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June 28 - July 04,1999

On keeping them in line
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Hamdard University Seminar
  From Crisis to Hope

*** "When it comes to a crisis, look no further than Klusener . . . the 27-year old arrived for this World Cup as a solid international performer, he departed with the reputation as the most devastating player any side might hope to possess in a tight finish."

(World Cup statement on why Lance Klusener of South Africa was choosen the Man of the Tournament. Klusener scored 281 runs in eight innings, six of them unbeaten, and took 17 wickets)

*** "Vote for insanity, you know it makes sense."

(Electoral campaign slogan of leader of Britain’s Official Monster Raving Loony party, Screaming Lord Sutch. The former rock singer unsuccessfully campaigned over three dozen times for the parliament under the trademark slogan)

*** "But for our part, we decided that driving with the steering in one hand and a mobile in another forms a threat to the public."

(Dubai police chief, Major Gen. Dhahi Khalfan Tamim, announcing Dh 200 fine to drivers using handsets while driving)

*** "Italians are finally free to duel, insult the flag, get drunk or beg in ‘a repugnant or tormenting manner’ without fear of criminal conviction."

(News report on the passing of a law discriminalising some hundred minor offences including blsaphemy and insulting a public official)

*** "Perhaps it is as well that Pakistan did not return home heroes."

(Daily Independent London, commenting on Pakistan’s humiliating defeat in the World Cup Final arguing that a victory could have led to the suppression of the soon-to-be-released report of the judicial enquiry into a number of players for match-fixing)

*** "You’ve just dropped the World Cup, son."

(Australian skipped Steve Waugh chiding South African fielder Herschelle Gibbs after dropping his catch at 56 runs in the last game before the Semi-final. Waugh went on to score 120 runs to take Australia in the Final which it won)

*** "If you ask which country wants to become ‘the Lord of the Earth’ as the Nazi Germany had tried to, there is only one answer."

(People’s Daily, the voice of China’s ruling Communist Party, rejecting US’s apology for bombing its embassy in Yugoslavia by NATO and accusing it of expansionist designs)

*** "The human rights violations against the Kashmiris are in large numbers and the Kargil is just one manifestation of the 50-year-old problem. The sooner the Indians realise this, the better it will be, otherwise another Kargil will erupt somewhere else."

(Foreign minister, Sartaj Aziz, rejecting India’s allegations of Pakistan’s involvement in Kashmir)

*** "People generally retire at 57. You can assume, I would also retire at that age."

(Bangladesh premier, Hasina Wajid, hinting at her retirement from active politics in 2004, when she will be 57)

*** "Climate change is no longer a doomsday prophecy, its a reality . . . Changing climate means changing disaster patterns . . . We are going to see more extreme events."

(Astrid Heiberg, president of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, predicting that natural catastrophes would become more widespread with the increasing climatic change)

*** "It has been a hard grind for the army . . . The enemy fought professionally . . . They fought well."

(Brigadier, Amar Aul, confessing that Indian troops paid a high price for ‘recapturing’ a key military post, Totoling Heights, from the ‘infiltrators’ in the Indian-occupied Kashmir)

*** "Kashmir, not Kargil is the key issue."

(Prime minister Nawaz Sharif addressing the troops during his visit of the areas close to Line of Control, the scene of clashes between India and Pakistan)

*** "Cruelty is the cutting edge of history. The deciding factor is always the greatest degree of cruelty most intelligently applied."

(Joseph Stalin, as quoted by writer and an expert on Russian history, Richard Lourie, in his latest book, The Autobiography of Joseph Stalin. The novel purports to be a memoir left behind by the Russian leader in a room he died in 1953)

*** "Under the present circumstances , it is only natural that China does not allow US ships or planes to port or land in Hong Kong."

(Chinese foreign ministry spokesman announcing ban on US military aircraft and warships in Hong Kong in retaliation for the bombing of Chinese embassy in Yugoslavia by the Nato Airforce)