Media Watch Desi: Humayun Gohar, Prices, Karachi Sea Shore ... March 15, 2008
This is Sunday March 16 wrap-up of news and comments from the media selected by me. I started off doing one Media Watch column but soon broke it into two: one for Desi and the other for World news and comments. As you have probably already discovered, I keep on adding more to them as and when I read something of interest or when I am sent a link that I find worth sharing.
Dear reader, your feedback and ideas would be appreciated. You can reach me a firstname.lastname@example.org.
A comparative look at the rise in prices of some of the essential commodities of daily use over the past three months
Item 2007 2008
Cooking Oil/ 41/2 kg Rs 350 Rs 700
Flour (5 kg bag) Rs 70 Rs 120
Tea/kg Rs 200 Rs 220
Sugar/kg Rs 20 Rs 32
Packed Milk/lit Rs 35 Rs 44
Rice/kg Rs 45 Rs 75
Pulses/kg Rs 40--80 Rs 60--100
Soaps (1 bar) Rs 20 Rs 30
Detergents/kg Rs 100 Rs 150
Butter/kg Rs 150 Rs 190
"Nothing is permanent," Musharraf has said many a time.
So when he is no longer there, will Nawaz's old hatred for Zardari resurface, he whose wife made (fabricated?) so many cases against him and imprisoned his old father? And will Zardari's resentment against Nawaz return, he who made (fabricated?) all those cases against him and his wife, caused her to flee into exile and imprisoned him, an incarceration that lasted for eleven years? (Fabricating cases, by the way, is in itself a huge crime).
If the presence of one man is all that binds this new Bhurban Alliance, one cannot hold out much hope for a tasty pudding.
Anyway, despite inordinate US pressure to prevent a Zardari-Nawaz coalition, this is precisely what they agreed to in a woolly declaration last Sunday. On the face of it, it may seem that Zardari won and Nawaz lost because he climbed down from all the three demands on which he seemed intransigent - his ministers not taking oath from President Musharraf, impeaching him and restoring the sacked judges. The document makes no mention of the president or impeachment, Nawaz's ministers will take oath from Musharraf and the National Assembly will pass only a resolution within 30 days asking for the judges to be restored. A resolution is not a law. It is only the expression of a desire, a suggestion, especially on financial matters. It is not binding on the government. Read Chapter XV (Rules 157-169) in the Rules of Procedure of the National Assembly and Chapter IV on resolutions and their scope in the National Assembly Procedural Manual.
“It seems that the general public does not know that whenever a PIA aircraft is requisitioned for VVIP travel, it is luxuriously “refurbished”, only to be reconfigured later for the plebians who pay to fly. There are already 15 aircraft, including helicopters, in the Pakistani VVIP fleet. There is a Boeing 707, an almost new luxuriously fitted Boeing 737, a Falcon executive jet, a Cessna Citation and an Airbus 310 gifted by Qatar. On top of that, three new Learjets have been purchased recently at a cost of $60 million. I would ask readers to think about the astronomical cost of hangaring, maintaining, certifying, fuelling, crewing and catering involved here. Take India. Once I was parked in an Airbus 300 at Bombay Airport when I saw an Indian Airline Airbus taxiing in. It was a normal passenger flight. The door opened and out walked Prime Minister Mrs Indira Gandhi. One man took her briefcase, another held an umbrella over her head and she got into a beat-up white Ambassador and drove away.”
Last week, Dharti conducted a seminar on the threat to the coastline around Karachi and the attending citizens passed this resolution:
“The Dharti coalition of concerned citizen groups resolves that any development, especially along the coastline, shall be carried out in line with the principles given below. Consequently, the ‘Sugarland’ project at Hawkesbay/Sandspit, which is in violation of these standards, is opposed.
“1) The common-law ‘Public Trust Doctrine’, which mandates free and unfettered access to the shores of the sea for citizens to facilitate fishing, swimming, navigation, recreation, etc, for all, must be respected. 2) The rights of the local fishing communities along the coast cannot be compromised under any circumstances. 3) There must be an EIA [Environmental Impact Assessment] and public hearings on all waterfront development projects. 4) Any extravagant development on the seashore (private beaches, etc) meant only for the wealth-laden will be opposed. People from all socio-economic classes must have unhindered right to use the natural resource of the beach. 5) The government must frame master plans of the coastal areas to preserve them for our future generations. The greed of builders and developers cannot be allowed to dictate utilisation of coastal areas. 6) Existing residents of the city have the first right to adequate/enhanced basic utilities (water, sewerage, electricity) and infrastructure. Diversion of these resources to high-class coastal development cannot be allowed to rob the citizens of Karachi of their birthright. 7) The governments, federal, provincial and city, must come clean about the waterfront development projects in all jurisdictions. 8) Sustainable development must be distributed uniformly across the geographical space, rather than being concentrated along the coast.”
The nikahnama has three forms that are to be filled in during the marriage. One form will be for the bride and the groom, the second for the marriage bureau and the third for the qazi who solemnises the marriage.
Talking to reporters, AIMWPLB president Shaista Amber said that the new nikahnama was more stringent on the practice of triple talaaq.