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For the Record

12th  Sep, 1999

  Thinking Out Aloud
For the record

*** "MANY OF Mr Dar’s hopes for a brighter future are pinned on a bumper cotton harvest . . . as most farmers know, Mr Dar should not rely on a bumper harvest until all is safely gathered in. Much the same could be said of his plans to collect Pakistan’s new taxes."

(Excerpt from ‘The Economist London’ article on Pakistan’s get-tough taxation measures, including the imposition of a 15 per cent general sales tax on a wide range of products to appease the IMF)

*** "OUR DREAM is the establishment and achievement of the United States of Africa. The aim is that countries give up a little bit of their sovereignty in the interests of the whole of Africa."

(Former Libyan foreign minister, Ali Tureiki, on the special summit of the Organisation of African Unity called by its leader, Muammmarul Qaddafi, to discuss his vision of Africa. The summit was attended by record number of the heads of state and included parade with soldiers from 32 African countries)

*** "THE REVENUES of 400 or so online gambling sites (ie, the money that the gaming companies keep) will surpass $ 1 billion this year, compared with $ 300 million in 1997."

(New York based management consultancy on drastic increase in gambling on the internet)

*** "INDIA IS the world’s biggest under-achiever . . . For a country with a billion people and a nuclear bomb, India does not count for much in the world."

(The Economist’s cover story which shows prime minister Vajpayee brandishing a sword)

*** "THE FEW companies that have kept on older workers find they have good judgement and their productivity is good. Besides, their education standards are much better than those of today’s young high-school graduates."

(A US research suggesting that mandatory retirement of the grey-head work force do more harm than good to the employers who prefer to get the people out the door at the earliest age)

*** "IF DISNEY goes ahead with this exhibit, not one Disney product— not a toy, a film, a game or a book— will be allowed to enter or be displayed in the UAE. All ads in the UAE media will be banned . . . We hope all Arabs and Muslims will look at this matter very seriously. We can do a lot of damage to this company’s business."

(Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Information and Culture minister of UAE, vowing to ban sales of Walt Disney products if the US leisure and entertainment giant goes ahead with an exhibit in Florida which depicts Jerusalem as the capital of Israel)

*** "SUHARTO, WHO plundered the people’s wealth for 32 years, enjoys his retirement without being tried. The promise to bring Suharto and his cronies to justice is just a deception."

(Students who tried to force their way to the national parliament to demand that the former Indonesian strongman be brought to trial)

*** "INNOCENT, AFTER proven guilty."

(Heading of a story published by the Time’s magazine which said that many innocently convicted persons have been freed in the US thanks to DNA tests since the pioneering of a law clinic— the Innocent Project— in 1991)

*** "IF YOU wait, five years from now the gene doctor will be hanging out the MAKE A SMARTER BABY sign down the street."

(Arthur Caplan, bioehticist at University of Pennsylvania, on new advancements in human genetics to help procreate brainier babies)

*** "CARDIAC ‘EVENTS’ tend to occur most often between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. and on Mondays and Fridays . . . A shiny spot on the top of the head has been linked to a risk of heart attack three times higher than average."

(Recent medical research which refutes earlier studies about cholesterol and also includes the above new oddest risk factors)

*** "PAKISTAN WOULD officially apologise to Bangladesh someday for what had been done to its people some 27 years ago."

(Bangladeshi leading English Daily ‘The Daily Star’ quoting speaker of the National Assembly of Pakistan, Illahi Bukhsh Soomro, who attended a four-day peace and cooperation conference of Asian parliamentarians in Dhaka)

Edited by Syed M. Aslam