Daily Archives: April 3, 2008

PAKISTAN: Putting Development Back on the Agenda

By Beena Sarwar

KARACHI, Apr 2 (IPS) – Pakistan’s new prime minister has announced
what many term a `revolutionary’ agenda: continue the `war on terror’
but on Pakistan’s terms, lift the long standing ban on student and
trade unions, raise minimum wages, revoke `black’ media laws, provide
relief for farmers and observe austerity.

Yousuf Raza Gillani revealed his ambitious initial 100 day plan for
his government after obtaining an unprecedented unanimous vote of
confidence in the National Assembly. The plan has breathed fresh air
into this nuclear-armed South Asian nation where military-dominated
politics has long been marked by acrimony, bitterness and
vengefulness.

A new in-house advertisement on the popular television channel Geo TV
captures the mood: clips of various politicians bantering, smiling
and laughing. The slogan, `Jeo, muskura kar’ (`Live life with a
smile’).

The country that gave the world its first Muslim woman prime
minister, Benazir Bhutto, now boasts the world’s first Muslim woman
Speaker of the Assembly. Dr Fehmida Mirza, 51, thrice elected from
her hometown Badin in Bhutto’s native Sindh province, sometimes looks
startlingly like her slain leader and friend. So Gillani could be
forgiven, in his inaugural speech, for twice inadvertently referring
to her as `Madam Prime Minister” instead of “Madam Speaker”. Continue reading

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Filed under Benazir Bhutto, Citizens, Democracy, Elections, Pakistan, Parliament, Terrorism

Enriching Encounter

A poem by Fatima Hasan

Last night the waves were coarse and untamed
The night was as mysterious as ever
The moonlight was soft
Anxiously, waiting to have a glimpse
Restlessly, observing the upcoming era
To perceive the strength of your essence
To achieve the utmost of your gentle charisma
Soothes the discontented individual
Brings ecstasy to the wounded identity
Wanted occasion to bring to a standstill
Bliss to the entire twinge
Dances on the melody of its own
The liking of that improbable flash
Sigh! And think
The variation of years
Still lacking sufficient amount
Completing the space and bareness
Craving to stay back with its own determination

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Filed under Pakistan, poetry