Galliano’s fall from grace teaches us how the media shouldn’t respond to anti-Semitism
Amid rumors Dior has finally found a replacement for John Galliano, my mind is plagued by memories of the ridiculous media storm that crushed a pitiful man.
For nine months, the Dior fashion house has struggled to find a successor for the role of creative director, after John Galliano was fired for his highly publicized anti-Semitic slurs. Finally, according to reports by Forbes and the Telegraph, Dior has found a replacement in Raf Simons.
The saga began in February this year, when, in a crowded Parisian café, John Gallano, Dior’s leading creator, was secretly filmed making horrendous anti-Semitic statements. “I love Hitler,” he announced to a nearby Jewish couple. The video was published on YouTube, and soon after, Galliano was fired from Dior. In September, he was also convicted of making anti-Semitic comments, a criminal offense in France.
When the first video emerged of John Galliano’s anti-Semitic slurs, the fashion world was shocked and appalled, and rightly so. But did the media blow this story out of proportion?
The “hidden anti-Semitism of the fashion world” became the leading angle in a media storm that erupted following the video’s YouTube release. The flurry of news coverage concerning Galliano’s comments reached the point of overload: everywhere you turned, there was another article about modern forms of anti-Semitism. A simple news search for “Galliano” on the date of the video’s release – February 28, 2011 – yields upwards of fifty articles.
Politics Daily issued an editorial comparing Galliano’s outburst to rising right-wing anti-Semitism in Europe. But, while there may indeed be rising anti-Semitism in Europe, is it right to say that a drunken man’s rant in a bar is indicative of such a trend?
The court presiding over Galliano’s trial held that the media coverage was excessive. As it was reported by Independent, the court took into account “the fact that his (Galliano’s) racist remarks – however unpleasant – had been intended for just a handful of people. The fact that they had been given “extreme publicity” all around the world was “not the fault of the accused.””
Did we go overboard? Eva Green, a Jewish actress, said in an interview with The Observer that Galliano was very drunk when he made the comments in question, and personally thought those who put up the video were exploiting the man.
The fashion world is filled with Jewish designers, from Diane Von Furstenburg to Zac Posen to Ralph Lauren. Can a man such as Galliano who works in such an industry really be so staunchly anti-Semitic? Of course he can (many friendships between Jews and non-Jews in pre-Holocaust Europe didn’t affect whether or not, in the end, numerous Jews were betrayed). And I also believe that Galliano should be punished, and severely at that. But not to the point where the person gets completely destroyed.
By skewering someone in the media so strongly, we may be doing a disservice. While it is understandable that anti-Semitic language cannot and should not be tolerated, the astonishing amount of media coverage may have only fueled anti-Semitic rumors that the Jewish people are all-powerful, much more so than the “average minority.”
While Galliano absolutely deserved to be fired, perhaps we should have looked upon this event with pity, and not outrage: the drunken ramblings of a man who caused his own fall from grace. And perhaps next time, a more nuanced campaign should be waged. Although we can never accommodate for anti-Semitism, we should instead try to educate, while still expressing condemnation for such actions.
Civil society in Egypt
The U.S. cannot let NGOs be harassed by the government.
By Editorial Board, Sunday, January 15,7:08 PM
ON DEC. 29, Egyptian security forces and troops launched an unprecedented raid on 17 offices of American and U.S.-funded civil-society groups, including stalwarts of democracy promotion such as the National Democratic Institute, the International Republican Institute and Freedom House. Computers and other equipment were confiscated, and local staff members were issued summons for interrogation. Egyptian officials seeded local media with stories that portrayed the nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) as part of an international conspiracy to interfere in the country’s politics.
To its credit, the Obama administration reacted quickly. The State Department publicly condemned the raids and called on the government “to immediately end the harassment of NGO staff, return all property and resolve this issue immediately.” U.S. Ambassador Anne Patterson and Defense Secretary Leon Panetta got on the phone to senior officials; the next day officials said that Mr. Panetta had been assured by the head of the ruling military council, Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi, that the groups would be allowed to reopen their offices and their property would be returned.
Two weeks later, however, the U.S. NGO offices as well as those of several Egyptian groups remain closed. Their computers have not been returned, and staff members are still being summoned for interviews with prosecutors who say that they are conducting a criminal investigation. In short, the Egyptian government is openly flouting the administration’s demand for a quick reversal of its harassment.
U.S. officials say that they are still pressing the issue hard. But in public, the administration’s rhetoric has been softening. On Jan. 2, State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said, “It is frankly unacceptable to us that the situation has not been returned to normal.”
Ten days later, the matter was still unresolved after Deputy Secretary of State William Burns met with Mr. Tantawi. Said Mr. Burns: “We are hopeful for a quick and fair resolution, and we will keep working at this.” Egyptian authorities are insisting that the NGOs register under laws passed but never enforced by the deposed authoritarian regime of Hosni Mubarak, which would allow the government to control funding.
The significance of this dispute is difficult to overstate. U.S. funding for pro-democracy NGOs in Egypt — about $40 million this year — pales beside the $1 .2 billion set aside for the Egyptian military. But the aid is vital to nurturing a free political system — and to countering the huge flow of money from Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf states to Islamist groups.
The officials campaigning against U.S. groups and funding, such as International Cooperation Minister Faiza Aboul Naga, a Mubarak regime holdover, are trying to preserve their own powers by demonizing liberal civil-society groups and the United States.
At a minimum, any Egyptian government that follows Ms. Aboul Naga’s policies ought to be denied military aid. That’s why it is fortunate that Congress, over the administration’s objections, conditioned the 2012 funding for Egypt on a certification that the government was carrying out a democratic transition. Such a certification ought to be impossible until all the NGOs are allowed to reopen and harassment of their Egyptian partners ceases. Administration officials say they accept that; let’s hope that, through tough words or softer ones, Egyptian authorities are getting the message.
Tunisia marks 1st anniversary of Arab Spring
TUNIS, Tunisia (AP) — Tunisia is marking the one-year anniversary of the revolution that ended the dictatorship of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali — and sparked uprisings around the Arab world — with prudent optimism.
Now a human rights activist is president, and a moderate Islamist jailed for years by the old regime is prime minister at the head of a diverse coalition, after the freest elections in Tunisia’s history. But worries over continued high unemployment cast a shadow over Tunisians’ pride at transforming their country.
Tunisia’s uprising began on Dec. 17, 2010, when a desperate fruit vendor set himself on fire, unleashing pent-up anger and frustration among his compatriots, who staged protests that spread nationwide. Within less than a month, longtime president Ben Ali was forced out of power, and he fled to Saudi Arabia on Jan. 14, 2011.
Leading Arab dignitaries are joining Tunisia’s leaders to commemorate Saturday’s anniversary of Ben Ali’s ouster, including Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and the head of Libya’s interim government, Mustafa Abdel-Jalil.
As the country that started the Arab Spring, Tunisia appears to be the farthest along in its transformation. Political analysts warn, however, that further gains will not be easy or painless.
Heykel Mahfoudh, a law professor and advisor to the Geneva Centre for the Democratic Control of Armed Forces, said in an interview with The Associated Press that Tunisia is entering its second post-Ben Ali year “in a paradoxically necessary phase of turbulence.”
Mahfoudh says he is “cautiously optimistic” for Tunisia’s development, but remains worried about the country’s economic and social situation. It’s unclear, too, what the Islamists who won the elections will do with their power.
Unemployment has risen to almost 20 percent today from 13 percent a year ago, and economic growth has stagnated as investment dries up and tourism, once a pillar of Tunisia’s economy, evaporates.
Tunisia under Ben Ali was renowned among European tourists for its sandy beaches and cosmopolitan ways. But for many of its people, Ben Ali’s presidency was 23 years of suffocating one-party rule.
The revolution started when 26-year-old fruit-seller Mohammed Bouazizi set himself on fire in front of a town hall after he was publicly slapped and humiliated by a policewoman reprimanding him for selling his vegetables without a license. He suffered full-body burns, and died soon afterward. His act struck a chord in the impoverished interior of the country.
At first it was just local unrest, until clandestinely shot videos started popping up on Facebook and other social networking sites, inspiring youths across the country.
The focus of the protests soon moved to the capital Tunis as tens of thousands braved tear gas and battled police along the elegant, tree-lined boulevards. An estimated 265 Tunisians died in that month of protests that slowly drew the world’s attention.
And then on Jan. 14 it was over. After Ben Ali’s army refused to shoot protesters and his security forces wavered, he fled to Saudi Arabia with his family.
Ben Ali’s departure immediately reverberated across the Arab world. Within hours, protesters took to the streets in Cairo, and within weeks, longtime Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak had also been forced out of power.
Protests rose up, and were pushed down, in Bahrain. Opposition fighters took on Libya’s Moammar Gadhafi and vanquished him after months of bloody civil war and with the help of NATO airstrikes.
Yemen’s authoritarian president is supposed to step down as part of a U.S.-backed effort to end the country’s political quagmire. And Syria is in the throes of an uprising that has seen more than 5,000 killed as protesters demand that President Bashar Assad step down.
Ben Ali has maintained a low profile since his ouster but has been convicted in absentia for corruption and other crimes during his regime.
Double standards and hypocrisy
Friday, January 13, 2012
This is no morality play. It has nothing to do with that hound called accountability, with whose aid governments have come and gone in Pakistan’s circular history. Behind the fig-leaf of the noblest intentions – and let’s not forget with what the road to hell is paved – this is a power struggle, driven by nothing higher than the usual stupidity on display when the Islamic Republic is in crisis (which happens to be most of the time).
Politicians think they are clever but they are played like so many violins by the trained hands of the army high command. Divide and rule, the motto since the beginning of time of all conquerors, and the motto of the high command ever since it started dabbling in politics. Politicians are once again divided, Nawaz Sharif proving not for the first time that some people never learn and some things never change. Gen Shuja Pasha, current lord of the ISI and arguably Pakistan’s foremost politician (regular politicians not a patch on him), can be forgiven for being amused.
How deftly, with what supreme finesse, they have managed to turn national attention from Abbottabad and Sheikh Osama bin Laden to the imperilled national security via the sacred roll of Mansoor Ijaz’s memo to Adm Mike Mullen. The Admiral was said to be a friend of Pakistan. But he would be holding his head in disbelief as he contemplates the gyrations of Pakistan’s security establishment.
We were caught with our national pants down in Abbottabad but the memory of that erased in the brilliant fog generated by the memo affair. Gen Pasha deserves the highest praise.
This was a beleaguered government at the best of times, weighed down less by conspiracy than incompetence. Now it is on the ropes completely, unable to function. If there is not one judicial case harassing it, there is another, a two-pronged assault in the best military tradition. Standing up to failures past and present is so much more difficult (and I am saying this of our guardians); punching a hapless political government so much more fun.
ISPR, the army’s famous PR wing, couldn’t get a statement right in the immediate aftermath of Abbottabad. To savour that confusion you have to recall it. But to look at ISPR’s no-nonsense statements today is to be swept by the tide of their eloquence.
The latest statement warns the government of “very serious ramifications with potentially grievous consequences for the country.” This apropos of PM Yousaf Gilani’s remarks to a Chinese journalist that the affidavits submitted by the army and ISI chiefs to the Supreme Court in the memo affair, for not being sent through proper channels, were “unconstitutional and illegal”. One has to marvel (1) at the PM’s sense of occasion (did he have to say what he said to a foreign journalist and did APP, the state news agency, have to splash this story?) and (2) at the ISPR’s use of such heavy artillery in full public view.
Imagine if such a statement had come out in India. Military heads would have rolled. Here such a statement has just the opposite effect. It sends a powerful signal that the generals have made up their minds that this government must go. Small wonder then, if Zardari’s allies too are hedging their bets and weighing their words. This proves once more that the ultimate arbiter of things political is less parliament than general headquarters. Politicians test the wind and take their cue from there. So much for parliamentary sovereignty.
We seem doomed to go around in circles. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was hanged not for his sins but his virtues, such as they were. Nawaz Sharif was ousted not for his failures, which were many, but for his rashness in trying to sack Musharraf. Asif Zardari is being hounded not for his sins, huge as they may be, but for being a thorn in the imagination of what passes for the Pakistani establishment.
This establishment has happily put up with shoddy and less-than-brilliant dictators. But it can’t abide the thought of Zardari as president and supreme commander. Civilians bend over backwards to protect the army. But gratitude is not a quality that runs too thickly in the GHQ.
Hence the current drama behind which lurks a holy nexus comprising military, political and media-related elements. There is also another element proving to be the catalyst in this affair, doing the service that 111 Brigade used to perform in former times. But let us not enter where angels fear to tread.
Still, why the burning impatience behind this drama? Why can’t everyone wait for the next elections which are virtually around the corner? Four years of this dispensation are over, just a year remains and even this period, given the current state of play, can be reduced through a process of give-and-take between the political parties. The present rush for shotgun adventurism, on the other hand, can only lead to more turmoil. At least this is what our history teaches.
Not once in our 64 1/2 years as an independent nation have we managed a democratic transition from one elected government to another…not once. We had a chance this time. Why are we bent on blowing it? No need to dilate on the corruption and ineptitude associated with this government. Not only is this common knowledge but the stuff of legend. Still, if it is democracy we are pursuing the only method of change must be elections, not intrigue and conspiracy…or the heavy pulling of strings from the founts and stables of national security.
Granted that things are bad and change is the mantra on everyone’s lips but Caesarian operations have done nothing but harm to Pakistan. For once can’t we try the natural mode of delivery?
The signs, however, are not auspicious. Knives are no longer the preferred instruments of subtlety. Hatchets are more in fashion and their edges are being sharpened in Rawalpindi. Around the goddess of justice as she holds a sword in one hand and the scales of justice in the other swirl winds of the utmost capriciousness. And politicians are hunting for short-term advantages. The principle of parliamentary sovereignty is going by the board.
There are petitions in the Supreme Court gathering dust for years, Air Marshal Asghar Khan’s petition about the ISI doling out money in the 1990 elections – about which there is a sworn affidavit from then ISI chief, Lt Gen Asad Durrani – perhaps the most important in this regard. There are petitions touching upon the fortunes of the PML-N. About them nothing is heard. So we have extraordinary judicial rigour in some cases, amazing leniency in others, giving rise to the charge of double standards.
Closing in on the government, however, is not so much the memo affair, likely to be dragged out given the complexities of digital data investigation, as the NRO case, now hurtling towards some kind of a conclusion.
The National Reconciliation Ordinance was the instrument which paved the way for Benazir Bhutto’s return to Pakistan. And it was her return which allowed Nawaz Sharif to come back. Armchair patriots and sofa samurais go red in the face denouncing the NRO as a whitewashing of corruption, forgetting that the history of Pakistan is littered with such expedients.
How did Nawaz Sharif proceed with his family to Saudi Arabia? Through a deal done with Gen Pervez Musharraf. Wasn’t that an NRO? Didn’t their lordships, in various capacities, take their oaths of office under Musharraf’s Provisional Constitutional Order? And didn’t they sanctify Musharraf’s coup not once but twice (the second time in the Zafar Ali Shah case)? These too were forms of reconciliation, their eminences reconciling with reality. And if Zardari and Gilani were so bad why did Kayani and Pasha take extensions in service from their soiled hands? As men of honour they should have refused.
We should not close our eyes and we should attune ourselves to what is happening. Let us by all means be St George to the dragon and smite evil with an avenging sword, but even as we do so, is it too much to ask that there be a little less hypocrisy in the hallowed spaces of the Islamic Republic? Not the moon or the stars, just a slight lessening in the national sum of hypocrisy.
Persecution of Husain Haqqani sends a signal to Pakistanis
By Farahnaz Ispahani, Wednesday, January 11,
Farahnaz Ispahani is a member of Pakistan’s Parliament and the wife of former Pakistani ambassador Husain Haqqani.
As U.S.-Pakistani relations plunge to new depths, Americans need to look beyond media reports on tactical issues such as aid and counterterrorism. The direction Pakistan takes will be of great strategic significance to the world. The manner in which my husband, former Pakistani ambassador Husain Haqqani, is being treated in our homeland reflects the shrinking political space there for anyone who advocates positive relations with the West or stands up for religious-cultural tolerance and pluralism.
Husain resigned in November after successfully making Pakistan’s case in Washington for more than three years. He was implicated in a controversy sparked by an unsigned memo sent to Adm. Mike Mullen, then the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, after the U.S. raid inside Pakistan to kill Osama bin Laden in May. The memo, written by a Pakistani American businessman, ostensibly sought U.S. support for Pakistan’s civilian government against its military. The idea of an elected government seeking foreign help in reining in its military leaders is anathema to Pakistanis, who are rightly protective of our national sovereignty.
Mullen has said he did not consider the memo credible. Former national security adviser Jim Jones, who passed the memo to Mullen, has said that he saw it only as the creation of its author. Unfortunately, U.S. officials considered the memo so unimportant that they did not bother to promptly set the record straight regarding Husain; this allowed misinformation to spread in Pakistan, inadvertently creating concerns that should have been nipped in the bud.
After he resigned, Husain could have stayed in the United States. But he returned to Pakistan to seek an impartial inquiry into the controversy. Some in the Pakistani media, illustrating how our society has been poisoned by extremist views, launched a propaganda campaign accusing him of treason. Last month Pakistan’s Supreme Court barred him, on national security grounds, from leaving the country while a judicial probe is conducted. Husain appeared in court Monday and was asked for evidence of his innocence — even though no charges have been officially leveled against him. Human rights lawyer Asma Jahangir and other legal experts consider the court’s order of an inquiry a denial of due process. A country’s highest court should be the last avenue of appeal, not the first stop. In a democracy, the rights of a citizen should not be trumped by an intelligence service’s assertions of national security interests.
But my husband’s case is not simply that of an individual who has been wrongly accused and denied due process. It is part of a broader issue: the systematic elimination or marginalization of every intellectual and leader in Pakistan who has stood up to the institutionalization of a militarized Islamist state. Ever since the military dictator Mohammed Zia ul-Haq created the well-oiled machine of religious extremism, Pakistan’s progressive and liberal voices have faced allegations of treason and corruption.
Is a Chinese economic slump on the horizon?
By Robert J. Samuelson,
Even China? Could the world’s economic juggernaut, having grown an average of 10 percent annually for three decades, face a slowdown or what for China would be a recession? Does it have a real estate “bubble” about to “pop”? What would be the global consequences? Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner visits China and Japan this week. These questions form a backdrop. With Europe’s slump and America’s sluggish economy, a sizable Chinese slowdown would be bad news.
China inspires ambivalence. Its policies — especially its undervalued exchange rate — are skewed to give it an advantage on world markets. This has cost jobs in the United States, Europe and developing countries. Still, China is now such a powerful economic force that an abrupt slowdown would ripple beyond its borders. Trade would suffer. China’s protectionism might intensify to offset job loss. If surpluses of steel and other commodities were dumped on world markets, prices and production elsewhere would fall.
There are warning signs. Economist Nicholas Lardy of the Peterson Institute cites three. First, Europe’s slump has weakened China’s trade; Europe buys about a fifth of its exports. Second, housing is showing signs of a bubble and is deflating. Finally, China’s government will have a harder time deploying a stimulus than during the 2008-09 financial crisis. Government debt rose from 26 percent of gross domestic product in 2007 to 43 percent of GDP in 2010.
How all this affects China’s growth is controversial. “Most likely, China will have a soft landing,” says Justin Yifu Lin, the World Bank’s chief economist. “Growth goes to 8 percent or 8.5 percent.” That’s down from about 9 percent in 2011. Government debt is still low enough to permit ample stimulus, Lin thinks. Many forecasts agree.
But skepticism is mounting. The Japanese securities firm Nomura sees a one-in-three possibility of a “hard landing” — a drop in growth to 5 percent or less. To Americans, now experiencing annual economic growth around 2 percent, this may seem fabulous. But for China’s modernizing economy and huge labor force, a 5 percent growth rate would raise unemployment and social discontent. The adverse GDP swing would roughly equal the U.S. decline in the 2007-09 recession.
Housing may settle who’s right. China has vastly overinvested in housing, argues Lardy in a new book (“Sustaining China’s Economic Growth After the Global Financial Crisis”). The main reason, he says, is that financial policies prevent savers from realizing adequate returns on their money. The stock market is seen as rigged. Government regulations keep interest rates on bank deposits — the main outlet for savings — low. From 2004 to 2010, they were less than inflation. Frustrated savers invest in housing, where prices are not regulated.
The result seems a classic speculative bubble. People buy because they believe prices will go up; and prices go up because people buy. A 2010 survey found that 18 percent of Beijing households owned two or more properties; another 2010 survey of all cities found that 40 percent of purchases were for investment. Many units, Lardy reports, are vacant because rents in Beijing, Shanghai and other major cities are low.
Unfortunately, booms breed busts. Buyers ultimately recognize that rising prices reflect artificial demand. Purchases slow. Prices fall. New building declines. The process feeds on itself. With modest imbalances, the result is a correction. Otherwise, there’s a crash.
Which does China face? A popped real estate bubble could exert a big drag. Housing construction exceeds 10 percent of GDP. That’s historically high, says Lardy. At a similar stage of economic development, Taiwan’s housing investment was 4.3 percent of GDP. In the recent U.S. real estate boom, housing peaked at 6 percent of GDP. In China, housing stimulates much consumer spending (furniture, appliances) and accounts for 40 percent of steel production, notes Lardy. Land sales are also a big revenue source for local governments. All would suffer from a housing bust.
There are mitigating factors. Outside Beijing and Shanghai, it’s unclear that housing prices are “out of line with household income growth,” says economist Eswar Prasad of Cornell University. Chinese buyers also typically make large cash payments for their properties. Compared to United States, a housing bust is less likely to become a banking crisis as mortgages sour.
Whatever happens, China’s economic model is reaching its limits, as Lardy argues. It has relied on exports, promoted through the controlled exchange rate, and investment, including housing, subsidized by cheap credit. Meanwhile, Chinese savers have been punished by the low returns on deposits. This dampens their incomes and consumption spending. The trouble is that the global slowdown threatens exports and housing’s excesses threaten investment. Unless China can switch to stronger consumption spending, its economy will slow — or it will achieve growth by becoming even more predatory toward other countries.
Editor’s Note: This is an edited version of an article from the ‘Oxford Analytica Daily Brief’. Oxford Analytica is a global analysis and advisory firm that draws on a worldwide network of experts to advise its clients on their strategy and performance.
Iranian Revolutionary Guard navy commander Admiral Ali Fadavi announced yesterday that the country will hold a new exercise in the Strait of Hormuz in February. The planned war games will follow an exercise earlier this week in which Iran launched three anti-ship missiles. The firing of a handful of missiles for media effect is not necessarily significant – but the threat they represent is. Their overt use was intended as a signal to Washington that U.S. naval assets cannot operate with impunity near Iranian waters, especially in the event (however unlikely) that Tehran carries out its threat to close the Strait.
Iran has a fairly well-developed indigenous capacity to produce missiles, with particular strength in anti-ship and ballistic designs. Technical help has come from North Korea in exchange for Iranian investment to bankroll the necessary research. China has also had input, and Iranian scientists have been adapting and improving Chinese designs.
The naval exercise earlier this week showcased two new assets. The Qader is a domestically produced system with a range of 200 kilometres, designed to be launched from either sea or land to hit large surface vessels. It is a sea-skimming missile; is not ballistic and cannot carry a nuclear warhead. The Noor missile is similar to the Qader, but has a longer range. While the Noor in the latest case was launched from a ship, in the event of any hostilities in the Persian Gulf, Iran would most likely rely on its land-based missile assets.
Western naval vessels would have the defensive capabilities to cope with Iranian anti-ship missiles in a hypothetical engagement in open waters, but the Strait of Hormuz is a different operating environment. Missiles fired from shore-based batteries may be picked up late and counter-measures not deployed in time – particularly if the target is operating close to land. Hence, Iranian land-based anti-ship missiles would present a clear danger to both naval and merchant vessels operating close to shore and in the narrow sea lanes of the Strait.
Tehran has realised since the 1980s that its best means of national defence was to develop ballistic missiles. Its air force would be destroyed in fairly short order in any large-scale attack, making Iran reliant on a deterrence-based strategy. On the basis of the venerable Soviet Scud missile, Iran (which has not signed the Missile Technology Control Regime) has made significant strides in developing ballistic missiles over the last few decades. And as its ballistic missiles increase in potency and survivability, the threat they pose will likewise increase.
However, if Iran is to develop a viable nuclear deterrent, it needs to not only produce the actual weapon, but also to ensure that the associated missile is large enough to carry a nuclear device. Likewise, the device itself must also be small enough to be delivered. The complexity of these three inter-related technological advances explains why Tehran is unlikely to present a nuclear threat to its neighbours for years, if not decades, to come.
A Pakistan deep in economic and governance crisis, still manages endless dramatic political happenings. Its thrillers a country needing to focus on urgent issues,can ill afford. The latest has been the resignation by a sobbing minister!.
In a dramatic move at the Federal cabinet meeting held in Karachi the Information Minister Firdaus Ashiq Awan resigned from her post. Right in the media glare the sobbing Minister said it straight, if there are issues about my performance I am resigning from my post.” She added that she remains loyal to the party and accepting of the President and Prime Minister’s leadership.
Amidst information that the PM is trying to convince the Minister to take back her resignation, it is still unclear if the Minister will actually depart.
In fact interesting question remains how come the media and especially a private channel was allowed to remain in the cabinet meeting after the Prime Minister”s opening remarks. The rule is yo only allow PTV in and that too to only cover the PM’s opening remarks. In this case someone allowed a private channel in and actually ensured coverage of the sobbing Minister. Pakistan’s dramas, and indeed broadcast of these dramas for of course public benefit seem unending!
Meanwhile three things regarding the resignation are significant.
One that it was an unplanned move by the Minister herself. In a conversation last night she told me that she is travelling to Karachi for an important cabinet meeting. The minister who had fractured her foot few weeks ago in a car accident has been moving around in a wheel chair. As she presented her resignation, she specifically said very clearly that she would resign because of criticism about her performance.
Two, there has been a constant undercurrent of criticism within a section of the cabinet and the party that has been critical of Firdaus Ashiq Awan’s performance as the main talking front for the party. The criticism has been of both her substance and style and also of her being absent during the most critical period yet for the government. There were therefore earlier news of the Minister being given another portfolio. However the President himself was not convinced she should be removed.
Three, confronting politically the most challenging time of it tenure,its extremely tense relations with the Army , the memo scandal and the rising Imran Khan factor plus some party defections, the government needs be engaged with a degree of competence and sobriety, in dealing with these crisis. This sobbing drama was unnecessary..and that too broadcasting it nationally!
If the government needs to change a minister it can, ministers do come and go but what a way to plan exit or a survival plan? Who knows. But surely this is no way to be the incumbents in a land deep in crisis.
This world is slippery,
Drowned in darkness,
Peep, who lives within you?
The evil within us
Thursday, April 22, 2010
This world is slippery,
Drowned in darkness,
Peep, who lives within you?
More than three decades ago a brilliant surgeon taught and practiced at Dow Medical College, Karachi. I fail to recall his name. However, his story is more captivating than his name. For the sake of narrative let us give him a name. Let us call him Professor Dr Ahmed.
Bestowed with an attractive personality, Professor Dr Ahmed was a soft-spoken gentleman. He took personal interest in the patients operated upon by him. Their rehabilitation was his immediate concern. It was generally whispered that he financially helped the needy once they were discharge from the hospital. What actually was mind-boggling for his colleagues was the success ratio of his operations. Not once had he faltered in carrying out some of the most complicated operations he performed! It was incredible. It was amazing that an earthly person could be so perfect in his professional performance. But Professor Dr Ahmed was like that. Perfection, commitment, and dedication to duty were the hallmark of his fame.
One ominous day, to everyone’s shock and dismay a police party arrived and whisked Professor Dr Ahmed away. He was known for his integrity and steadfastness. He had not embezzled funds nor had he extracted gratifications from his patients. In short he had never ever misused his authority. Then, what was the cause of his apprehension at the hands of the police! Professor Dr Ahmed’s arrest was bewildering for his colleagues and his former patients alike. His detention became an enigma, a riddle, a jigsaw puzzle.
Professor Dr Ahmed’s friends and well-wishers promptly intervened. In return they received a stunning revelation of their life-time. There was nothing wrong with his qualifications. Dr Ahmed’s degrees, certificates, and testimonials were genuine. The blunder that landed him in trouble was that he was an imposter. He was not Dr Ahmed. The degrees, the certificates and the testimonials did not belong to him. The testimonials and the degrees belonged to a doctor by the name of Dr Ahmed who had once practiced at Lyallpur now called Faisalabad. He was no more alive. He had passed away a long time ago. The imposter, then called Ibrahim, was a male nurse who assisted Dr Ahmed in his private practice. He won the heart of Dr Ahmed with his dedication and devotion towards his duty. He stood by the side of Dr Ahmed in the operation theatre for years.
As providence would have it, one day the issueless Dr Ahmed passed away. Ibrahim, otherwise a conscientious person, was besieged by greed. He collected the framed degrees, certificates and testimonials of Dr Ahmed displayed on the walls of his clinic, and absconded. He proverbially vanished. The clinic of Dr Ahmed was closed, and at its place emerged a grocery shop. After some time Dr Ahmed was forgotten by the people of Lyallpur. His chapter was closed, once and for all.
The male nurse/assistant Ibrahim changed his name to Dr Ahmed. He greased the palm of the concerned officials, and easily obtained a National Identity Card. He opened clinics in far-off villages. After practicing surgery in the villages, and gaining confidence, he moved to smaller towns. In about ten years he had cultivated immense confidence in undertaking complicated operations. However, he refrained from practicing in the cities. One day Ibrahim (who had become Dr Ahmed by then) caught sight of an advertisement in the newspapers for the appointment of doctors in Sindh. He applied, appeared in the interview, impressed the selection board, and was given the job in Dow Medical College, Karachi.
How the male nurse Ibrahim alias Dr Ahmed was identified as an imposter is another incredible story. It leaves you caught in the cobweb of intriguing thoughts.
A family from Layallpur had brought a critically wounded boy in his teens to Karachi for treatment. The boy was left almost dead in a car crash. Not being satisfied with the treatment the boy received in the various hospitals of Punjab, his parents brought the injured boy to Karachi. Ibrahim alias Dr Ahmed left no stone unturned in the treatment of the boy. He proverbially performed a miracle. He snatched the boy from the jaws of death, and brought him back to life. The happiness of the parents knew no bounds. They felt overtly grateful to Dr Ahmed. They were surprised when the doctor refused to accept a penny over and above what was due to him. He instead advised them to donate the gifts and the huge amount they intended to give him to Dow Medical College. What he accepted was an invitation to join them in a farewell dinner before their journey back home. Dr Ahmed accepted the invitation.
The grandfather of the boy kept watching Dr Ahmed during the dinner. In fact, the old man had kept an eye on Dr Ahmed from the day he had arrived along with his family for the treatment of his wounded grandson. In Dr Ahmed he perceived the image of a young male nurse Ibrahim he had always seen during his visits to the clinic of Dr Ahmed in Lyallpur decades ago. After the dinner the old man sat by the side of Ibrahim alias Dr Ahmed, and asked, “Do you know me?”
“No sir,” was the soft, but prompt reply the old man received.
While seeing him off along with his family the old man took Ibrahim alias Dr Ahmed aside, held his hand, and said, “I shall always remain grateful to you for taking special care of my grandson. But, I shall always lament that he was treated by an imposter.”
Before leaving, the old man dismissed the pleadings from his family, and lodged an FIR stating that Dr Ahmed was an imposter and in reality he was a male nurse Ibrahim who worked at the clinic of the late Dr Ahmed who had practiced at Lyallpur a long time ago.
The writer is a creative columnist and a short-story writer.
What is Media?
Basic functions of Media?
Problems of journalism in Pakistan press?
illiteracy or media study?
low purchasing ?
Their dependence on Advertisements?
Limited knowledge of the journalist ?
Role of journalist in creation of Pakistan ?
Independence press ?
M Ali jouhar journalist?
Now you can get more important information about media and role of media in the world particularly media role in Islamic countries, we know in modern age mostly person they like to join media but they have no specific way to join and how learn this field.
IT fact every one who is journalist in society because the main quality of citizen is to rise vice against wrong decision as a weaker person of develop country.
As well as you will know that how we are part of media,what is the different between national and international media,now new debt take a part in media is that media which belong Muslims community and media they are free hand to publish what they want include religion.
What is Media?
Media is the source of calumniate with people and transitive your massage to receiver through the different source .In general, “media” refers to various means of communication. For example, television, radio, and the newspaper are different types of media. The term can also be used as a collective noun for the press or news reporting agencies. In the computer world, “media” is also used as a collective noun, but refers to different types of data storage options.
Basic functions of Media
Explorers of journalism soon discover that mass media of communication have form one to three purpose .They may inform,disseminating news and miscellaneous non news material. They may influence,giving the public either a social or commercial massage .Finally they may entertain presenting features, fiction .humor,comics and similar matter .Unless these media perform at least one of these basic functions successfully,they are unlikely to be profitable business enterprises .
Problems of journalism in Pakistan press
Pakistan is backward in many field of life .journalism is one of the important aspect of the modern life in which Pakistan is fairly backward.
lliteracy or media study
Media literacy is the ability to sift through and analyze the messages that inform, entertain and sell to us every day. It’s the ability to bring critical thinking skills to bear on all media— from music videos and Web environments to product placement in films and virtual displays on NHL hockey boards. It’s about asking pertinent questions about what’s there, and noticing what’s not there. And it’s the instinct to question what lies behind media productions— the motives, the money, the values and the ownership— and to be aware of how these factors influence content.
Media education encourages a probing approach to the world of media: Who is this message intended for? Who wants to reach this audience, and why? From whose perspective is this story told? Whose voices are heard, and whose are absent? What strategies does this message use to get my attention and make me feel included?
In our world of multi-tasking, commercialism, Globalization and interactivity, media education isn’t about having the right answers—it’s about asking the right questions. The result is lifelong empowerment of the learner and citizen.
“Media literacy” is the expected outcome from work in either media education or media study. The more you learn about or through the media, the more media literacy you have. Media literacy is the skill of experiencing, interpreting/analyzing and making media products.
Mr Neil Andersen said :media education is that “Media literacy” is a quality, like a tan, which can be achieved.
For example: “Yo! Check it out! I am media literate!”
“Media education” is an ongoing process, which can develop and evolve.
For example: “Every day, my media education is getting more pow
The outcome of the latest round of climate change negotiations in Durban was as good as any dared hope for. A second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, together with agreement from all countries to begin negotiations on a new legally binding instrument, or an agreement with “legal force,” is a major step forward. However, Durban will be remembered for much more than that; as the place where the tectonic plates of international relations fundamentally shifted.
The group of countries that drove the outcome in South Africa was a new coalition involving the EU and the BASIC countries – Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa.
The emergence of this alliance of countries is significant for two reasons. First, these countries share a vision about the future and are committed to a path of low carbon, sustainable development. They recognize that this is the only pro-growth, pro-development strategy.
Second, this grouping signals a dissolving of the traditional divide between rich and poor countries. For too long international negotiations have been hampered by an overriding solidarity between developing countries and a culture of blame. Durban saw a new maturity with the major developing countries partnering with progressive, developed countries and beginning to take responsibility for the future direction of the global economy.
This shift of the tectonic plates is based on enlightened self-interest. On the one hand, there is no long-term scenario under which a fossil fuels-based economy is either sustainable or desirable for the human race as a whole. Reliance on fossil fuels, with supply risks in terms of political stability in oil producing regions, dwindling supplies and volatile prices together with an unstable climate caused by increasing emissions of greenhouse gases, present serious risks to a growing economy.
On the other hand, the economic opportunities presented by the low-carbon economy represent a major source of sustainable growth over the next few decades, while protecting the climate from dangerous human interference. With the existing regulatory and legislative frameworks, investment in clean energy is already rising fast and these countries were at the forefront.
IN 2010, the clean energy sector increased in value by 30 percent and was worth $243 billion. The EU – with a long-term and credible legislative framework to tackle climate change – claimed the largest share with $94.4 billion. Asia, led by China, was second with $82.8 billion. And the Americas, where the US has no legislative framework to price carbon or tackle climate change, fell into third place with $65.8 billion, reflecting the regulatory risk for investors of policy uncertainty.
The new coalition of countries that surfaced in Durban is building on this foundation by developing the regulatory and legislative frameworks to strengthen progress. As the 2nd Global Legislators Organization (GLOBE) Climate Legislation Study – launched last week in Durban – shows: • Brazil recently passed legislation to introduce a system of payments for ecosystem services to properly value natural resources and has updated the forest code to reduce the rate of deforestation – its major source of emissions.
• China’s 12th Five Year Plan sets carbon intensity targets for the first time, alongside energy intensity targets, and it is developing climate change legislation, expected to create further incentives for clean energy.
• India has adopted a “Solar Mission,” setting ambitious goals for the development of solar power generation.
• Mexico passed a comprehensive climate change law in the Senate last week, and the measure is expected to pass the lower house within days.
• South Africa has a comprehensive White Paper on climate change that sets out its vision for moving to a low-carbon economy and adapting the inevitable impacts of climate change that are happening now.
These are all investments in the future, a future that will belong to the major developing countries. After all, the projected population of the Earth in 2050 is 9 billion, 8 billion of whom will be living in what we currently call developing countries. It will be their world and they are beginning to prepare their economies to provide sustainable prosperity for their people.
As president of GLOBE International, the group of international legislators from the G20 economies, I am working hard to help facilitate the move to a low-carbon economy.
Through the annual GLOBE Climate Legislation Study, we are promoting best practice and supporting lawmakers as they develop practical national legislative frameworks to drive forward progress. And, in the new year, I will be convening legislators from this new coalition of countries to see how we can accelerate the transition to a low-carbon economy by identifying and dismantling regulatory barriers and standardizing regulation to allow the private sector to maximize commercial opportunities.
The EU and the major developing countries share a vision for the future, a future that is resource-efficient and powered by domestic sources of clean energy. And they are developing the legislative and regulatory frameworks to turn that vision into reality. Welcome to a brave new world.
The writer is president of The Global Legislators Organization (GLOBE International ) and was formerly UK Secretary of State for the Environment.
14Th August “An Independence Day”
Renewal and Action
INDEPENDENCE DAY in the history of people as a energy power in wire, actually it means a day when we had got freedom from not only our brute rulers but freedom from want from fulfillment of right needs and from dishumilitation it means we have got our own identity and our own valves.
Every country has its own rituals and rules to follow, some nations celebrate it as a day of prayers, some nations spend this day as a day full of celebrations, and so on….But in our country “PAKISTAN” case is some what different we celebrate it as a day full of enjoyment, zeal, pleasure and satisfaction.
Same we prey for country to collective ,our solder presents Quid Mazar and celebrate person also gather as a one unite . On 14th august every one wears white and green dresses, mostly guys wear white shalwar or trousers and green shirt or kameez, and galls wears white shalwar kameez and green dopatas…(nice dressing). Little children wear colorful dresses and make tattoos on their faces and fore-heads.
Most commonly in every city or village of Pakistan after saying morning prayers.
of FAJJAR and making dua for the whole nation children and youngsters went to WAHGA-BORDER or to any stadium near their village or city to raise the flag of sweet PAKISTAN. Approximately at 9:Am in the morning people from far and near come to WAHGA-BORDER and stand still in respect to view the raising of flag. The flag being raised by some Army Colonel or any Bargedier, all of the rest stand speechless and motionless in the honour of “NATIONAL ANTHEM” After seeing this view people from far and near sit down on the stairs of WAHGA-BORDER and see some MILITARY PARADE made by army soldiers after that approximately at 11:am spending so much time at WAHGA-BORDER all of them salute the NATIONAL FLAG and went away to enjoy the freedom and their prosperity and gayness. Their were also many stalls of meals in that area people took much relish in eating all that, The stalls of fruit chat, berger, dahi-bare, goll-gappay that is also known as (pani-puri) and tikka’ also much filled up with rush of people that we seldom find a way to step in to it. After..
In past year unfortunately Pakistan faced flood difficulties so our responsibly and care increased to support effected people and showing unity between different political distinction and other controversy matter was unit it was good lesson to all over world.
In the last I request to people of Pakistan we are living in this country but our action show that we are not beloved Pakistan ,second is that in different massage and text we critics Pakistan and Nation Pathan,Saradar it is attitude against Pakistan unity.