October 2013

Challenge of wasteful passions

Article written by Mr. Zafar Hilaly, published in “THE NEWS” on 30th October 2013

James Stewart thought that he was successful if he played the part and the acting didn’t show. Well, there was precious little on view except acting during Nawaz Sharif’s Washington visit. As for the ‘acting’, that too was below par.

According to the script Obama was supposed to express his appreciation for Pakistan’s role in combating terrorism while looking Sharif in the eye. But he couldn’t bring himself to do that. He looked everyone else in the eye except Sharif, thereby prompting one wit to tweet: ‘it looks like Obama prefers to be somewhere else, with someone else’.Read More »Challenge of wasteful passions

Pakistan slides further down the list

THE NEWS report by Mehtab Haider

 Pakistan overall ranking in the World Bank’s Doing Business Report 2014 further slid towards bottom as the country failed to undertake any business regulatory reforms.

The report disclosed that the country’s ranking in terms of paying taxes stood at 166 with 47 payments per year and 577 hours per year required to pay taxes. Total tax rate of 34.7 percent is paid out of total profit earned by taxpayers.Read More »Pakistan slides further down the list

How fear of Qaeda hurts US more than Qaeda

David Rohde:  Three disclosures this week show that the United States is losing its way in the struggle against terrorism. Sweeping government efforts to stop attacks are backfiring abroad and infringing on basic rights at home.
CIA drone strikes are killing scores of civilians in Pakistan and Yemen. The National Security Agency is eavesdropping on tens of millions of phone calls worldwide – including those of 35 foreign leaders – in the name of US security.
And the Department of Homeland Security is using algorithms to “prescreen” travellers before they board domestic flights, reviewing government and private databases that include Americans’ tax identification numbers, car registrations and property records.
Will we create a Minority Report-style Department of Precrime next?Read More »How fear of Qaeda hurts US more than Qaeda

JUST FOR FAME AND PROMINENCE

ALI SUKHANVER

Fame and prominence are very natural type of desires. Living and dying in this world without any recognition and without being acknowledged is something very difficult and very unnatural. Different people adopt different ways and manners to satisfy their desire of fame and recognition. Some take the sword of knowledge in their hands and some opt for the service of suffering humanity but some unfortunates go for a way which though brings fame and prominence but deprives them of reliability and credibility. Throughout the world one can find countless characters of the same types who are so much fame-craving that for the achievement of this interest they even ignore the religion they follow and the land they belong to.  They all of a sudden forget what their country has showered upon them and what blessings their religion has brought for them. All these thoughts on fame and recognition stormed into my mind when during net-surfing, I came by an article written by Mr. Hussain Haqqani, published in the Washington Post of 13th June, 2012. The title of this write up was, ‘My Real Crime.’   Read More »JUST FOR FAME AND PROMINENCE

Pakistan Real Estate Industry

Real Estate is a promising and growing sector of the Pakistani economy. Pakistan spends $5.2 billion on construction in a year and according to the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, construction output accounts for 2% of GDP. Recently, with the increase in the rate of urbanization, there has been a rise in the demand of residential properties.

Real estate developers are very much interested in buying land and developing residential communities. The major property developer players in Pakistan are more inclined towards international living standards and state of the art construction plans. New developments are underway with modern-day comforts, so that the residents get their true value for money. These projects feature in-town colleges, sports, commercial markets, healthcare facilities and sports centers. Wealthy buyers and sharp-sighted investors are heavily investing in these areas. The Pakistani Government is also taking steps to maintain the favorable returns of the real estate sector and hence dropped interest rates on mortgage loans. This has attracted many overseas Pakistani’s and foreigners who have hedged their investments in this sector to reap huge profits.Read More »Pakistan Real Estate Industry

UK eases immigration rules for students, businessmen

Pakistani businessmen, students and visitors now can yield ample opportunities in the United Kingdom (UK) by taking up corporate internships after completing their degree as the UK government has finally relaxed some immigration rules, globally.

Similarly, Pakistani visitors, who plans to visit UK on a business or a tourist visa can now do some study which was earlier prohibited as the UK government has allowed employees of the companies to undertake corporate training in the UK delivered by an external company or do a short course of study. Further, changes to the intra company transfer (ICT) route will enable employees already on this visa to extend it without having to take a language test.Read More »UK eases immigration rules for students, businessmen

Asian Development Bank’s Energy Outlook 2013

Pakistan needs to enhance reliance on imports

With continued energy demand growth in Pakistan, it will be increasingly difficult to meet the demand with domestic sources and Islamabad will have to increasingly rely on imported energy sources, the Asian Development Bank’s Energy Outlook 2013 revealed on Monday.

In the business as usual (BAU) case, the primary energy demand for Pakistan is projected to increase from 84.6 million tons in 2010 to 145.8 million tons in 2035, growing at an annual rate of 2.2 percent, it showed. With this growth, Pakistan’s per capita energy demand will reach 0.59 tons per person as compared to that of 0.49tons in 2010.Read More »Asian Development Bank’s Energy Outlook 2013

SMS to 9988 to know passport status

Islamabad: Directorate General of Immigration and Passports has launched a short messaging service (SMS) to help the applicants track their passports and get them easily.

The applicants can find their documents by sending an SMS, containing their tracking number to 9988, whereby the automated system would respond with the information containing the status of their passport.

“It is one of the key milestones in easing the process of receiving passports as the hassle for an individual to visit the passport office repeatedly has been removed and one can confirm the status of his/her passport status through SMS service,” said Director General (I&P) Sikander Sultan Raja.Read More »SMS to 9988 to know passport status

DON’T BE SO CALLOUS

ALI SUKHANVER

Death is always very painful, not only for the one who dies but also for those who are left behind to mourn over his death. If the process of dying is natural, the feeling of loss is minimized with the passage of time but if death is the result of some cruelty or brutality, the sense of loss among the dear and near ones of the deceased one keeps on increasing. This never ending feeling of loss is always prevalent among those whose kith and kin are forced to the realm of death as a result of some suicidal attack, some bomb blast or drone attacks. It is only the dear and near ones of martyred soldiers who never repent or mourn over their death because they know their beloved ones have sacrificed their life for their motherland. But sometimes even the sacrifices of soldiers defending their country become a constant source of pain and agony for the members of their family. This is what the world saw a few weeks back in Indian Occupied Kashmir where in two different incidents fifteen members of the law enforcing agencies, including army and police officials, were callously targeted by the so-called terrorists but later on it came to the Read More »DON’T BE SO CALLOUS