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February 2011

SBP first quarterly report 2010-11: Pak-economy’s health questionable

Low tax-to-GDP ratio, high imports, continued energy shortages, and undocumented economy must be dealt with otherwise the key imbalances of the macro-economy might not be manageable

By Mehmood-Ul-Hassan Khan

SBP has published its first quarterly report for the year 2010-11 in which it indicated many ills of the macro-economy along with their solutions. The ongoing energy saga, circular debt and weak business confidence have shaken the economy, which is now projected to grow by 2 to 3 per cent only. The report has reaffirmed the fact that the economy is not in a healthy shape and any further delay in implementing critical structural reforms would increase the costs to the economy.Read More »SBP first quarterly report 2010-11: Pak-economy’s health questionable

Let us go fly a kite! —Dr Syed Mansoor Hussain

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Taking advantage of the problem of metal and chemically treated strings used for flying kites, the ‘spoilsports’ led by the religious parties were able to convince both the provincial government of Punjab as well as the higher judiciary that kite flying was a dangerous activity and violated the rights of individuals who were injured by these strings

Too many things are going on worth writing about. But for me something more important than all the major stories filling the newspapers and TV headlines is the one about Basant (festival of the kites). Evidently, the governor and the chief minister of Punjab have agreed that the people of Lahore will be allowed to fly kites this year. That is great news and is in its own way more important than the sort of stuff consuming the attention of our op-ed page commentariat as well as the talking heads on TV.Read More »Let us go fly a kite! —Dr Syed Mansoor Hussain



Burdened with the burnt dead bodies of innocent children and helpless men and women, the unlucky Samjhauta Express still seems moving towards Lahore. Across the Wahga border, somewhere into the Indian lands one can feel Swami Aseemanand sinisterly smiling at the pathetic fate of the departed train; he is enjoying the pain and agony which the passengers of this train had experienced before handing over their lives to the heartless flames surrounding them. He is very happy that he succeeded in acting upon the “bomb-for-bomb” strategy. Under Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code a Panchkula magistrate recorded Aseemanand’s statement on 15 January 2010, regarding the Samjhauta blast case. His earlier confession was recorded in the Mecca Masjid case, which was being probe by the CBI. Aseemanand confessed that the bomb attacks on the Samjhota Express in 2007 were plotted by the Hindutva militants Ramji Kaisangra and Sandeep Dange under the benevolent guidance of some military and intelligence officers.Read More »INDIA NEEDS ANOTHER KARKARE

Stony Sleep-By Qaisar Sultan

Pakistanis have been asleep for so long that they have forgotten what the truth and hope are. People, no matter what the conditions are, do not let go of their hopes and inspirations. I still believe that we would find a leader who would change the way things are. There was a time that we stood up against general Ayub. We fought against a powerful dictator in favor of democracy. The country was used to wake up when Karachi was awake. Once Karachi, enduring the wrath of the dictator against people of Karachi, was neglected as the epicenter of movements against wrongs, people of the country became complacent. They were all happy to see the decay of the symbol of urban and enlightened life. The urban life brings changes. The city people are more enlightened than the rural people. The major city, Karachi, called “Mini Pakistan” was ignored. They started fighting for their rights. The MQM became the representative party for the Mohajirs. They had to defend themselves from the federal power with the military might. The cities like Karachi, Lahore, Faisalabad, Hyderabad, Peshawar, and Quetta should have been allowed to lead the country. The rural people look for the leadership, jobs and training in the big cities. They go back to their villages and small town and spread the civility and enlightenment. The system that does not allow these migrations or restrict them through state policies deprives a huge majority the opportunity that the urbanites have. China is a great example where there was an exodus of rural people to the urban areas; same happened in the USA. That is a change that makes countries stronger and more civilized.Read More »Stony Sleep-By Qaisar Sultan