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By Syed M.Aslam
June 18 - 24, 2001

*** "I WILL REMAIN until October 5, 2004. I will step down when the time has come."

(Indonesian President Abdurrahman Wahid vowing to complete his tenure amidst impeachment proceedings which can oust him from office)

*** "IF THEY get back to power, they would again plunder foreign aid and national wealth, making us a beggars' nation."

(Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina attacking her predecessors for keeping the country impoverished)

*** "I HAVE crossed that age when one can talk of favourite in singular ... Whatever I would have been, that person would not have been me."

(Eminent Indian writer and poet Javed Akhtar asked which of his poems/songs expresses his emotions best and what would he be if not a man of letters respectively)

*** "IT'S THE ULTIMATE, everyday place. Death can happen anywhere, any time. Elvis died in a John, you know."

(Bob Ernst, a San Francisco actor and playwright, defending staging his hour-long one-act play 'The John' in a $ 100-a-day rented toilet with seating arrangement for 20 spectators)

*** "IF REFORMS do not benefit citizens, then they will fail."

(Russian President Vladimir Putin saying that 'experiences, successes and failures over the past decade shows one thing any reform only makes sense when it serves the people")

*** "GEORGE BUSH IS LUCKY he has Air Force One who knows where this inexperienced globe-trotter of a president would land otherwise."

(Vienna's newspaper, Kurier, blasting the US president for his ignorance of European affairs as he starts his first tour of the continent. The European media is having a field day pasting labels on George W. Bush for differences over environment, missile defence and capital punishment)

*** "IT SOUNDS like an eel, which makes very strange creaking noise, except it must be 50-metres long because it is so loud."

(Swedish Jan Sundberg, the leader of 3-member international team of hunters, describing the sighting of fabled serpent with the body of giant eel and a horse-like head. The team would try to catch the monster in Ireland)

*** "THIS IS A SELF-INFLICTED wound. It was hypocritical to hold down pay levels until after the election."

(Chairman of UK's Liberal Democrat parliamentary party, Malcolm Bruce, criticising re-elected Prime Minister Tony Blair for awarding himself a 40 per cent pay raise of Pound Sterling 47,000)


(Matt Clark, a Beijing-based international representative managing many top pop singers, defining his company's unique approach to learn to live with pirates using them as a free and highly efficient promotional tool)

*** "RIGHT BEFORE impact I realised that this was a bad idea."

(Hanns Jones, a 35-year-old Florida man, who survived a 60-metre suicidal leap from a bridge saying he would not ever do it again)

*** "I HAVE to practise this very lovely language. If I don't practise, I'm going to destroy this language."

(Gaffe-prone US President George W. Bush joking about his linguistic shortcomings while speaking shaky Spanish in an interview with Spain's television hours before his arrival in the country)

*** "I WOULD NOT PRETEND that it is not there. I know it has been happening."

(Governor of central bank, the State Bank of Pakistan, Dr Ishrat Husain warning banks that they should not become conduit for money laundering)

*** "OUR DILEMMA is that there is no money left in our budget for the development projects after meeting with our essential expenditures. Taking loan is our pre-requisite otherwise we cannot progress."

(Chief Executive General Pervez Musharraf explaining how a poor economy threatens the national dignity)

*** "AND WHEN we learnt the lessons by heart, never forgot it, the monitors started beating us, killing us and forcing us to languish in prison. I have not come across a teacher who beats his student ruthlessly if and when he remembers his lessons by heart."

(Chairman of pro-independence All Parties Hurriyat Conference, Abdul Ghani Bhatt, describing the atrocities committed in Indian-held Kashmir for 'learning the lesson taught by former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru that we are the masters and captains of our own ship')

*** "I MUST SAY that I have lost my freedom. I am a 24-hour bird in a cage. Before I became prime minister, I used to go to convenience stores alone and walk around freely."

(Japan's popular prime minister Junichiro Koizumi asked what has changed since he became the prime minister)