SOCIETY 1- Public transport for Karachi




By Syed M. Aslam
July 14 - 20, 2003 



*** "500,000"

(Number of deaths caused each year by illegal small arms worldwide according to International Action Network on Small Arms. IANSA, a coalition of over 500 civil society groups and peace activists, has renewed a call for urgent measures to stop illicit trade in light weapons at a conference opened this week at the UN)

*** "NINE OUT OF 10 banknotes show clearly measurable amounts of cocaine."

(Study conducted by Institute of Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Research in Nuremberg showing that almost all euro banknotes circulating in Germany contain traces of cocaine. Some 600 euro notes were examined in the study)

*** "OUR CULTURE and values are different from the West."

(Head of the council running Pakistan's largest city, Karachi, Naimatullah Khan, defending the ban slapped on the unnecessary depiction of women in advertisements)

*** "$ 50 billion"

(Farm subsidy programme aiming to strengthen Europe's bargaining position in world trade talks. The 15 farm ministers of the EU reached the final agreement to overhaul 43 billion Euro programme)

*** "THIS IS A TRAGIC missed opportunity, and once gain it is the consumers who will pay the price... There is nothing to celebrate. European agriculture will still subsidized to the tune of pound sterling 30 billion, creating vast surpluses that will be dumped on poor countries."

(Representatives of consumer groups and aid agencies angrily reacting to the reforms of the common agriculture policy of the EU for the huge subsidy saying that it would leave tax-payers continuing to foot the bill for huge European farm surpluses which would harm producers in the developing world)

*** "LEAVE IT TO HISTORY, and the whole world will know the truth when I have the right circumstances to tell the truth."



(Former Iraqi information minister Saeed Al Sahhaf answering a question about the circumstances surrounding the fall of Baghdad)

*** "Pound Sterling 3.63 billion"

(Money to be spent on books by the people of Britain this year. The reading trend is picked up in the country due in big part to the Harry Potter phenomenon)

*** "OUR SCRIPTURES have instances of donkeys being married to get rain. I am confident that after this ritual, the rain god will bless Chennai with copious rain."

(Hindu religious scholar R.K. Bhagavathiraj who organised an elaborate public 'wedding' of five pairs of donkeys to bring rain in the parched south Indian metroplois of Chennai)

*** "BUSINESS IS ABOUT management, organisation, money, performance. Politics is about these things too. The only difference is in business if you mismanage money, you go bankrupt. In politics, nothing happens. There is no accountability."

(Businessman turned politician and the new president of Janata Party, Vijay Mallya, commenting on the lack of accountability in Indian politics)

*** "I CAN'T say that I liked it, it is not very comfortable... It is nicer to look at from outside, because when one participates in it, it presents certain difficulties."

(Russian President Vladimir Putin admitting that the rigid British protocal during his historic visit put him ill at ease at times during his historic visit to the UK)

*** "EIGHTY-FIVE per cent of the press is left-wing, and the judges are worse. There is cancer in Italy that we must cure the politicisation of the bench."



(Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi lashing out at the and judiciary accusing it of bias for targeting him since he took office two years ago. Berlusconi is dogged by a criminal trial in Milan for corruption)

*** "THIS IS A RATHER reasonable price. This is a very famous cemetry so we expect a large number of people to apply."

(Official of Tokyo city government defending the prices of bed-sized cemeteries costing $ 86,800 for the first time on government-owned plots in 43 years. Tokyo is notorious as the world's most costly city to live- and-to-die)