May 2009

Islamic banking unclear on conventional arbitration: scholars

MANAMA (May 19 2009): The Islamic finance industry is still searching for a stance on to what extent conventional international law should be accepted in arbitration cases, Islamic scholars said on Monday.

Many Islamic finance products and contracts are being scrutinised in courts for the first time during the current global economic downturn, after the industry got caught up in last year’s global liquidity freeze and now feels its exposure to slumping real estate markets in the Gulf Arab region.

“We have to find a solution, this should be discussed in terms of legal needs and necessities, this hasn’t been discussed by Islamic financial institutions collectively,” Islamic scholar Sheikh Saleh Abdulla al-Haidan said during a conference held in Manama.Read More »Islamic banking unclear on conventional arbitration: scholars

Pakistan’s roll of honour (and dishonour)

Mosharraf Zaidi

In Mardan district, Pakistanis from all corners of Swat converge on a union council called Hathian. In eleven school buildings across Hathian, these thousands of innocent Pakistanis, who we call IDPs, have sought shelter from the violence that has consumed the beautiful places they call home in Swat, Buner and Dir. The lowest estimate of the number of people in Hathian is 8,000. Among them are children, pregnant women, and old folks with all kinds of short- and long-term medical problems. These people left their homes in Swat in a hurry. Most didn’t leave with their American Express card. In fact, most didn’t even have time to take along their identification cards.
Read More »Pakistan’s roll of honour (and dishonour)

Uzbek model of Development

Economics is a complicated discipline. It works in integration. It needs rigorous professionalism and diversified expertise. It stands for socio-economic prosperity and progression. The economic modeling varies from region to region and from country to country. The parameters of economic models show that proper human resource management, financial transparency, accountability, business and people friendly macro-economic policies, rule of the law and above all visionary leadership are must for the speedy economic growth and sustainability. Read More »Uzbek model of Development

Uzbekistan and water sharing

Water is life and which is endangered. Right from the beginning water has been one of the main sources of human civilization. It has been playing important role in human growth, peaceful settlements, agriculture development, and above all energy reservoirs. Around the globe every region is confronting with water reservoirs issues. Central Asia is too has some serious issues regarding the water sharing among all the CIS. In this regard, the government of Uzbekistan is doing its level best to reach a amicable agreement on the water sharing among the CIS. Water is blessing and government of Uzbekistan sincerely wishes that all the CIS should be blessed equally. Uzbekistan has been vocal on the critical issue of water in the region and its raised its genuine concerns on different regional and international forums. Uzbekistan desires that all the issues related to water among the CIS should be settled at regional level so that no outsider may have the geo-political or geo-strategic leverage for manipulation. Read More »Uzbekistan and water sharing

Persistent untruths —Syed Mansoor Hussain

The Ottoman Empire, the Safavids in Iran and, of course, the Mughals in India were all undone after the discovery of electricity. Clearly, electricity is responsible for the end of all great Muslim empires


We in Lahore are having what in the US are called ‘triple-digit’ temperatures. The US still uses the Fahrenheit scale and so in Lahore, as I write this, the temperature according to Yahoo! Weather is exactly 100 degrees Fahrenheit. And the maximum temperature over the next few days is expected to be somewhere between 110 F and 115 F. That is hot by any estimation.Read More »Persistent untruths —Syed Mansoor Hussain

Highlights of Musharraf Interview with CNN

Musharraf open to return to politics

* Former president blames Afghanistan for Pakistan’s problems
* Says there is no support for Taliban in Pakistan Army

Former president General (r) Pervez Musharraf has refused to rule out a return to public life saying he is ready to offer his services if his country remains “in trouble”.

In a CNN interview broadcast on Sunday, he said a ban on his participation in politics would expire in November and stressed: “We’re not running for office in six months.”Read More »Highlights of Musharraf Interview with CNN

Pakistan Budget 2009-10 and IMF conditionalities

We need to take decisions to achieve long-term economic sustainability, otherwise
we will get to a stage where debt servicing payments will wipe out everything else

The budget for the fiscal 2009-10 is due to be announced in June this year. It remained a question whether the resolution of annual budget is to gain political mileage or to reveal an economic action plans for next year? This question becomes much relevant in upcoming budget in view the garb of economic restructuring plan of IMF for Pakistan. Budget document presents the government action plan of priority and allocation of funds and the question that confronts us is ‘how to strength the policy that should not undermine the sovereignty on decision making functions of the country. There should be priority on the national issues and allocation of funds for various key sectors and the role and extent of IFIs. Critics are fast to note that this budget is no exception, at present, just after the approval of second tranche of $800 million of $7.6 billion loan of IMF. Read More »Pakistan Budget 2009-10 and IMF conditionalities

Pakistan Telecommunication Company (PTCL) to change local codes

By Muhammad Yasir

KARACHI: Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL) will increase a digit ‘3’ in its numbers of Karachi and Lahore to enhance its capacity to widen subscribers’ network.

The biggest Fixed Local Loop (FLL) of the country will implement its eight-digit numbers migration plan from the next month as per guidelines of Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) issued in National Numbering Plan (NNP).

Official sources informed that the plan would increase the capacity of the system by an estimated 10 million, which is enough till 2050.Read More »Pakistan Telecommunication Company (PTCL) to change local codes

Mr Nineteen Percent —Rafia Zakaria

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The task is a delicate one, and requires a measured and careful dance that must please two very different and demanding constituencies whose collective appeasement may not be

According to a poll published by the International Republican Institute, a conservative think tank based in the United States, President Zardari’s job approval rating among Pakistanis currently stands at 19 percent. Interestingly, the number reflects an increase in the president’s popularity from an even lower 12 percent recorded around the time of his swearing in last year.
Read More »Mr Nineteen Percent —Rafia Zakaria

Plans ready to take out Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal

WASHINGTON: The US has a detailed plan for infiltrating Pakistan and securing its mobile arsenal of nuclear warheads if it appears the country is about to fall under the control of the Taliban, al-Qaeda or other Islamic extremists, a leading TV network reported.

“American intelligence sources say the operation would be conducted by the Joint Special Operations Command, the super-secret commando unit headquartered at Fort Bragg, NC,” a report by Rowan Scarborough of the FoxNews said on Friday. The report has also been posted on, the website of the TV channel.
Read More »Plans ready to take out Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal