Tag Archives: Economic

Clerics on the march

by Ayaz Amir

If the Pakistani establishment continues to see India as the enemy, keeps pouring money into an arms race it cannot afford, is afflicted by delusions of grandeur relative to Afghanistan, and remains unmindful of the economic disaster into which the country is fast slipping, we will never get a grip on the challenges we face.

This is not about blasphemy or the honour of the Holy Prophet. This is now all about politics, about the forces of the clergy, routed in the last elections, discovering a cause on whose bandwagon they have mounted with a vengeance. …

Read more : The News

Professional Beggars at their best … but .. Beggars are not choosers!

Vice President Joe Biden is the latest high level U.S dignitary to visit Pakistan. As the series of such high profile visits continues, one wonders what actually transpires in such meetings and what kind of assurances are given from both sides to each other. In this episode of Reporter, Arshad Sharif tries to find out what PM Gilani meant when he said that he has given assurances to Joe Biden that practical steps will be taken to resolve all the difficult problems.

Courtesy: Dawn News (program Reporter with Arshad Sharif)

Source- You Tube Link

Pakistan nears bankruptcy, yet its Army poaches most of the resources of the nation

As Pakistan nears bankruptcy, patience of foreign lenders wears thin

BY GRAEME SMITH

ISLAMABAD — A terrifying kind of mathematics has become popular among aid workers, analysts and others who spend their lives tracking the fate of Pakistan. It’s a back-of-the-envelope calculation about how the country will get through the coming years without declaring bankruptcy: take the country’s foreign debt ($53-billion), add interest, subtract the $1.8-billion that won’t arrive as scheduled on Jan. 1 from the International Monetary Fund because Islamabad failed to meet loan conditions. Add the staggering cost, perhaps $10-billion, of rebuilding after summer floods.

The numbers seem bleak. The government floated the possibility last week of running a deficit for the coming year of $15-billion.

Islamabad’s latest plan to raise revenue, a reformed tax law, has become bogged down by stubborn opposition parties, front-page criticism and street protests. The cabinet’s economic team is threatening to quit.

Pakistan needs a bailout. But is the country still a good investment?

“That’s the conversation people are having now, about whether you’d be throwing good money after bad,” said Mosharraf Zaidi, a development expert and policy analyst based in Islamabad.

The international community has accused Pakistan of poor financial management for years. Cables recently posted by the website WikiLeaks show a U.S. intelligence official complaining in 2008 about the country’s preference for spending money on strategic military hardware instead of development: “Despite pending economic catastrophe, Pakistan is producing nuclear weapons at a faster rate than any other country in the world.” …

READ MORE : Globe and Mail

Banladesh awards G. M. Sayed for voicing Bangladesh

Sindh – Karachi : Bangladesh’s government has decided to confer Bangladesh National Award to Sindh nationalist leader late G. M. Sayed, late Mir Ghous Bakhsh Bizinjo from Balochistan, [the poet of Sindhi language, Late Sheikh Ayaz from Sindh, who strongly opposed the military operation and as a president of Sukkur Bar Association he passed a resolution against the brutal military operation and genocide of Bangalis due to it he put behind the bars. During his imprisonment (May 1971 to January 1972)  in Sukkur Jail, he wrote his “Jail Diary”. He had also  behind the bars from 1965 to 1968 due to his revolutionary poetry in military dictator Ayoub Khan era . In later years it  becomes a piece of Sindhi revolutionary literature.],   Baadshah Khan, Abdus Samad Achakzai, Khair Bakhsh Marri, Ahmad Saleem, Tahira Muzhar, Zafar Malik and Air Marshal (R) Asghar Khan are among the 40 Pakistanis who were chosen for the award.

G. M. Sayed was the first leader in west Pakistan who had dare to strongly condemned and opposed the genocide of Bangladeshis in 1970 by Pakistani security forces during darkest times of dictatorship. The authoritarian authorities of that time decided to give punishment to G. M. Sayed, therefore,  they put G. M. Sayed under house arrest and his house was declared a sub-jail. He had been detained without trial until his death. He was declared “Prisoner of Conscience” by Amnesty International.

G.M. Syed mainly advocated for non-violence, democracy, secularism (Separation of religion from the state), national self-determination, unity among all south Asian nations and states, social and economic equality for all. Long live the struggle of Saeen G. M. Syed for the religious harmony, unity among all south Asian nations and states towards universal peace.

Now Bangladesh selected G.M. Sayed and several other individuals from various countries to award them with its highest civilian decoration.‎

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For more details : Examiner.com

Most countries have an army, the Pakistani army has a country!

Army and country – George Fulton

At first glance, the WikiLeaks revelations about the Pakistani army aren’t exactly, er, revelatory. So General Kayani and the intelligence agencies call the shots in Pakistan. Nothing new there, you may be thinking. Everyone knows that. Any foreigner arriving in Pakistan is soon pulled aside and told a couple of pithy lines about the army. One being that the three As run Pakistan — Allah, America and the Army. The other is that whilst most countries have an army, the Pakistani army has a country.

But reading the cables starkly in black and white, one is reminded how truly prevailing the army is to Pakistan’s society and long-term survival. The very institution that is supposedly designed to protect us is bringing Pakistan to its knees.

Let’s take parliamentary democracy. In theory we have one of those, with elected leaders to do our bidding, but WikiLeaks reminds us otherwise. Zardari wants to implement stiff sanctions on terrorist financing and close down terrorist training camps, but he can’t. Why? The unelected and unaccountable military and intelligence agencies won’t allow it. We are also told that Kayani planned to pressure President Zardari to resign and replace him with Asfandyar Wali Khan. Er, on whose authority? Sorry, old chum, but I thought that decision fell to the Pakistani people at the ballot box, not a man who wears spaghetti on his shoulders.

The cables also reveal the army’s support of the Afghan Taliban and Lashkar-e-Taiba. Correct me if I am wrong but isn’t the faujis’ raison d’etre, it’s primary reason to exist, the first line in their handbook if you will, to protect us from enemies foreign and domestic? Or perhaps it’s to make cornflakes that taste of cardboard?

But the reason for the army’s support for the militants is of course our hatred of India. Lashkar-e-Taiba and the Afghan Taliban, despite their continuous killing of our own citizens, are apparently a vital part of our national security. Read that sentence again and it sounds like something from “Monty Python”. Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face. Yes let’s threaten India by funding and supporting people who attack India and, er, ourselves. Good job.

In addition, the army’s paranoia and cold war thinking has stopped successive civilian governments from making any constructive attempts at long-term peace with India. An economic powerhouse that could bring thousands of jobs to Pakistan remains a foe, thanks to the faujis.

For too long the military/intelligence nexus has been immune to any sort of accountability or criticism. We can judge the judiciary, pillory the politicians and mock the media. But the army receives a free reign. The generals/admirals/air marshals — who can be as corrupt and venal as the political class — rarely receive similar press coverage, despite the fact that the army is the biggest private landowner in Pakistan. They run businesses, residential areas, schools and hospitals but somehow they largely avoid scrutiny. Funny that. …

Read more : The Express Tribune

Every consciousness is indeed incomplete without political consciousness.

“Political Gene” – Jameel Hussain Junejo.

Every consciousness is indeed incomplete without political consciousness. A man of cultural, social, and economic consciousness can not, without political consciousness, accurately comprehend the genuine problems of his or her nation and offer rights solutions. Political consciousness among the masses is equivalent to backbone of mainly oppressed and enslaved nations.

Continue reading Every consciousness is indeed incomplete without political consciousness.

Trade pact will give $12 bn boost to Indian economy: Canadian minister

New Delhi – The proposed Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between India and Canada is estimated to give an annual boost of $12 billion to the Indian economy, says Canadian Minister of International Trade Peter Van Loan.

“We are quite excited about the agreement. It will be offering an annual benefit of $6-15 billion to our economy. The Indian economy will benefit $12 billion a year,” the minister told IANS in an interview. ….

Read more: Indiavision

Chinese workers build 15-story hotel in just six days

Brett Michael Dykes

As the United States and China battle over the finer points of currency manipulation at the G-20 summit, American negotiators may want to take note of this startling testimonial to the productivity of Chinese workers: A construction crew in the south-central Chinese city of Changsha has completed a 15-story hotel in just six days. If nothing else, this remarkable achievement will stoke further complaints from American economic pundits that China’s economy is far more accomplished in tending to such basics as construction. …

Read more : Yahoo News

The 2010 Commonwealth Games – A Systemic Indicator of India’s Democracy

by Koustubh Parulekar

The 2010 Commonwealth Games, hosted in Delhi this October 3-14, are touted to be India’s answer to Beijing’s 2008 Olympic extravaganza; a vehicle to announce India’s arrival on the world stage as an economic, cultural and political powerhouse. …

Read more >> CommonWealthDreams

The political economy of Bangladesh — Ishtiaq Ahmed

The key to development and progress is always a combination of political, economic, social and cultural changes that complement one another. Thus a country once derisively described by Henry Kissinger as the ‘world’s basket case’ can actually become the most dynamic of all South Asian nations.

The news from Bangladesh in the last few years has been consistently good, though we in Pakistan have learnt more about the spectacular political advances that country has made in the last year or so. The political advances should indeed be described as spectacular because in an era salient with the menace of Islamism and terrorism, Bangladesh has most wisely and foresightedly chosen to establish itself as a secular democracy. No doubt the political basis for it was laid when an Awami League government won a landslide victory in the December 29, 2008 elections, but the crucial decision was taken by the Supreme Court of that country, which declared Bangladesh a secular democracy in constitutional terms.

Read more >> Daily Times

Pakistan ranks 10th among ‘failed states’

Pakistan has more than once been described as the world’s most dangerous country

DAWN

WASHINGTON: Pakistan was ranked the 10th most failed state in the world, just three places below Afghanistan, in a US survey released on Monday. Somalia tops the 2010 Failed States Index followed by Zimbabwe, Sudan, and Chad.

Continue reading Pakistan ranks 10th among ‘failed states’

Development of Sindh: Shallow Promises

– Mushtaq Rajpar

PPP ruled Sindh government is about to present third budget of their tenure. Be ready for new promises, pledges and schemes. Are you interested listening and read all that? What did Sindh government achieved in the current outgoing fiscal year 2009-10?

People of Sindh want to know. Can Sindh government publish a Development Review or Economic Review and inform the public on state of economy, development and projects announced last year in the budget.

Rs 113 billion were allocated for development, including Rs 16 billion by federal government. How much actually has been achieved?

Newspapers report suggest development funds were not utilized more than 42%. This is height of negligence and ineptness of an elected government. Sindh continues to live in backwardness; people live under hard socio-economic conditions.

Budget 2009-10

· Rs. 113 development out lay included Rs 75 billion ADP: Where did this money go?

· The federal government was to be asked to settled the issue of Rs204 billion arrears of GST on services. Did they get arrears back?

· Rs. 2 billion were allocated for Thar Coal Development

Collective Volunteerism: An Approach that May Work to Rebuild Pakistan

by K. Ashraf

Social, cultural, economic and political problems are growing in leaps and bounds in Pakistan on daily basis. The situation is so fluid no one can really predict the events of next moment. Is there going to be a suicide bombing, or sniper attack, or some other devastating accident, no one really knows. Fear, desperation, and helpless are the real rulers of Pakistan.

The other day the world press simultaneously broadcasted two news: One out of Mogadishu Somalia and the other from Swat Pakistan. A suicide bomber killed 20 people offering prayers in a mosque in Mogadishu . Another suicide bomber killed 11 people in Swat in Pakistan.

Is Pakistan any better than Somalia ? Perhaps, it is. Somalia does not have a government where as Pakistan does. However, Pakistani government is not any better than non-existent government in Somalia.

Like there is no government in Somalia to control the things there is a government in Pakistan but like Somalia it does not control anything. Pakistani government is nothing, but a herd of incompetent individuals who know how to boast but do not know how to deliver. There incompetence, or lack of desire to deliver, is further complicating the matters.

Pakistan is a country of one hundred and seventy million people. With several large size cities with completely broken life supporting systems, Pakistan is worse than Somalia . One can see horrible scenes across the country every second and feel sorry for the people, but without any effect or impact on its purblind rulers.

President and Prime minister look more sort of jackasses not up to the job they are holding. They are creating more problems in the country through inappropriate actions instead of helping the country move out of shadows of miseries, death and destruction. They spend more time on blaming others than spending half the time on fixing Pakistan’s problems.

There is a parliament in the country. Common Pakistani folks describe it as a rubber stamp or the debating club of thieves and thugs which is not interested in solving peoples’ problems. Within last two years, they have not taken up any issue faced by the people of Pakistan.

Is there a way out for the people of Pakistan? What should they do to resolve their problems? How should they compensate government inadequacies? We suggest they should develop the habit of collective volunteerism. They should form committees at street and city levels to deal with their day to day problems. If they develop the mechanism of collective volunteerism in all communities throughout the country they may start solving their trivial problems. They can help each other fix their broken systems and improve the quality of life in their communities. If they become really organized they can do miracles.

In many countries, the common folks have done these miracles. The people of Pakistan are not any lesser than any other people. They can also rebuild the broken social, cultural, economic and political systems in their communities through collective volunteerism.

Pakistanis are great charity givers. They should erect system to pool in their charities to rebuild the broken systems.

With every thing falling apart, may be collective volunteerism is the approach that may help Pakistanis to rebuild their communities and improve their lives.

Courtesy: CRDP, May 2, 2010

Book review – Harvest Will Come (New Book by Iqbal Tareen)

A new book by an American of Sindhi-Pakistani origin is published. The book contains selected articles, correspondence and speeches of Mr. Tareen, who is a noted human rights, and political rights activist.  Mr. Tareen is former President of Sindhi Association of North America (SANA) and founder President of Jeeay Sindh Students Federation (JSSF) (1960-70s). Mr. Tareen is current president of Washington based civic group called “Forum for Democracy and Justice in Pakistan” The book contains Mr. Tareen’s vision for Pakistan and Sindh, socio-economic and Political challenges that country and province face.

It also contains correspondence between him and Mohtarma Shaheed Benazir Bhutto, his few letters to US administration including Secretary of State, Chairman Senate Foreign Relations Committee and now VP Joe Biden, his speeches to different protest demonstration outside White House on democracy issues in Pakistan. The Book also reflects on his association with politicians of Sindh late GM Syed and Rasool Bux Palijo.

Book provides Writer’s excellent reflections on Sindh and his vision under several articles such as :

1. Sindh on the Threshold of 21th Century,

2. Sindh in the Eye of Terror,

3. Sindh Vision 2020,

4. US Sindhis Demand equity in Indus Commission,

5. 11 Guardians of Indus,

6. Chauvinism lurking out of Punjab,

7. Sindh is mother of Pakistan,

8. Government warned against division of Sindh

And the master piece of the book is valuable, thoughtful and beautiful article “Harvest will come” the title of the book, which is an excellent & refreshing analysis of change in modern history specially since 1820 to latest, how world has moved forward over the years, and writer believes “No matter how hard they try they cannot deny you dreams and hope. They might have stolen the day but tomorrow belongs to you.

Have faith, the harvest will come.

The Book is useful for those who have interest in Sindh’s Political issues, democracy in Pakistan and its American connections, also how does enlightened Pakistani Diaspora thinks of its own country.

For Contact Author Iqbal Tareen at iqbal.tareen@gmail.com

Time running out for stable Pakistan

– Ali Gharib and Jim Lobe

Wichaar.com
WASHINGTON (IPS/GIN) – The United States and its allies must act urgently to prevent Pakistan from descending into a spiral of economic, security, and political crises, according to a new report released here by an influential think tank.

The 27-page report, “Needed: A Comprehensive U.S. Policy Towards Pakistan,” called for at least $4 billion to $5 billion in new aid for Islamabad of which $1 billion should be earmarked for the military and the police, to help ward off the growing threat posed to the central government by Islamic militants based in the frontier regions with Afghanistan and linked to Al-Qaeda.

“Simply put, time is running out for stabilizing Pakistan’s economy and security,” the task force warned. “We cannot stress the magnitude of the dangerous enough nor the need for greater action now,” it stressed, adding that failure to provide needed assistance could well result in “state failure.”

Continue reading Time running out for stable Pakistan

Pakistan: No money, No energy, No government!

New intelligence report says Pakistan is ‘on the edge’
By Jonathan S. Landay and John Walcott | McClatchy Newspapers
Courtesy and Thanks: McClatchy
MORE FROM MCCLATCHY
Severe economic crisis threatens Pakistan’s stability
Wave of violence worsens Pakistan’s security, economic crisis

WASHINGTON – A growing al Qaida-backed insurgency, combined with the Pakistani army’s reluctance to launch an all-out crackdown, political infighting and energy and food shortages are plunging America’s key ally in the war on terror deeper into turmoil and violence, says a soon-to-be completed U.S. intelligence assessment.
A U.S. official who participated in drafting the top secret National Intelligence Estimate said it portrays the situation in Pakistan as “very bad.” Another official called the draft “very bleak,” and said it describes Pakistan as being “on the edge.”
The first official summarized the estimate’s conclusions about the state of Pakistan as: “no money, no energy, no government.”
Six U.S. officials who helped draft or are aware of the document’s findings confirmed them to McClatchy on the condition of anonymity because NIEs are top secret and are restricted to the president, senior officials and members of Congress. An NIE’s conclusions reflect the consensus of all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies.

Continue reading Pakistan: No money, No energy, No government!