Anna fever reaches across border

Expressing his admiration for Hazare, Jehangeeer Akhtar complained that corruption was a far more serious disease in Pakistan.

Activist Akhtar wants the Pakistan parliament to pass an anti-corruption law -- like what India is now planning."I demand that an anti-corruption bill be presented in the National Assembly," said Akhtar, who has closely followed the anti-corruption war in India.He said the Pakistani bill should be on the lines of what gets passed in India's parliament."Corruption in Pakistan is more than in India... bahut zyada (much more)," Akhtar said in a telephonic interview from Islamabad where he runs a photography business.It is not the first time Akhtar will be taking up cudgels for a cause.

"I once sat on a hunger strike for 22 days for the sake of traders in Islamabad," he recalled. It was about tenants being forcibly vacated.

Meanwhile, a report from Islamabad quoting Pakistani newspaper, Dawn, said the time may have come for an Anna Hazare type campaign against corruption in Pakista..An editorial in the mass circulation paper said that parallels can be drawn between India and Pakistan on the issue of corruption."Pakistan is perceived as corrupt not just by the public mindset but also in the findings of international watchdogs that keep track of such matters," it said. The editorial said "the time may have come for the same sort of dissent in Pakistan... Other voices too must be raised if we are serious about salvaging society.

"The Dawn also asked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to realise that many in India were beginning to peacefully rise against corruption."Anna Hazare has added a dynamic new twist to the corruption allegations plaguing the government in New Delhi," it said.

It said Anna's fast was aimed at highlighting “the perceived impropriety in the government's handling of matters where millions can be made and pocketed if ethical values are not followed by the book.

NRIs express solidarity

Indian Americans across the US have rallied in support of social activist Anna Hazare's movement against corruption with protests before Indian missions and e-mails to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Indian students at Maryland University continued their week-long vigil in front of the Indian Embassy here.  Protests have also been held in Iselin, New Jersey and Artesia, California ahead of Hazare shifting to Ramlila Ground to continue his fast.

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