February 2009

Growth and prospects of Islamic banking

By Mahvesh Farooqi

Islamic banking which used to be a myth in this part of the world several years ago is not only in vogue but is gaining rapid popularity theses days. Not only a number of foreign and local banks are doing good business in Islamic banking but even the conventional banks have been tempted to open special Islamic banking counters. In fact it was Dubai Islamic Bank which took the lead as early as 1975. Thereafter, Islamic banking grew into a worldwide industry exceeding handling amounts exceeding $900 billion. In Pakistan, Meezan Bank has made rapid strides in this sector followed by Bank Islami.Read More »Growth and prospects of Islamic banking

Pakistan’s energy sector needs long-term sustainable policy

If we analyse the financial and economic impacts of the current years load-shedding the cost could be up in the billions. The demand for electricity is growing at an average rate of 9.5 per cent per annum over the past four years and a stagnant power supply and growing demand has created severe power shortages in the country

Coal energy: In Pakistan, coal reserve is estimated at 185 billion tons, which, according to Dr. Akram Sheikh (ex-Deputy Chairman, Planning Commission) is equivalent to at least 400 billion barrels of oil, in other words equivalent to the oil reserves of Saudi Arabia and Iran combined. Read More »Pakistan’s energy sector needs long-term sustainable policy

An apple a day also keeps breast cancer at bay

There is a growing body of evidence to show that an apple a day can keep not just the doctor away, but breast cancer too.

Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed invasive cancer and the second leading cause of cancer deaths in women in US, said Rui Hai Liu, Cornell University associate professor of food science. Recently, Liu reported that fresh apple extracts significantly inhibited the size of mammary tumours in rats – and the more extracts they were given, the greater the inhibition. “We not only observed that the treated animals had fewer tumours, but the tumours were smaller, less malignant and grew more slowly compared with the tumours in untreated rats,” said Liu, which confirmed the findings of his preliminary study in 2007. Read More »An apple a day also keeps breast cancer at bay

Pakistan Higher education spending cut by 73 per cent

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Sher Baz Khan

ISLAMABAD: Funding for the higher education sector has been cut by 73 per cent. Officials have attributed lack of cash and economic slowdown for the huge cut.

The government will now spend only Rs114billion, instead of the previously allocated Rs412 billion for executing 600 projects.

According to Planning Commission figures, the government will now grant only Rs18 billion to the higher education sector from the PSDP, instead of Rs297.3 billion needed for the 293 development projects planned. Read More »Pakistan Higher education spending cut by 73 per cent

2009-Dr Farrukh Saleem

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2009 is going to be about four things: the Af-Pak War Theater, Global Financial Crisis, a resurging Russian Bear coming out of its 20-year hibernation and NATO Supply Routes. The Obama Administration, having brewed up Af-Pak or Afghanistan-Pakistan as the single theatre of war, is no longer using the ‘war on terror’ cliché. Af-Pak is now about a troop surge, a bloody spring offensive, an attempt to split Al Qaeda from the Taliban followed up by a negotiated–negotiated from a position of strength–exit strategy.
Read More »2009-Dr Farrukh Saleem

Cool head means calm heart

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Young adults who keep a cool head under stress may be less likely to develop high blood pressure as they age, according to a recent study.

A study of 4,000 young adults showed that those who stressed out the least while playing a difficult video game and taking other tests were less likely to develop high blood pressure in their 40s, BBC radio reported. Read More »Cool head means calm heart

Stroke risk linked with fast food

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People who live in neighborhoods packed with fast-food restaurants are more likely to suffer strokes, US researchers said.

They said residents of one Texas county who lived in neighborhoods with the highest number of fast-food restaurants had a 13 per cent higher risk of experiencing a stroke than those in neighbourhoods with the fewest such restaurants.Read More »Stroke risk linked with fast food