November 28, 1997 – Pakistan: Old Fashioned Rabble – Zimbabwe: Old Fashioned Land Reform
November 28, 1997 – No end of drama, this November 28th. Starting with rioting taking place in Pakistan. As former President Nawaz Sharif was getting ready to stand trial, mobs broke through the gates and stormed the Supreme Court compound in Islamadad. A member of Parliament had just finished scaling the walls of the Supreme court and crowds raced inside, forcing the Chief Justice to adjourn hearings into a contempt of court charge against Sharif. Once the crowds got inside the compound, a group gathered on the roof of the court, shouting slogans against the Chief Justice, Syed Sajjad Ali Shah. It would be a while before Pakistan returned to calm, or even normal.
Meanwhile, the issue of land reform and the seizing of farms belonging to Whites began in Zimbabwe. President Robert Mugabe vowed to return farms to the people, saying the land was originally robbed from the people at gunpoint and he was now going to set the record straight. At hand was the question of which farms were going to be part of this reform. On this day, the government of Zimbabwe finally published its list of farms scheduled to be taken over without compensation. Nearly 1,500 White owned commercial farms were to be nationalized as part of the resettlement program for thousands of landless Black Zimbabweans. The announcement sparked alarms and went against the government’s previously stated policy of not wishing to seize productive farms. Critics charged that, if the government went ahead with this proposal, agricultural production and exports would be cut by 50%. Up until this new policy, Zimbabwe’s Agricultural sector had been the country’s biggest foreign currency earner, and at the same time, generating 2/3 of the domestic economy.
And the Belgian Parliament proposed an outright ban on all tobacco adverting in the country, a much harsher law than was originally proposed.
And that’s just a little of what happened in the world, this November 28, 1997 as presented The BBC World Service Newshour.