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Archive for February, 2006

Forcing The Gates

There can be no approbation strong enough for the demonic act of the cartoons caricaturing our beloved Prophet (Peace Be upon Him (PBUH)). The muslim reaction is only a reflection of the deep-rooted suspicions that other religions have ganged up in a well-thought out conspiracy, the disrespect for our Prophet (PBUH) meant as a deliberate provocation. An idiot of an Italian Minister wore the despicable cartoon on a T-Shirt, very correctly (and swiftly) the Italian PM and his cabinet sacked him. Before enraged protestors could overwhelm and burn the Italian Consulate in Ben Ghazi, Libyan internal security forces killed eleven (including some foreigners among the Libyans).

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The Australian Wheat Scam

About a year or so ago, the rejection of an Australian wheat consignment by Pakistan Agriculture Storage and Supply Corporation (PASSCO) caused on uproar. Designated Pakistani laboratories labelled the samples drawn from the ships delivering the wheat as “unfit for human consumption”. The vehement protest by the Australian Wheat Board (AWB) turned into a major diplomatic problem between the Australian Government and Govt of Pakistan (GOP). Withstanding tremendous pressure to accept the wheat consignment, Director General (DG) PASSCO Maj Gen Fahim Akhtar Khan, was racked over the coals by a full Federal Cabinet meeting presided over by the PM for having the audacity “to create a full fledged diplomatic incident”. He was “encouraged“ to be more cooperative. DG PASSCO stood his ground that he would not accept the consignment in the face of the laboratory report.

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That Davos Feeling!

One can describe the Davos feeling till Kingdom Come, you cannot capture it in words (or video) for others. A truly unique gathering of Heads of State and Government, senior ministers (mainly of finance and commerce), the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) includes world renowned academics and intellectuals (including quite a few Nobel Prize winners), nearly a 1000 of the major companies of the world represented by their Chief Executives, 200 or so of the topmost media personalities of the world (both print and electronics) and selected non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The 2006 highlight was an address by former US President Clinton. Among the Heads of State, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, Nigerian President Obasanjo, German President Angela Merkel, etc. Among the celebrities, Muhammad Ali and Shabana Azmi received Crystal Awards in recognition of excellence in their respective fields. I was extremely impressed by the natural humility and grace of Shabana Azmi. Admiring her as a beautiful and outstanding actress is one thing, her contribution to the social sector is really amazing, but to have her mix without any shred of arrogance was really captivating. One wishes there are more like her, the world is a better place because of people like Shabana Azmi.

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