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For The Record


By Syed M.Aslam
Apr 02 - 08, 2001

*** "PAKISTANI JOURNALISTS were however, prone to self-censorship, given that they work without constitutional protections or democratic safeguards."

(Excerpt from the annual report of the New York based press watchdog, the Committee to Protect the Journalists)

*** "I WAS A POP STAR, and did everything possible. But Islam managed to change me into a loyal husband, father and benefactor."

(Yusuf Islam, former British Pop Star Cat Stevens, accusing the western media of looking for sensation in Islam rather than 'the broader picture that brings so much serenity and peace')

*** "IT IS A HUGE transition for the police to go from protecting the interests of the state to protecting its citizens."

(Former New York cop Jim Curran who travels the world helping police officers in newly democratic countries make the transition from being mere instruments of government terror into conscious protectors of the people they serve)

*** "THE WORLD will increasingly witness a new phenomenon 'water refugees'- millions of people being forced to leave their homes in search of clean water."

(UK-based development agency 'Tearfund' forecasting global water crisis)

*** "IT'S ALL JUST an excuse so that they can put our bills up and we won't make a fuss about it. They can say 'Hey, do you want more blackouts or do you want to pay more."

(An immigrant worker commenting on the long power breakdowns in California, the wealthiest state in the US)

*** "I HAVE A TELEVISION so I'm going to spend some time here to tell you some things."

(Julia Roberts, delivering speech after winning the Oscar for Best Actress, referring to the academy's offer of a high definition television to the winner who gave the shortest speech)

*** "ARE YOU with the Chinese press? Your English is perfect."

(US President George W. Bush's question to a reporter during an Oval Office appearance with Chinese Vice Premier Qian Qichen attended by American and Chinese journalists, to get back to his grammar critics)

*** "YOU WRITE too much. Now you will not write anymore."

(Unidentified persons who kidnapped and severely beat Islamabad-based journalist, Shakeel Sheikh)

*** "I AM CERTAIN that in these cases, legally, I am not guilty."

(Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid rejecting contents of parliamentary censure motion for his role in two financial scandals)

*** "THAT'S A WASTE of taxpayers' money for a crime that wasn't life-threatening."

(State chairman of United Taxpayers of New Jersey criticising trial and incarceration of a man for stealing 58 cents from a car which could end up costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars)

*** "WE DON'T HAVE an evidence about money laundering but we received information that they did go to Germany to open a bank account."

(Philippines Justice Secretary Hernando Perez disclosing that investigators track transfer of $ 13.2 billion from Switzerland to Germany last February by Irene, the daughter of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos)

*** "AS FOR IRAQ, its inconceivable suffering has gone on far too long. It is time to end this suffering, and to lift the embargo on Iraq."

(Jordanian King Abdullah calling for lifting of sanctions on Iraq at the opening session of Arab Summit in Jordan)

*** "I CANNOT survive without him, or should I say his salary."

(Wife of Japanese university professor Koichi Ishiyama on keeping $ 5,000 monthly pay cheque of her husband making him to survive on whatever he makes as a free-lance writer. Recession is reported to hurt the pockets of husbands in Japan where tradition demands them to be the bread earner)

*** "FOR A FISTFUL of riches the men and women who rule in the name of high principles have sold the honour of the seats they occupy . . . There can be no forgiveness. There can be no mercy."

(Indian opposition leader and president of Congress party, Sonia Gandhi, asking the BJP-led coalition government to step down amid bribery scandal recorded on video tape by top political and military officials)