Franz Vranitzky who resigned as Austria's chancellor is following a tradition, mainly in the West, of stepping down when one is at his peak.
In a statement, the chancellor said that he had "given himself a decade" for the task and "that after mature consideration" he had wished to hand over his office "at a time when the country is not in crisis but is progressing successfully."
"This moment has come" Vranitzky added.
This is an example which many others in Third World countries, Eastern Europe and in Latin America should emulate.
Having come to power through army coups, plots, violence and blood-shed many of the leaders who took over in the post colonial period in the 1950s and 60s entrenched themselves firmly in power.
They abrogated constitution, enforced draconian laws and stifled the aspirations of the people who only a few years ago had struggled hard to shed off the yoke of colonialism.
Many of these characters, encouraged by sycophants, appointed themselves as "presidents for life." That did not do them any good because other lovers of this "life" program snuffed them out of existence.
Today, as we approach a new millennium with its challenges we hope that leaders of countries will look into the aspirations of their people, and offer guidance and set an exemplary example like Vranitzky did. They should remember that there is still "life" after power.
Republican Senator Jesse Helms, who head the Foreign Relations Committee has asked President Clinton to suspend aid to South Africa if it sells arms to Syria.
In a letter to President dated January 17, Helms said: Syria's acquisition of top military hardware "runs counter to long-standing US national security in the region."
He warned of strict measures against South Africa. Israel, its client states, too attacked the proposed 641 million dollars deal.
However, South African President Nelson Mandela lashed out at these criticisms saying his country would go ahead, no matter what Washington says. "We will conclude agreements with any country, whether they are popular in the West or not and that is what we are likely to do," Mandela said.
The whole episode shows how the Americans - who themselves are financing Israeli missile programs and giving them free bombs and weapons to kill innocent Arab women and children - get upset when an Arab country acquires arms for self defense. Israel itself has become fortress America. American taxpayers' money in billions of dollars is being spent while the number of homeless, underprivileged, deprived and the hungry increases in America.
It never fails to amaze me why no American can just check the amount of aid America gives to Israel and question as to why this is being done. However, that is a domestic American issue.
What we, as Arabs, should be concerned is that U.S. hostility to Arab security is very open. The U.S.-Israeli combine wants an Arab world prostrated at the feet of these two partners in a diabolical scheme.
It is time the Arabs called the bluff of America.
Never a day goes by when there is no incidents of bloodshed in the land of the "Paak." It seems Pakistan has been contaminated by bloodshed, violence, corruption and confusion. The powerful blast that killed 30 and injured hundred in Lahore last Saturday revealed the true plight of the innocent Pakistan people who are going through their worst period in their 50 years in existence.
A country that had started with such promise has today become the laughing stock of the world. It has no image at all. More shocking is that even the sanctity of the holy month of Ramadan is not observed and hidden hands of death bring agony to an already dying people and nation.
After all acts of violence, the "Babus" in the government come out with statements describing these acts as "cowardly and dastardly." They promise crushing of the anti-social elements who "perpetrated these heinous crimes."
Words will not do any good to the people of Pakistan who are now like lost children in a forest. The country is in serious trouble. Devoid of leadership, lacking in moral fiber, oblivious to threats - largely from within - the country is drifting toward destruction, making the most optimistic of us fear for its future.
The last government with its corrupt way, nepotism and lust for power broke the already frail back of Pakistan. The rot has already set in and no amount of injection is going to stop it. More people are now being killed in the streets of Pakistan than in any other street elsewhere.
The sorry state of Pakistan can only be noted by the fact that almost 50 years after its independence armed personnel guard mosques in the country to prevent Muslim worshippers from being killed in cold blood.
Such is the sorry state of the present day Pakistan.