April 18, 2009

Mafia economics in Pakistan

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The country is short-changed on everything and yet the elite mafia keeps on getting ever more greedy and selfish. What is the eventual outcome of all this? Mafias abound on the scene. My definition of economic mafia is some one, who does much worse than a gun toting Sicilian or Italian. However, the one I am talking about has a recurring ability and keeps on milking the nation metaphorically and literally.

These mafias have lately increased and these have been because of the last government’s abilities to only see as far their nose. At the time they emerged, there were only seven of them and at one meeting with the then President of Pakistan I stated who those seven were. I was responding to a question by the then President that I had powerful friends and powerful enemies. So I narrated who my powerful enemies were and I had also mentioned that the power of the negative was much more than the power of the positive.

When I named the seven in descending order, the President agreed that I had a correct measure of the men. Unlike Protagoras, the stoic philosopher, who taught virtue, the then President and his men heard but did not take any notice, listened but did not pay heed. A powerful reminder of what can happen to people who live in ivory towers and feel the world’s information is provided by their JCO[s] and other ranks. If the information world were to be moved by these sources what would become of us?Read More »Mafia economics in Pakistan

Pakistan’s GDP growth for 2008-2009 projected at $162.6 billion

PRSP-II document shows $4.9 billion decrease from 2007-08

The Ministry of Finance has projected nominal Gross Domestic Product (GDP) at $162.6 billion in 2008-09, as compared to $167.5 billion in last fiscal year (2007-08), reflecting a decrease in size of GDP by $4.9 billion. This has been specified in the revised Macroeconomic Framework for the current fiscal year and proposed macroeconomic targets for the next fiscal year incorporated in PRSP-II document, released by the Ministry of Finance here on Friday.

According to the document, the overall vision of PRSP-II is to steer Pakistan’s economic growth back in the range of 5-7 percent per annum by stimulating growth prospects in the production sector; creating adequate employment opportunities; improving income distribution; and harnessing the country’s economic competitiveness through economic liberalisation, deregulation and transparent privatisation.

It has been projected that nominal GDP would grow to $171 billion in the next fiscal year (2009-10) as compared with GDP estimates of $162.6 billion in current fiscal year, projecting an increase of $8.4 billion.Read More »Pakistan’s GDP growth for 2008-2009 projected at $162.6 billion

Two presidents speak —Shaukat Qadir

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If those providing assistance in the development of the tribal areas of both Afghanistan and Pakistan are governed by conventional wisdom and ignore the psycho-cultural apprehensions of the locals, their efforts, however well intentioned, are doomed to fail

Within a span of 24 hours in March 2009, we, the people of Pakistan, heard addresses by two presidents. The first, by the President of the United States, a bold, confident address, delivered as usual without any fumbling for words, spelt out the promised comprehensive strategy for Afghanistan and Pakistan. While some of his assumptions regarding Pakistan may not have pleased some of our analysts, his strategy is indeed as he promised, one that draws a clear line between dealing with ‘the enemy’ and the rest of the people of the region. His key words: “investing in Pakistan today, is investing in the US’ future.”Read More »Two presidents speak —Shaukat Qadir

The Islamist in my pocket —Rafia Zakaria

Packaging deals with groups like the TNSM, which clearly oppose all forms of democratic governance, in the trimmings of parliamentary legitimacy does not consequently transform the ideological agendas espoused by such groups

It has been a triumphant week for Islamists in Pakistan. On Monday, the National Assembly passed a resolution asking the president to sign into law the Nizam-e Adl Regulation 2009, a key instrument in the peace deal reached between the ANP government in the NWFP and the TNSM in Malakand. Later that day, President Asif Ali Zardari signed it into law.

According to the text of the Bill, the Nizam-e Adl Regulation would provide for the “Nifaz-e-Nizam-e-Sharia through Courts in the Provincially Administered Tribal Areas for the North-West Frontier Province”.Read More »The Islamist in my pocket —Rafia Zakaria

Islamabad: CWT offers scholarships for UK

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United Kingdom based Charles Wallace Trust (CWT) offers scholarship opportunities in different disciplines for Pakistanis to focus on their professional development.

Applicants as old as 50 years are welcomed and encouraged to apply. Preference would be given to those who have never had foreign study opportunities before. The trust is interested in the individuals of Pakistan to fully realise their potential.

“I have been quite impressed by the scholars from Pakistan, as they are very lively, very enterprising and come from a variety of backgrounds,” said CWT Secretary Tim Butchard while adding that some of the scholars were physicists, economists, artists and sculptors amongst other disciplines.Read More »Islamabad: CWT offers scholarships for UK

Pakistan would have attacked India in 1998

Pakistan would have launched a full-fledged air attack on India in 1998 if India had tried to stop the Pakistani nuclear test at Chagai, Gen Pervez Musharraf was appointed the Army chief because he was a Muhajir and thus would not stage a coup and Aimal Kasi, who attacked the CIA headquarters, was arrested by the CIA inside Pakistan and taken to Washington and Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan handled his case.

These and some other interesting facts about the Pakistani politics and the government have been revealed by former foreign minister Gohar Ayub Khan in his latest book titled ‘Testing Times as Foreign Minister’.

It reveals in the event of an attack on the test site at Chagai by India, attack by the PAF would have been launched on pre-selected targets in India. Pakistan had information and blueprints of the Indian nuclear projects given gratis after the 1984 attack on the Golden Temple, the book said. Foreign intelligence agents were successful in placing an electronic sensing device shaped like a boulder with fibre covering close to the perimeter fence of Kahuta nuclear site, reveals the just launched book.Read More »Pakistan would have attacked India in 1998

ISLAMABAD: Senior journalist returns plot to Punjab government

A senior journalist has returned a plot allotted to him by the Punjab Government, saying, it was a hurdle in his way to write objectively about the government and was a burden on his conscience.

Editor Investigations of The News Ansar Abbasi has written a letter to the chief minister Punjab surrendering his plot allotted to him through the Punjab Journalist Housing Foundation. In his letter he pointed out that a few professions in Pakistan enjoyed the privilege of getting plots while the poor people can only dream of a home. He has asked the CM to cancel all the allotments made at throwaway prices to all the privileged classes.
Read More »ISLAMABAD: Senior journalist returns plot to Punjab government