May 2009

Pakistan’s first (or rather second) true war

Ayaz Amir

For sheer irresponsibility nothing beats President Asif Zardari’s statement, in another avoidable newspaper interview, that the operation in Swat would soon be extended to Waziristan. Whom was he trying to impress? Certainly not the people of Waziristan who have already started thinking of moving to safer places. Nor Baitullah Mehsud, the chief of our domestic insurgents, who stands forewarned. Thank you, Mr President.

Across our embattled Republic it is by now established wisdom that Mr Zardari is an accident of fate, penance for sins committed and some even barely imagined. Even so, why must he prove his incapacity at every turn? Newspaper interviews are not his forte. What will it take to make him realise this? He adds to no one’s knowledge and, if anything, only spreads more doubts about himself. Read More »Pakistan’s first (or rather second) true war

Loud generators- Ahmad Rafay Alam

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2009 is the national year of the environment. The ministry of environment has arranged a roster full of events to raise awareness about the environment this year. Their initiatives are well-timed and much-needed. However, there is plenty to be done.

The Environmental Protection Tribunal in Lahore, which is the statutory body charged with resolving disputes under the Pakistan Environment Protection Act, 1997 (PEPA), has not been operational for the past few months because it does not have a chairman. The previous chairperson retired after completing her term and the federal government has not yet notified a new chairman. Until that happens, all the environmental disputes in the province lie waiting. Read More »Loud generators- Ahmad Rafay Alam

Islamabad Art and Craft Village to promote Pakistan culture

says CDA chief

* Indus Heritage Trust informs CDA chairman that 80 percent work on the project has been completed
* Village to be ready for opening by June end

By Mahtab Bashir

ISLAMABAD: The Art and Craft Village (ACV) will promote Pakistani culture and handicrafts, as it would provide an opportunity to the foreigners and domestic visitors to visit the village and see regional cultures and traditional crafts at one place, said Capital Development Authority (CDA) Chairman Tariq Mahmood Khan on Wednesday.

He made these remarks after a presentation, given by Indus Heritage Trust (IHT) at CDA headquarters, on the village being constructed opposite to the Rose and Jasmine Garden, Shakarparian.

“Besides providing an opportunity to the artists and artisans from all over Pakistan to introduce and market their traditional products, the ACV would help mix regional cultures to promote inter-provincial harmony, said Khan. It would also help promote Pakistan’s soft image abroad and project the folk and modern architecture of Pakistan,” he added.Read More »Islamabad Art and Craft Village to promote Pakistan culture

Pakistan rupee regains strength vs dollar-20-May-09

KARACHI: The national currency regained strength against the dollar in the interbank market, dealers said on Wednesday.

The dollar commenced the day’s trading at Rs 81.07 for buying, registered loss and was changing hands at Rs 80.91 for buying and Rs 81.11 for selling at the close of the day’s trading. Thus, the national currency incurred a gain of 16 paisas. The European single currency gained five paisas against the rupee as the euro started the day’s trading at Rs 110.34 for buying, gained grounds and was changing hands at Rs 110.39 for buying and Rs 110.59 for selling. Read More »Pakistan rupee regains strength vs dollar-20-May-09

Pakistan’s GDP growth recorded at just 2 percent in FY09

Revised target of 2.5 percent missed

By Sajid Chaudhry

ISLAMABAD: The economy during current fiscal year 2008-09 registered a growth of just 2 percent against the budgetary target of 5.5 percent and downward revised target of 2.5 percent and only agriculture sector posted a positive growth of 4.7 percent against the target of 3.7 percent, according to the revised figures after the National Accounts Committee (NAC) meeting. Read More »Pakistan’s GDP growth recorded at just 2 percent in FY09

All your movies on a single DVD

PARIS: Scientists unveiled a new Digital Video Disk (DVD) technology on Wednesday that stores data in five dimensions, making it possible to pack more than 2,000 movies onto a single disc. A team of researchers at the Swinburne University of Technology in Australia used nano-technology to boost the storage potential of standard DVDs nearly 10,000-fold, Read More »All your movies on a single DVD

Of lies, media spins and the US targeting our nukes-Shireen M Mazari

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To learn firsthand how reality loses its relevancy in the media-spin age has been an experience which explains why so many news reports eventually reveal themselves as having not an iota of reality about them. For me the reports on the APC called by Prime Minister Gilani were an interesting study on how what really happened can be totally lost sight of if the government can offer a fast spin and has compliant listeners in the media. Not that that helps the government’s cause in the long run since it creates more distrust and makes it difficult for the government to replay the exercise the next time round. As someone who was present throughout the deliberations – which clearly did not seem to be off the record as may have been understood at the time – the final outcome reflected the non-consensus on the military operation with the leaders divided over the timing, the use of the option itself except as a last resort and so on. However, since the die had already been cast, all that most leaders could do was not to rubber-stamp this decision of the government – and that included the PML-N. So it was surprising to find one newspaper declaring that once the PML-N had endorsed the military operation all opposition voices were silenced! Nothing could have been farther from the truth and if the resolution had simply been the starting point of understanding what really happened in the APC, the truth would have been visible only too clearly. In any case, the APC itself was a welcome move because it allowed the government to put its case forward and also to hear different viewpoints, including the strong consensus that Balochistan was continuing to be neglected at great peril. This column is not intended to repeat the APC proceedings which have been covered extensively, one way or another, in the media already.Read More »Of lies, media spins and the US targeting our nukes-Shireen M Mazari

Images show Pakistan expanding N-sites

* US institute( ISIS) sees major expansion of DG Khan uranium plant, second plutonium plant next to existing one near Rawalpindi

WASHINGTON: Satellite photos released on Tuesday show Pakistan has expanded two sites crucial to its nuclear programme as part of an effort to bolster the destructive power of its atomic arsenal, a US arms control institute said.

The commercial images reveal a major expansion of a chemical plant complex near Dera Ghazi Khan that produces uranium hexalfuoride and uranium metal, materials used to produce nuclear weapons, said analysts at the Institute for Science and International Security.Read More »Images show Pakistan expanding N-sites

Pakistan to send up to 50,000 workers to Libya

By Salman Siddiqui

KARACHI: Ambassador of Pakistan to Libya, Jamil Ahmed Khan, has said that around 30-50 thousand skilled and semi-skilled labourers would be sent from Pakistan to Libya by the end of the current calendar year.

He was briefing a group of journalists here the other day in the backdrop of President Asif Ali Zardari’s recent visit to Libya. “This was the first official visit from any president to Libya since Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto’s government ended,” he said.Read More »Pakistan to send up to 50,000 workers to Libya

Italy keen to import skilled manpower from Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Labour and Manpower, Syed Khursheed Ahmad Shah on Tuesday said Pakistan had received a big demand of skilled workers from Italy and in this regard MoU would be signed soon.
The minister expressed these views after meeting with a 6-member Italian delegation who met the minister in his office today and exchange views on import of manpower from Pakistan.
The Italian delegation was headed by its Foreign Minister, Prof. Gianni DE Michelis, who was also the President of IPALMO, a prominent Italian institute of Internal Policies and Economics.
The Federal Minister for Labour and Manpower appraised the delegation that Pakistan was ready to sign MoU with the government of Italy to streamlining workers flow from Pakistan to work in Italy. Read More »Italy keen to import skilled manpower from Pakistan