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By Syed M.Aslam
May 07 - 13, 2001

*** "WE HAVE only one life to live, and my commitment is to fulfil all of my dreams which are healthy and legitimate."

(World's first space tourist, Dennis Tito, who paid $ 20 million to orbit into space aboard Russian Soyuz rocket from Kazakhstan)

*** "IN THIS FOREIGN land, I do not fear the racist on our street, I fear the words of our politicians which are sometimes taken by the racists as a license to attack anyone who does not look and speak like them."

(Black union chief of Transport and General Workers' Union, Bill Morris, criticizing Conservative leader William Hague's remark that Britain could resemble 'foreign land' if Prime Minister Tony Blair's Labour Party was allowed to hold onto power after an expected June 7 election)

*** "SADDAM IS the best leader for the best people . . . by our blood, by our soul, we will defend you, O Saddam."

(Iraqi marchers waving banners wishing Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussain a 'long life' on his 64th birthday)

*** "WE HAD SAID we had an open mind on the matter. But an open mind does not mean an empty mind."

(Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee rejecting an opposition demand for a parliamentary probe into arms bribery scandal which sparked a walkout by opposition members of parliament)

*** "IF IT'S not the case now, then within a matter of decades Islam will be the second largest religion in America."

(Director of the Centre for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University, John Esposito, commenting on 25 per cent increase in the number of mosques in the US in a short span of 6 years)

*** "I AM NOT FOR DISCTATORSHIP . . . Today, democracy does not work even in the most experienced Western democracies. What is working now is money."

(Malaysian President Mahathir Mohamad saying that countries, particularly Muslims, should modify their systems according to their suitability as democracy is not foolproof)

*** "PEOPLE SAY the political wind of change has blown. But I feel so insecure wondering where we are being carried on this wind."

(Japan's new Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi on forming a cabinet comprising fresh faces)

*** "IRAN and Islamic nations agree on the need to support the legitimate struggle of those fighting for their rights . . . On the other hand, Iran and the Islamic world condemn US support for the Israeli state's terrorism."

(Iranian foreign ministry spokesman refuting US allegations of supporting terrorism calling it the true supporter of terrorism and vowing to continue supporting the Palestinians)

*** "THE ARMED resistance of the Kashmiri people to Indian rule is a consequence of India's denial of the right of self-determination and repression of peaceful political activity and cannot legally or morally be equated with terrorism."

(Statement issued by Foreign Ministry refuting US State Department's report 'Patterns of Global Terrorism' relating to Pakistan's sympathy to the struggle of Kashmiri people)

*** "HE THREATENED me that I would dissolve like sugar in water. I politely told him that I am not sugar but tamarind, which would colour the water itself instead of getting dissolved."

(Expelled Rashtriya Janata Dal law-maker Ranjan Prasad calling his friend-turned-foe and RJD Supremo Laloo Prasad Yadav a dictator)

*** "WITH ONE LIFE lost to tobacco every eight seconds, time is not on our side."

(Director General of UN's World Health Organisation, Gro Harlem Brundtland, commenting on the new round of negotiations on an international tobacco-control treaty)