By Mariana Baabar
ISLAMABAD: As Islamabad and Tehran set up a joint contracting company to complete the construction of the $7.5 billion IP gas pipeline project within the next 15 months, Pakistan does not appear apologetic and says that any other government would have done what the PPP-led government did.
“Pakistan continues to suffer from huge energy deficiency and this directly affects our industry and GDP growth. Gas is the cheapest commodity to generate electricity. We need to look at all possible sources of energy including the proposed Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (Tapi) gas pipeline. The Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline will meet only half the shortfall of energy needs of Pakistan and not our full demand. Pakistan has to do what it deems fit and what is in its national interest. Lack of economic growth has also seen peace stalled in the region,” Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar told ‘The News’.
President Asif Ali Zardari is also credited widely for improving bilateral relations with Iran, investing in the region, and desperately seeking energy from a country facing severe sanctions from the West because of its nuclear policy under the guidelines of the IAEA.
Continue reading Pakistan to do what it deems fit, says Khar →
By Saeed Qureshi
India and Pakistan have been dueling with each other since 1947 for accession or occupation of Kashmir. Both are stuck up on the line of control ever since and presumably would remain so in the future as well. The Kashmiri nation, ethnically different from the people of Pakistan and India cannot travel across the artificial border.
India makes a legal case for her occupation of Kashmir by citing the agreement reached with the Dogra monarch Hari Singh ruling Kashmir at the time of partition. Pakistan’s claim on Kashmir is based upon the partition formula stipulating that the majority of the religious population would be basic criterion for a state to join either India or Pakistan.
In simple terms it means Muslims majority areas to join Pakistan and the Hindus majority areas with India. India’s claim for annexation of Kashmir is based upon the then monarch of Kashmir Hari Singh’s hasty accession to India.
Because of the unrelenting insurgency and continuous internal unrest in the Indian occupied part of Kashmir, India started deploying security forces through 1990s under the Armed Forces Special Powers Act ( AFSPA) that continue to remain camped on the Indian side of Kashmir ever since. Lately their number has reached 700,000. This is the highest number of armed forces deployment by any country in the post world war in the disputed territories.
The stationing of such massive military presence is a counterpoise to the Pakistan much smaller military deployment in Pakistan’s controlled Kashmir. The deployment of Indian military and para military forces is aimed at suppressing any riots and internal liberation movements launched by the freedom fighters from time to time. The Indian army has been accused of gross human right violation and perpetration of civilian casualties.
Continue reading Kashmir is a Lost Case for Pakistan →
Sindh cities mourn Shikarpur shrine blast
SHIKARPUR: Several cities of Sindh including Shikarpur, Hyderabad and Larkano are mourning the blast at a shrine in rural Sindh that resulted in four fatalities and left at least 12 people injured, Geo News reported Tuesday. …..
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By: Asad Munir
Until the late 1970s Shias and Sunnis lived in complete harmony in this country. There were sporadic, minor incidents of Shia-Sunni violence but generally there was no hostility between the two sects. Muharram was sacred for Sunnis as well. Many attended Shia majalis, and on the tenth of Muharram cooked special foods, participated in Shia processions and revered the Zuljinah.
These good times were changed by three major events that took place in the late 1970s: Zia’s martial law, Khomeini’s revolution and the invasion of Afghanistan by the Soviets. Pakistan was no more the same moderate and tolerant country. Zia, after hanging an elected prime minister, wanted to use religion as a tool to prolong his rule. He tried to introduce Islamic laws as per the concept of the Islamic state envisioned by Maulana Maudoodi.
Continue reading We are at war →