By Mark Siegel
For those of us who knew and loved Benazir Bhutto, not just as a great political leader but as an irreplaceable friend, the days between Christmas and New Years can never ring with joyous holiday spirit and celebration. December 27th is a dreaded day on the caledar of the people of Pakistan, democrats all around the world, and the family and friends of Benazir Bhutto. It is a day of remembrance, reflection, and inevitable thinking of what could have been had she lived to govern Paksistan once again.
To so many she was an icon but to me she was a friend, a colleague, an intellectual sparring partner, an aunt to my children and a soul mate to my wife. On top of all the great things that she had done, and the endless possiblities of what she could have accomplished had she lived, I genuinely miss her on a personal level. Continue reading
Tragedy stuck Karachi Pakistan the other day when about 20 women died from suffocation while attempting to collect wheat flour that was distributed by a charity. It isn’t the only time that poor Pakistanis have died tragically, but this one is especially awful because it started with very good intentions. Because the price of flour is very high in Pakistan during Ramadan, a rice trader decided to help the poor in the community by giving away for free what is scarce and expensive – wheat flour, but his desire to help the poor destroyed at least 20 families.
President has ordered an inquiry, but it is obvious that no body will be held accountable for these tragic deaths. Actually, from what I have heard and read about the incident, it really was an unfortunate accident. However, if the trader who was actually distributing free flour had a) informed the authoritarians and b) opted for an open venue (perhaps a park), we wouldn’t be talking about this tragedy. But, hindsight is always 20/20 and I know the man who was trying to help poor in Ghori Garden Karachi regrets his noble efforts. Continue reading
KARACHI, Oct 10 (IPS) – As rights groups mark the Sixth World Day
Against the Death Penalty with an appeal for an end to executions in
Asia, Pakistan pulled one man back from the gallows and hinted that
it will soon honour pledges to commute the sentences of over 7,000
death row inmates. Continue reading
A disturbing piece by Ron Gluckman in Dubai, UAE – a must read. Ron writes about how, “Every year, scores of kidnapped children are smuggled from South Asia to the Middle East where they are maimed and killed, all for the amusement of the oil-rich rulers of kingdoms on the camel racing circuit.“
ONE OF THE WORLD’S TOP JOCKEYS poses for a photo by the track. His smile says it all. Two front teeth are missing. Raji Shubir ranks with the youngest champions of the race course. Continue reading
….reframe your Will, and reframe your Destiny
One of the academic puzzles in Religious Thought is the seeming paradox (or contradiction) between “free will” and “predestination.” Meaning, is it possible to believe in God as omnipotent and omniscient and simultaneously believe in free will. If He already knows all, then He already knows whether or not I am going to Hell. If He already knows whether or not I am going to Hell, then it is already written. Thus, if my destiny is already set, what is the point of adhering to a particular (at times struggling) code of conduct in my life? Continue reading