as being Fair or Lovely: The Pakistan Army! No, no, these guys are not cross-dressers or make-up freaks. The product, apparently, is also an effective sun-block cream.

The session covered many aspects of the MNC/Advertising/Media approach as a whole, rather than focus just on the women's issues, since the latter is part of a greater malaise.
(For more on how ads use 'sex associations', watch a couple of Psychology with Sandy segments on the subject. Also, read this blog entry from South India for other misappropriate elements, such as - in this case - subtle elements of racism, in ads by even the most powerful vendors.)
War Against Rape - one of the most commendable NGOs in Karachi, with chapters in other cities - held a session, next, to introduce its work. What made this session powerful and different from the usual presentations was the presence of Medical and Legal experts discussing the difficulties in supporting the victims. We learnt of the numerous hurdles, irregularities, and prejudices that make justice or help near impossible. The in-house lawyer at WAR has received death-threats as well as being told that she would soon face the same fate her client-victim had to undergo.

The audience sat spellbound, some moved beyond tears, while listening to a brave poor couple who had come to share with us the difficulties they have encountered since the rape of their 8-year old daughter two years ago and the child's continuing ordeal. As expected, the various authorities, bribed by the rapist's side, have made the case proceedings difficult. Far worse, the neighbours have pushed the family out of the area because they are ashamed by the victim's presence! The fact that the rapist lived in their neighbourhood has not been a source of anger or shame. The couple's parents and other members of the family have also cut off ties with them as they feel that the family name has been brought to shame by their reporting the case to the police and making it public. How does one change such mindsets? Where does one begin? How does one tackle the combined effects of feudalism, superstition, false sense of honour and shame, corruption, poverty, unbelievably stupid laws and rules, male-bonding and chauvinism - all of which are at work in such instances?

The mother of the child has suffered a heart attack and minor attacks of paralysis, depleting all the funds that the family had gathered. Her husband has lost his job - the employers held that they were unable to deal with his frequent leave-taking to attend courts. He has been living on an occasional day-wage stint and, mentally, becoming less able by the day to cope with this state. He is hoping to collect the grand sum of Rs 30,000 as a down-payment for an auto-rickshaw that he can use to earn. He knows that that path, too, will be paved with extortion money, police corruption and more, but says he has no other choices.

Next: Sheema Kermani - activist, feminist, dancer, actor - presented a very brief video and then joined two members of her theatrical team in presenting the enjoyable Voh Naak Say Boltay Haeñ, a short one-act play.
The next session was a 10-minute reading by Nuzhat. She chose Bayvah - a story about widowhood - written by my father in the late 1920s. While his story is set among a Hindu home, where the traditional attitudes about widowhood were extraordinarly bad, the fact is that a number of Muslims in India, perhaps because of their Hindu ancestry, share almost the same negative views, thankfully stopping short of suttee - the cruel practice of burning widows at the husband's funeral pyre, of which a recent example can be seen in Anand Patwardhan's superb must-see documentary, Father, Son & Holy War.

The story was a great preamble to the screening of Shaali by its author - well-known feminist poet Attiya Dawood.  The story of a tragic child marriage, sadly still a common practice in our villages, had everyone in tears at the end. The young Director, who has treated the subject with great sensitivity, was there to talk about how moved he was during the making and had often wept. The irrepressible little star of the film whose appearance in each scene won the audience's heart afresh, is Attiya and Abro's daughter, Suhaee. She was there, too, and deserved the thunderous applause she received. The tele-film is part of a Hum TV series, Aseer Shahzadi, based on stories by Attiya on women's issues.

The session was followed by a long break, during which, at the request of some audience members, Nuzhat read two of Kishwar Naheed's poems from Beyond Belief - ASR's excellent bi-lingual (Urdu, with English translations) anthology of feminist poetry. (C'mon, ASR, we are waiting for reprints ... but please, please, please skip the crazy Urdu formatting, it's a strain to read.)

After the break the final session of the evening ended on a celebratory note with a gentle musical performance that seemed apt after a day filled with so much. Tp, you have a lovely voice! Hope to keep having you back at T2F often!


Slightly unrelated footnote: An organization called Ladies Fund held an event at Karachi's Mohatta Palace to award some women for their diverse contributions to society. This is to congratulate the three I know well: Tehrik-e-Niswan's Sheema Kermani, School of Leadership's Shireen Naqvi (who, to celebrate, brought me freshly baked bread from Bakerei, an initiative for the deaf and dumb that she has helped set up in Karachi), and PeaceNiche/T2F's very own Sabeen Mahmud :-)

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Friday, March 07, 2008

"Shame! Shame!"

That used to be a cry in Parliaments when there were still politicians who could feel some shame! What does one shout out now that we have blatantly shameless caretakers in power? Does the interim PM (the former Chairperson of the Senate) believe that the epithet meant he could use the office to 'take care' of himself for life (and beyond)?

Issued by the Prime Minister’s Secretariat (public) wing and addressed to the Senate Secretariat secretary: “Reference Senate Secretariat’s u.o. No.F.9(13)/2007-Estt., dated 26 December 2007 on the subject.

1. The prime minister has been pleased to approve the facilities/privileges for the former Chairperson of the Senate (elected), as per following:

(i) Exemption from taking out licenses for possessing up to three prohibited bore and six non-prohibited bore weapons.

(ii) Access to state/govt guest houses, rest houses and circuit houses in the country free of charge for self, spouse and dependent children (accompanied & unaccompanied).

(iii) Pick-up and drop facilities at all Airports in the country for self, spouse and dependent children (accompanied & unaccompanied) with protocol coverage by the provincial govts/Northern Areas/AJK in their respective areas and by the Cabinet Division/Senate Secretariat at Islamabad/Rawalpindi. Protocol coverage/Staff Car to be provided also during travel by road outside Headquarters, if required.

(iv) Detailment of a staff car by the respective governments for self, spouse and dependent children during their visit outside Headquarters throughout Pakistan (accompanied & unaccompanied) and by Cabinet Division/Senate Secretariat if chairman and his family visit the federal capital, if they reside outside Islamabad.

(v) Services of Private Secretary, security guard, driver and a cook [!] for life time.

(vi) Free medical aid for life time in Pakistan and abroad subject to approval by the Medical Board for self, spouse and dependent children.

(vii) Diplomatic passport to self, spouse and dependent children.

(viii) Special security arrangements for chairman and his family either on his request or by the federal government on its own accord taking into account the circumstances past and present.

(ix) Free installation of telephone at residence and payment of charges for its use up to Rs 5,000 per month or such higher amount as the federal government may determine from time to time.

(x) Issuance of ASF passes for self, spouse and dependent children with endorsement of Apron at all Airports in the country and two Apron passes for staff.

2. The above privileges/facilities mutates mutandis shall apply to the widow/dependent children of the former chairperson.”

"#@&%! #@&%!"

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