March 3, 2009

Pakistan, India and Manto —Pamela Kilpadi & Syed Mohammad Ali

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 pamelasyedmali1

To prevent Pakistan-India tensions from collapsing into a nightmarish Cuban Missile Crisis-type scenario in a South Asian no-man’s land, both countries should not only cooperate but also compromise in a joint investigation into the Mumbai attacks, mediated by a third party. Pakistan’s Interior Adviser Rehman Malik’s official statement on February 12 about the Mumbai attacks represents a significant step in that direction 

During the Cold War, the doctrine of ‘mutually assured destruction’ (MAD) purportedly deterred the nuclear-armed United States and the Soviet Union from ever engaging in all-out war. Today, relations between nuclear-armed India and Pakistan are being seriously tested. In the wake of the atrocious Mumbai attacks, while a motley crew of warriors continues to threaten the elected government in Islamabad, pre-election sabre-rattling in India and potentially suicidal Pakistani politicking has been intensifying. MAD is going, well, mad.Read More »Pakistan, India and Manto —Pamela Kilpadi & Syed Mohammad Ali

Pakistani students receive Cambridge Top in the World awards

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LAHORE: Nine secondary school students from schools in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad will receive Cambridge Top in the World awards for outstanding results in the June 2008 Cambridge International A Level exams. The students are: Sara Jamil (law), Hamza Aftab (Physics), Anum Shaukat (Urdu) and Reema Tariq Butt (Chemistry) from Lahore; Read More »Pakistani students receive Cambridge Top in the World awards

ISRAEL-HAMAS CONFLICT: SOCIO-ECONOMIC, GEO-POLITICAL AND GEO-STRATEGIC IMPLICATIONS

MEHMOOD-UL-HASSAN KHAN

The region of Middle East is full of ancient prophecies, civilizations, cultures, conflicts and above all unending human struggles. The recent Israel-Hamas conflict at last ended and both the parties claimed victory. The Much “Too Promised Land” remained under siege “Israel’s Operation Cast Lead” for more than 22 days. But it is reality in war there is no winner but also losers. The massive level of destruction and bloodshed and widespread massacre in and around the Gaza city reminded us that the old doctrine of Greek or Roman power politics that there is no scope of mercy, decency, human values and even respect for other rights. More than 25,000 displaced Palestinians are currently taking shelter in U.N. facilities across the Gaza Strip.

Planned action

Israel has repeatedly claimed that it had “no choice” but to wage war on Gaza on December 27 because Hamas had broken a ceasefire. According to the Israeli press the attack had been meticulously planned, for over 6 months. It had two components military and propaganda. It was initiated on the lessons of Israel’s 2006 invasion of Lebanon, which was considered to be poorly planned and badly advertised. Israel has repeatedly claimed that it had “no choice” but to wage war on Gaza on December 27 because Hamas had broken a ceasefire, was firing rockets at Israeli civilians. Moreover, the termination of the assault just before the inauguration and the timing of the invasion was presumably influenced by the coming Israeli election also verifies it. Read More »ISRAEL-HAMAS CONFLICT: SOCIO-ECONOMIC, GEO-POLITICAL AND GEO-STRATEGIC IMPLICATIONS

PAKISTAN-IRAN STRATEGIC ENERGY COOPERATION

Mehmood-Ul-Hassan Khan
Energy security is the hot topic in regional geo-political and geo-strategic affairs. It is also essential part of international politics and diplomacy. The extended cooperation of China, Japan and even South Korea in African and Latin American countries verify the importance of energy resources. In the economic arena, energy seems to be centre point as more energy means more power industrial and political. Hot pursuits of the energy resources have also been instrumental for peace building. It was most recently observed in the case of the Iran-Pakistan-India gas (IPI) pipeline.

Pakistan is suffering from acute energy crisis. From industry to production and from education to health every sector has been badly affected with this energy/power shortage. Despite all assurances, even the emergency measures of the present government seem unable to resolve the energy’s woes. Our cities and villages are under the siege of darkness and hope for betterment is very limited in the near future. Read More »PAKISTAN-IRAN STRATEGIC ENERGY COOPERATION

Socio-economic costs of terrorism with special reference to Pakistan

Mehmood-Ul- Hassan Khan
Terrorism is a curse. Since the start of the anti-terror campaign, an overall sense of uncertainty has prevailed in the country and it is at its peak in NWFP and FATA. It has contributed to capital flight and slowed down economic activities making foreign investors jittery. The foreign direct investment has been adversely affected by the ongoing anti-terrorism campaign in Fata and other areas of the NWFP. Pakistan’s participation in the international campaign has led to an excessive increase in the country’s credit risk. Due to which recently, the World Bank has lowered our credit rating further.

According to the Pak-US Business Council report (2009), we are the prime victim of Afghanistan’s instability and our economy has so far suffered directly or indirectly a huge loss of $35 billion. Moreover, due to widespread unrest and political uncertainty in Afghanistan a large quantity of our food items/commodities is smuggled to Afghanistan, which ultimately leads to acute food grain scarcity within our country.

Most recently, the new Obama’s administration has cautioned Pakistan that it would be held accountable for security in the border regions of Afghanistan and that its performance in the fight against terrorism would be linked to the financial aid. Moreover, the frequent drone attacks are becoming counter-productive and we are now facing the consequences. Read More »Socio-economic costs of terrorism with special reference to Pakistan

Pak-China cooperation

Mehmood-Ul-Hassan Khan
Recently, the president Asif Ali Zardari was invited by Chinese government. He visited and stayed in Hubei Province and Shanghai from Feb. 20 to Feb. 23. He showed his interests in finance, banking, large-scale construction and Shanghai’s urban development. He said the basic purpose of his visit here is to study the Chinese model of power generation and development in agriculture sector. He identified possible areas of cooperation between Pakistan and China in hybrid seed, modern agriculture technology, water management, high efficiency irrigation and water pumping through solar technology.

Power sector

In his latest visit to China, the president Asif Ali Zardari visited different factories and organizations. Pakistan and China agreed to extend cooperation in energy and power sector. The Wapda Chairman signed a hydel power project with Three Gorges Project Corporation (TGPC). Under the agreement, China would assist Pakistan technically in hydel power generation. The TGPC President said that his corporation was ready to assist Pakistan in every possible way to overcome its energy challenges. Our president claimed that the aim of his government was to build more dams following the model of the Three Gorges Dam. Read More »Pak-China cooperation