By Syed M. Aslam
Oct 06 - 12, 2003 



*** "NO ONE CAN ACT alone in the name of all and no one can accept the anarchy of a society without rules."

(French President Jacques Chirac addressing the UN General Council meeting)

*** "Pound Sterling 176,438"

(Amount paid by unnamed private collector at an auction in London for a sword used by 18th century Muslim Indian hero Tipu Sultan)

*** "AS INDEPENDENT NATIONS we believe we have a right to manage our internal affairs ourselves without foreign interference... puppets regimed are installed dancing as puppets... The veto power vested on countries which had won a war 50 years ago should be removed."

(Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad lashing out at 'resurgence of imperialism' demanding end to veto and anti-poor policies by most powerful members of the UN at its address to the organisation's General Assembly)

*** "40-50 per cent"

(Share of opium in the Afghan economy worth around $ 2.5 billion in export business according to the IMF)

*** "30,000 Pounds"

(The amount of money for which the 29.2 cms ears of a dog in Southwick, UK is insured for. The dog, a Basset hound, has the largest ears in the world)



*** "WE HAVE INTERNATIONAL obligations and we have domestic constraints. The domestic environment in Pakistan is totally opposed to sending troops to Iraq."

(President Pervez Musharraf saying that his decision to send troops to Iraq will depend on the 'final shape' of the US resoultion at the UN Security Council. He was talking to reporters immediately after his meeting with US president Bush in New York)

*** "THE RULES OF THE ROAD are that Nato and the European Union are partners...that the EU will not develop duplicative institutions."

(US ambassador to Nato Nicholas Burns expressing concerns at EU for plans to introduce a military planning capability independent of Nato that could threaten EU-US relations)

*** "... OUR CHILDREN are getting poorer while the Bush administration and congressional leaders work to dismantle protections for children to pay for a 93,500-dollar tax break to millionaires and consider spending billions to rebuild Iraq."

(President of US NGO Children's Defence Fund expressing concerns about rising poverty rates for children and criticising President George W. Bush's fiscal policies. More than 12.1 million children in the US were found to be living in poverty last year compared to 11.7 million in 2001)

*** "THIS WAS A MESSAGE to Washington: 'You can send a delegation to OPEC, but we control the oil price.'"

(Energy consultant Mehdi Varzi commenting of OPEC's decision to the cut oil production despite warning of severe consequences by the US)



*** "$ 139.5 million"

(Deferred pay and retirement benefits plan that were to be paid to the chairman and chief executive of New York Stock Exchange, Richard Grasso. The revelation of the huge payout drew fire which forced Grasso from the lucrative job)

*** "AMONG THOSE WHO have pursued and produced nuclear weapons ... Israel gets away with murder."

(Iranian ambassador to the UN's nuclear watchdog, International Atomic Energy Agency, reacting dismay at the agency's October 31 deadline on his country for verification of nuclear programmes while remaining conveniently indifferent to huge nuclear stockpiling by Israel)

*** "WE ARE FIGHTING a high-tech war against a low-tech enemy. We're looking for the funds in Swiss bank accounts when the money is in the coffee can. We're tapping telephones when they are passing notes by donkey."

(Unnamed US official talking about the difficulties to gather intelligence in the tribal belt along the Afghan border)

*** "THIS IS ALL FUTURISTIC science and hence needs promotion by the state, media and the civil society. I am saying this with conviction, not politics on my mind."

(Junior Human Resource Minister Sanjay Paswan praising exorcists and 'ghostbusters' at a function held in eastern Indian state of Bihar in which he also danced on the stage, beat drums and chanted at a gathering of exorcists. Paswan, a physics post-graduate, was also wearing two coiled cobras around his neck)