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Naveed_Bhuutto Friday, November 09, 2012 02:04 PM

JWT Articles
[B][I][SIZE="4"][CENTER]Reopening of Nato Supply Routes[/CENTER][/SIZE][/I][/B]
[B][I][CENTER]A Case of Pakistan’s Flawed Use of Leverage[/CENTER][/I][/B]

Finally, it came out to be what was expected, Pakistan has allowed the Nato supplies through its territory. Resuming the Nato supplies may be something unpalatable for the far right elements in Pakistan, but it is not entirely bad. The thing to be understood is that the suspension of Nato supplies was not only hurting the US, but the international community was also in a quandary as the efforts for stability in Afghanistan were frustrated. The reopening was inevitable also because Pakistan had to honour its agreements with the International community. However, the way this standoff ended was quite disappointing as Pakistan remained unable to extract even a penny more as compared to what it was being paid. Succumbing to the US pressure on opening the supply routes with just a simple “sorry” will surely have a domestic backlash. It is also a grim reminder of our leaders' lack of diplomatic farsightedness. In its entire history, Pakistan has always failed to get advantage of the leverage bestowed upon it by its geopolitical situation.

Leverage is the power that enables one actor to influence the other to reach agreements more favourable to the first actor. It operates on many dimensions. Firstly, on the premise of positive sanctions or rewards, secondly, on threat of negative sanctions like damage to valued items and thirdly, it operates on appeal to other's feelings of sympathy and respect. It gives additional power to bargain and enables a party to transact additional outcomes along with original outcomes.

The instruments of leverage are employed usually outside the corridors of formal negotiations. In international diplomacy, the leverage is a time and space bond concept. According to Hans J Morgenthau, “Foreign policy of a country should be moulded in accordance with the exigency of time and place”. In terms of theories of IR, blocking of the Nato supplies through its land was an attempt by Pakistan to reach an exchange of values that tangibly or intangibly are valued by both US and Pakistan. This bargaining can also take place through action without the exchange of words.

International affairs can be seen as a series of bargaining interactions in which states use power capabilities or geopolitical situations as leverage to gain the favourable outcomes. Unfortunately, Pakistan has never been able to utilise its geographical leverage to its advantage. Our rulers had never been able to draw out concessions and privileges that Pakistan could, given its enviable geographical position. The causes of this declination are multifarious, ranging from the ineptness of our political leadership, faulty dealings and decisions with marked unscrupulousness in understanding the exact scenarios. In cases, tight military control on some areas of our foreign policy has also caused our geographical leverage to evaporate. Pakistan faces the problem of incoherent policy-making and experimenting with different policies has been a hallmark of our diplomatic history.

In 1950s, the west enlisted Pakistan's help against communism and Soviet expansionism, considering Pakistan's geopolitical situation. The help that it gave to Pakistan always fell short of Pakistan's expectations. Pakistan could never convince the US and the west about its strategic needs. The west's indifference to our security needs during 1965 and 1971 wars with India also had been a cause of frustration to the Pakistanis. This instigated Pakistan into seeking friendship with the Socialist block however, being a reactionary plan, it also ended in disaster. During the Soviet-Afghan war, US realigned with Pakistan to defeat the Soviets while Pakistan consented again to give its services, but without extracting reasonable privileges. Those were desperate times for the US, and Pakistan could have got any kind of demands fulfilled. But Pakistan couldn't cash the leverage that its geographical location provided to it. Then came the 9/11 events, and due to international pressure, the previous policies were changed overnight, and thus Pakistan brought to home the war of others. By now, Pakistan is seen as part of problem, not the solution.

The decision of stopping the Nato supply, after the Salala attacks, was something open for debate. Apparently, Pakistan didn't get anything out of this conundrum. From 26th Nov 2011, the day when Salala incident took place, to this day, Pakistan has missed the Bonn Conference. If it had missed the Chicago Summit of the Nato and non-Nato allies, it would surely have run the risk of being left out of serious discussions on the region's future. The emergency in the Pakistan government and military circles, to resume the Nato supply, was evident as new found urgency for catching the bus for future deliberations on Afghanistan. Our policy-makers knew from day one that this decision was not sustainable, and in the recent days, the government itself was in a hurry for reopening of supplies. It was quite clear that even a nominal apology will be sufficient to resolve the crisis.

The US also, at times, resorted to coercive diplomacy, drawing undue concessions and favours from Pakistan, and that too on Pakistan's peril. This coercive approach of the US coupled with offers of meagre economic help also made Pakistan virtually unable to avail its leverage properly. In the aftermath of 9/11, the then president of US, George W. Bush, told President Musharraf that he had to decide whether Pakistan is with the US or with the terrorists, thus leaving Pakistan with no other choice but to join the global alliance on war on terror, albeit half-heartedly, this is a flagrant example of coercive diplomacy.
Unfortunately, Pakistan has never been able to utilise its geographical leverage to its advantage. Our rulers had never been able to draw out concessions and privileges that Pakistan could, given its enviable geographical position.
On the other hand our leadership has also given priority to their myopic self-interests over the greater national interests. Gen Musharraf conceded to the American pressure just to get de-facto international recognition for his dictatorial government. Thus, instead of using Pakistan's geographical position and other strategic aspects as leverages for gaining a better bargain, Gen Musharraf just squandered Pakistan's better leveraging for the sake of legalising his own regime. Such an air of life was also given to Gen Zia ul Haq's dictatorial regime by the outbreak of Afghan war. The fact of the matter is that both the countries have never been able to be at the same page on any issue afflicting this region. This had been a relationship of compulsion, in which the real potentials of both the countries have never been utilised for improvement in relations.

If the greater geostrategic, economic and political interests of both are taken into account while formulating the future relationship, then only both countries will be able to strike a balance in this troubled relationship and only then can evolve a sustainable relationship based on trust, equality and respect for each other's sovereignty. Such shared interests need to be worked out which will serve to glue together both the countries even beyond war on terror. US need to appreciate geopolitical potential of Pakistan and try to shun adhocism in its relations with Pakistan, which have always premised on abstract relationship with particular regimes rather than comprehensively-worked out relations. Pakistan needs to plan a comprehensive strategy to pursue a foreign policy that should give it the rightful leverage for its geo-political location.

[B][I]Source: JWT[/I][/B]

Naveed_Bhuutto Saturday, November 10, 2012 11:39 AM

[B][CENTER][I]China And Pakistan A Tale of Two Coetaneous Countries[/I][/CENTER][/B]

The equation between Pakistan and China is asymmetric. In terms of geography, economy, political structure, size of population and social values and trends China and Pakistan are poles apart. However, with all the existing dissimilarities the two states have carried on a friendly relationship and partnership based on mutual interests. And convergence of interests is what defines Pakistan and China relationship.

This year marks the 65 years of independence of Pakistan. Although a number of accounts present and highlight the state of affairs in Pakistan every year, especially on the Independence Day, it requires a constant reminder to our nation and leaders both to feel blessed that we are independent and also put in collective efforts to do away the political and social ills in order to defend and preserve our independence. Pakistan has been faced with turbulent times since its independence. For past decade, in particular, the country has been strangulated economically, devastated politically and segregated socially. Both internal and external factors are responsible for plunging the country into a total chaos.

There can be varied views and perspectives on the internal factors contributing to frail state of affairs in Pakistan, however; I would like to highlight three important factors that appear to be forming the basis of most of the issues the country is faced with today: Pakistan's colonial past; absence of pluralistic culture and economic inconsistency. Some analysts have tended to argue that the roots of the problems in Pakistan lie in the colonial legacy the country still carries. Pakistan is a post-colonial state and it did inherit structural problems from the British Raj. The political structure was created and defined by the all powerful military-bureaucracy oligarchy (Hamza Alavi 1972). The influence exhibited by the military-bureaucracy, as a consequence, led to non-democratic trends in the newly independent state and society. Subsequently, the process of nation-building suffered to a great extent as pluralistic culture was never allowed to flourish. Nation-building refers to the unity among a nation through national identity and aims for fostering social harmony, economic growth, development and political stability.

The Independence Movement had a clear objective of securing a separate land for the Muslims of the subcontinent. There was an obvious source and a sense of unity prevailing among the people fighting for a separate land. However, that sense of unity was maligned by the problems we inherited in the form of colonial legacy. Authoritarianism influenced pluralistic tendencies which were prevailing in Pakistani society during early two decades following the independence. Also, the leadership never stimulated the sense of unity among the people of Pakistan in order to establish a strong political structure for the welfare of the people. What we have today is a segregated society on the ethnic, linguistic and sectarian lines. Moreover, the country also lacked timely and feasible economic reforms. Till 1960s, Pakistan's economic performance was reasonably well. Two important factors appeared to have cast a shadow on Pakistan's economic performance in 1970s: the disintegration of Pakistan and the international economic crisis.
Three important features form the track of success for China: nation-building; ability to reform economy timely whenever felt necessary; China's objective to counter the superpower. These factors complimented by effective policies and collective efforts have helped China assume the position of an emerging giant in international politics.
In addition to this, a number of external factors have influenced and led to a situation where Pakistan today considered as a failing economy or a failing state. What continues to engage Pakistan on a foreign policy front is its critical equation with India. Only a reference of Pakistan-India troubled relationship here explains that how detrimental this troubled relationship has been to Pakistan's politics and economy. As compared to Pakistan, India being a bigger country not only managed, to a great extent, the colonial legacy and the structural problems it inherited from the British Raj but also sustained the cost of troubled relationship with Pakistan. The influence of extra-regional powers, mainly the United States has also affected Pakistan's politics, economy and society. During cold war, post-cold war and now in post-9/11 era, Pakistan has paid a heavy cost of its alliance to the US. Today, Pakistan is faced with the most critical phase since its independence both at foreign policy and domestic fronts.

Following Pakistan and India, China also secured independence in the wake of a Communist revolution in 1949. The political stability, economic growth, national unity and nation-building in China make the country an exemplary case, especially for Pakistan. The close ally and friend of Pakistan, China has supported and rendered its expertise to Pakistan economically and strategically. What are the factors that contributed to the national unity, political stability and above all fast economic growth in China? Can Pakistan draw some lessons from China? These are the questions that arise if we draw a comparison between Pakistan and China. Before exploring the answers to the above mentioned questions few facts are required to be considered here.

The equation between Pakistan and China is asymmetric. In terms of geography, economy, political structure, size of population and social values and trends China and Pakistan are poles apart. However, with all the existing dissimilarities the two states have carried on a friendly relationship and partnership based on mutual interests. And convergence of interests is what defines Pakistan and China relationship.

To draw lessons from China, we need to look into China's efforts, policies and expertise that contributed to post-revolution political stability and fast economic growth. Three important features form the track of success for China: nation-building; ability to reform economy timely whenever felt necessary; China's objective to counter the superpower. These factors complimented by effective policies and collective efforts have helped China assume the position of an emerging giant in international politics.

The country officially recognises 56 ethnic groups; however, the dominant ethnic group “Han” constitutes 91 per cent population. All the other groups or ethnic identities form the rest of nine per cent population. The “Han” group was advanced, learned and skilled and all the other groups are said to have developed politically, socially and economically around Han group. Keeping in view the centuries of political crisis and tumultuous state of affairs, Chinese nation found its way in unity. The realisation came from within that to fight or stand against odd they are required to be united.
If we wish to draw lessons from China's experience the government and people of Pakistan will have to shun their differences of all kinds and work collectively towards a better tomorrow and a secure future.
China's success and strength lie with its ability to introduce timely economic reforms. The revolutionary and Communist leader Mao Zedong's policies were directed towards centralisation and authoritarianism; however, Deng Xiaoping managed to induce a new life to a country fraught with social, economic and institutional woes. Deng Xiaoping was a reformer and opted for policies that aimed towards decentralisation. He had introduced a number of economic reforms based on self-reliance; the most famous among them was 'open door policy' and transformed Chinese economy from an agricultural to a productive industrial one. Substantial external investments in manufacturing were attracted based on education and cheap and skilled labour. The country has also effectively managed the population burden by demolishing old structures and providing people with austere living space and style. Also, China itself has drawn lessons from Singapore's economic experiences, Japan's industrial policies and the country has also been benefited by adopting an alternative policy to Mao's version of Communism.

The abovementioned key features justify China's nurturing a dream of becoming one of the major powers in the world. Being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, the country has developed a sound strategic base and hence formed the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) along with Russian Federation and six Central Asian Republics. The country, aiming to counter the US economic influence and the policies of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and other financial institutions, has also created an economic alliance with the name of BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).

Within 63 years of independence and three decades of introducing a series of economic reforms, the country has shown remarkable performance. The country has access to global market for its goods and excels in every kind of product. Now comparing this situation from the one prevailing in Pakistan, a troubled and grim scenario appears. Neither nation-building nor economic reforms introduced by China in the near past seem to be fitting into Pakistan’s case. Nonetheless, China is an example of self motivation, self realization of the significance of unity and continuous struggle to achieve the targeted or set goals.

If we wish to draw lessons from China’s experience the government and people of Pakistan will have to shun their differences of all kinds and work collectively towards a better tomorrow and a secure future.

Naveed_Bhuutto Saturday, November 10, 2012 11:42 AM

[B][I][CENTER][COLOR="Blue"]Corruption and National Security[/COLOR][/CENTER][/I][/B]

Transparency International's definition of corruption is the “abuse of public office for private gain”. National security, on the other hand, has two dimensions: internal and external. Internal security, in turn, has at least three dimensions: physical, economic and health security. External security is about state security or to 'maintain the survival of the state' through the use of each and every resource at the state's disposal.

Corruption can be either systemic or sporadic. Systemic corruption is “when corruption is an integrated and essential aspect of the economic, social and political system, when it is embedded in a wider situation that helps sustain it.”

Sporadic corruption, on the other hand, occurs irregularly and thus is not a big threat to national security. Corruption can also be understood as being grand, petty or political. Grand corruption takes place at the top levels where policy formulation takes place. Petty corruption, on the other hand, is “small scale, everyday corruption that takes place at the implementation end of politics.” Political corruption —sometimes used interchangeably with grand corruption— is any transaction through which 'public goods are illegitimately converted into private'. Political corruption almost always involves the highest levels of political decision-makers. Now consider the 'Three gaps theory'. This theory asserts that systemic and political corruption give rise to three gaps—legitimacy, security and capacity. Legitimacy gap comes up when the occupants of high public offices exercise authority which is not in accordance with “people's wishes, choices and expectations.” Security gap is when a government fails to provide security of life, limb and property to its citizens. Capacity gap comes into play when a government fails to provide essential public goods like dispensation of justice, provision of gas, electricity or critical municipal services. The three gaps put together become a potent threat to the internal dimension of national security.
Corruption, to be sure, is a national security issue. The worst case scenario takes roots if corruption manages to seep into the state apparatus that itself is responsible for national security.
According to the IMF, “Empirical evidence suggests that corruption lowers investment and retards economic growth to a significant extent.” Hardcore evidence exists that if a country's “corruption index improves by one standard deviation … the investment rate increases by more than 4 percentage points and the annual growth rate of per capita GDP increases by over a half percentage point.” There is evidence also that “corrupt politicians choose government projects on which it is easier to levy bribes rather than those that promise the greatest public good.”

Corruption is not just financial like bribery, embezzlement, graft or extortion. In our case cronyism ('appointment of friends to positions of authority'), patronage (recruiting on the basis of political affiliation) and nepotism (favouring relatives and friends) actually do more damage than financial corruption.

Corruption, to be sure, is a national security issue. The worst case scenario takes roots if corruption manages to seep into the state apparatus that itself is responsible for national security. A state-any state-whereby an incremental number of its citizens begin to fall below the line of poverty owing largely to political corruption is bound to become incrementally more insecure. And no army—any army—can safeguard a state's external security when internal security is under threat by systemic, grand or political corruption.

Naveed_Bhuutto Saturday, November 10, 2012 11:44 AM

[B][I][SIZE="4"][CENTER]Chicago Summit and Beyond[/CENTER][/SIZE][/I][/B]

However, trainers will continue to stay back to train the Afghan forces. It also impressed upon Pakistan to open up the NATO supply routes, which were closed in the wake of Salala incident in November 2011 in which two dozen of Pakistani soldiers were killed in an aerial attack by the NATO gunship helicopters. The communiqué also underscored the centrality and inevitability of the Pakistani role for durable peace and development in war-torn Afghanistan as well as for withdrawal of the NATO forces, adding that the war objectives could not be achieved without the cooperation of Islamabad.

Chicago summit was billed as the most important moot to discuss the endgame in Afghanistan as well as reassure the war-weary NATO allies of the American determination to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014. Of significance has been the emphasis on the inevitable role of Pakistan in seeking a way out of the war, which continues to defy military solutions by the day despite major investment of time energy, and hard military equipment. So far, it has proven to be the longest and the most expensive war in the American history.

Chicago conference was also important for Pakistan in the sense that it provided Islamabad with an opportunity to clarify its position and make the world understand of its concerns and legitimate stakes in Afghanistan. Coming as it did on the heels of Bonn Conference II held in December 2011, which Pakistan chose to boycott as a mark of protest of the NATO attack on its forward military check post, Chicago conference sought to solidify gains and roll out a consensual plan for concrete endgame.

While addressing the conference, President Zardari said that a stable and prosperous Afghanistan was in Pakistan's interest. He said that extension of Pak-Afghan Transit Trade up to Tajikistan was a proof of the fact that Pakistan would continue to work for peace and stability in Afghanistan and stay the course for elimination of all forms of terrorism and extremism in the country. He said that Salala attack undermined the Pakistani efforts against terrorists. Talking of political consensus in Pakistan of the need to link the renegotiations of new terms of engagement with the parliamentary approval, the president said that the government was bound by the recommendations of parliament, which he termed as binding. He also expressed Pakistan's readiness to get out of NATO supply impasse through deeper engagement with the US, saying that the country needed international support and not reprimands.

As the last minute invitation to attend NATO summit came, it was rumoured that the invitation by the NATO secretary general to Pakistan came after Pakistan 'assured' the NATO of its willingness to reopen the supplies. By choosing to refrain from making any such announcement, President Zardari made it clear that notwithstanding the need for cooperation with the US and NATO, the national interest was paramount and supreme. The president also committed $20 million for Afghanistan despite worsening economic conditions back at home, which indicated Pakistan's resolve to work for Afghanistan's prosperity and stability. In a brief meeting with President Obama, the Pakistani president called for an end to drone strikes within his territory.
Chicago summit was billed as the most important moot to discuss the endgame in Afghanistan as well as reassure the war-weary NATO allies of the American determination to leave Afghanistan by the end of 2014.
Analysts believe that the root of the present stalemate between Pakistan and NATO lies in latter joining the American bandwagon in an unconditional manner following 9/11 attacks in New York. For well over a decade, NATO supplies continued to use Pakistani roads without any kind of transit fee. The thousands of NATO containers which kept on plying between Pakistan and Afghanistan damaged the roads whose cost runs into about Rs. 200 billion.

Of all the countries after Afghanistan, Pakistan, as a frontline ally, suffered the most both in man and material. According to official sources, Pakistan's economy suffered an aggregate loss of $78 billion besides loss of lives of 35,000 people including its armed forces. In an effort to save the world from scourge of terrorism, Pakistan, somehow, became a victim of terrorism itself. While it continued to suffer causalities owing to bomb blasts and suicide bombings which occurred almost on daily basis, the US and NATO placed more demands on it with a proviso that it should 'do more'.

Thus, when Pakistan raised the banner of defiance following the Salala incident by choosing to upping the ante, the US and NATO, who have been used to proverbial free lunch at the Pakistani table, could not come to terms with this defiance on the part of Islamabad. They did not expect Pakistan to behave in such a manner. So at the heart of the US reluctance to offer public apology, which is a major Pakistani demand for opening of NATO supplies, is this psychological barrier.

The US, which is having to incur heavier expenses on transportation of its supplies from other routes, is not ready to accept the Pakistani demand of a transit fee on each container. In doing so, it has ignored a fundamental imperative of as to how a country like Pakistan will be able to grapple with a horde of challenges if it was not supported in diplomatic and economic terms.
Of all the countries after Afghanistan, Pakistan, as a frontline ally, suffered the most both in man and material. According to official sources, Pakistan's economy suffered an aggregate loss of $78 billion besides loss of lives of 35,000 people including its armed forces.
What needs to be understood is the fact that Pakistan suffers from serious divide on the nature of its engagement with the US. Any policy of putting more pressure on Pakistan to open NATO supplies without understanding her concerns will only deepen the fault-lines in the Pakistani society. It needs to be understood that the US needs to win over the support of regional countries through greater collaboration for a successful pullout from Afghanistan. The US should understand that the era of threats and unilateralism is over and the countries like Pakistan are justified to secure their interests. Expecting them to deliver without being alive to their concerns is just a bad policy.

Amanat Ali Chaudhry

Naveed_Bhuutto Saturday, November 10, 2012 01:18 PM

[B][B][I][I][SIZE="4"][CENTER]Strategic Depth in Afghanistan New Calculations

[I]The U.S is least concerned about the Pakistan’s genuine strategic concerns vis-à-vis giving greater regional role to India, as this move will make Pakistan’s western borders unsafe and has the potential to destabilise the precarious balance of power that exists in subcontinent.[/I]

Since the initiation of U.S attack on Afghanistan, in pursuit of her illusionary objectives, South Asia’s geo-strategic milieu is being continually defined and redefined by the changing realities of the time – and that too at a fast pace. The ongoing tussle among the key players – U.S.A, Talibans, Pakistan, India Russia and China - has become further complex by the Global economic recession in general and the U.S desperate search for a face saving military withdrawal from Afghanistan, at the earliest, in particular. This article is penned to highlight the new trends and shifts in the war on terror in general, and their impact upon Pakistan.

On February 01, in a rare press briefing General Kayani ‘spelled out the terms for regional stability’. The proper context of the news item is the offer to the Indian army by the U.S.A to train the Afghan Army and Police. In addition to this carefully calculated offer, Indian army Chief Gen. Deepak Kapoor is also on record when he gave this statement that ‘a limited war under a nuclear overhang is still very much a reality at least in the Indian sub-continent.’ On November 23, 2009 Pakistan Foreign Office Spokes man Abdul Basit had to ask the world community to take notice of remarks passed by the Indian Army Chief. He also said that India has set the stage and is trying to impose a limited war on Pakistan: “There are reports that Indian intelligence agencies have made a plan to hit some Indian nuke installation, alleging and then striking Pakistan.”

Now the question arises why the U.S has given such an offer to India and what would happen if she would seize this opportunity to entrench in Afghanistan in the name of improving the security apparatus of Afghanistan? For the first part of question the reasons are not far to fetch and important ones are as follow:

1. The U.S wants to pave way for an early face saving exit from Afghanistan and it has given the opportunity to India possibly for three reasons.

a. After global economic recession, the leading U.S economic institutions failed miserably leaving the U.S economy in dire straits. Therefore this public perception is gaining strength that this recession is somehow linked to the global war on terror and also the U.S economy is not in a position to effectively finance this war. Hence, President Obama’s administration is under great pressure to ensure an early withdrawal from Afghanistan – which was also one of his election manifestoes.

b. The U.S wants to take India into confidence since another great game, chronologically the third one, is being played and this time between the U.S and the China because the U.S wants to counter the China’s economic expansion with India’s growing influence in the region.

c. The U.S wants the India to fill that vacuum that would be created after the withdrawal of U.S and NATO forces lest the Taliban would seize this opportunity.

2. Notwithstanding the buzzwords of major Non-Nato-Ally and the Front-Line-State in the WOT, It has become evident from this offer that the U.S administration doesn’t want the ISI or any Pakistani sponsored factor to manipulate this vacuum in its favour. Also, it shows that the U.S is least concerned about the Pakistan’s genuine strategic concerns vis-à-vis giving greater regional role to India, as this move will make Pakistan’s western borders unsafe and has the potential to destabilise the precarious balance of power that exists in subcontinent.

The answer to the second half of the question as to what would be the aftermath, once the India would seize this opportunity, and decides to go ahead with training the Afghan Army and the Police, is as follow:

1. India’s traditional hostility against Pakistan is in evidence. India will make every possible attempt to develop the Afghan security apparatus to take on Pakistan Army and will try to sandwich Pakistan between threats from both the eastern and the western borders.

2. It will exploit every possible opportunity to spark the flames of sectarianism and ethnicity in the Baluchistan and the N.W.F.P. Even in present times, there are many compelling evidences that India is involved in fishing in troubled waters of Baluchistan and FATA.

3. Pakistan’s economy will be strangulated by the Indian blockade.

4. The regional Balance of Power would be destabilized massively and would be tilted in favour of India and that scenario would be a nightmare for Pakistan.

5. India’s extended presence in Afghanistan will create problems for China as well and heightening of regional tensions would be its immediate fallout.
6. U.S will cash in the opportunity by selling its military hardware to India in the name of upgrading and overhauling the Indian Army to enable it to take on the Chinese forces. The earlier mentioned statement of Gen. Deepak Kapoor is an evidence and supports this analysis.
Now in the context of this analysis, it is quite clear that the statement of Army Chief is perfectly timed and germane. He sounds unequivocally when he articulated it loud and clear to all and sundry after participating in Nato commanders’ conference in Brussels that Pakistan had serious reservations over Indian Army stepping in to fill the vacuum as this would create new tensions in the region. He offered help of Pakistan Army in training the Afghan’s security status and expressed his optimism that the proposal would embrace a positive response. In the same breath he went on to emphasize upon the concept of strategic depth vis-a-vis Afghanistan with a crystal clear connotation.

“We want a strategic depth in Afghanistan but do not want to control it. A peaceful and friendly Afghanistan can provide Pakistan a strategic depth… If we get more involved with the ANA (Afghan National Army) there’s more interaction and better understanding…. We have opened all doors ... It’s a win-win for Afghanistan, the United States, Isaf and Pakistan.”

-Gen. Ashfaq Pervaiz kayani
Realistically speaking, Pakistan has been left with a few options to press the international community to accede to its concerns. For instance, Pakistan could strain its battle against militancy and extremism but this is not a viable option given the fact that Gen. Kayani has himself pointed out that Pakistan is fighting ‘our’ war, not ‘America’s. But General’s statement is perfectly timed since international community is pushing Pakistan to launch Military operation in North Waziristan and Pakistan is refusing to acquiesce in such demands before some of its key concerns, as discussed earlier, remain unaddressed. In the words of Daily Dawn:

“We hope that the army’s response is part of a well calibrated response for there are many other powers jockeying for some say in the future of Afghanistan (Russia and the Central Asian Republics, China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, America, etc)…. Then there is the question of a future power-sharing agreement among Afghanistan’s internal players. Here, too, what the Pakistan Army can achieve appears to be limited. Pakistan is hugely disliked by the non Taliban, non-Pakhtun forces in Afghanistan, while its ability to influence the Taliban and the broader Pakhtun community may be in question. What, then, are Pakistan’s options? Gen Kayani called on the US and Nato to come out with a clear strategy on Afghanistan; we can only hope he has told his Pakistani strategists the same thing.”

Naveed_Bhuutto Saturday, November 10, 2012 01:22 PM

[B][I][SIZE="5"][CENTER]Pakistan and the Central Asian States[/CENTER][/SIZE][/I][/B]

Pakistan’s relations with the Central Asian Republics have made good progress during the past few years. A time may come, when Turkey, Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan and the Central Asian States may form a Common Market.[/COLOR][/I]

The Central Asian States (CAS), i.e., Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, with a total population of over 60 millions spread over an area of about four million square kilometers, are located on historical Silk Route. The region has adjoining borders with South Asia, West Asia, China and Russia and is of great geo-strategic and politico-economic importance. Its potential is attracting the attention of extra regional powers.

Pakistan-Central Asia relations are based on geographical proximity, common history, religion, culture, traditions, values and destiny. Pakistan and these states can work together in matters of security, stability and development of the region.

They can collaborate in numerous areas, such as scientific and technical fields, banking, insurance, information technology, pharmaceutical industry, tourism and media. The economies of CAS and Pakistan are complementary to each other. There is cooperation in several spheres, notably, war against terrorism, combating religious extremism and drug trafficking.
Current Scenario of Relations between Pakistan and Central Asian States

1. ECO, Pakistan & Central Asian States
• Pakistan and Central Asian States are also the members of Economic Cooperation Organization; it provides a good opportunity for the Heads of State and Government to meet. Bilateral meetings on the sidelines offer a closer focus on bilateral relations

2. Common Security Policy
• There is a desire in Pakistan that the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) of the Central Asian States, which is basically an economic grouping, should try to assume a political role and in due course of time also aspire to the possibility of geopolitical and geo-economic role.
• ECO may help in adopting a common security policy on similar grounds as pursued by EU in the European States combating religious extremism and Terrorism.
• Although Central Asian States are land-locked and dependent on other regional partners for export purposes but still all eyes are set on central Asian States. The Caspian Sea in Central Asia contains the world’s largest untapped oil and gas resources. All countries in the region are getting close to Central Asian States and they geared up their trade.

[B]3. Trade and Economic Cooperation[/B]
Pakistan should concentrate on the economic and trade ties with CA States.
• An important agreement has been concluded with Germany for a rail-road from Hamburg to Shanghai, through Eastern Europe, Moscow, Tashkent, Kabul, Lahore, Delhi and Shanghai. This would open the rich mineral deposits of Uzbekistan and Kazhakistan for exploration and export by Pakistan and through the Arabian Sea again, with a new railway road from the Khyber Pass to the Russian land.

4. Investing in Untapped Natural Resources of CA States
• Although Central Asian States are land-locked and dependent on other regional partners for export purposes but still all eyes are set on central Asian States. The Caspian Sea in Central Asia contains the world’s largest untapped oil and gas resources. All countries in the region are getting close to Central Asian States and they geared up their trade.
• Pakistan’s loans of $ 10 to 30 million to each of the CA States and its commitment to cooperate in the building of $500 million hydel power station in Tajikstan are some of the many indicators of its keen wish to assist them in their economic development.

5. Direct Air Link
• The expansion of PIA’s air network to Tashkent in Uzbekistan and Alma Ata in Kazakstan is a major step forward in cementing ties with these two states. The PIA is has finalized plans for air services to the capitals of the other three Central Asian States

[B]6. Cooperation in Admission to OIC[/B]
• Pakistan cooperated with the CA States in their admission to the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC).

7. Communication Network and Media exchanges
• Radio Pakistan is working on projects to strengthen its service for the Central Asian region so that the people there can be informed and educated about Pakistan in their own native languages.
• An expansion of Pakistan Television’s transmission facilities in Peshawar can enable it to beam its TV programmes to the entire Central Asian region, covering all of Afghanistan as well.
• Media exchanges between Pakistan and the Central Asian States are at present skimpy and their canvas must be expanded rapidly.

8. Establishment of Joint Economic Commission
• Pakistan developed institutionalized arrangement to promote cooperation in the economic and commercial fields. For this purpose Joint Economic Commissions (JECs) have been established with all the Central Asian States.

[B]9. Technical Assistance Programme [/B]
• Under Technical Assistance Program initiated in 1992-3 Pakistan provided training facilities, which are fully funded. The Program includes courses ranging from English language, banking and accountancy to diplomacy. These have contributed to better understanding and closer cooperation. Pakistan wishes to keep up the momentum

Measures to improve the Relations with CA States
Following measures and implementations will improve the ties between Pakistan and Central Asian states.

1. Pakistan an attraction of Shortest Land Route
• Pakistan would enjoy the role of middle man between the SAARC, ECO and EEC and the attraction of the shortest land route to the Arabian Sea, Persian Gulf and the Black Sea would clearly give discomfort to Russia.

2. Encourage Mutual Trade
• The Government of Pakistan, despite its economic difficulties, should provided more credit facilities to the Central Asian States to encourage mutual trade and the setting up of stable banking channels.

3. Better Port Facilities for Handling the Transit Trade
• Despite their ethnic bonds with Turkey. Iran and Afghanistan, the CA States can benefit more from Pakistan’s port facilities, trade and commerce with the countries in tire Southern Hemisphere.
• The ports of Abadan and Bander Abbas in Iran and the Karachi port in Pakistan can handle this transit trade by expanding their facilities rapidly. The Tajik capital of Dushanbe is about 3000 kilometers from Bander Abbas in Iran and about 2200 kilometers from Karachi while the Black Sea port of Odessa for access to the Mediterranean is about 4200 kilometers away

4. Speedy Implementation of Projects
• Bilaterally and through the ECO, many schemes and projects for intra-regional cooperation in trade and travel, industrial enterprises as joint ventures, banking and exchange of technology and technical know-how are rapidly emerging, whose speedy implementation would be to their mutual advantage.

5. Expertise in Banking system to be shared
• A strong, modern banking system capable of operating internationally without dependence on or control by Moscow, is a dire need of all Central Asian States and Pakistan has the expertise and the infrastructure to assist them in this direction.

6. Joint Shipping Company to be established
• The landlocked Central Asian states can even set up a joint shipping company with Pakistan under the aegis of the EC.O to handle a large part of their transit trade.

7. Gwadar Port- An Asset for Pakistan and the Central Asian States
• If Pakistan speeds up the development of the Gawadar port on the Baluchistan coast into a large-size modern port, it can be an asset for this province as well as for the CA States.

[B]8. Trade via the Land Route[/B]
• Kazakstan’s ruling leaders, who are energetically improving their relation with Beijing, have shown interest in building rail and road links with Urumchi, capital of the Chinese province of Xinjiang, and thus using the Karakorum Highway between Pakistan and China for trade via the land route.

9. Cheap Air Cargo Service
• A cheap and regular air cargo service between Pakistan and the CA states is the need of the hour.

10. Dynamic Railway Network
• The Pakistan railway network, which runs Zahidan in Iran, should he linked via Iran with Turkmenistan, Pakistan and China are now working on the expansion of the Sino-Pakistan and Karakorum Highway in such a way that it will be extended to Tajikistan, Kyrgistan and Kazakstan will give a boost to intra-regional trade among these states.

11. Pakistan to invite senior editors of newspapers of CA States
• Pakistan should invite senior editors of newspapers of the Central Asian States to Pakistan and provide them with ample opportunities to know facts for themselves and to study Pakistan’s economic development, especially its industrialization, in the past 48 years of its independence

12. Business Encouragement backed by the Governments of Pakistan in CA States
• With Governmental encouragements, Pakistani entrepreneurs can set up industrial units in Uzbekistan, Kazakstan and other CA states, especially for footwear, textiles, building materials, agro-processing, cold storage, petro-chemicals, garments and pharmaceuticals.

13. Cooperation between the Universities
• There is immense scope for cooperation between the Universities of Pakistan and those in the CA States. Pakistan, which has a low literacy rate of 30 per cent, can learn a great deal from the CA States which have made nearly 95 per cent of their population literate. It would have a salubrious effect on their relations with Pakistan for their mutual benefit.

[B]14. Regional Security is to be improved[/B]
• Pakistan’s relations with the Central Asian Republics have made good progress during the past few years.
• With improved regional security after the fall of the Taliban, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan and Pakistan have decided to push ahead with plans for the ambitious 1,500-kilometre-long gas pipeline. The leaders of the three countries have signed a framework agreement (The Trans Afghanistan Pipeline).
• The Trans-Afghanistan pipeline would export Turkmen gas (from Dualtabad gas field) via Afghanistan to Pakistan, from where it could reach world markets. Proponents of the project see it as a modern continuation of the Silk Road.
• The Asian Development Bank is the leading coordinating financial and technical partner.

The stabilization and steady expansion of these relations may take time and would require deft, patient and wise handling on the part of the States concerned. A time may come, perhaps sooner than expected, when Turkey, Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan and the six West and Central Asian States; having a population of nearly 300 million and an area larger than that of the SAARC region, may form a Common Market.

In the meantime, Central Asia and Pakistan must keep on vigorously pursing the peace option in Afghanistan. Mutual Pak-Afghan trade is expected to reach Rs one billion in this year.
In the final analysis, it is the “Afghan corridor” that is still blocking Pakistan’s physical access to the CARs, and, vice versa, only its unblocking will materialize the connectivity with South and Southeast Asia. Unfortunately, the war-tossed Afghanistan remains a major stumbling block. Yet it holds the ultimate key for Pakistan to gain access to the CARs. Therefore, all efforts need to be focused to pry open this passage to gain access to the ex-Soviet republics.

While regional and international circumstances have no doubt conspired against Pakistan, the latter should leave no stone unturned in combating international terrorism, building a sound infrastructure along Pakistan-Afghan border and cleansing its own fractious tribal belt of foreign militants. At the same time, there is a dire need in setting its political house in order by co-opting major political parties and regaining the trust and goodwill of Afghans through trade, assistance and policy of non-interference.

Sohaib Nisar Ahmad

Naveed_Bhuutto Saturday, November 10, 2012 01:30 PM

[I][CENTER][SIZE="5"][B]MFN Status to India: Merits and Demerits[/B][/SIZE][/CENTER][/I]

[COLOR="RoyalBlue"][I]Granting MFN status to India may be beneficial for both countries. It may expand the size of the market because of trade creation and trade diversion. This possibly can help expand production on a large scale and also infuses competition into markets.[/I][/COLOR]

In international economic relations and international politics, Most Favored Nation (MFN) is a status or level of treatment accorded by one state to another in international trade. For the promotion of international trade in general and the reduction of tariff barriers in particular, contracting countries of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) do meet time to time in negotiating conferences in which tariff “concessions” are exchanged and try to give this status to all member nations. This rule is known as the Unconditional Most Favored Nation Principle (MFN); it guards against discrimination in international trade. Most favored nation relationships extend reciprocal bilateral relationships following both GATT and WTO norms of reciprocity and non-discrimination. In bilateral reciprocal relationships a particular privilege granted by one party only extends to other parties who reciprocate that privilege, while in a multilateral reciprocal relationship the same privilege would be extended to the group that negotiated a particular privilege. The non-discri-minatory component of the GATT/WTO applies a reciprocally negotiated privilege to all members of the GATT/WTO without respect to their status in negotiating the privilege.

The World Trade Organization (WTO) members agreed to accord MFN status to each other. Exceptions allow for preferential treatment of developing countries, regional free trade areas and customs unions. Together with the principle of national treatment, MFN is one of the cornerstones of WTO trade law. The term means the country which is the recipient of this treatment (which is India in our case) must, nominally, receive equal trade advantages as the “most favored nation” by the country granting such treatment (in this case Pakistan). Trade advantages include low tariffs or high import quotas. In effect, a country that has been accorded MFN status may not be treated less advantageously than any other country with MFN status by the promising country. There is a debate in legal circles whether MFN clauses include only substantive rules or procedural protections. The United States grants many countries a status known formally as that of “most favored nation” (MFN), a guarantee that their exporters will pay tariffs no higher than that of the nation that pays the lowest. All countries granted MFN status pays the same rates. Tariff reductions under the GATT always—with one important exception—are made on an MFN basis.

The logic here seems to be legal rather than economic. Nations are allowed to have free trade within their boundaries: Nobody insists that California wine pay the same tariff as French wine when it is shipped to New York. That is, the MFN principle does not apply within political units. But what is a political unit? The GATT side-steps that potentially thorny question by allowing any group of economies to do what countries do, and establish free trade within some defined boundary. Tariff reduction is a good thing that raises economic efficiency. At first it might seem that preferential tariff reductions are also good, if not as good as reducing tariffs all around. After all, isn't half a loaf better than none? Currently, Pakistan is enjoying MFN status with almost 100 countries.

In the early days of international trade, most favored nation status was usually used on a dual-party, state-to-state basis. A nation could enter into a most favored nation treaty with another nation. With the Jay Treaty in 1794, the U.S. granted most favored nation trading status to Britain. Generally bilateral, in the late 19th and early 20th century unilateral most favored nation clauses were imposed on Asian nations by the more powerful Western countries. One particular example of “most favored nation” status is the Treaty of Nanking as part of the series of unequal treaties. It was implemented in the aftermath of the First Opium War between Great Britain and Chinese Qing Dynasty involving the Hong Kong islands.

After World War II, tariff and trade agreements were negotiated simultaneously by all interested parties through the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), which ultimately resulted in the World Trade Organization in 1994. The World Trade Organization requires members to grant one another most favored nation status. A most favored nation clause is also included in the majority of the numerous bilateral investment treaties concluded between capital exporting and capital importing countries after the Second World War.

Trade experts consider MFN clauses to have the following benefits:
A country that grants MFN on imports will have its imports provided by the most efficient supplier. This may not be the case if tariffs differ by country.

MFN allows smaller countries, in particular, to participate in the advantages that larger countries often grant to each other, whereas on their own, smaller countries would often not be powerful enough to negotiate such advantages by themselves.

Granting MFN has domestic benefits: having one set of tariffs for all countries simplifies the rules and makes them more transparent. It also lessens the frustrating problem of having to establish rules of origin to determine which country's part of the product (that may contain parts from all over the world) must be attributed to for customs purpose.

MFN restrains domestic special interests from obtaining protectionist measures. For example, butter producers in country A may not be able to lobby for high tariffs on butter to prevent cheap imports from developing country B , because, as the higher tariffs would apply to every country, the interests of A's principal ally C might get impaired.

As MFN clause promotes non-discrimination among countries, they also tend to promote the objective of free trade in general.
India is a huge economy relative to Pakistan; opening up of trade between the two countries will expand the markets for both countries, stimulate investment both domestic and foreign, and thereby increase the growth rate of the economies of the respective countries.
Granting MFN status by Pakistan to India
Pakistan and India want to work on roadmap for trade normalization, but the entire trade liberalization process is linked with the removal of non-tariff barriers (NTBs) by the Indian government. India granted Pakistan MNF status in 1996, but Pakistan was reluctant to reciprocate arguing that India maintained a long list of NTBs that restrict Pakistan's exports to India despite having the MFN facility. Statistics show that trade between the two countries was US$ 1.4 billion in the year 2009-10. Of these, Indian exports to Pakistan were of worth US$1.2 billion, while Pakistani exports to India were just US$268 million, which is a clear indication that India did not open its market for Pakistani goods. This is so because Pakistan trades with India under the positive trade list and allow 1,946 items to be imported from India while India allow import of all but 850 items. Because of this attitude of India, and pending Kashmir issue, Pakistan was reluctant to grant MFN status to India. Time has come now for Pakistan to reciprocate by granting MFN status to India.

Granting MFN status to India may be beneficial for both countries. It may expand the size of the market because of trade creation and trade diversion. This possibly can help expand production on a large scale and also infuses competition into markets. India is a huge economy relative to Pakistan; opening up of trade between the two countries will expand the markets for both countries, stimulate investment both domestic and foreign, and thereby increase the growth rate of the economies of the respective countries. This in turn can create employment opportunities, increase income levels and lead to improvement in the standards of living in both the countries. Such “investment creation” can be partly offset by what might be called “investment diversion” when investments are diverted from the most rational location in the world to Pakistan and India. Since India has comparative advantage (low cost of production in many commodities) as compared to Pakistan, India will reap more benefit than Pakistan because of granting of MFN status to India. In sum, the impact of granting of this status needs a comprehensive study to consider various items to be traded between India and Pakistan to find out where the benefits lie before embarking upon all items free trade.

The MFN status can benefit consumers, producers and workers in Pakistan because of more trade with India. Opening of trade will enable the consumers to buy variety of products at lower prices. Domestic industries that use cheap imported raw materials and other inputs will also benefit. Export industries, their workers, and their suppliers benefit from the sales to other countries. The government of the exporting country will earn foreign exchange. The losers as a result of trade with India will be import-competing industries and their workers and domestic consumers of export industries. The former suffers because it will adversely affect their volume of sales and their prices. The latter suffers because the export of part of the output of an industry tends to increase the prices of the goods to domestic consumers. The government of the importing country has to absorb capital and labor in alternative employment chances. If India plans to capture the Pakistani market for its products, the MFN status will enable it to dump her products in Pakistan. This will result in decline of Pakistani industries and cause of additional unemployment.

The writer is Chief of Research and Dean Business Studies
Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, Islamabad
For feedback: [email]zfrnasir@gmail.com[/email]
Dr Zafar Mueen Nasir

Source : Jehangir World Times Magazine.

Naveed_Bhuutto Sunday, November 11, 2012 02:30 PM

[B][I][CENTER][SIZE="4"]What is to be done to alleviate poverty in Pakistan

According to recent Asian Development Bank's estimates, almost one-third of the Pakistan's population lives below the poverty line. Seventy-five percent of these poor reside in the rural areas. Major poverty characteristics in Pakistan include high levels of income and asset poverty, economic and social vulnerability, gender disparity, and low levels of human capital. Poverty has several dimensions in Pakistan. The poor people not only have low income levels, they also lack access to basic needs like education, health, clean drinking water and proper sanitation facilities. All of these undermine their capabilities, limit their opportunities to secure employment, result in their social exclusion and expose them to exogenous shocks. The vicious cycle of poverty is accentuated when the system of governance excludes the most vulnerable from the decision-making process. It is an alarming situation, indeed, for a country which is conferred with huge natural resources, vast agricultural land and a large labour force. There are a number of factors responsible for this sorry state of affairs. These can be broadly divided into political, economic and social.

The policy makers in Pakistan are facing two very huge challenges. They need pragmatic steps to revive economic growth of the country and also to help a huge chunk of population come out of the deadly trap of poverty. Serious efforts are needed to ensure pro-poor growth and socially inclusive development. It has to be kept in mind that an increase in growth rates may only lead to an appreciable reduction in poverty if it is broad-based. Social development can only be inclusive if it provides protection to the most vulnerable sections of the society.
The vicious cycle of poverty is accentuated when the system of governance excludes the most vulnerable from the decision-making process.
Employment opportunities are diminishing day by day because the overall milieu of the country is not very conducive for economic activity of the private sector. Consequently, the domestic as well as the foreign investors are not willing to inject their money into the system. Public resources have not been managed properly and significant improvements are required to make best use of them. An intrusive system of economic regulation coupled with deteriorating law and order situation are aggravating the problem.

Role of prudent macroeconomic policies in reducing poverty can hardly be overemphasized. At the same time, large-scale improvements in the structure and functioning of systems of governance have to be brought about. We have been hearing about good governance for quite some time now. Have we ever realized what the repercussions of poor governance are? It is the root cause of poverty as it increases vulnerability and reduces business confidence which translates into lowering of investment and substantial reduction in efficient service delivery. All of this has serious implications for human advancement. Public sector in Pakistan has made only half-hearted and lukewarm attempts in some areas like devolution, public expenditure management and anti-corruption efforts to improve governance within the country. There is a dire need of reforms in the tax collecting machinery, the police and the judiciary in specific and in civil service in general.

Devolution is needed to ensure that development of the country is equitable and includes all segments of the society especially the poorest and marginalized. Improvements in corporate governance and overhaul of the Public Sector Enterprises in order to reduce government's liabilities are imperative for encouraging private sector participation and investments.

Sustained economic growth is essential for poverty alleviation. The policy maker and managers in Pakistan must understand that there are strong linkages between pro-poor growth on one side and human development, good governance, private sector development and regional cooperation on the other.

Rural development demands a lot of attention from those who are at the helm of affairs. Serious efforts are needed to enhance agricultural productivity and strengthening of research and extension services. Role of private sector in storage and agriculture support services has become all the more important.

Developing agribusiness for exports and rural small and medium enterprises has the potential of increasing non-farm employment opportunities substantially. Improving communications infrastructure needs more focus, as it will promote rural-urban linkages. Inadequate infrastructure has remained one of the major obstacles in the economic growth of the country. Improved access to credit in rural areas and mobilizing savings can also play a vital role in rural development.
Have we ever realized what the repercussions of poor governance are? It is the root cause of poverty as it increases vulnerability and reduces business confidence which translates into lowering of investment and substantial reduction in efficient service delivery.
Pakistan has to make it a priority to employ major portion of its labour force, both male and female as income generation from employment is considered to be the most potent weapon in alleviating poverty. The demographic transition, commonly known as the 'demographic dividend', results in a smaller population at young dependent ages and relatively larger population in the adult age groups. Pakistan must make full use of this advantageous position. The period of this dividend will not be infinite but will come to an end as the working-age population grows older, eventually increasing the size of dependant population. Moreover, the dividend will not be repeated. This unique opportunity can, however, easily turn into a 'demographic liability' if appropriate policy measures are not taken to fully utilize the expanding labour force. Government of Pakistan has established National Vocational and Technical Training Commission as an apex body to coordinate, facilitate and regulate the technical and vocational education and training sector of the country. Although this is a very positive step in the right direction but the results of this effort have yet to be seen. A more professional approach in handling the affairs and strategic direction of this Commission is required in order to reap maximum benefits from it. Linkage with industry and revamping the training methodology along with revision of curricula, keeping in view international advancements and requirements, are imperative.

The country's poverty reduction strategy must include large-scale investment in strengthening the available human resource base so as to produce a skilled and competent workforce that can respond to the increasing demands of a steadily growing economy. This strategy has to take into account four very important factors;

(i) accelerating economic growth while maintaining macroeconomic stability;
(ii) improving governance;
(iii) investing in human capital; and
(iv) targeting the poor and vulnerable.

[B]Athar Mansoor

Naveed_Bhuutto Sunday, November 11, 2012 02:32 PM

[B][I][SIZE="4"][CENTER]Role of Electronic Media[/CENTER][/SIZE][/I][/B]

A Discussion Forum held at the Department of Mass Communication in LCWU, Lahore under the auspices of Jahangir's World Times. The discussion was chaired by Dr. Anjum Zia the chairperson of the Department of Mass Communication while MS. Huma another faculty member of the department also participated in the debate along with students. The students and faculty members shared their views on the Role of Electronic Media vis-à-vis Political Stability in Pakistan. Their arguments were logical, convincing and categorically sound. Actually, their views highlighted the destructive and exaggerated role of electronic media in Pakistan. Thus, they applied their general understanding about the media in order to analyze the overall outcome of electronic media vis-à-vis political stability in Pakistan.

The discussion was started by MS. Huma she said, “.Today, media is known as the fourth pillar of any state and in my opinion all pillars of a state should be strong and autonomous enough be it Executive, Legislature or Judiciary. In fact, present age is of information so, in the globalized world media is supposed to play the role of an army for a state. Every anchor person on a TV Channel is actually armed personnel because in the current era we have to defend our state through the media instead of military might.” “Therefore, this army must be selected very carefully by keeping in view all the ground realities and the requirements of this age. Now talking about today's media I would say that its focus is not to inform or educate the public but to make business and the promotion of rampant commercialism, only. That is why our media especially the electronic media is not playing any satisfactory role as far as political stability is concerned.”
Mushroom growth of TV channels especially News Channels is the major cause of irresponsible behavior of electronic media.
Sidra a student of Mass Communication spoke differently she said, “I believe that mushroom growth of TV channels especially News Channels is the major cause of irresponsible behavior of electronic media. In fact, we did not have so many heroes or icons so, the 'TV Anchors' emerged as heroes for the masses therefore; they have many expectations from them. It all happened due to the hype created by these news channels. In fact, most of the population of Pakistan is illiterate similarly they are unable to differentiate between the myth & reality. Thus media should be neutral and it must highlight all the aspects of an issue. Then media can be able to bring political stability in the country, she added.

Rbia Waheed another student of Mass Communications said that now in Pakistan media is not only a source of information instead it has emerged as a profitable business so,as a result they have to fabricate news for business, even if there is no news at all. Hence, this quantity driven approach instead of quality misplaced the truth and objectivity from the news. Furthermore, our media is not following the ethics as far as live coverage of bomb blasts or terrorist attacks are concerned. Thus, all these factors which are present in the media are producing chaos, uncertainty as well as political instability in the country. Lastly, I would say our electronic media must remove its biased image for the political stability in Pakistan.

Aqsa Arshad said that being a student of Media Studies I believe, our media is not promoting the positive image of Pakistan. For example, if we see the incident of a girl flogged by the two militants in Sawat, how it had been played up in the media. It showed that our media is either immature or it does such things deliberately. Actually, it also projected a very negative image of Sawat which is paradise for tourists in Pakistan. On the other hand, western media does not portray the negative image of their country but our media does why? Then our media has developed a criteria that they will remain anti-government they will even not appreciate the good works of the government.
In fact, electronic media has important functions to perform i.e. to inform with objectivity, educate, guide and entertain the masses. But the media has constraints and limitations also, like vested interests, corruption, political motives and monetary gains.
Shehla Qureshi student of Mass Communication was of the opinion that we must accept this fact that at least media has provided awareness to the masses, it has never happened in the past. However, absence of any proper code of conduct made the media too much independent. Therefore, how can we achieve political stability through such sort of media which never knows its limits?

Shjia gul khan another student said, “I think our media is for the educated people, there are three tiers of media namely: print media, broadcasting and social media similarly, radio and TV comes under broadcasting. But, the 70% of the population living in small towns has not access to the Cable-TV networks and due to lack of education they are unable to read good newspapers like Dawn, The News etc. Mostly, they have radio as only source of information but the content used at radio is not enough to aware those masses it must be adequate and up to the mark.”

Hafsa Amjad another student of Mass communication said that unfortunately in our country journalists are on sale although a journalist cannot be a product for sale. The reason is that they toe the policies of the owners of news channels and are not independent enough to do what they want so; in such a situation media can produce more conspiracy theories and less political stability.

Fatima Aslam spoke in a unique way she said, “Our media is creating confusions among its viewers and readers. Media must give adequate, authentic and complete information of a particular issue to the viewers which should cover all the dimensions.

Palwasha Khan Student of MS-Program department of Mass Communication gave bold comments about the media. She said, “It is clear that media is a watch dog in a country but there should be a counter check on this watch dog (Media) too, what it is doing? But sadly, in case of our electronic media there is not any concept or mechanism of counter checking”.

In the end MS. Anjum Zia concluded the debate she said that it was a very good and focused discussion she also appreciated the opinions of the students. She was of the opinion that the media is being considered as a fourth pillar of the state as Huma rightly said in the beginning so, it needs to play an imperative role for political stability in Pakistan which is indeed, a serious issue. In fact, electronic media has important functions to perform i.e. to inform with objectivity, educate, guide and entertain the masses. But the media has constraints and limitations also, like vested interests, corruption, political motives and monetary gains. Therefore, it has both positive as well negative roles in generating public opinion on national issues. On one hand it is influencing public opinion in a significant manner particularly focusing on political leaders and working of political parties while on the other hand the information provided is biased and distorted. The electronic media is an agent of change but the direction of change depends upon the reported information. That is why the credibility of media is questioned most of the time.

But sadly, in case of our electronic media there is not any concept or mechanism of counter check that is why our media presents non issues as important issues.

For instance the personal life of Meera; those who have not electricity or enough finances to meet the basic requirements of daily life. What they will do with the life of Meera.

Moreover, release of Indian movies becomes our news headline being a student of media studies I am unable to understand.

The forum: was concluded with the following recommendations:

It is recommended that media should maintain a data bank of eminent scholars, distinguish educationists, prominent leaders and specialists in their relevant fields to discuss issues related to political stability.

The education and trainings for media people may be arranged at appropriate level in order to equip them with adequate knowledge and skills to improve quality of reporting.

The electronic media may identify societal conditions that resist change required for the political stability in Pakistan.

[B]Dr. Anjum Zia
Chairperson Department of Mass Communication[/B]

Naveed_Bhuutto Sunday, November 11, 2012 02:33 PM

[B][I][CENTER][SIZE="4"]Social Challenges of Pakistan[/SIZE][/CENTER][/I][/B]

[I]Pakistan did not adequately invest in its people. Such underinvestment is directly responsible for the poor social and economic statistics. It has made limited progress on poverty and health indicators. Similarly its education outcomes remain below those of other countries at similar levels of development.

Pakistan is a country of about 180 million people, full of natural resources and more than 63 years of independence, but still not respected in the world community. In less than 30 years of independence, its one wing got separated and emerged as Bangladesh on the world map. Since its inception, Pakistan is dependent on World Bank, IMF and foreign donations. Majority of the population is living in rural areas and is deprived of the basic supplies of life. It is a country where financial gap between rich and poor is widening day by day.

Despite being rich in natural resources, Pakistan is a developing country with very limited development in every field due to a horde of problems being faced by it. Almost every kind of problem exists in Pakistan ranging from deterioration of economy, electricity load-shedding, inadequate educational facilities, insufficient health facilities, sky-rocketing inflation, extremism, injustice, increasing crime rate and non provision of drinkable water in many parts of the country.

According to an analysis of the government of Pakistan, the poverty has increased roughly from 30% to 40% during the past decade. According to the definition of literacy i.e. persons aged 15 or above who can “read” and “write” Pakistan officially reported to have 50 % literacy rate, which shows that half of its population is illiterate. The point to be pondered here is that 40% of the total population of the country is living below the poverty line which means that they are deprived of basic necessities of life such as food, shelter, clothes, thus there is no question of education and medication for them. Such families are fighting for their survival only. With such family backgrounds in the country, the rate of inflation, poverty, crime and child labour is expected to be increased in future.
Terrorism and extremism is increasing in Pakistan for the last 10 years. Therefore whatever is happening in the world, it is considered even before investigations that it might have been a link with Pakistan. The whole world looks at Pakistan as a land of terrorists.
Further a Pakistani termed as “Literate” (only able to read and write), is still taken as illiterate in today's technology-oriented world. It is general observation that majority of top position holders are almost not comfortable with latest technologies and technical mindset. Thus, causing the country to adopt the new technologies at a snail's pace. Education is not treated as a priority and inevitably child exploitation continues within our nation. Most people in the rural areas have no access to educational institutions. Pakistan does not have sound educational system under which a child can be adequately socialized into becoming a productive member of society.

Pakistan is also facing a health crisis due to insufficient health facilities with rising rates of hepatitis, diabetes, heart disease, and other non-communicable diseases. This situation worsens during natural calamity. The World Health Organization (WHO) reported 4 million cases of diarrhea, pneumonia, malaria, and skin conditions that had largely resulted from the flood conditions. Cholera outbreaks have also been reported from flood-affected areas.

Electricity shortage is another major social problem Pakistan is facing today. There are around 16 independent power producers that contribute significantly in electricity generation in Pakistan. For many years, the issue of balancing Pakistan's supply against the demand for electricity remained unresolved. Pakistan is facing a considerable challenge in restoring its network responsible for the delivering of electricity. In recent years Pakistan has shrunk by 50% in electricity generation. Resultantly load-shedding (deliberate blackouts), and power blackouts have become severe in the country. It is said that the main problem with Pakistan's poor power generation is the non-existence of the political will.

Another social challenge and highly destructive phenomenon in Pakistan is of terrorism. Terrorism and extremism is increasing in Pakistan for the last 10 years. Therefore, whatever is happening in the world, it is considered even before investigations that it might have been a link with Pakistan. The whole world looks at Pakistan as a land of terrorists.

The Pakistani army in 2004 launched a pursuit of Al-Qaeda members in the mountainous area of Waziristan on the Afghan border, although sceptics question the sincerity of this pursuit. Clashes there erupted into a low-level conflict with Islamic militants and local tribesmen, sparking a war in Waziristan. A short-lived truce, known as the Waziristan accord, was brokered in September 2006, which indicated Pakistan's reluctance to fight Islamic militia.

Terrorist attacks staged in Pakistan have killed over 35,000 people, 5,000 of which are law enforcement personnel. On the other hand, the material damage caused to the Pakistani economy is about $67 billion. Pakistan has an estimated 2 % growth rate which for a country of official population of 180 million turns out to be roughly around 3.2 million every year. This is a big dent to the economy of Pakistan and hinders the progress of every fileld.
One of the biggest challenges to the country is the ever-growing population and absence of any focused measures to control it.
One of the biggest challenges to the country is the ever growing population and absence of any focused measures to control it. It is predicted that by the year 2050, Pakistan will be the third most populated nation in the world. This alarming growth rate is causing immense pressure on head of the families who are to support them. As it has been previously mentioned that about 40 % of the population is living below the poverty line and 5.6 % (official figures) of the population is unemployed, the ever-growing population of Pakistan is just adding to the problems of the already under pressure nation.

At the time of partition, Pakistan had 30 million people with per capita income of $100. Agriculture accounted for almost 50 % of the economic output with hardly any manufacturing, as all industries were located in India. Therefore, it was unable to feed 30 million people and the country has to depend on imports. This process carried on and today out of every hundred rupees of our national income, we consume 85 rupees and save only 15 rupees. Thus, a very small amount of money is available to invest for economic growth and advancement. Further due to the instability of political system and terrorism in the country foreign investment is also negligible.

In 1990, Pakistan's share in the world trade was 0.2% which has shrunk to 0.12% within 20 years. On the other hand, world trade has been growing faster as compared to the world output. Therefore, the Pakistan's exports/imports imbalance is increasing. Another important reason for imbalance between import and export is that Pakistan is focusing on limited commodities for export including rice, textiles, leather, sports and the surgical goods only and paying attention to a few markets i.e. Middle East, EU, USA and UK. The biggest challenge for the survival of the country in today's world is to increase the investment amount, find new markets, improve the qualities of its products and add new commodities in the list of export goods.
Half of government expenditures are dedicated to fulfill debt repayment compulsions. In order to make these payments, every year additional loans and grants are indispensable which amount to approximately 25 per cent of the revenues.
Pakistan's another extremely large dilemma is the ever-increasing debt. The debt is mounting up mainly, due to the large spending on military and imbalance of import-export, dependence on foreign oil and other imported fossil fuels, etc. These resources are used primarily for the generation of power. Half of government expenditures are dedicated to fulfill debt repayment compulsions. In order to make these payments, every year additional loans and grants are indispensable which amount to approximately 25 per cent of the revenues. This exercise averts Pakistan to allocate considerable funds to economic development and social improvements.

One of the social concerns within Pakistan is child labour which is considered a violation of human rights by the United Nations. In Pakistan a poor child, believed to be an earning hand for the family is easily deprived of right of basic education. Child labour is not practiced in Pakistan only but it exploits the children in all the third world countries also, as they are a cheap source of labour. According to the Federal Bureau of Statistics of Pakistan, 3.3 million out of 40 million children are working in various industries, though child labour is strictly prohibited by law. Child Labour is a serious social problem within Pakistan because the future and progress of any country depends on an educated and enlightened youth and if a child is not properly socialized then he/she will not be able to grow as confident and literate Pakistani citizen. Need of the hour is that government, NGOs and civil society should come forward to deal with the situation properly.

Pakistan did not adequately invest in its people. Such underinvestment is directly responsible for the poor social and economic statistics. It has made limited progress on poverty and health indicators. Similarly its education outcomes remain below those of other countries at similar levels of development. Thus it can be concluded that Pakistan’s performance in achieving human development goals is uneven, therefore its social challenges are increasing day by day.

[B]Dr. Anjum Zia[/B]

Naveed_Bhuutto Sunday, November 11, 2012 02:35 PM

[I][CENTER][SIZE="4"][B]Phds in Pakistan and rest of the world[/B][/SIZE][/CENTER][/I]

[I]If we are desirous of having an honourable place for ourselves in the rapidly developing world, we will have to consolidate the strength of our PhDs from the numerical, qualitative and creative points of view[/I]

“Education for all” is the promise made by the global manifesto of human rights; and it is the responsibility of every government to provide all educational facilities to all its citizens, irrespective of their colour, race, gender, language, creed and religion. The fulfillment of this promise is evident from the ever-increasing number of educated people all over the world. As compared to the past, more and more people are studying today, and it would not be wrong to say that they are continuously studying, in the form of getting higher education. There was a time when the addition of the word BA with the name was considered to be a great honour by the people. But this standard of honour has now changed and after getting their Master's degrees, people are continuing their education through M.Phil. and PhD programmes. In this way, they are entering the circle of academic elite, where it is not possible for everyone to reach.

These academically rich people are a valuable asset and a source of progress for every country of the world. The ideas flourishing in their minds, their research work and their writings determine the course of progress. For this very reason, the number of PhD scholars is increasing in most countries of the world. According to the April 2011 edition of the weekly science magazine “Nature”, between 1998 and 2006, there was the following annual increase in the number of PhDs in all disciplines in different countries of the world.

China 40 %
Mexico 17.1 %
Denmark 10 %
India 8.5 %
Korea 7.8 %
Japan 6.2 %
Australia 6.2 %
Poland 6.1 %
Britain 5.2 %
America 2.5 %
Canada 1 %

The number of PhD degrees awarded in all disciplines in different countries of the world in 2008, as mentioned in the magazine, is given below:
Japan 16296
Britain 16606
Germany 25604.

50000 PhD degrees were awarded in China during the year 2009. According to the American National Science Foundation, 49562 PhD degrees were awarded to the research scholars in the United States in all disciplines in 2009. 10781 researchers received PhD degrees in India during 2008-09.

Pakistan is also making every possible effort to increase the number of its PhD scholars. According to the statistics provided by the Higher Education Commission, 6366 students were enrolled in the PhD programmes in 132 universities of Pakistan till the year 2010. In other words, each university of the country had an average of 49 PhD students. As a whole, the country could produce 7098 PhDs from 1947 to 2010. This number also includes those 25 persons who received their PhD degrees from 1930 to 1946. Thus, 7073 research scholars were given PhD degrees in the 64 years from 1947 to 2010. On an average, 111 researchers received PhD degrees in the country annually. For the first time in the history of Pakistan, 100 persons were awarded PhD degrees in a single year in 1988. In each of the previous 41 years, the number of persons getting PhD degrees was less than one hundred. In 1988, the number of persons having PhD degrees in the country was 1045. It means that after independence, the number of awarded PhD degrees in the country crossed the 1000 figure in as many as 41 years. This number rose to 2068 in 1996. In other words, the next one thousand PhD degrees were awarded in the country in eight years. The next one thousand PhD degrees were awarded in five years and their number reached 3033 by the year 2001. The number increased from three to four thousand in the next four years and in 2005, the number of PhD holders in the country reached 4025. Afterwards, the number of PhDs in the country began to increase very rapidly and by the year 2007, it rose to 5071. Two years later, this number was 6478. In 2010, this numbered soared to 7068.

The rapid increase in the number of PhDs in the country after 2001 was due to the establishment of the Higher Education Commission in 2002-03. From 1947 to 2002, only 3284 PhD degrees were awarded. But 8789 PhDs were completed in the next eight years. Thus, on an average, 474 PhD degrees were awarded in each of these eight years. However, in the previous 56 years, before the setting up of the Higher Education Commission, the annual average of awarded PhD degrees was only 59. 779 PhD degrees were awarded in 2009. It was the largest number of PhD degrees to be awarded in a single year. In 2009-10, there were 132 universities in the country and 620 PhDs were produced in the country. In other words, each university produced an average of 4.69 PhDs.

Besides this, according to the Economic Survey of Pakistan 2010-11, there were 5235716 students in all the universities of the country in 2000-10. During this period, 4445 PhDs were completed in the country. It means that one out of every 1178 university students got a PhD degree during these ten years. 5399 PhDs were produced in the country from 1995 to 2010. It means that out of every one million people only twenty have got PhD degrees.

Now, let us have a look at the PhDs in Pakistan with reference to disciplines. According to the statistics provided by the HEC, till June 30, 2010, research scholars related to the field of Social sciences received the largest number of PhD degrees (26 % of the total PhDs) The percentage of PhDs in other disciplines is given below.

Physical Sciences 21 %
Biological and Medical Sciences 16 %
Arts and Humanities 16 %
Veterinary Sciences 13 %
Engineering and Technology 3 %
Business Education 1 %
Honorary PhD degrees 1 %

In spite of the fact that the number of PhDs in Pakistan is increasing, some other related issues still deserve more attention for bringing about improvements in them. For instance, the number of female PhDs in the country is much smaller than that of the male PhDs They only make up 23 % of the total PhDs in the country. Till June 30, 2010, their total number was 1487. In 2008, 29.3 % of the total PhD degrees were awarded to women.
Research is the basic function of every PhD scholar and the research papers written in the light of extensive research are a precious asset for every researcher. The quality, standard and worth of the work being done in a country by the researchers is judged from the number of their research papers published in international journals.
This situation is quite different in the countries of Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). According to its Scientific, Technological and Industrial Score Board for the year 2011, 46 % of the PhD degrees awarded in 2009, were given to female scholars.

In addition to this, the HEC should also pay attention towards those universities which are not producing PhDs According to HEC's annual report for the year 2008-09, 50 universities of the country produced PhDs from 1947 to 2008. The Economic Survey of Pakistan for the year 2008-09 tells us that the total number of universities in the country at that time was 129. It means that only 39 % of the country's universities could produce PhDs, while the remaining 61 % failed to do so. Besides this, from 1947 to June 30, 2010, only 3.11 % PhD degrees were awarded by the universities in the private sector. According to the record of the HEC, their total number till June 30, 2010 was only 200. Now, a large number of universities have sprung up in the private sector, but their PhD outcome is very low. Some attention must be paid to improve their performance in this field.

Research is the basic function of every PhD scholar and the research papers written in the light of extensive research are a precious asset for every researcher. The quality, standard and worth of the work being done in a country by the researchers is judged from the number of their research papers published in international journals. In this connection, Pakistan's present condition is somewhat better than the past. SCIMAGO Research Group is an international organization that conducts research on research journals and research papers all over the world. According to its statistics, in 1996, Pakistani research scholars wrote only 0.08 % of all the research papers which were published all over the world. By the year 2010, this number had increased to 0.32 %. The performance of Pakistani scholars at the regional level is slightly better. The ratio of their research papers has risen from 0.56 % to 1.09 %. In 1996, Pakistani scholars wrote 893 research papers. In 2010, 6987 research papers written by Pakistani scholars were published. In 1996, Pakistan stood at No. 52 in the global ranking of the publication of research papers. But in 2010, it was able to reach at No.43 in the same ranking. It was made possible by the positive role played by the HEC in the promotion of research at the highest level.

In the year 2010, a total of 2171118 research papers were published in all the research journals of the world. The third highest number of research papers were written by the British scholars. The number of their research papers was 139683. In this list of 231 countries, Iran occupied the 19th place with 27510 research papers. In this global ranking with reference to the publication of research papers, India stood at number 9, with 71975 research papers in 2010. The ranking of other South Asian countries is as follows

Bangladesh 59
Srilanka 83
Nepal 91
Afghanistan 144
Bhutan 157
Maldives 197.

In the year 2008, 82456 research papers written by the scholars of the eighth South Asian countries were published. They made up only 3.79 % of the research papers published all over the world. These facts reveal the over all pathetic condition of research and development in this region.

The talented people of South Asia are unable to move forward in the field of research, because of the extremely meager funds allocated for it in this region. More than one trillion dollars are being spent annually throughout the world on research and development. But the collective share of India and Pakistan in this sum is only 38.83 billion dollars. Wikipedia has compiled a list of 72 countries whose annual spending on research and development is more than 100 million dollars. In 2011, America was at the top of the list with the annual spending of 405.3 billion dollars. With 153.7 billion dollars, China ranked second, while Japan stood at No. 3 with the annual spending of 144.1 billion dollars on research and development. India and Pakistan occupy 8th and 34th positions respectively in this list. In 2011, India spent 36.1 billion dollars on research and development.

According to the available statistics till 2007, Pakistan spent only 0.67 % of its total GDP, which was equivalent to 2.73 billion dollars. If we include in this amount, the money spent on military research and development, then, according to Wikipedia, in 2007, Pakistan spent 3.67 billion dollars, which made up 0.9 % of the country's total GDP.

In spite of the extremely limited resources available for research and development, the scholars of South Asia are continuing their research work and their research papers are also being regularly published in the international research journals. But the pace of their journey from invention to innovation is miserably slow and South Asian countries can hardly ever patent any of their inventions. In 2009, 97.48 % patent registration cases in the American Patent and Trademark Office belonged to the United States and eleven other countries, none of which was a South Asian country. According to Knowledge Network and Nations' Global Scientific Collaboration in the 21st Century Report published by the British Royal Society, among the countries outside America, Japan registered the highest number of patents (35501) in the American Patent Office. Germany ranked second with 9000 patents. South Korea registered 8762 patents and was third in this list. They were followed by Chinese Taipei, Spain, Canada, United Kingdom, France, China Israel and Italy. In 2009, a total of 80752 patents were registered by these eleven countries. America alone registered 82382 patents that year. 4216 patents were registered by other countries during the same year in the American Office.

Research produces new knowledge, products or processes. Research publications reflect contribution to knowledge, patents indicate useful inventions and citations on patent applications to the scientific and technical literature indicate the linkage between research and practical application. Doctoral graduates are key players for research, innovation and invention. They have been specifically trained to conduct research and are considered the best qualified for the creation and diffusion of knowledge.

If we are desirous of having an honourable place for ourselves in the rapidly developing world, we will have to consolidate the strength of our Ph.D.s from the numerical, qualitative and creative points of view, in order to give a practical shape to the idea that knowledge is not the property of some particular individual or nation.

[B]Muhammad Atif Sheikh[/B]

Naveed_Bhuutto Tuesday, November 13, 2012 10:15 AM

[B][I][CENTER][SIZE="4"]Where Does The True Democracy Come From?[/SIZE][/CENTER][/I][/B]


The 64 years history of Pakistan stands evident of the fact that true democracy is a word unknown to this land of the pure. It is unfortunate that the country which was created on the basis of democratic values remains deprived of the true spirit and essence and taste of democracy even after good six decades of independence. Why democracy fails to come to Pakistan or where does the true democracy come from? This is a million dollar question that has echoed throughout in the political history of Pakistan. The true democracy is the only remedy for all the miseries this nation has suffered during the 64 years. Since its inception, the most difficult challenge Pakistan had to counter was to establish a true democratic system, which could guarantee its survival, stability and development. Unfortunately, democracy could not find its place in Pakistan to make the country “a true democratic state”. Pakistan was conceived on the basis of Islam, which is democratic both in letter and spirit. It is indeed very unfortunate that the plant planted by Quaid-e-Azam and watered by the blood of millions of Muslim men, women and children has not thrived in the country. In other words, we have not proved worthy of the freedom achieved after immense sacrifices. After the sad demise of Quaid-e-Azam and Shaheed-e-Millat Liaquat Ali Khan, the spirit of freedom movement died down and selfish interests and political intrigues dominated the national scene.

Democracy has its origin in ancient Greece. However, other cultures have contributed significantly to the evolution of democracy such as ancient Rome, Europe and North and South America. The concept of representative democracy arose largely from ideas and institutions that developed during the European middle ages and the age of enlightenment and in the American and French revolutions. Democracy has been called the last form of government and has spread considerably across the globe.

Democracy ensures balance among all the organs of the state. It comes from rule of law, supremacy of the constitution, independence of judiciary, public participation in decision making, accountability and transparency. Its advent is ensured when decision making and policy formulation are done keeping in view the aspirations of the common man. It is the power to govern as per the consent of those being governed, that is why it is called as the government of the people, by the people and for the people.

One of the factors which can be held responsible for the failure of democracy has been the weak and fragile political fabric that has led to repeated interventions and punctuations in democratic governments through military coups. Out of a total six decade history, this country has remained entrapped in the oppressive clutches of dictatorship for more than three decades. Unfortunately, whosoever assumed the government, strived for the satisfaction of his own politically, materially and financially charged vested interests at the cost of country's progress and economic development? There ill-designed ruling techniques brought in the culture of extremism, religious and ethnic prejudices and violation of the constitution. Whether it was Zia's slogan of islamisation or Musharraf's propaganda of being non NATO ally of the US in war on terror — all contributed negatively and adversely to the cause of national development.

Democracy is regarded as the most fabulous principle of modern governing system but unfortunately, the need of establishing a true democracy has been a dream ever since Pakistan came into being. Democracy is the culmination of freedom and development in advanced countries. In Pakistan however, the already difficult situation has been aggravated by constant failures which never let democracy survive. The development of democracy has been hampered by the troublesome legacies of the military regimes, including ethnic fragmentation, provincialism, sectarianism, concentration of wealth and privileges in the hands of a selected few.

Democracy in its simplest basic form is about giving people the right to elect their government. The aim is to create stability and certainty in the society by establishing a system under which a government can be created and changed peacefully. While thinking in Pakistani perspective, the question about democracy points towards what it could and must have done instead of inherent weakness in the system. It is debatable whether military dictators have outperformed civilian governments or vice versa. But realistically, except for the government that came in 2002, no civilian government after 1985 was allowed to complete its tenure. The issues of economic growth and investments were highlighted more during democratic periods than during dictatorships.
Democracy ensures balance among all the organs of the state. It comes from rule of law, supremacy of the constitution, independence of judiciary, public participation in decision making, accountability and transparency.
Historians and analysts are also of the view that democracy is an evolutionary system that does not come as a template. There may have popular principles like sovereignty, or representative governments but these have to be rooted in the socio-economic culture of the country.

The quality of democracy and its stability has thus depended generally on the growth of the middle class which has expended and continues to rise. But the fact of the matter is that middle class is neither organic nor ideologically homogeneous. The Pakistani middle class may not be seen as yet in the elected assemblies but it occupies alternative spaces of influence in the robust civil society movements.

Pakistan may remain a transitional democracy until it has at least the peaceful transfer of power through elections. Our elected representatives have a heavy burden to disprove the sceptics inside and outside the country by forming coalitions.

The dire need is to utilise the democratic system for the betterment of a common man. It is a collective social enterprise that cannot be left for the powerful elites. To make the country vibrant, viable and prosper, drastic measures need to be applied. The education should be circulated from the top to the bottom. The opportunity to get education should be on equal basis for the rich and poor. Education is the only tool through which we can attain our cherished goal by making our country prosperous developed and progressive. As the literacy rate is increased in the country, the true democracy and effective democratic political process would begin.

Good governance makes stabilised institutions and fix roots of democracy deep in the corners of the countries. Bereft of good governance in Pakistan, our nation cannot establish its supremacy in the world comity. It is the good governance that can make democracy viable in the successive futures.

Moreover, feudal system should be abolished to make fair and square elections so that rural and urban inhabitants would choose the capable candidates for them.
The remedy lies in the words of Lord Beveridge,

“Power as a means of getting things done appeals to that men share with brutes; to fear and greed; power leads those who wield it to desire it for its own sake, not for service it render, and to seek its continuance on their own hands. Influence as a means of getting things done appeals to that which distinguishes men from brutes. The way out of world’s troubles today is to treat men as men, to enthrone influence over power and to make power revocable”.

If we want to make Pakistan a really lasting democracy, we must act on the above advice. Then only, we shall enter in the reign of true democracy and the people will manage their own affairs instead of being dupes and pawns in the hands of dishonest men.

Democracy is a way of life. It is not just about documents or governments. It is about the things we do everyday that contribute to society and make it a better place to live.

[B]Dr Quratul Ain Malik (CSP)[/B]

Naveed_Bhuutto Wednesday, November 14, 2012 09:29 AM

[B][I][CENTER][COLOR="RoyalBlue"][SIZE="4"]Siachen conflict: a prime example of futile war[/SIZE][/COLOR][/CENTER][/I][/B]

[I]“War is the extension of politics by other means”[/I]

Wars are planned, financed and fought by governments, not by groups or ordinary people. Wars are based on political agendas and they long for complete control over resources, people and territory. Pakistan and India being neighboring countries had fought a number of wars since their inception. Kashmir, Sir Creek and Siachen are the most highlighted issues between two countries. On April 7, 2012, the nature delivered yet another bitter reminder to both India and Pakistan, when a massive avalanche buried 135 soldiers of the Northern Light Infantry (NLI) of Pakistani Army alive. In fact, the 70 km long Siachen glacier lies in the eastern Karakoram Range (disputed region of Kashmir), just east of the Saltoro ridge line. The Saltoro Ridge originates from the Sia Kangri in the Karakoram Ridge and the altitudes range from 5450 to 7720 meters (17,880 to 25,300 feet.) The major passes on this ridge are Sia La at 5589 meters (18,336 feet) and Bilafond La at 5450 meters (17,880 feet), and Gyong La at 5689 meters (18,665 feet.). In strategic and military terms, a battle field of high altitude is always dependent upon its passes which leads to the peak or to that high place. The temperature here can dip up to minus 60 degree Celsius which makes it a very difficult terrain to be a battle field. The word Siachen means 'A place of wild roses' because of the Himalayan wild flowers abound in the valley below the glacier.
Prior to 1984, neither India nor Pakistan had any permanent presence in the area presumably due to the extremely harsh conditions which prohibited any such presence.
Presently the glacier is also the highest battleground on earth, where India and Pakistan have fought intermittently since April 13, 1984. Pakistan maintains permanent military personnel in the region at a height of over 6,000m and so does India. The site is a prime example of mountain warfare. This glacier is presently a source of conflict and from 1984 to 2003, the troops of both countries remained engage in a tiresome warfare on that place. Since 2003 there is a ceasefire between both countries on Siachen glacier but neither of these countries had retreated a single inch from that glacier, as both have their own reservations on this issue. There are many other issues associated with this issue, like the environment hazards and economic constraints. But the both parties are quite adamant in evacuating their places on Siachen. There was also a suggestion to make this place a 'Peace Park' where both countries have a free access without deploying troops. But this idea is also held in abeyance due to the long term feud. But in any case it is extremely necessary to develop peace between Pakistan and India for the betterment of this region.


Right after the partition, due to its hegemonic interests, India sent its troops and captured the state of Kashmir. The matter was taken to UNO and the boundary was demarcated according to Karachi Agreement (1949) but this area was not catered in that agreement. Right after the debacle of East Pakistan in 1971, Shimla Agreement had also not clearly mentioned that who would control the glacier, merely stating that from the NJ9842 location the boundary would proceed “thence north to the glaciers”. In the 1960's and 1970's, however, the United States Defense Mapping Agency (now National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency) issued maps showing detailed position of the area and made their maps available to the public and pilots as proceeding from NJ9842 east-northeast to the Karakoram Pass at 5534m (18,136 ft.) on the China border. Other international (governmental and private cartographers and atlas producers) confirmed this position. This implied in a cartographical and categorical allocation of the entire 2700 square kilometers (1040 square miles) Siachen area to Pakistan. However, prior to 1984 neither India nor Pakistan had any permanent presence in the area presumably due to the extremely harsh conditions which prohibited any such presence. In the 1970s and early 1980s, several mountaineering expeditions applied to Pakistan to climb high peaks in the Siachen area and Pakistan granted them, which reinforces our claim on the area, as these expeditions arrived on the glacier with a permit obtained from the Govt. of Pakistan. In about 1978, the Indian Army mounted an expedition to Teram Kangri peaks (in the Siachen area on the China border and just east of a line drawn due north from NJ9842) as a precursor-exercise (a camouflage to occupy the area by force). The first public mention of a possible conflict situation was an article by Joydeep Sircar in The Telegraph newspaper of Calcutta in 1982, reprinted as “Oropolitics” in the Alpine Journal, London, in 1984. India launched an operation on 13 April, 1984. The Indian Army and the Indian Air Force went into the glacier region. Pakistan army quickly responded with troop deployments and what followed was literally a race to the top. Since the glacier is not physically connected to India (there is no natural ground routes connecting India and Siachen Glacier), therefore, it used its Air Force to drop all of its forces at Siachen and still to this day uses helicopters and aircrafts to transport supplies, food and soldiers.

In 1983, Pakistani top military brass decided to claim Siachen territory by military deployment. After analysing the Indian Army's mountaineering expeditions, they feared that India might capture key ridges and passes near the glacier, and decided to send their own troops first. Islamabad ordered Arctic-weather gear from a supplier from London, unaware that the same supplier provided outfits to the Indians. The Indians were informed about this development and initiated their own plan, providing them with a head start. As India got the wind of Pakistan's plan about this area they elevated their efforts twice as they were doing. They decided to deploy their forces from Laddakh region as most of their troops were acclimatized to the extremities of the glacier through a training expedition to Antarctica in 1982.
Some facts

Pakistan spends approximately Rs. 15 million per day, 450 per month and 5.4 billion rupees per year.
India spends approximately Rs. 50 million per day, 1.5 billion per month and 30 billion rupees per year.
One Pakistani soldier is killed every third day on Siachen Glacier and average 100 casualties annually.
While one Indian soldier is killed every next day on Siachen Glacier and average 180 casualties annually.
According to unofficial data Pakistan has lost 3000 soldiers while India has lost 5000 soldiers till now.
Pakistan has 4000 troops deployed in Siachen Glacier, whereas India has stationed 7000 troops there.
The Indian Army planned an operation to occupy the glacier by 13 April 1984, to pre-empt the Pakistani Army by about 4 days, as intelligence had reported that the Pakistani operation planned to occupy the glacier by 17 April. Named for the divine Cloud Messenger, Meghaduta, from the 4th century AD Sanskrit play by Kalidasa, "Operation Meghdoot" was led by Lieutenant General Prem Nath Hoon. The first phase of the operation began in March 1984 with the march on foot to the eastern base of the glacier. A full battalion of the Kumaon Regiment and units from the Ladakh Scouts, marched with full battle packs through an ice-bound Zoji La pass for days. The units under the command of Lieutenant Colonel (later Brigadier) D. K. Khanna were moved on foot to avoid detection of large troop movements by Pakistani radars. The remaining forward deployment units then marched and climbed for four days under the command of Captain P. V. Yadav to secure the remaining heights of the Saltoro Ridge. By April 13, approximately 300 Indian troops were dug into the critical peaks and passes of the glacier. By the time Pakistan troops managed to get into the immediate area, they found that the Indian troops had occupied all 3 major mountain passes of Sia La, Gyong La and Bilafond La and all the commanding heights of the Saltoro Ridge west of Siachen Glacier. Handicapped by the altitude and the limited time, Pakistan could only manage to control the Saltoro Ridge's western slopes and foothills despite the fact that Pakistan possessed more ground accessible routes to the area, unlike Indian access which was largely reliant on air drops for supplies due to the steeper eastern side of the glacier. As a result of this operation, Indian Army had captured the entire glacier and all of its tributary glaciers as well as the three main passes of Siachen, Bilafond La, Sia La and Gyong La, thus holding onto the technical advantage of high ground. In 1987 and 1989, Pakistan Army carried out military operations to get that area back, but no significant success.

[B]Current Scenario and Talks:[/B]

Kargil conflict was a milestone in the deterioration of the peace process between the two countries. All the peace talks which begin right after the conflict were shattered and the idea of evacuating the glacier was held in abeyance, as Pakistan Army desired to bargain Siachen with Kargil after the success of that operation. Although in 2003 both countries announced ceasefire but still there is viable solution of this conflict and both countries have still their troops on Siachen. After the 10th meeting on Siachen, on 24th May 2006, the joint statement clearly reflected already anticipated stalemate. This is indeed very disappointing especially if viewed within context of unduly raised hopes of people. Some reports had already projected the likely signing of the agreement during expected Indian prime Minister's Pakistan visit in July this year. Just before the joint statement was issued, the Indian Defense Minister pointed out that the main obstacle was mapping the bases and frontline. The Indian assertion to authenticate the actual ground position line is viewed by many in Pakistan as legitimizing Indian aggression in the Siachen area. Not only India violated the Simla agreement by undertaking a uni-lateral violation of the LOC and acquired some area which was deemed to be under Pakistan's control but are also seeking to secure legal cover to retain the area its troops forcibly occupied. The resolution of the Siachen dispute does not really require many efforts unless a calculated tactics of foot dragging is employed for delaying its resolution. Admittedly the notion of foot dragging is directly linked with the lack of desired level of political will. However, the joint statement and the interviews of the involved participants point towards the existence of the will, or at least the impression is generated that they want to solve it, but it requires more negotiations.
Not only India violated the Simla agreement by undertaking a uni-lateral violation of the LOC and acquired some area which was deemed to be under Pakistan's control but are also seeking to secure legal cover to retain the area its troops forcibly occupied.
Environmental Hazards:

Environmental experts have predicted that the military presence of both the countries in this area is seriously damaging the natural ecology of this region. Faisal Nadeem Gorchani of the Sustainable Development Policy Institute in Islamabad said the glacier had shrunk by 10 kilometres in the last 35 years. “More than half of the glacier reduction comes from the military presence. Troop movements, training exercises and building infrastructure, all accelerate melting.” Waste from the military camps is also a major problem, harming the local environment and threatening to pollute the water systems upon which, millions of people across the subcontinent depend. “Indian army officials have described the Siachen as 'the world's biggest and highest garbage dump,” said a US expert Neal Kemkar in an article for the Stanford Environmental Law Journal. The report quoted estimates from the International Union for Conservation of Nature saying that on the Indian side alone, more than 900 kilogrammes of human waste was dropped into crevasses every day. Kemkar said that 40 percent of the military waste was plastics and metal, and as there are no natural biodegrading agents present, “metals and plastics simply merge with the glacier as permanent pollutants, leaching toxins like cobalt, cadmium, and chromium into the ice”. “This waste eventually reaches the Indus River, affecting drinking and irrigation water that millions of people downstream from the Siachen, both Indian and Pakistani, depend upon,” the report said. Kemkar also warned that the conflict had affected wildlife, with the habitat of animals such as the endangered Snow Leopard, the Brown Bear, Yak and the Ibex (A type of wild goat), all threatened. Environmentalists say that the speed of Siachen Glacier's retreat is about 110 metres a year. This is mainly due to the military presence in that area. Because when the non-biodegradable material is injected in such a massive amount to an area , it being unable to become a part of the nitrogen cycle (that converts the degradable material into usable substance), becomes menace to the environment. The cadmium, lithium and lead engulfed into the glacier pose a grave threat to the environment and other living things which are to be fed on its water. Besides, a daily leakage of about 2,000 gallons of kerosene oil from 250-kilometre-long plastic pipeline is also accelerating the melting process. These environmental hazards are directly affecting the environment of the region in one or the other way.


There is an ongoing huge economic and human loss in this area, from both countries. India has deployed its seven thousand troops in this region and Pakistan's 4000 thousand soldiers are there. At one time, one Pakistani soldier was killed every fourth day, while one Indian soldier was killed every other day. Over 1,300 Pakistani soldiers died on Siachen between 1984 and 1999. According to Indian estimates, this operation had cost India over Rs. 50 billion and almost 2,000 personnel casualties till 1997. Almost all of the casualties on both sides have been due to extreme weather conditions. This futile battle ground of no significance is adding fuel to the fire of our economic deterioration and engulfing our assets.

In Siachen, Pakistan and India each maintains 150 manned posts with 10 battalions each for a total of some 6,000 troops. Pakistan has deployed up to half a dozen helicopters, to transport food supplies as well as ammunition. The cost of being airborne per helicopter, per hour is Rs 55,000. Snow taxis cost around Rs 400,000 each. Each bread by the time it reaches our troops costs Rs100. The high altitude clothing easily costs Rs 100,000 per head.

In all these conditions the solution of this conflict is quite necessary, rather it should be immediate as well. Three solutions are already in circulation, and they deserve to be mentioned here. First, the parties could easily decide to go back to the positions when Simla Agreement was signed. The Simla Agreement in its 4th clause specifically states that 'Line of Control resulting from ceasefire of December 17, 1971, shall be respected by both sides without prejudice to the recognized position of either side. Neither side shall seek to alter it unilaterally, irrespective of mutual differences and legal interpretations’. It was India that altered LOC unilaterally not just once but many times including the Siachin violation in 1984. Second, the parties could easily opt for the agreement which they reportedly agreed in 1989. The idea of redeployment of troops could again be salvaged and applied as it was agreed to be applied in 1989 agreed formula. This time they are talking about withdrawal of forces. Third approach revolves around concepts like ‘Mountain of Peace’ or ‘Peace Park’ or ‘Science Park’ which would imply that both parties withdraw their troops from the disputed region. This could provide a face saving device to both parties.

The above mentioned solution may bring an optimized way back from this conflict. Otherwise it is not deteriorating the peace process; rather it is affecting the economy, environment and the precious lives of our loved ones. This adamant behaviour must be exterminated in order to develop a cordial relationship and harmony among India and Pakistan. This peace process will benefit the whole region.

[B]Dr. Munawar Sabir[/B]

Naveed_Bhuutto Wednesday, November 14, 2012 09:31 AM

[B][I][CENTER][SIZE="4"]The new dynamics of Pakistan Russia relations[/SIZE][/CENTER][/I][/B]

[I]Russia has come to realize Pakistan's role in resolving the issues plaguing this region and Pakistan also seems to be contemplating on ways to lessen its reliance on America and to diversify its support base among the powerful states of this region.[/I]

On March 5th 2012, the news of Russian President Vladimir Putin's victory in Russian Presidential elections would have gone down well in Pakistani policy-making circles. It meant something more than just that, as Putin's victory signifies the continuity of the process of normalization of Pak-Russia relations, which have a background of hostility, suspicion and distrust.

Among the initial few calls that Mr Putin received after the victory, one was that of P.M Gillani; this goes on to show the extent to which Pakistani leadership was interested in the outcome of this election. Foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar's last month visit to Russia was also successful and has a bearing on this positive atmosphere in the mutual relationship. Finally, Russia has come to realize Pakistan's role in resolving the issues plaguing this region and Pakistan also seems to be contemplating on ways to lessen its reliance on America and to diversify its support base among the powerful states of this region.

At the time of the partition of India, the Soviet Union viewed both India and Pakistan with suspicion but it was more critical of India than Pakistan.The Soviets formally conveyed invitation to Liaquat Ali Khan for a state visit in 1949, but the tour did not materialize due to some considerations from Pakistan, and Liaquat Ali Khan chose to go to Washington instead in May 1950. Pakistan under the U.S influence joined SEATO and CENTO, thus by earning the ire of the USSR. There also happened incidents that added bad taste to already worsened relations like U-2 incident in 1960.

The ice begun to break in relations between Russia and Pakistan in Ayub Khan's presidency as on March 4, 1961, the Soviet Union signed an agreement on oil exploration with Pakistan. This was Pakistan's first acceptance of Soviet economic and technical assistance. The period from 1961 to 1971 saw ups and downs in Russo-Pakistan relations till the debacle of Bangladesh in which the Russians clearly sided with the Indians. Soon afterwards, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto on assuming the reins of Pakistan as the PM took Pakistan out of alliances like SEATO and CENTO. Now that the impediments towards good relations were removed, both the countries undertook initiatives for a harmonious relationship. Pakistan and the USSR signed an agreement under which the Soviet granted technical and financial assistance for the construction of steel mill at Karachi which had the capacity of producing 2 million tons of steel per annum. The Soviet provided assistance in oil and gas exploration, and several power projects, including Guddu.

The period of Taliban in Afghanistan was a timely aberration when the relations again touched a low. But when Pakistan joined the international fight against terrorism in the wake of 9/11 incidents, Russia resolved to support Pakistan's efforts against terrorism.
The relations took a nosedive when President Zia took over: one, because of his adverse ideological thoughts about Marxism and socialism, secondly also because of Zia's covert help in Afghanistan against its fledgling socialist regime there. The bad relations between the both continued till almost the defeat of the Soviets in Afghanistan. But the relations became reasonable well when by the way of Geneva accord signed on April 14, 1988, Pakistan allowed a face-saving exit to Russia from Afghanistan. Russia also changed its policy towards the region by pursuing the policies of Perestroika and glasnost of internal restructuring its state and economy.

When the USSR disintegrated, Pakistan recognized Russian Federation on 20 December, 1991, as successor to the Soviet Union. The period of Taliban in Afghanistan was a timely aberration when the relations again touched a low. But when Pakistan joined the international fight against terrorism in the wake of 9/11 incidents, Russia resolved to support Pakistan's efforts against terrorism.

The dynamics of the renewed relations were set after the visit of the President Musharraf in 2003, Russian president Mr. Putin received Mr. Musharraf warmly and agreements of mutual benefit were signed. In 2007, the visit of Russian PM Mikhail Fradkov took the relations between the two to a new high. President Asif Ali Zardari also paid an official visit to Moscow in May 2011. In the November of the same year PM Gilani Also met Putin on the sidelines of SCO heads of governments meeting. Putin in 2011 endorsed publicly Pakistan's bid for SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) permanent membership. Russia has begun to hold Pakistan as an important player in bringing stability to the region. Pakistan can play a role for Russia in its quest for establishing good relations with the Muslim states of Middle East and South East Asia. The fresh momentum to this relation has been brought by the visit of the Foreign minister Hina Rabbani Khar to Russia from Feb 7th to 9th. She was invited by her Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov.

The recent historic low in Pak-US relations, according to some analysts has also been a cause of Pakistan's turning towards Russia. America's incessant blame game and defamation of Pakistan's army and intelligence agencies, coupled with US adage of do more against the militancy have seemingly turned Pakisan away from the US and towards Russia. But the recent urgency of Pakistan towards Russia may be because of May 2, 2011 US commando action that killed Osama Bin Laden which brought embarrassment to Pakistan and saw its sovereignty violated. The continual drone attacks, the incident of 26th November at Mohmand agency that saw the killing of 24 troops by the US gunship helicopters. Pakistan took a tough stand on this and cut off NATO supplies through its land, got vacated Shamsi Airbase from the US air force, boycotted second Bonn Conference on the future of Afghanistan. All this has contributed to this new strain in Pakistan's foreign policy. Russia also strokes the right chord when their foreign minister on 28th of November 2011, said that hunting terrorists cannot be a pretext for violating the sovereignty of a country.

Russia is being considered as a resurgent economic and military power which believes in multi-polarity, it simply wants to forestall American moves of hegemony in this region. Russia also thinks that Pakistan's role in the solution of Afghan Problem is crucial. Russia and Pakistan, in the recent meeting between the foreign ministers of the both countries, reaffirmed this contention that Afghan led and Afghan owned efforts for national reconciliation are necessary, so both are at the same page on this issue.
Russia also strokes the right chord when their foreign minister on 28th of November 2011, said that hunting terrorists cannot be a pretext for violating the sovereignty of a country.

Pakistan's interests are mostly domestic. Firstly, Pakistan wants Russian participation in Iran-Pakistan and CASA 1000 project, Russian Gas company Gazprom has showed interest in investing and participating in this project. Secondly, Russians have also shown interest in investment in Pakistan Steel Mills Karachi. Pakistan wants to make this mill profitable once again. Thirdly, it has been decided that parliamentary level interactions between both the countries will be carried out. Will this be a positive step towards people to people contact and would be a signal towards normalization of the relations, and Pakistan wants to ensure that it should happen. Fourthly, it was decided that the chambers of commerce and industries of the both would interact to improve the trade activity, and Pakistan wants to make that happen on a good scale. Fifthly, the Russian investors have agreed to invest in energy related projects like gasification of the Thar coal, and make it available for clear energy. Sixthly, Pakistan wants permanent membership of SCO and Russia alluded to support Pakistan's bid. Seventhly, Pakistan wants to acquire Russian help in quelling down the insurgency in Balochistan. So all these interests are domestic in nature with exception of Pakistan's desire for SCO membership, and Pakistan wants to work with Russia for the attainment of these goals.

As per the words of Tanvir Ahmad Khan, a former Pakistani foreign secretary and once Pakistan's ambassador at Moscow, both countries are on the verge of ending a long history of estrangement. But there have been external influences for this recent engagement between them. Nonetheless, both the countries also realize each other's centrality towards solution of the long standing issues in the region. The relations have grown to such a stage that there seems to be no going back and in the changed world like that of today the traditional rivalries of ideology have softened down. In the course of 64 years of Pakistan's independence, many opportunities of friendship and partnership with USSR have been missed and none of the countries can afford to miss yet another opportunity. This time around both seem to have realized it and both will make good of this opportunity.

[B]Murad Kassi[/B]

Naveed_Bhuutto Wednesday, November 14, 2012 09:33 AM


[I]The 21st century did not start well. We found ourselves burdened with the same old problems but in their acutest form.[/I]

The world has never been so chaotic and violent. Wars of aggression and attrition, invasions in the name of self-defence, military occupations, massacres and genocides, human tragedies and humanitarian catastrophes, and a culture of extremism and violence came to define the new world 'disorder'.

Terrorism, as an evil, has afflicted humanity for centuries but it assumed global dimension as a scourge of the new millennium only after the 9/11 tragedy. Today, it transcends all boundaries deeply impacting the political, economic and security environment of all regions, countries and societies. It is a faceless enemy with no faith or creed which lurks in the shadows of fear and frustration, breeds on despair and disillusionment, and is fed by poverty and ignorance. It is a violent manifestation of growing anger, despair, hatred and frustration over continuing injustice, oppression and denial of fundamental freedoms and rights.

Unfortunately, in the aftermath of 9/11, the detractors of Islam found an opportunity to contrive stereotypes to malign Islam and to mobilize a climate of antipathy against its adherents by focusing obsessively on the religion of the individuals and organizations allegedly involved in terrorist activities. What was being conveniently ignored was the fact that most of the perpetrators of violence were dissident runaways from their own countries long under Western-supported archaic despotic regimes and had a political agenda of their own in their misguided pursuits.
Unfortunately, in the aftermath of 9/11, the detractors of Islam found an opportunity to contrive stereotypes to malign Islam.
The problem is that the world does not even know how to define terrorism. Other than varied descriptions of violence in all its manifestations, there is no universally accepted definition of terrorism which is today generally viewed as "politically motivated violence perpetrated against non-combatant targets by sub-national groups or clandestine agents". A short legal definition used in the UN for an act of terrorism is the "peacetime equivalent of a war crime". UN negotiations on long-outstanding draft international convention on terrorism remain inconclusive because of irreconcilable differences on the basic issues.

With the essence of the challenge including the legal scope of the proposed convention yet to be determined, the world is already engaged in what is labeled as a "global war on terror." This US-led war is being fought on Muslim soils with the stated purpose of eliminating the "roots" of violence and religious extremism. But in effect, it is not the root but the symptom which is being targeted. Iraq, Afghanistan and Pakistan today epitomize the worst case scenario of this botched and ill-motivated 'war on terror.'

Pakistan, in particular, has become the "ground zero" of the "war on terror" with a full-fledged military conflict going on within its tribal areas suspected of being a "terrorist sanctuary." There has been a huge collateral damage in this ongoing operation. The biggest casualty, however, is Pakistan's own credibility. It has staked every thing in this proxy war and has killed thousands of its own people, yet it is being blamed for "not doing enough."
This US-led war is being fought on Muslim soils with the stated purpose of eliminating the "roots" of violence and religious extremism. But in effect, it is not the root but the symptom which is being targeted.
We never had extremism in our country. General Musharraf allowed this monster to grow only to remain relevant to the war on terror and thus prolong his military rule. We also didn't have this scale or intensity of violence before he took over. The only violence we knew was sectarian in nature. Our involvement in this campaign today complicates our tasks, both at home and at regional and global levels. Our territorial integrity is being violated with impunity. We are accepting the responsibility for crimes we have not committed. India is particularly using the prevalent global sentiment to implicate Pakistan in every act of terrorism on its soil.

There seems to be no end to this "tragedy of errors" and incessant blame-game. The world also looks at us with anxiety and suspicion as we claim unrivalled distinction of having captured the largest number of Al-Qaeda operatives and handing them over to the US. What is most worrisome at this juncture is that Pakistan is going through one of the most serious crises of its history. With a corrupt and externally vulnerable regime in power, the country is being kept engaged on multiple external as well as domestic fronts. The Salalah episode and its aftermath have amply tested this government which never had a clearer strategic vision of its own and remains totally non-consequential on issues of vital national importance.

What our rulers need to understand is that use of military power within a state and against its own people has never been an acceptable norm. It is considered a recipe for intra-state implosions, a familiar scene in Africa. Excessive use of military force and indiscriminate killings instead of addressing the root causes is not only bringing the government and the armed forces on the wrong side of the people but also weakening the very cause of the war on terror.

After more than a decade-long war on terror, one thing is clear. Terrorism will not disappear through campaigns motivated by retaliation and retribution alone. Nabbing or killing of few hundred individuals or changing the leadership in one or two countries will not bring an end to terrorism which in its deeper sense is an ugly manifestation of a mindset, a mindset rooted in a sense of despair and despondency. It is a perverse mindset that needs to be treated like a disease. If war is to be waged, it should be waged against poverty, hunger, disease and illiteracy. It should be waged against oppression and injustice.
We are accepting the responsibility for crimes we have not committed. India is particularly using the prevalent global sentiment to implicate Pakistan in every act of terrorism on its soil.
There can be no two opinions on the need to combat terrorism. But to eliminate this evil, we must address its root causes. To address the root causes is not to justify terrorism, but to understand it and then to overcome it. To win the war against terrorism, we must win the hearts and minds of those who are susceptible to sympathize and support the tactics of terrorism. Having been victims ourselves, we have never condoned acts of terrorism and have been cooperating with international community in combating this universal evil.

What the world now knows is that terrorism is the product of a broader mix of problems caused by bad governments, opportunistic politicians and militant leaders who exploit grievances. When there are no legitimate means of addressing the massive and systemic political, economic and social inequalities, an environment is created in which peaceful solutions often lose out against extreme and violent alternatives, including terrorism.

Only a steady, measured and comprehensive approach encompassing both short-term and long-term political, developmental, humanitarian and human rights strategies that focus on the underlying disease rather than the symptoms would bring an enduring solution to this problem. To address the underlying causes of this menace, the world community needs to build global harmony, promote peace and stability, pursue poverty eradication and sustainable development and ensure socio-economic justice, genuine democracy and respect for fundamental rights of people, particularly the inalienable right of self-determination.

In Pakistan too, it is time to review our militant strategies and to wind down the costly military operations and domestic hostilities. Force solves no problems. Grievances, be they in Baluchistan or in Waziristan, must be addressed through political and economic means.

If Afghanistan is at the heart of the war on terror, no strategy or roadmap for peace in Afghanistan would be complete without focusing on the underlying causes of conflict and instability in this whole region. In the first instance, Afghans alone are the arbiters of any intra-Afghan reconciliation process. No foreign-led reconciliation will endure.

For a global response to this challenge, the UN alone has the credentials and wherewithal to broker US withdrawal as it did for the Soviet withdrawal in the eighties of the last century while also addressing this time the legitimate questions of Afghanistan’s neutrality and regional and global security concerns. Only the UN can ensure a precisely negotiated guarantee of Afghanistan’s “nonalignment” including positive and negative security assurances backed by the UN Security Council.

[B]The writer is a former foreign secretary
Shamshad Ahmad[/B]

Naveed_Bhuutto Thursday, November 15, 2012 12:38 AM

[B][I][CENTER][SIZE="4"]Creating New Provinces

[I]The question is if PPP really thinks the creation of new provinces will make Pakistan stronger then why Sindh should not be divided into two or three provinces, on the lines of the three “Divisions” which existed even during early days of Pakistan.[/I]

The year 2013 is election year in Pakistan and also the time when the political forces will be judged on the basis of their performances. The PPP and PML(N) have no mandate to create new provinces because manifestoes of these parties did not include the issue of new provinces before the elections of 2008. It seems perhaps both parties are not satisfied with the progress of federal and provincial governments and now trying to garner votes by exploiting the emotions of masses with the slogan of new provinces.

All major parties are encouraging further division of this already fractured country for their short-term gains.

First came the demand for a Hazara province, to be carved out of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, then the movement for a separate Seraiki province hit the headlines followed by the demand for a Bahawalpur province.

So far, the movements for these new provinces have been comparatively peaceful, limited to speeches, rallies and TV talk shows only. However, the recent wall-chalking and rallies in Karachi for a muhajir province (or southern Sindh province) have resulted in violence and killings of political workers of some parties. This demand has not been welcomed by other ethnic groups living in Sindh and the nationalist parties of Sindh have even vowed to forcibly stop any proposed division of the province.

The people who are demanding a muhajir province need to understand that this demand is a non-starter. The Urdu-speaking community is not limited to Karachi and Hyderabad only. A large number of Urdu-speaking people live in interior Sindh too. Any division,

or even a demand for a division, may lead to a bloodbath across the province. The firing on a rally in Karachi followed by killing of bus passengers in Nawabshah should be enough to alarm us. It is also a fact that those who are at the forefront of this demand may not be able to fulfil the constitutional requirement needed for the creation of a new province. Why create a rift among the communities living in Sindh then? Instead of a separate province, the proponents of this idea should insist on reasonable financial and administrative powers for local governments. This is the only way to serve the people.

Unfortunately, both PPP and PML(N) did not hold local bodies elections in Punjab and Sindh without any solid ground. If LB elections are regularly held and the power is decentralised at UC level people will be happy and they may not demand for new provinces.

“The movement for creating more provinces is a brainchild of the PPP and its moving spirit is the prime minister himself by sponsoring creation of Seraiki province. In other countries, politicians conduct discussions on such ticklish matters by their think-tanks, consult intellectuals and experts. Here, in the party which has sponsored this move there is paucity of intellectuals and learned experts. Where agitational politics is the order of the day, absence of a think-tank is natural. In the erstwhile communist countries proposals for changes were placed in the offices of the party throughout the country for one year eliciting nation-wide debate and thereafter the proposed changes were discussed in the party and then placed in the National Assembly for approval. Here the more important the proposed change in the structure or system of the state the quicker the political bosses want the proposal to become law.
The president is head of the state but he chooses to send reference for the division of Punjab. The president must set up high level independent National Commission which must include financial and administrative experts to give its recommendation for creating new provinces in all the provinces of Pakistan.
There are two aspects of this proposal which need to be given serious consideration: One, can Pakistan afford the cost of creating new provinces? Two, will creating new provinces not finally be pitting ethnicity against Pakistanism promoting divisive forces challenging country's existence? i.e. will the creation of new provinces not tear asunder Pakistan's unity like it did in Yugoslavia in the 1980s. As a student of political science and seen ethnicity destroying Yugoslavia there I witnessed Yugoslavia's disintegration when I was ambassador to Yugoslavia for four years. It is not easy to dismiss the apprehension of such a possibility. Ethnicity has already steeped in Pakistan through naming of a province on ethnic identity. One should not dismiss these apprehensions without having a national debate on the proposal. Discussing this topic, it is necessary to recall what chief minister of Balochistan has said, with which I entirely agree, that this scheme can be very dangerous for the country. I would go a step further; it can be so dangerous that to spell out the consequences better be avoided. Three, is it not an extreme exaggeration to claim that creating new provinces is required for development of those “backward areas”? Could somebody recall how utterly backward these areas were when Pakistan came into existence and what they are today, even Balochistan?” [Dr Samiullah Koreshi]

Pakistan is a poor country, current year's budget deficit is almost Rs. 1105 billion. For example, if Punjab is divided into three provinces then two more governors, two more chief ministers secretariats and two more provincial assemblies will be required in view of the constitution of Pakistan. Who will provide the finances for the new expenditures. We have to see whether the new provinces will be financially feasible. The country is under a huge debt and unless expenditures are not reduced it may not survive economically. The president of Pakistan should have discussed the financial aspect with the experts.

The president also holds political office of PPP so political benefits prevail upon him so he sent the following reference to the Madam Speaker of the National Assembly ignoring financial constraints of the country. “Madam Speaker,

The National Assembly in its 41st session on May 3 passed a resolution to the effect that in order to address the grievances and to secure the political, administrative and economic interests of the people of the southern region of Punjab and to empower them in this regard, a new province to be known as province of Janoobi Punjab be created from the present province of Punjab. The provincial assembly of Punjab has also passed a similar resolution demanding parliament and federal government to create a new province of Janoobi Punjab and also to revive the earlier status of Bahawalpur as a province.

In order to implement the aforesaid resolutions and before a process is initiated to amend the constitution in terms of Article 239 thereof it is expedient that a commission may be constituted comprising six members from the Senate to be nominated by the chairman, six members from the National Assembly to be nominated by the speaker and two members from the provincial assembly of Punjab to be nominated by the speaker of the provincial assembly. The commission shall look into the issues relating to the fair distribution of economic and financial resources, demarcation, allocation/re-adjustment of seats in the National Assembly, Senate and the provincial assembly concerned and allocation of seats in the new province on the basis of population, including seats of minorities and women and other constitutional, legal and administrative matters. The provisions of the constitution which would require amendment inter alia include articles 1(2), 51, 59 and 106 of the constitution.

The commission shall submit its report to speaker as well as to prime minister within 30 days of its notification, which will be followed by initiation of the process of amendment of the constitution.”

The president is head of the state but he chooses to send reference for the division of Punjab. The president must set up high level independent National Commission which must include financial and administrative experts to give its recommendation for creating new provinces in all the provinces of Pakistan. Indian example needs research-based knowledge to understand the background which forces Indian government to create new provinces.

“India is based on geographic nationalism, in Pakistan's case ethnicity is anti-thesis of Pakistan's nationalism. I can say so with confidence as I was in student leadership of Pakistan Movement in Aligarh University and Delhi University. With due apologies, it seems that PPP is promoting ethnicity — the first manifestation of which was creation of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, in which Nawaz Sharif joined hands. If the move to make new provinces catches roots, Pakistan would be de novo decimated into several petty ethnic provinces. Every frog will raise its paw and ask to put naals on it as is the saying in Urdu. A proposal has been made that Punjab should be divided into three/four provinces. Then, there should be at least two provinces in Balochistan, in Sarhad there should be a Hazara province also, another province of Bahawalpur also, and if Bahawalpur then Kalat and other Balochi states may also demand that they should be made new provinces, and if old extinct states are revived then the old ruling houses would demand to be restored, in other words waderaism will return with a vengeance.

In small perspective, the demand for Saraiki province is mainly to cut Punjab to size. The question is if PPP really thinks the creation of new provinces will make Pakistan stronger then why Sindh should not be divided into two or three provinces, on the lines of the three “Divisions” which existed even during early days of Pakistan. There are only two possible motives for this scheme: To create cushy jobs for sons of the waderas in the Seraiki belt, Potohar, etc, and to deny Punjab the major part it plays in Pakistan politics and in the immediate future to cut Nawaz Sharif to size. But this scheme financially is a pipe dream and in essence destructive to Pakistan’s solidarity. It will be worst than creating a Bangladesh and destructive to Pakistan’s unity. It will breed virulent ethnicity. This is a scheme fraught with grave consequences. After such detailed analysis of the scheme to create new provinces, it will be seen that the proposal would damage Pakistan eventually and not just Nawaz Sharif. Personal politics should not be taken to the extent of destroying the country.

[B]The writer is a renowned columnist.
Qayyum Nizami[/B]

Naveed_Bhuutto Thursday, November 15, 2012 12:38 PM



The proximity of the spiritually-bonded states, often reckoned to be a single nation has continued for more than half a century now. Both, Pakistan and Turkey have engaged into amiable political relations for the past six decades. It is noteworthy that during the massive earthquake of 2005 and the catastrophic floods of 2010, Turkey was the first country to extend a helping hand towards Pakistan. However, with the changing waves in the arena of global and regional politics, diplomatic relations between Pakistan and Turkey are devoid of an economically symbiotic relationship. The significant geopolitical status of the two states also account for the criss-crosses that marked the diplomatic pathway which leads to the maintenance of regional balance of power rather than reinforcement of ties. Transition of governments has also led to major reorientations in foreign policies of the two countries. Turkey's geographic location designates the central position to it among the Balkans, the Caucus, the Persian Gulf and the Middle East. Similarly, Pakistan is considered as the gateway to the Central Asia, West Asia and South Asia; holding ethnic affiliations with all kinds of nationalities leading Pakistan to be a strategically pivotal actor in the South Asian region.

Recep Tayyip Erdogan's ruling Justice and Development Party might have felt a little less impressive victory in 2011 than that in the elections of 2007. On the other hand, a dictatorially mutilated Pakistan along with the faint wave of democratisation in 2008 alongside a faltering economy also encountered the open-ended foreign policy of the 11-year-old centre-right conservative AKP. The Turkish leader in his second joint session of Pakistani parliament was cognizant of the hostile political environment prevailing in Pakistan. This was the reason why he stressed upon 'political consensus' and the role of a 'constructive opposition'.

While linking both these politically mature traits with economic progress, he ensured Turkey's support for 'fighting terrorism'. Pakistan and Turkey are standing shoulder-to-shoulder in order to curb terrorism. Strategic and political ties are strengthening, but economic relation between the two seems to be inversely proportional to each other. For Pakistan's gross domestic product growth is decreasing whereas Turkey is witnessing an increase in the GDP growth (+9%).

The rise in inflation in Pakistan is followed by a decline in inflation in Turkey. Despite this fact, the Turkish premier expressed his desire for a joint investment during his recent visit to Pakistan.
Turkey's ability to construct some of the finest dams in the world is not being considered in comparison to Pakistan's hydro-electric potential. Focus is inclined—towards projects like solid-waste management, transport and communications, which tend to benefit the investor.
It is often believed that the post-9/11 economic cooperation between both the countries was mainly due to Turkey's interest in Pakistan's unraveling economy which had a lot of potential and the inflow of financial aid was a key target for Turkish companies.

The recent agreements signed between the government of Punjab and Turkish companies have opened up a new channel for the economic cooperation. Turkey's ability to construct some of the finest dams in the world is not being considered in comparison to Pakistan's hydro-electric potential. Focus is inclined—towards projects like solid-waste management, transport and communications, which tend to benefit the investor.

The RBTS (Rapid Bus Transit System) seems to be an unsustainable gift by the Mayor of Istanbul, Dr Kadir Topbas. There is no assurance that these agreements would continue with the change in government in the Punjab.

Being a friend of a democratic Pakistan, and at the same time being the integral part of NATO, Erdogan had supported the resumption of NATO supplies after the November 26 attack on Salala check post, that is contrary to the aspirations of the masses and stance adopted by Pakistan's foreign office after the attack which claimed the life of 24 Pakistani soldiers.

His mention of the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan by 2014 called for an Afghan-led and Afghan-owned Afghanistan without any allusion towards stability in the border regions of Pakistan. In a competitive international stage, the progress of countries is measured by their economic stability and prosperity. Bilateral ties that are governed by soft-power exchange may strengthen the bond between two states, but cut at the roots of symbiotic economic cooperation which as in the case of Pakistan and Turkey has led to 'one nation, two states but antagonistic economies'.

[B]Fakiha Hassan Rizvi[/B]

Naveed_Bhuutto Thursday, November 15, 2012 12:39 PM


[I]Over the past 51 years, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has grown into a powerful multi-billion dollar political-cum-military weapon in the hands of the American establishment.[/I]

Over the past 51 years, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has grown into a powerful multi-billion dollar political-cum-military weapon in the hands of the American establishment. USAID's charter is explicit: To serve the foreign policy interests of the United States. USAID is a big business in Pakistan. In fact, USAID is a billion dollar per year wrangle — and that is more money than OGDC, MCB, Pakistan Petroleum, PTCL, PSO, Engro, Fauji Fertilizers, SNGPL, Lucky Cement, Indus Motors and Pak Suzuki collectively make in one year.

In 2009, USAID contracted out its five-year, $80 million jobs project. USAID contracted out a $89-million four-year FIRMS project. USAID contracted out a $30-million five-year trade project. Roger Bate, a former director at the London-based Institute of Economic Affairs, claims that “data from USAID's Buy American Report indicates that over the last decade between 70 and 80 per cent of funding appropriations were directed to US sources.” Rubén Berríos, the author of 'Contracting for Development', claims that only a “few cents of every dollar of foreign aid ends up in the Third World.”
On February 9, 2012, Rolf Rosenkranz of Devex, the organisation focused on reducing inefficiencies in the field of international development, asked the all-important question: “Can USAID afford a 90 per cent failure rate?”

President Kennedy's stated objective behind the creation of the USAID was to separate military aid from development aid. According to Eva Golinger, the author of 'The Chavez Code', over the years USAID “merely became an additional fund for the CIA to dip into for covert interventions.” William Blum, a former employee of the US Department of State, maintains that there exists “a close working relationship with the CIA, and that Agency officers often operated abroad under USAID cover (Killing Hope: US military and CIA Interventions Since WWII).” More recently, a former editor of The Japan Times asserted that the “CIA, through USAID, is running a disinformation campaign on Japan's earthquake crippled nuclear facilities.” Corruption also runs rampant. This is what, USAID achieved under its $150 million Fata Livelihood Development Programme: USAID trained two-dozen truck drivers to read road signs. USAID transported cattle from central Punjab to improve the breed in Fata. For $150 million USAID distributed 278 Ravi Piaggio motorcycles, 10 tractors, 12 threshers, nine reapers, 10 trolleys, six MB ploughs, six cultivators, 210 spray pumps and 20 auto sprayers. This is what USAID achieved under its $3.3 million HIV/AIDS Prevention and Care Project: USAID “provided services to 78 HIV-positive individuals and their 276 family members.” Then there was the 'Kabul bank fraud' in which USAID lost a wholesome $850 million. On May 11, 2011, US House Republicans told Dr Rajiv Shah, USAID's administrator, that USAID's “efforts in Haiti have been a failure.” According to David Reef of The New Republic, “USAID has provided a total of $28 billion in economic and development assistance to Egypt” but USAID's undertakings in Egypt have been a total failure. On February 9, 2012, Rolf Rosenkranz of Devex, the organisation focused on reducing inefficiencies in the field of international development, asked the all-important question: “Can USAID afford a 90 per cent failure rate?”

[B]Dr Farrukh Saleem[/B]

Naveed_Bhuutto Thursday, November 15, 2012 12:41 PM

[B][I][CENTER][SIZE="4"]Tax to GPD Ratio[/SIZE][/CENTER][/I][/B]

Political will is required to increase tax to GDP ratio in Pakistan but political instability coupled by inability of successive governments to review causes of low tax to GDP ratio has been a major source of impediments in achieving the target.[/I]

Tax to GDP ratio can be obtained by dividing GDP of the country with total tax collection in a given financial year. Pakistan's total revenue collection in the outgoing financial year 2011-12 against the GDP is slight above 10 per cent so the gap between tax collection and expenditure is always filled by the borrowings. Government borrows from SBP and in the financial year 2011-12 the total government's borrowings stands at Rs. 1100 trillion in which 60 per cent are foreign liabilities. Though tax to GDP ratio in South Asia is not very healthy if compared with the developed and middle income developing countries yet India's tax to GDP ratio is the highest in the region after Maldives. The reason behind the continuous improvement in tax to GDP ratio is tax reforms and enforcement mechanism which compelled the individuals and companies to pay tax. The continuous reliance on indirect tax and easy way to levy it has not been able to improve tax base in Pakistan. In the financial year 2011-12 the tax to GDP ratio has been reported to reach 10.2 per cent of GDP but the sectors that are required to be brought into tax net, i.e. agriculture, real estate, and hotel industry still remain exempted though they are earning handsomely. This speaks of lack of political will and poor performance of revenue collection machinery, narrow tax base, dependence on indirect tax regime, tax exemptions to privileged class and tax evasions.
The lack of confidence and trust upon the government machinery and political system is another cause that compels the people to evade tax. In a country where people pay millions of rupees as Zakat do not feel comfortable to pay tax to the government
Tax to GDP ratio can be improved if concrete steps are taken with a strong political will in the right direction. One of the major reasons for low tax collection is gap between the income of different sectors of the economy and their ability to pay tax. The retail and wholesale sectors, transport, real estate, agriculture and hotel industry do not pay tax proportionate to their income. The lack of confidence and trust upon the government machinery and political system is another cause that compels the people to evade tax. In a country where people pay millions of rupees as Zakat do not feel comfortable to pay tax to the government though it is also their responsibility if they want to get services to their benefit. The performance of provinces in tax collection and their share in total revenue collection is also abysmal and they continue to depend on transfer from centre in the form of NFC award. According to media reports, the tax to GDP ratio in the fiscal year 2011-12 is being estimated around 10.2 per cent which is still far less as compared to India.
There are certain reasons associated with low tax to GDP ratio in Pakistan:-

1- Percentage of male and female population in Pakistan is 49 and 51 per cent, respectively and a big chunk of population, i.e. female population has lesser effective part in economic activity. Moreover, 37 per cent population is below 15 years of age is also playing no role in the economic activity in that case revenue generation chances are less likely to increase which consequently hits tax to GDP ratio.

2- Literacy rate in Pakistan is 56 per cent which is lowest in South Asia. Without education and particularly technical and professional education the dream to bring socioeconomic change is impossible. Therefore, low literacy rate itself brings many problems and ultimately hampers development which is also reflected by the HDI report issued by UN in which Pakistan has been placed at 145th position out of 187 countries.

3- Energy crisis have badly affected the economic activities across the countries and the government is also losing revenue due to low production in all the segments of economy. Foreign investors are reluctant to invest in Pakistan and FDI has significantly decreased in fiscal year 2011-12. Due to increasing CPI and WPI the purchasing power of masses has also gone down in this situation it seems difficult to increase tax to GDP ratio.

4- In a country of almost 180 million people 1.8 million people pay tax it is because of narrow tax base. Efforts are required to increase tax base that includes the monitoring of different entities that can pay tax but somehow they are evading tax. It can also help in identifying new entrants into tax net. Pakistan's tax base is 1 per cent whereas tax base in USA is 25 per cent, in Malaysia 21 per cent and in India 4 per cent. They have taken strong steps in reforming their tax administration and people also feel it their responsibility to pay tax. Therefore, there is a need to make tax culture friendly.

5- Progressive taxation, i.e. increase in tax rate increases with rising income it serves as correcting income inequalities but unfortunately in Pakistan progressive taxes have been abolished in certain sectors of the economy which are required to be rationalised.

6- Informal sector of the economy has always escaped the attention of the government whereas this undocumented chunk of the economy can contribute significantly towards improving tax to GDP ratio. Efforts should be geared up to bring this sector of the economy into tax net.

7- Pakistan has been placed at 34th position among the most corrupt countries according to Transparency International a year earlier it was at 42nd position. Corruption is the root cause of all evils in our state institutions and taxation department is at No 8 amongst the most corrupt institutions. Only exemplary punishment, strict accountability and monitoring can improve the situation along with incentives to the hard workers.

8- Agriculture sector accounts for 22 per cent of GDP but its tax contribution is about 1 per cent of total revenue, tax exemptions are basically granted to boost economic activity in certain sectors or to bring at par with other vulnerable groups to preserve equity in the tax system. But in practice they are meant for privileged classes of the society and with the passage of time the list of exemptions has grown bigger and bigger in the form of tax rebates, and concessions. This policy should be reviewed and be in commensuration with ground realities.

Political will is required to increase tax to GDP ratio in Pakistan but political instability coupled by inability of successive governments to review causes of low tax to GDP ratio has been a major source of impediments in achieving the target. Exemptions of all kinds except which are necessary in the real sense be given whereas other exemptions given to privileged class should be abolished. Economy should be documented and informal sector be brought into tax net in a comprehensive way. Agriculture sector must be brought into tax net and share of services sectors livestock, textile, sports — should also be proportionate to countries having high tax to GDP ratio. The share of provinces in tax collection which is quite less as compare to their potential be enhanced keeping aside political expediency.

[B]The writer is Director in a Public Sector Organization.
Muhammad Ramzan[/B]

Naveed_Bhuutto Thursday, November 15, 2012 12:43 PM

[B][I][CENTER][SIZE="4"]Balochistan: The EI Dorado of Pakistan[/SIZE][/CENTER][/I][/B]

[I]About 41 years ago, Pakistan lost its eastern wing (East Pakistan), the reason being that it had larger population than the West Pakistan.[/I]

Although the East Pakistanis were in majority yet they were deprived of their rights and their problems were not solved according to their aspirations.

After the abolition of 'One-Unit' in 1970, Balochistan got the status of a province. Although Balochistan is the largest province of Pakistan by area yet it had never received its due share in the national income despite being the major contributor by virtue of its invaluable natural resources. Moreover, the economic and strategic importance of Balochistan could never get the proper recognition by the establishment. Apparently, this disparagement and discrimination is because of the low agricultural production which portrays Balochistan as a worthless place; comprising only deserts, dry mountains and unfertile land. However, realistically speaking, Balochistan is the richest part of Pakistan with its enormous, but unexploited, economic potential. In fact, Balochistan is blessed with a number of natural resources and the discovered resources have value in trillions of dollars. Neither part of Pakistan can be compared with Balochistan in this regard.

A renowned Pakistani economist Dr Mehboob-ul-Haq once said, “The government will not pay any attention toward the production resources of Balochistan until and unless the recourses of Punjab and Sindh come about to shrink.” And today, we are witnessing the situation which he foretold in 1985, nearly 27 years ago. Further frustrating is that till now no proper attention has been paid toward Balochistan while the situation demands some serious steps not only to utilise the economic potential of Balochistan but to secure the future of Pakistan.
Dr Mehboob-ul-Haq once said, “The government will not pay any attention toward the production resources of Balochistan until and unless the recourses of Punjab and Sindh come about to shrink.” And today, we are witnessing the situation which he foretold in 1985, nearly 27 years ago.
First of all, as far as the agricultural production is concerned, half of the world's population lives in arid and semi-arid regions like the Balochistan and even today, limited resources of water can be used for agriculture by the help of technology and appropriate planning. Furthermore, the significance of livestock cannot be undermined because there are vast pastures and big forests in Balochistan. It is necessary to mention here that in terms of environment and area, many countries have a little number of ecological zones but Balochistan alone has eight different ecological zones with a huge biodiversity. In these zones, different types of herbs and plants used in medicines are found in abundance. There are no thick forests in Balochistan like in Sindh, Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa but the forests of Balochistan are unique in many senses. For instance, there are juniper forests in Ziarat. The juniper trees have the long ages ranging from 900 to 2500 years. Moreover, if we move towards the north, i.e. Zhob division, here district Sherani has the unique forests of pinenuts and today medicines are being made by pinenuts in China and many other countries. Here, pinenuts are sold at Rs. 2000 per kg. On the other hand, there are mangrove forests in the coastal belt of Balochistan which provide a natural protection against tsunamis.

Balochistan is also a big source of livestock production and contains about 45 per cent of the country's total livestock. It generates annual income of about 50 million rupees and a special type of very heavy bull called 'Bagh Nari' is also found in Balochistan. Another bull 'Nari Master', a cross-breed of the Australian cow and 'Bagh Nari' and weighs 850 to 1000 kg, is also found here.

The Arabian Sea touches the coast of Pakistan which is about 1000 km long of which 770 km is in Balochistan. The coast is divided into two districts: 600km in Gwardar and 170 km in Lasbela. This coastal belt can provide 10 times more seafood production than any other coast in the world while in the Indian Ocean it provides four times more production. In terms of quality also, it is important throughout the world. At present, about 0.2 million tons of seafood is gained from the coast of Balochistan. But this huge production is not recorded officially because it is dispatched to Karachi from where it is exported to various countries.

Besides this, another large and important source of production as well as employment in Balochistan comprises the minerals. These invaluable resources, though unexploited yet, had always allured the super-powers, but in recent years, this interest has unprecedentedly increased. At present, there are a large number of minerals being mined in Balochistan apart from the natural gas which was discovered at Sui in 1952. From 1956 to 1999, this gas fulfilled the 50 per cent of the country's requirement, and from 1956 to 1986, it had more than 50 per cent share in the country's development and industrial production. Furthermore, there are huge deposits of gold, copper and silver in Sandak and adjoining areas and Pakistan's first metal industry is planted here at district Chagai in the area of Recodec. These gold and copper deposits are, undoubtedly, one of the world's largest deposits.

As far as the agriculture is concerned, a period of prolonged drought, from 1997 to 2003, has adversely affected this sector in Balochistan.

After the end of drought, the condition of the agricultural production improved and in the very next year, it was as follows:

But after few years, the production of fruits increased, now the apple and dates are produced about 550,000 tons annually, while the annual production of grapes is nearly 100,000 tons.

In spite of these facts, the major source of employment in Balochistan is still trade; some of which is documented while the large chunk comprises border trading or smuggling.

Pakistan has granted permission to Afghanistan to trade throughout the world through Karachi Port. The Afghan traders import goods from all over the world. As there is no duty or tax on imports in Afghanistan, these goods are smuggled into Pakistan. These include foreign cloths, cosmetics, electronics, automobile spare parts, etc.

Similarly, smuggling is carried out through the Iranian border too which includes petrol, edibles and many other goods. However, human trafficking is also done through this route by which thousands of people go to Middle East and Europe illegally, however, many of them are arrested at Pak-Iran border. Through smuggling through the Arabian Sea especially from Gwardar coast, tons of drugs are smuggled to the foreign countries. Huge quantities of drugs are captured by the anti-narcotics force (ANF) through this route annually.

The geographical position of Balochistan plays a pivotal role in its production and employment resources, and without any doubt, this geographical position will be a major source in future for the income of Balochistan. It is the province which provides access to Central Asia, Middle East and Europe that is why it has tremendous importance for global and regional powers.

At present, the RCD road joins Pakistan, Iran and Turkey and after Turkey the western Europe starts, and in north, after Afghanistan, there comes Russia, and the Central Asian countries like Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan.

In south, Gwardar faces Gulf states which are at a distance of only hours. A railway line also joins Pakistan and Iran. In 2009, one train went to Istanbul from Lahore, and seeing that India and Bangladesh wished to export their goods to Europe and Middle East through this train, but now due to the deteriorated law and order situation in Balochistan, this track has been damaged by blasts several times. However, if in future these ways of trade are resumed, the Gwardar will be the most important port of the region which will be helpful in enhancing the trade to Middle East, Central Asia and Europe. This will, surely, be a fruitful and a great source of income for the impoverished province.

At present, Balochistan is one of the most backward areas of world and according to a report of UNDP on Balochistan Millennium Development Goals 2011, more than 48 per cent population of the province is below the poverty line.

However, it is quite encouraging and is, undoubtedly, a ray of hope for the better future of Balochistan that on June 11, 2012, the Balochistan government presented the budget having a volume of Rs. 179197000000/-, and it was a tax and deficit free budget as well. Many loans of the province are being paid back in this budget while, an investment board is also set up with Rs. 8,000,000,000, which will run the Sandak and Recodec projects for the next year and similarly the Gwadar port is now under the direct authority of Chief Minister Balochistan.

Now, we have to see that after 7th NFC Award and 18th amendment, what steps the provincial government takes in order to improve the economic and financial condition of Balochistan and for the prosperity of the peoples of Balochistan as a whole because as far as the resources are concerned, they are more than enough to fulfil the needs of the province or even the whole country.

[B]Dr. Irfan Ahmad Baig[/B]

Naveed_Bhuutto Thursday, November 15, 2012 11:18 PM


Dr Mujahid Kamran is a genuine scholar who also serves as the vice chancellor of the University of the Punjab. He writes on diverse topics ranging from theoretical physics to mass media, and from politics to literature. He has written books on Physics and Politics with the equal honesty and sincerity for the nation. His book “Jadeed Tabiaat kay Baani” is in fact a made-easy history of the modern physics which has been written with the intention of inculcating scientific inquisitiveness among the minds of his otherwise dogmatic minded readers.

The book “THE GRAND DECEPTION: corporate America and perpetual war” is a translated version of the compilation of his columns, which were previously published with the title Pas e Parda: Aalami Syaasat kay Makhfi Haqaaeq in Urdu by Sang e Meel in 2001. The columns had been being published in daily Waqt from August to December 2007. Dr Mujahid has recently been writing for The Nation as well.

Despite the fact that Dr Mujahid loves reading and writing poetry; and experiences great affiliation with the literary great masters (to name a few George Orwell, Majeed Amjad) of both the languages; his language in the columns remain dry and descriptive. He avoids adding layers of meanings with the creative use of words. Instead, he believes in explaining the crude facts the way they are.

Since he is a professor of Physics, therefore his insight into the discipline should not be a matter of surprise. However, what pleasantly surprises us is his patriotic voice which draws our stray attention to the need of never forgetting the services of a Pakistani physicist Dr Abdus Salam; the only Nobel Laureate of Pakistan.

The Grand Deception is a well-thought-over and well-composed compilation of the articles written with a vision. Although it is a compilation of the articles which have been written on various topics, yet there is an invisible association among all; which makes the book valuable for those who aspire to know about the dynamics of Political Science, Mass Communication, International Relations; and those who aspire to serve the state after getting through the CSS and PMS exams.

The subtitle although suggests that the book discusses the perpetual war ignited by the US world over, yet, through this periscope, Dr Mujahid looks at the calamities the humanity is suffering from due to the pandemonium of a heartless monster we know as capitalism.

In a way, the writer in this book advocates the ideas of Chomsky, Gramsci, Habermas, Adorno and those who talk and act against the oppressor ruling capitalist class. He deeply analyzes the American Media which are virtually moaning in the claws of the riches.

Dr Mujahid, in light of Zbigniew Brzezinski’s ideas (The Grand Chessboard, and Second Chance), warns the US to be aware of the sentiments of the world grown against the government and the establishment of the US.

Dr Mujahid, in the book in question, very profoundly discusses, rather unveils, the reality of the Pearl Harbor attack. Since he is a scientist by nature, this is why he does not produce and rely on mere sweeping statements only. He asserts his point of view with the help of references and statistical data wherever he deems inevitable.

Dr Mujahid’s Letter to the US ambassador, which is the part of the book and appears at the end as chapter 35 is a must-read piece. The way he makes his points and presents the case of a common Pakistani is commendable. If other articles are a reflection of his rational soul, this letter is a reflection of his emotional soul. We meet a sensitive, patriotic, thinking and enlightened Pakistani in here. He not only illustrates the picture of the mental torture he had to undergo, but also shows the gloomy picture of America’s future through the mirror of this letter, if at all, the US do not realize the tightening noose of the atrocities the capitalism is casting upon the American society.

The results of the recent French Elections where the Socialists have won; and the Egyptian elections where Brotherhood have won strengthen the points made in The Grand Deception, that, the masses wherever they are, are urging for an alternative system. This relevance to the ever-changing world adds value to the dynamicity-rich book.

As a matter of fact, each of the articles of the book deserves a full-blown and thorough review; for it contains substance and things to ponder over. Unfortunately, the constraints of the space over here refrain us from doing so.

[B]Ahmad Hammad[/B]

Naveed_Bhuutto Thursday, November 15, 2012 11:20 PM

[I][SIZE="4"][CENTER][B]A Magna Carta of Pakistan and the Muslim World[/B][/CENTER][/SIZE][/I]

Objective resolution of 1949 was presented to negate the national and international conspiracies upraised right after the formation of Pakistan to make the nation secular, but unfortunately this resolution was not that much discussed. Liaquat Ali khan made it clear that this resolution is no less than a Magna Carte for the future constitutional build-up of Pakistan. Having a close and intellect eye on this resolution shows that it was justified not only in the contest of the then situation of the world but also in contest of the bitter references and happenings of history related to theocracy and secularism. He filtered out the confusion of theocracy by giving reference that, it is and has been a problem of Christian's majority areas especially that of Europe (Christian Club) who suffered the cruelties of theocracy in the middle Ages.

[B]He said:[/B]
If anyone talks of Theocracy in the context of government of Pakistan, he has either some misgiving or intends mischievously to discredit us
Adequate provision shall be made for the minorities to profess and practise freely their religions and develop their cultures.

Fundamental rights including equality of status, of opportunity, social, economic and political justice, freedom of thought, expression, belief, faith, worship and association, subject to law and public morality.

It is God-consciousness alone which can save humanity, which means that all power that humanity possesses must be used in accordance with ethical standards which have been laid down by inspired teachers known to us as the great Prophets of different religions

Formidable features, no less than a paradigm, will be based on equality, democracy, freedom, tolerance and social justice.

Pakistan will not only take care of minorities but also those of backward and oppressed people (in the current constitution of Pakistan quota system is in operation which is the manifestation of this particular point).

In Pakistan, there will be no margin of Machiavellism (Machiavelli was an western political theorist believing in absolute and cruel use of power. 'Prince' is the name of his book)

Here his views ,according to the objective resolution, closely indicate that objective resolution is not all about good citizens but good human beings, unlike western democracy, which, after minimizing religion from their everyday life and politics, confronted and absorbed so many economic and social evils as well.
We have a great record in tolerance, for under no system of Government, even in the Middle Ages, have the minorities received the same consideration and freedom as they did in Muslim countries. When Christian dissentients and Muslims were being tortured and driven out of their homes, when they were being hunted as animals and burnt as criminals - even criminals have never been burnt in Islamic society

Islam has shown accommodation, in the history, for the minorities by accommodating Jews Diaspora from Europe to Ottoman Empire. Similarly Muslims supported the translation of Hindu religious doctrine or writings into Bengali language.

After passing of this resolution, perplexity was shown by the two superpowers as Pakistan was one of the largest Muslim populous countries and could have risen as the role model of a true not only Muslim but Islamic state on the map of the world

Communist-minded leaders in Pakistan showed a reservation that it might cause upraise in the Muslim majority, Central Asian States. On the other hand, Americans felt Islam, being substitution of capitalism and communism, as a threat and they tried to get some changes in this resolution by using their influence that was strongly criticized by Muslim intelligentsia.
Do You Know?

Minister of law and founder of Indian constitution, Dr B. R. Ambedkar, got converted into Buddhism due to the sham secularism of India, and later on, in early 1980s, a Sikh nationalist, Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, demanded to abolish the Indian constitution clause calling, Sikhs are from Hindus/Hinduism .This demand ran into a conflict and Indian prime minister ordered to attack the golden temple to kill all the Sikhs having shelter there. Later on, in revenge, Indira Gandhi was killed by her two bodyguards in 1984.
Real astonishing point over here was that, Americans did not raised their fingers towards most of the Arab countries where kingdom rule was a way of life up to the extreme of monarchy and in many of the countries it still is the case.

It is pertinent to mention that some people threatened the government of Liaquat Ali Khan that if Pakistan becomes declared religious/Islamic state, then India might also become Hindu state whereas India was a country with the population of all the religions not only of the region but those of the world. So India had to become secular by chance not by choice, as 20 % population of India was non-Hindu, whereas in West Pakistan only 2% were non Muslim. So, joint percentage of East and West-Pakistan of non Muslim people was no way more than 6%. So excuses and reservations on the issue of minorities was not a big deal in Pakistan.

No doubt many of the points of objective resolution were preamble in the first constituent and then second and third constitution of Pakistan but it were more in the written form then in the practical shape. No sooner, the first dictator of Pakistan Ayub khan took over the rule in 1958 most of the religious parties became obvious and psyche fiends of the military dictator as they were quite aware that they cannot win public support to have access to the corridors of the power. This military mullah alliance continued during the regimes of two dictators of zia ul haq and musharaf. Ayub khan presented the constitution of 1962 and eliminated the word of Islamic from the constituent which was opposed widely. So he had to rename it Islamic republic of Pakistan. The neutral analysis clearly indicate that Liaquat ali khan was closest personality of Quaid e Azam would not have gone against the perception of Quaid e azam ,but Pakistan as an independent state was not a domestic or regional happening but was a point of international concern due to its location and ideology. So foreign intervention started immediately especially by USA to change and manoeuvre the ideological outlook of Pakistan and make it as a subservient state to materialize its future plans in this regions especially against the former USSR. Now, as a secret document has surfaced about the US involvement in the murder of Liaqat Ali khan who was the last charismatic personality after Quaid e Azam. It becomes widely proven fact that US got rid of him to materialize all the wish list by using this piece of land, Pakistan.

[B]Dr. Munawar Sabir[/B]

wannabe Friday, November 16, 2012 09:00 AM

Chicago summit and afghan future
Friday, June 01, 2012

Militarily powerful nations around the globe, in a summit held in Chicago on May 20-21, endorsed the plans to conclude Isaf's mission in Afghanistan by the end of 2014. However, they reiterated that Afghanistan would not stand alone and reaffirmed that their close partnership would continue beyond the end of the transition period. The nations contributing to Isaf further pledged to continue to support Afghanistan on its path towards self-reliance in security, improved governance and economic and social development. The purpose of remaining ‘engaged’ in Afghanistan was said to prevent Afghanistan from ever again becoming a safe haven for terrorists that threaten Afghanistan, the region and the world. Given the significance of Nato/Isaf Summit, it becomes imperative to analyse the outcome of Chicago Summit in the context of Pak-US relations. It is equally significant to discuss the emerging scenario of this relationship from different perspectives.
President Asif Zardari's presence in the ISAF/NATO Summit highlighted the future role of Pakistan. Such a factor was also acknowledged by the NATO Declaration that “the countries in the region, particularly Pakistan, have important roles in ensuring enduring peace, stability and security in Afghanistan and in facilitating the completion of the transition process”.
and social development. The purpose of remaining ‘engaged’ in Afghanistan was said to prevent Afghanistan from ever again becoming a safe haven for terrorists that threaten Afghanistan, the region and the world. Given the significance of Nato/Isaf Summit, it becomes imperative to analyse the outcome of Chicago Summit in the context of Pak-US relations. It is equally significant to discuss the emerging scenario of this relationship from different perspectives.

Chicago Summit set certain roadmaps for handing over the security responsibility entirely to Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) by the end of 2014. President Karzai announced on May 13, 2012 the third wave of provinces to be handed over to ANSF. This means that 75% of Afghanistan's population will soon be living in areas where the ANSF have taken the lead for security. The Isaf will be, gradually and responsibly, drawing down its forces to complete its mission by 31 December 2014. The Chicago Summit announced that the completion of transition, however, will not mean the end of the international community's commitment to Afghanistan's stability and development. Afghanistan and Nato reaffirmed their commitment to further develop the Nato-Afghanistan Enduring Partnership signed at Lisbon in 2010 in all its dimensions, up to 2014 and beyond, including through joint programmes to build capacity. As transition of security responsibility is completed, Nato will have made the shift from a combat mission to a new training, advising and assistance mission, which will be of a different nature to the current Isaf mission.

Nato/Isaf pledge notwithstanding, the crucial question remains of the financing for ANSF beyond transition period. At the International Afghanistan Conference in Bonn on 5 December 2011, the wider international community decided to support the training, equipping, financing and capability development of the ANSF beyond the end of the transition period. The preliminary model for a future total ANSF size, defined by the international community and Afghanistan, envisages a force of 228,500 with an estimated annual budget of US$4.1billion, and will be reviewed regularly against the developing security environment. It was decided in Chicago that Afghanistan's yearly share will increase progressively from at least US$500m in 2015, with the aim that it can assume, no later than 2024, full financial responsibility for its own security forces.

The Chicago Summit's commitment with Afghanistan beyond 2014 was not unconditional. The Summit recalled the firm mutual commitments made at the Bonn Conference, which formed the basis of long-term partnership. In the said context, Afghanistan will have to deliver on its commitment to a democratic society, based on the rule of law and good governance, including progress in the fight against corruption, where the human rights and fundamental freedoms of its citizens, including the equality of men and women and the active participation of both in Afghan society, are respected. For attaining these objectives, the Summit touched certain elements in terms of political reconciliation. It advocated that a political process involving successful reconciliation and reintegration is a key to a peaceful and stable Afghanistan.

Pak Factor
President Asif Zardari's presence in the Isaf/Nato Summit highlighted the future role of Pakistan. Such a factor was also acknowledged by the Nato Declaration that “the countries in the region, particularly Pakistan, have important roles in ensuring enduring peace, stability and security in Afghanistan and in facilitating the completion of the transition process”. Similarly, Nato Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen also made it clear that Nato was “counting on Pakistan's commitment to support Isaf and Nato efforts in Afghanistan”, while demanding “reopening of the land routes very soon”, because he said “we need these”.

NATO Supplies
The question of reopening of Nato Supply routes or Ground Lines of Communications (GLOCS) through Pakistan has been a hot cake since the Salala attacks of November 26. It has both short-term as well as long-term implications both for Pakistan and Nato/Isaf nations. For the last many weeks, Pakistan and the United States have been working closely to sort out this question. The two sides are reportedly stuck at rates for each container passing through Pakistan. For many years, Pakistan was not charging a single cent. However, it started to charge a mere amount of $250 per trawler till the termination of the supply routes for Nato after Salala attacks. On its alternate northern supply routes, the United States and Nato are paying $17000 per trawler which is far higher and costlier than the routes through Pakistan. In the ongoing talks, Pakistan has proposed levy of $5000 per container but it is still not acceptable to the United States. Pakistani negotiators press that the United States is paying $17000 on northern routes but unwilling to pay less amount of $5000 to Pakistan. The perspective of Pakistan is that the Nato routes have badly damaged its roads and infrastructure. Ministry of Communication claims that Nato supply process has caused a damage of Rs 100 billion to infrastructure and road networks in Pakistan. The United States and Nato are expected to pay for the damage caused to Pakistan roads. However, the US officials are heard of talking that it is not the only Nato trucks that use the roads because Pakistani transporters of any kind also use the roads. Many critics suspected that President Asif Ali Zardari would succumb to the pressure and announce reopening of GLOCs. However, President Zardari frustrated his critics and did not make any announcement. Contrary to such expectations, President Zardari categorically told the Summit that our Parliament gave a roadmap for future engagement with Nato and Isaf and the Defence Committee of the Cabinet of the Government of Pakistan has considered the issue. The Defence Committee of the Cabinet in its meeting on May 15 “authorised officers of the relevant ministries/departments to conclude the ongoing negotiations on the new terms and conditions for resumption of GLOCS”. In fact, the talks are still going on. Such a process of talks was echoed in the Chicago Summit that “Nato continues to work with Pakistan to reopen the Ground Lines of Communication as soon as possible”. Similarly, the question of seeking apology on Salala attacks and opposition to drone attacks are consistent from Pakistan and President Zardari did not announce doing away with from these demands.
It was decided in Chicago that Afghanistan's yearly share will increase progressively from at least US$500m in 2015, with the aim that it can assume, no later than 2024, full financial responsibility for its own security forces.

The very invitation to Pakistan to attend the Chicago conference was not a small gesture. It reaffirmed the quest for engagement from the United States/NATO/ISAF with Pakistan. Not being invited would have given a clear signal that the international community thinks Pakistan part of the problem. And declining to attend like boycott of the Bonn conference, would have given terrible signal from Pakistan that we do not want to be part of the solution. Chicago Conference and participation of Pakistan has given a clear message that the international community is still by and large willing to engage Pakistan. The expectation remains the same that Pakistan works with the international community to help stabilize Afghanistan and to address some of the internal security challenges that Pakistan has failed to come to terms with as yet. It must be understood that the International community would never allow return of 1990s in Afghanistan that the soil of Afghanistan becomes a breeding ground for international terrorism. The disengagement of the international community beyond 2014 would also be a nightmare for Pakistan as the civil war in that case, would be catastrophic for Pakistan. It will unleash another unending tide of refugees for Pakistan. If the international community abandons Afghanistan and let the religious fanatics take over Kabul once again, Pakistan would again suffer an onslaught of ideologues.

[B]Shaukat Piracha[/B]

wannabe Friday, November 16, 2012 09:03 AM

Social challenges of Pakistan and Media
[CENTER][B]Social challenges of Pakistan and Media[/B][/CENTER]

The social constitution and safety of the people are necessary ingredients for a broad-based and inclusive growth of a nation, but Pakistan after 65 years of its creation, is still far away from properly addressing the confronting social challenges.

Friday, June 01, 2012

Resultantly, today Pakistani society is polarised and is beset with social and economic injustice, religious and ethnic sectarianism, gender and class discrimination, terrorism and extremism, unemployment and inflation, illiteracy and health sector problems, high population growth rate and insufficient food supply, energy crisis and lack of foreign investment and so on. Although Pakistan, the 7th nuclear power with a strong army, is the sixth most populous country in the world yet in the recent UNDP human development indicators, it stands at 145th position.

Keeping in view the current growth rate, it is predicted that Pakistan will be the world's third most populous country by 2050. However, the silver lining is that nearly 67% of more than 170 million Pakistanis comprises the youth with an average age of less than 30 years. We are comparatively a young, vigorous and energetic nation with loads of potential. Ironically, no proper strategy has been devised yet to channel the abounding talent and élan of youth in the right direction.

Rapidly growing population, internal and external political tensions and a debt-ridden economy, all serve to thwart Pakistan's progress that it needs to develop and perhaps even to survive. Massive foreign debt eats up half of budget every year. Hence, it doesn't remain possible to allocate sufficient funds for economic and social development. This has pushed a considerable portion (34%) of Pakistanis to live in abject poverty while the unemployment rate is also on the rise.

With the highest rate of urbanisation in the region, the extent and intensity of the socioeconomic problems of Pakistan has soared to alarming level. Due to poverty, unemployment and unmanageable urbanisation, the basic amenities i.e. shelter, food and clothing are not being adequately provided. This deprivation has become the apparent cause of different other menaces. Social evils like street crimes, robbery, beggary, drug addiction, etc. are becoming common. The caste system and superstitions are also deep-rooted in the society. This state of affairs has made social reforms imperative for the development of the society and the masses.

We need to focus on diverse approaches to combat these menaces as the goal of social stability is unachievable without spreading education compatible with the requirements of the contemporary world and advancements in science and technology. Pakistan needs reforms and innovation in political, education, health and agriculture sectors and above all economic reforms are the most urgently required. We have to adopt the policies which facilitate local solutions for our problems and media can play a significant and supportive role in this regard.

Being the fourth pillar of the state, it plays the role of a watchdog in a democratic society. It also enhances the knowledge by communicating the happenings from around the world. Media in Pakistan is working rather freely. It is poised to serve the nation in having a bright future. A variety of TV channels are on air nowadays and their content comprises diverse programmes ranging from news and talk shows to sitcoms, dramas, music and sports. It also highlights multiple issues related to education, social crimes, politics, religion, etc.

This unprecedented growth and range of Pakistani media make someone believe that it is playing and can play a constructive role to overcome the social challenges. Media has effectively highlighted the important issues, particularly, war on terror, energy crisis, water shortage, social crimes, poverty, etc. It has helped in formulating public opinion against the war on terror which has caused a great deal of economic and human loss to Pakistan.
Ironically, no proper strategy has been devised yet to channel the abounding talent and élan of youth in the right direction.
The importance and role of media is undeniable especially with reference to social challenges of Pakistan. It reveals the truth to the people about all the social issues. Its diverse programmes not only reflect the social evils but also present solution to them. It is playing a significant role in changing and reshaping the social attitude of Pakistanis. The media plays a pivotal role in national identity building within and outside the country. Professional journalists strive to create a sense of belonging in the disillusioned youth and encourage them to be the responsible citizens of Pakistan.

However, it is observed that Pakistani media, sometimes, does not maintain balance between political and social issues rather more time is given to the politics and political activities. The role of various media houses, in the recent years, has become quite irresponsible. The journalists frequently cross the limits and exaggerate the facts in a bid to improve their readership, and channels, their viewership. This harum-scarum and irrational approach creates unrest and leads to chaos which ultimately negates development. TV channels and newspapers should develop a responsible and balanced approach and show a responsible behaviour while addressing the social issues. Many journalists are also blamed for their political affiliation and that they work on a defined agenda. This state of affairs requires improvement and professionalism to play its role effectively.

In prevailing situation, media should work to create consciousness and awareness among the masses through their programmes. It should motivate and boost up the morale of the public and the government as well. This motivation and guidance can inspire them to resolve conflicts and work together for the common interests and resolve the social problems. The media should refrain from biased criticism and provide fair and balanced analysis to the public. It should show both sides of the picture. Programmes of broadcast media should be aimed at providing guidance to the general public and have solution-oriented approach.

It is the responsibility of media to highlight and project the positive aspects and activities while discourage the unethical factors of the society to achieve the goal of social development. The sensitive social issues must be reported sensibly and with great care.

Media should strive toward stabilising and strengthening the country and play its important role through disseminating information and education. It should also work to spread awareness and knowledge as only those societies develop that have a high literacy rate and are knowledgeable.

The media should criticise the government for improvement in governance and good aspects and steps should also be admired.

Social media can be a strong motivator when it comes to mobilise the youth as youth is now socialising online because such conversations are more interactive. The examples of the Tunisian and Egyptian revolution manifest the impact of social media. Media can be used to sensitise and motivate the youth for adopting positive attitude towards the betterment of society.
[B]Dr. Anjum Zia[/B]

Naveed_Bhuutto Friday, November 16, 2012 03:17 PM


[I]It is generally believed that observance of merciless discipline and accountability are the hallmark of our armed forces.

No doubt there are lots of reasons for this belief, but the unpardonable lapse of security of Mehran Base at Karachi, and now the verdict of the Court Martial has shaken this belief and disappointed us. After a year elapsed, yesterday the verdict of Court Martial was announced by spokesmen of Pakistan Navy. This verdict is reported in the national media of today the 22nd May 2012, whereby only one Commodore and two Commanders of Navy are penalized by the Court Martial for the devastating attack on Mehran Base of Pak Navy located next to the runway of Air Force at Karachi. This gruesome attack on Mehran Base resulted in loss of invaluable lives of several naval officers and other security agencies, by handful of about 12 terrorists.

Commodore Irfan Ul Haq, the Chief Spokesmen of Pakistan Navy, on the pretext of confidentiality, refused to disclose the names or sentences, if any, awarded to the Naval Officers against whom the Court Martial proceedings were conducted. The reports in national media, however, disclose that some sort of a mild penalty was given by the Court Martial to only three concerned officers of Pak Navy. None of them was awarded any rigorous imprisonment. The number of officers tried by the Court Martial is also not disclosed. Nor it is known if anybody has been acquitted, or whether all the concerned Officers named in the first report of investigation were court-martialed or not. The courts of armed forces are known for their unparallel speedy justice. Strangely in this case, the court-martial prolonged the trial and after several months elapsed, if not a year, awarded such penalty which appears to be negligible keeping in view the gravity of the disaster and security lapse. I wonder why? The negligible penalty can only be justified, if the accused did not have any major role or responsibility for such a great national disaster. If this was the case, then why they were penalized at all. And who on earth were responsible for such a blatant security lapse. The investigators, prosecutors and the Court should have identified and prosecuted such personnel of Pak Navy and Pak Air Force for such indefensible disaster of Mehran Base. Why was this exercise not carried out? These pertinent questions arising from the verdict of the court-martial, creates doubts in the minds of the people about the degree of discipline or accountability being presently observed in our armed forces. I am sure all will agree that none of the personnel of the armed forces should give rise to such doubts by any of their act or omission.

It may also be noted that despite the reports appearing in the media that the security lapse had occurred both at the end of the officers, responsible for the security at the Air Base and Naval Base. But none of the concerned officers of Air Force was tried by the court nor was top brass of Pak Navy made accountable for this inexcusable security lapse. The gravity of this lapse had warranted that the Naval Chief should have been made to resign or sacked. Instead, to our horror, the Naval Chief was conferred one of the highest awards early this year by our President. It can only happen in Pakistan, unfortunately. No wonder that our critiques in the world embarrass us by calling Pakistan a “Banana Republic”.

There is no tenable reason or justification for maintaining secrecy even in the accountability and judicial process in such incidents of national tragedy, which are also reported all over the world. Not only several of our brave Naval Officers were martyred but national assets of billions of rupees were also destroyed in this incident. It is always in our national interest to show zero tolerance for such blatant security failure of any officer, howsoever high ranking he may be, and none should escape severe punishment for such criminal negligence. There is no cavil about the policy to exercise complete secrecy about the vital facts and information relating to the affairs and functioning of our armed forces. I fully agree that national interest must not be compromised or exposed by disclosure of any information, which may harm our armed forces and the country. Nevertheless, I have noted that in today’s age of global information technology, more facts are known to our adversaries than the people of Pakistan. It is high time that the top brass of our armed forces should realize that policy of maintaining secrecy on all issues even in processes of all trial and accountability of our soldiers may prove to be counterproductive. It neither meets ends of justice nor satisfies the people at large about the fairness of trail and accountability. Only a transparent process of trial and accountability without any favour or fear will give confidence to the people that no civilian or member of armed forces is above the law or shall go unpunished for their dastardly acts. It is, therefore, necessary that like the Judicial Commission investigating the most embarrassing incident of violation of our sovereignty in Abbotabad on May 2, 2011, the Mehran Base disaster and national tragedy must also be investigated by an independent Judicial Commission. The Mehran Base destruction was not just a loss of our Pak Navy, it was a national loss, and it is in our national interest to ensure that none will go unpunished and such dastardly incidents may not occur in the future.

[B]Iqbal Haider Senator (retd)[/B]

Naveed_Bhuutto Saturday, November 17, 2012 02:00 PM

[B][I][CENTER][SIZE="5"]Women Empowerment in Balochistan[/SIZE][/CENTER][/I][/B]

[I]It is very tricky and misleading to pass judgment on any process that is in its initial stage, at least in this part of the world.[/I]

True, that in the developed countries the process of Women Empowerment, stretched over two centuries of struggle, has gone way ahead and cannot be termed as a process in its initial stages. Equally true is the fact that even in the developed countries it is still an ongoing process.

The issue of Equal Rights for Women came to the limelight in early nineteenth century in places like USA and Europe and, after gradual successes, gained a totally new, forceful and dynamic character in 1960s/70s in the form of Women's Liberation Movement.

Beginning with the very basic demand that women, like men, were created as equal beings and, like men, they too had certain natural rights, they progressed towards more substantial demands like the right to have education, then the right to have higher education, access to jobs, then access o profitable jobs, the right to own property, then the right to acquire and retain assets, the right to equal wages for women, and then came the attainment of the most valuable right – the right to vote – that was given to the American women in 1920.

In the Modernistic decades of 60s and 70s of the last centuries, the Movement for the Rights of the Women (or call it Women Empowerment) turned in a new direction known as the Women's Liberation Movement. With this came a whole new set of ideas that were considered too immoral even by the Western standards. The reproductive right and the right associated with sexual liberalism like sex marriages are two examples of where all this has led to.
Is the Woman in the West free from all forms of exploitations that she has fought against over the last two centuries?
Answer is a big NO.
Two important questions come up at this point:
Is the Western woman more empowered today?
Is the Woman in the West free from all forms of exploitations that she has fought against over the last two centuries?
Answer to the first question is in the affirmative while answer to the second question is a big NO.


Women Empowerment, as we understand it today, is essentially a Western concept and carries connotations that cannot be adopted by us in its totality. With Women's Liberation, unisexualism, and equality of sexes as its core values, this doctrine is bound to come into collision with our social, moral and religious values. However, there is still a lot in it that is both suitable and worth achieving for us.

Focusing on the national scenario and then zooming in on the provincial scene, we find that women in Pakistan already enjoy a good number of rights for which the Western women had to fight tooth and nail. This includes the right to vote, the right to inheritance, the right to contest elections for the highest positions in the government, the right to seek divorce and many more rights.

What actually denies them the benefits of all these rights is the socio-cultural setup in Pakistan in general, and in Balochistan in particular. Even if they are well aware of all of these rights, they neither have the resources nor the capacity to avail these rights for their well-being.

Before writing anything about the subject, and prior to pointing out the social ills stunting the empowerment of women in Balochistan, it would be pertinent to mention here that the issue of women empowerment is basically the same throughout the country. Only, in areas where tribal customs and traditions play a decisive factor, the literacy rate is too low, and the feudal system is still strong, the issues of women empowerment not only hamper their well-being, but are also more difficult to resolve.

1. Poverty: It is indeed ironic that Balochistan, despite being the largest, the least populated, and the richest province of the country happens also to be the poorest one. Average household income is very low and poverty rates at 47% in this province. Despite its huge reservoirs of natural gas, its enviable deposits of gold and silver, and its abundance in precious metals and minerals, this province has the lowest GDP and the lowest per capita income. Abject poverty is visible even within the provincial metropolis. Job market is very inadequate because industrial activity is almost non-existent. Most of the existing jobs are either in agriculture or in mining. Scarcity of water and frequent droughts has further increased the poverty level in the rural Balochistan.

The budgetary allocations for Balochistan, although doubled this time, have always remained very low. This has been causing bad blood between the province and the federal government. Moreover, the huge sums of unpaid money, that the federal government owes to this province, have made matters worse.


It is indeed highly unfortunate that Education and Health have never found their rightful place in the priority list of policy makers, both at the federal and provincial levels. Pakistan claims to have achieved a literacy rate of 51% - a claim skeptically viewed by experts.
Balochistan, being the most backward province, has a pathetic 30.1% literacy rate. Female literacy rate presents a more dismal picture. Reportedly, this province has the lowest budgetary allocation for female education in the Third World. Dropouts at primary school level stand at a highly disturbing rate of 50. %

To make matters worse, majority of educational facilities are based in cities and towns – denying rural female population from this basic right.


The health sector in Balochistan is even more depressing. There are 96 hospitals, 545 dispensaries and 93 mother & child health centres – and the quality of services provided are not satisfactory. There are only 1564 registered doctors in the province, which means that for every 4861 provincial citizens there is only one doctor.

These recommendations have been provided by ladies active in the local political and social circles. The author has also incorporated his personal views where necessary. The ladies whom I am grateful for sharing their views on the subject include:
It is a fact that many injustices and cruelties suffered by women in the Third World are a direct or indirect consequence of their economic dependence on their male family members.
Ms Zarina Zehri
Mrs Surriya Allahdin
Ms Haseen Bano Rukhshani
Ms Shami
These recommendations cover a wide range of actions to be taken – a detailed version of which is given below:

Free and compulsory female education up to the Matriculation Level:
Education on Human Rights/Women Rights

Increase in the number of female educational institutions:

Both the government and the civil society must come forward and launch forceful campaigning initiatives to shatter the mindset against female education. It is their mindsets that need to be changed first.

Women have recently been able to enter the provincial assemblies.
The following recommendations were given by the local female political/social activists for the possible remedial measures:
Economic Empowerment or economic self-reliance
It is a fact that many injustices and cruelties suffered by women in the Third World are a direct or indirect consequence of their economic dependence on their male family members.
Fixed quotas for women in governmental jobs
Establishment of small scale cottage industries:
Establishment of Women Skills Centres at a larger scale.
Education on entrepreneurial and marketing skills for women.
Formation of gender-sensitive economic policies.
Poverty Alleviation through different programmes
It should be ensured that women get equal wages as men labourers.

Considering the high level of maternity deaths, infant mortality rate, absence of adequate post – natal care and alarming malnutrition conditions, rapid remedial measures have to be taken to achieve a satisfactory health situation for women.

Women, especially rural women, should be trained in safe motherhood practices and child survival practices to reduce maternal mortality and child mortality.

Although restructuring the society is a daunting task and there is still a lot to be done, yet we can say that the progress made so far has been satisfactory. Women Empowerment is no longer a myth; it is now a reality that promises a better future for women of this country.

Women in Balochistan, however, will have to go a few extra miles to be able to change the local perspectives vis-à-vis Women Rights and Women
Empowerment. The ongoing progress in terms of general awareness, better education and participation of women in the developmental process in Balochistan is very promising and we can hope for a better life for the women of this province in the coming years.

[B]Rukhsana Rukhsar[/B]

Naveed_Bhuutto Monday, November 19, 2012 03:34 PM

[B][I][CENTER][SIZE="5"]Nuclear Security Summit, Seoul 2012[/SIZE][/CENTER][/I][/B]

[I]The nuclear summit includes both states and non-state actors and is designed as a collective effort to resolve issues of nuclear security and terrorism. At the heart of the Summit's agenda is the concern relative to nuclear safety measures, its proliferation and illegal trafficking as well as efforts to reduce the use of highly enriched uranium (HEU).[/I]

According to the Federation of American Scientists, the world's combined stockpile of nuclear weapons remains at a very high level: more than 19,000. Of these, some 4800 warheads are considered operational, of which nearly 2000 US and Russian warheads are on high alert, ready for use on short notice. The world has lived with both the threat of nuclear weapons since the Second World War as well as their expansion in the military arsenal of states as a weapon designed to ensure the national survival and security of states. However, the presence of nuclear weapons as a measure of ensuring the security of states poses a security paradox and a security dilemma. The paradox is that states possessing nuclear weapons have never used nuclear weapons (except for the United States in Hiroshima and Nagasaki) in an actual theatre of war. This begets the essential question that if nuclear weapons are, or will never be, used then why they are needed in the first place? The security dilemma, on the other hand, pertains to the fact that nuclear weapons designed for the security and survival of states might in the end become the very undoing of their existence. In this sense, the use of nuclear weapons poses an existential threat to both the domestic security of states as well as global security!

The idea of a nuclear security summit was first proposed by President Barack Obama in 2009 when he singled out nuclear terrorism as the most serious threat to international security and announced his plan to lead a global effort to secure all vulnerable nuclear material around the world in four years. In line with President Obama's predilection, the first Nuclear Security Summit was held in Washington in 2010 and the second held in Seoul on March 26-27, 2012. The nuclear summit includes both states and non-state actors and is designed as a collective effort to resolve issues of nuclear security and terrorism. At the heart of the Summit's agenda is the concern relative to nuclear safety measures, its proliferation and illegal trafficking as well as efforts to reduce the use of highly enriched uranium (HEU). In the recently concluded nuclear security summit, the attendees included 53 heads of state and government, as well as representatives of the United Nations, International Atomic Energy Agency, European Union and INTERPOL. The Seoul Communique built on the first nuclear security summit by identifying 11 areas of priority and importance in nuclear security including: the global nuclear security architecture, the role of the IAEA, nuclear materials, radioactive sources, nuclear security and safety, transportation security, combating illicit trafficking, nuclear forensics, nuclear security culture, information security and international cooperation. The Seoul Summit noted with much pleasure that concrete results had indeed been achieved in the areas identified above since the Washington Summit. In particular, around 530 kilograms of highly enriched uranium (HEU) from eight countries have been removed for disposal, an amount enough to produce about 21 nuclear weapons with Ukraine and Mexico accomplishing a total cleanout of all stockpiles of HEU just prior to the Seoul Summit by returning them to Russia and the US respectively.

Pakistan also attended and made its presence felt in the two-day summit. It made its adherence to the nuclear security culture a priority and assured its full cooperation with the IAEA and its regulations. Pakistan has been in the limelight for all the wrong reasons with the United States expressing fear last year that Pakistani nuclear weapons might fall in the hands of terrorists. During the summit, Pakistan reiterated its commitment to nuclear safety and security by emphasizing that it possesses 'a rigorous regulatory regime covering all matters related to nuclear safety and security including physical protection of materials and facilities, material control and accounting, transport security, prevention of illicit trafficking and border controls, as well as plans to deal with possible radiological emergencies.' Based on its experience with nuclear technology, Pakistan, during the summit, asserted that it qualifies to become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group and export control regimes on a non-discriminatory basis. Moreover, Pakistan also committed itself to opening up a Nuclear Security Training Centre to act as a regional and international hub and deploying Special Nuclear Material Portals on key exit and entry points to counter the illicit trafficking of nuclear and radioactive materials.

Based on its experience with nuclear technology, Pakistan, during the summit, asserted that it qualifies to become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group and export control regimes on a non-discriminatory basis.
Though the nuclear security summit was designed to ensure nuclear security, it still does not address the critically important issues relative to nuclear disarmament or nuclear non-proliferation. Such controversial issues are deemed to have a negative impact and political fallout on the all-important critical issue of state sovereignty. This implies that far-reaching measures needed for global security are still difficult to achieve. What we have is arms control measures in which states through mutual consent establish to ensure that their nuclear weapons technology is safe and secure enough so that a regional/global nuclear war does not break out. According to the anti-nuclear weapons theorists and activists, the problem with nuclear weapons is that their existence locks states into a permanent state of conflict whereby permanent peace is never ensured. If, they argue, the presence of nuclear weapons reduces the prospects of war then they in the same instance reduce chances of peace!

By way of the nuclear security summit, President Barack Obama intended to highlight the American agenda to ensure a safe and secure world (with nuclear weapons, not without them). The United States is a close second to Russia in the list of states with the most nuclear weapons. Though exact numbers are still not known due to the propensity of states to guard their intelligence data, it is estimated by the Ploughshares Fund that Russia possesses 10,000 nuclear weapons and the United States 8,500 respectively. It is perplexing to assume why a huge stockpile of weapons is needed when even ten or at the most twenty high yield nuclear weapons could destroy the world and make it inhospitable for every single living creature. The lucky ones, in this case, will be the dead not the survivors!

[B]Farhan Hanif Siddiqi[/B]

This article was published in May 2012

Naveed_Bhuutto Friday, November 23, 2012 07:47 PM

[B][I][SIZE="5"][CENTER]Pakistan–Turkey relations[/CENTER][/SIZE][/I][/B]

[I]Pakistani–Turkish relations are foreign relations between the Islamic Republic of Pakistan and the Republic of Turkey. “One Nation – Two States” is the phrase that best describes the relations between Turkey and Pakistan.[/I]

The people of both countries have brotherly relations which date back to centuries. Moreover, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called Pakistan his second home. Both Turkey and Pakistan are Muslim-majority states and share extensive cultural and geopolitical links.

[B]Development of bilateral relations[/B]
Turkey established diplomatic relations soon after the independence of Pakistan in 1947 and bilateral relations became increasingly close important owing to cultural, religious and geopolitical links between the two countries. On 26 October 2009, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan was awarded with the Nishan-e-Pakistan and was the fourth world leader who spoke to the Pakistani parliament. Erdoğan said that Pakistan had always occupied a special place in the hearts and minds of the Turkish government and people.

Turkey and Pakistan are founding members of the Economic Cooperation Organization and part of the Developing 8 Countries (D-8) organization. Both nations have worked to negotiate a preferential trading agreement, aiming to considerably increase trade and investments, especially in transport, telecommunications, manufacturing, tourism and other industries. Both governments have sought to increase the volume of bilateral trade from $690 million to more than $1 billion by 2010. Pakistani exports include rice, sesame seeds, leather, textiles, fabrics, sports goods, and medical equipment. Turkey's exports to Pakistan include wheat, chickpeas, lentils, diesel, chemicals, transport vehicles, machinery and energy products. Turkish private corporations have also invested significantly in industrial and construction projects developing highways, pipelines and canals.

[B]Strategic ties[/B]
Pakistan and Turkey have maintained long-standing military ties, with Turkey supplying arms, military equipment and training Pakistani officers. On 2 April 1954, Pakistan and Turkey signed a treaty of friendship and cooperation. Both countries, valued as important states in their regions, joined the U.S.-led Central Treaty Organization (CENTO) aimed to bolster military and strategic cooperation and counter the spread of communism and Soviet influence in the region. Turkey has openly supported Pakistan's stance on the Kashmir conflict and maintained political and military support during its wars with India. Pakistan has reciprocated by expressing support for Turkey's policy on Northern Cyprus. Both nations have sought to expand cooperation to fight terrorism. Both countries are also members of the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC).
Military relations[/B]
Both Nation were part of Cold War alliance called the Central Treaty Organization. Military-to-military contacts remain resolute, uncompromising and stalwart as ever, as the two countries now vigorously aiming and exploring the co-production of weapons ranging from armored vehicles to new-generation corvettes. Significantly, both sides also wish to boost defense exports to Islamic countries as an alternative to "expensive" Western weapons.

[B]Aid to Pakistan[/B]
In the aftermath of the 2005 Kashmir earthquake, Turkey stepped up its efforts to help the people of the affected areas. Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, paid an official visit to Pakistan in order to share the grief and agony of the brotherly people of Pakistan. Turkey announced a package of $150 million for the quake-hit people. The Turkish aid organization Kizilay (Turkish Red Crescent) also constructed a mosque in the Pakistan-administered Kashmir region. The mosque is being built in the Ottoman Style in Bagh province, it would have a capacity to accommodate 300 people, besides a guesthouse, a lodging facility and a teaching area for 250 students.

In response to the 2010 Pakistan floods, Turkey issued a rallying cry for flood-hit Pakistan. Apart, from the state and its organizations, a number of Turkish businessmen also initiated aid campaigns for Pakistan. Turkey also sent a train carrying humanitarian aid for the flood stricken Pakistan. The Turkish government also announced building of a Turkish town in the flood stricken Pakistan. Turkey has donated a total of $11 million to Pakistan. Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan also visited parts of flood stricken Pakistan, Erdoğan travelled from Islamabad to Karachi with six ministers, flying by helicopter to witness aid efforts, including the completion of a village of 2,000 prefabricated houses built by the Turkish Red Crescent near Multan, in the eastern province of Punjab. After the flood when the Turkish Prime Minister could not come to Pakistan due to his engagements he sent his wife to look after the flood victims and after success in referendum he immediately came to Pakistan and personally gave the keys of the houses constructed by Turkish welfare organization to the flood victims.

[B]JWT Desk[/B]

Naveed_Bhuutto Sunday, November 25, 2012 05:18 PM

[B][I][CENTER][SIZE="5"]“Unless we have a system of check and balance, this institution cannot be reformed.”[/SIZE][/CENTER][/I][/B]

[I]Mr. Khalid Sultan joined Pakistan civil services in 1980. He was an army officer and still believes that of any institution of this country Army takes the cake in structural and procedural discipline.[/I]

He came to the civil services from the 10 per cent quota reserved for the army. He has no qualms about his appointments though many around him have been critical of army men joining civil services. However, giving priority or seniority to an army incumbent over a civilian is the only reservation that pinches him. He believes that people joining bureaucracy through regular procedure deserves to be treated senior above all others.

Mr. Khalid is serving as Director General Civil Services Academy, how well is the academy fairing under his supervision and where does he think the public administration is heading are part of the interview Jahangir’s World Times had with Mr. Khalid…….we have tagged his key thoughts as the lead to his deliberations….

Civil service Academy is a place where students from all over the country come together to join in a collective effort to become an effective member of public administration. We are doing our best to make them part of the ordinary masses; somebody who would be accessible and reachable.

Talking about training procedures at the Civil Service Academy Mr. Khalid’s views are diverse and succinct. He believes that a probationer can be easily trained in six months. The present batch is enrolled for the same period and the results would prove the conviction of Mr. Khalid regarding the duration of the course. Since 2007 all federal training institutions have come under the ambit of National School of Public Policy (NSPP). Since NSPP follows the guideline given by the HSE therefore, it reserves the right to give degree to the trainees. The governing body of NSPP is thinking awarding the probationers degree on the completion of their total training period, covering both common and specialised training. Mr. Khalid has a different point of view in this regard. He personally believes that this particular course should not be driven by any degree but by the will to learn the ropes so as to guard the interest of the public at large.
The objectives of common training programmes is to promote harmony amongst probationers.
Mr. Khalid is proud to state that he has bought some rudimentary changes in the overall working of the CSA training. Punctuality and dress code are strictly observed. Class room study is no more monologues, presentations and case studies have given new life to the training. Co-circulars activities form the basis of the overall course structure.

“Besides laying down some disciplinary rules I have also eliminated the provision of reappearing in competitive exam during training. As a penalty we reserve the right to expel the candidate from the course. Only recently two candidates cheated on us and reappeared in the CSS exam, they are caught and are on trial.”

“The objectives of common training programmes are simple yet effective; the essential one is to promote harmony amongst probationers and for this we keep them as day scholars, arrange cultural nights and held class discussion on inter-provincial and inter-regional issues. We try our best to create unity among the probationer.”

On asking what makes a bureaucrat corrupt Mr. Khalid became quizzical and tried to shift the onus on the system but as we rummaged through the debris of some wasteful behaviours he murmured that some bureaucrats had actually lost the spirit of nationalism. Becoming subservient to their master’s whims and wishes has set in jeopardy the whole idea of putting the house of the masses in order. Status, luxury and short-cut to success are the icons for which the race to an administrative job is joined. Mr. Khalid wonders why would an engineer, a doctor or a LUMS graduate having a lucrative career in the private sector opt for civil service knowing that private sector offer better remunerations. What could it be other than a ploy to make dough?
Unless we have in place the process of accountability nothing good can come to this nation.
Getting stronger in argument as our talk progressed Mr. Khalid rather emotionally said that “unless we have in place the process of accountability nothing good can come to this nation.” He was so firm on this particular notion that throughout our discussion accountability became the buzz word. “Unless we have a system of check and balance and the procedure of putting the accuser on trial, the system cannot be reformed.” We need to check people, keep an eye on their behaviour, put them under trial and punish them, he reiterated.”
Selective justice is what has eaten into the fibre of this country.
Mr. Khalid certainly believes that at the end of the day it is the value system and the humanistic element of a given person that makes all the difference. He takes a deep breath and rumbles a well-known note that rings so true that one cannot ignore it. “But the system has tremendous capacity to take in even the strongest into its clutches.” He goes on saying that justice has stopped flowing from the offices of a civil servant. Instead the dispensation of justice depends largely on the discretion of the person sitting in these offices, bringing in the notion of selective justice. Selective justice is what has eaten into the fibre of this country. Why the trend of suo moto notices has become so common today in this country, not because the judiciary has become overactive but because the office of a civil servant has stopped to be the guardian of justice.

No doubt, transfers and postings depend on the political clout of certain politicians, I am at pain to see that a lot of bureaucrats are serving out of context to their aptitude or competency. Their relevancy falls in altogether different field while the postings demand something else from them. In such an enigmatic situation how can we expect any progress or efficiency? So surely not only ad-hocism should be eliminated but security of the tenure must be ensured as well.

I strongly believe that incompetency is a form of corruption as well, which is a major challenge to our nation today. We are doing what we are not cut for. From Patwari to the person sitting at the higher echelon of power has no clue of the rudimentary of his business. Every Patwari has a Munshi appointed with a salary package of one hundred thousand rupees to carry out work for him, the same is true for the SHO, usually he does not know how many cases are registered in his thana.
Here at CSA we prepare the probationers for the tough times ahead.
I agree that the salary package is quite low and needs lots of attention from the government. But people who join us, they come with the understanding that they would be paid less. I do believe that an officer should be given at least as much that he could live a respectable life. I would come to the same point that unless we have a functional and sustainable system we will not be able to get out of the rut. Now look at the priorities, official residences in Islamabad are given to journalists, but not to the CSP officer. Here at CSA we prepare the probationers for the tough times ahead. We tell them not to expect that a just and equitable system will be working and you will get your share accordingly.

“I would conclude that in the 30 years of my service I have learnt that in every department it is the absence of dedication and devotion that has caused more malice to this service.”

Durdana Najam[/B]

Naveed_Bhuutto Sunday, November 25, 2012 05:19 PM

[B][I][CENTER][SIZE="5"]The Iranian Revolution[/SIZE][/CENTER][/I][/B]

[I]An overview of Iranian revolution[/I]

Between 1953 and 1963 much poverty remained among the Iranian people, and the gap between the rich and poor grew. There was talk of the oligarchy of one thousand families. One of the great landowners was the Shah (king), Muhammad Reza Pahlavi. Another was the Shia clerical establishment, which had acquired land through religious endowments. But under the Pahlavi dynasty, secularism increased and the power and influence of Shia scholars decreased, and the Shah allied himself with secularists in conflict with Muslims who held traditionalist values on such matters as tobacco, alcohol, movies, gambling and foreign dress.

The Shah launched an effort to modernize Iran economically and socially. He sought to balance his increase in power with reforms that would win more favor from common Iranians. Landlords and some clerics were outspokenly opposed to these reforms. Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa (religious edict) against the reforms. The government-owned radio station responded to Khomeini with a ridicule. The Shah announced that his reforms would take Iran into the jet age while the mullahs wanted to remain "in the age of the donkies." Numerous clerics went over to the side of Khomeini. Fearing opposition, the Shah cracked down on dissent. On March 22, 1963, in the holy city of Qom, theological students who were agitating against a scheduled opening of liquor stores were attacked by the Shah's paratroopers and by his security agents -- SAVAK. The disturbance spread to students in the city of Tabriz. There and in Qom, according to some, government forced killed hundreds.

When speaking to honor the dead, Ayatollah Khomeini called the Shah's rule tyrannical. Then the government retaliated against Khomeini. For many Iranians Khomeini became an anti-Shah hero. His arrest on June 5 caused anti-government demonstrations and rioting in a variety of cities. The Shah declared martial law. Tanks and troops with orders to shoot to kill were sent against the rioters. Iran's airforce strafed a great column of marchers. In two days the rioting was crushed. Many had been arrested, including twenty-eight ayatollahs. A Western academic in Iran estimated that many thousands had died. An Iranian, Dr. A.R. Azimi, put the number at 10,000, while the government estimated the number of dead at 86.

The Shah's government sent Khomeini into exile, Khomeini settling in a Shiite community in southern Iraq. From Iraq Khomeini continued his attacks on the Shah, sending into Iran pamphlets and tape recordings. Khomeini stated that Islam was opposed to monarchy. He described the title "King of Kings" used by the Shah as the most hated of titles in the sight of God. Monarchy, he said, was shameful, disgraceful and reactionary.
The Pahlavi Monarchy Falls[/B]
In 1976 the Shah upset some clerics by replacing the old Islamic calendar with a new secular calendar. And when a prominent critic of the change in calendar was found murdered, many assumed that it was the work of the Shah's security agents, SAVAK.
It was too late. Too many of those who had at least tolerated the Shah's rule had been lost. Demonstrations continued.
The Shah declared martial law again and a curfew, following a fire at a theater that killed 410 people. From Iraq, the Ayatollah Khomeini was giving guidance to people eager to overthrow the Shah, and he ordered work stoppages that swept the nation. The Shah responded by managing to have Khomeini expelled from Saddam Hussein's Iraq, and Khomeini flew to Paris, where he found that he had more freedom of action, and to newsmen he began giving four to five interviews per day. There were more demonstrations in Iran and more killings by the army. The work stoppage spread. Oil workers, postal employees, bank employees, journalists, mineworkers, customs officials, transportation workers all went out on strike. So too did almost all universities and high schools. There were demands for better wages, for the dissolution of SAVAK, the ending of marital law and for allowing Khomeini's peaceful return. Iranians with a lot of money, including high ranking military officers, were sending their wealth abroad. Everywhere people were destroying portraits of the Shah.
Two men had been prominent in the rising against the Shah. One was Khomeini, whose education was parochial, in other words he was Madrasa-trained. The other, Ali Shariati, had both a traditional education in religion and he was also a sociologist with a Ph.D. from France's Sorbonne University.
Political Divisions, Cleric Power and Totalitarianism
The portraits of both Shariati and Khomeini were carried on placards in demonstrations and the portraits of both were displayed side by side in people's homes. Shariati had been popular with students and Iran's religious communities, with thousands of students and non-students having flocked to his lectures, fascinated by his point-of-view. He had been imprisoned under harsh conditions by the Shah's regime and in 1975 released following popular and international pressure. Shariati favored a reinterpretation of the Islamic faith in order to take it back, he believed, to its true meaning, including its commitment to social justice. He was hostile to "Westernization." He has been described as a utopian. His mentor, the French existentialist Jean Paul Sartre, said that if he were to choose a religion "it would be that of Shariati's." Shariati disliked U.S. influence in Iran. He was driven into exile as Khomeini had been. In June 1977, three weeks after having arrived in England, he was found dead in his apartment. His followers suspected the Shah's security agency, SAVAK.

From France, Khomeini denounced Prime Minister Bakhtiar for having accepted the Shah's appointment as head of the new government, and Khomeini called upon his followers to disobey the Bakhtiar government. Bakhtiar allowed Khomeini's return anyway -- a part of the liberal spirit of the day. On February 1, 1979, after nearly fifteen years in exile, Khomeini returned in triumph from France.

On February 4, Mahdi Bazargan became the revolution's first prime minister. His revolutionary credentials included having been imprisoned several times during the 1960s and 1970s for non-violent opposition to the Shah's regime. As prime minister his power hardly existed. Governors and millitary commanders were inclined to reject the authority of officials appointed by the prime minister. Hundreds of revolutionary committees were performing a variety of functions in major cities and towns across the country. Factory workers, civil servants, white-collar employees, and students were demanding their say. A range of political groups were pushing rival agendas and demanding immediate action from the prime minister.
Clerics led by Ayatollah Mohammad Beheshti established the Islamic Republican Party (IRP) and with Khomeini this became the country's leading political organization.

On February 11, government buildings and radio station were seized by bands of youthful revolutionaries. Huge quantities of arms had been seized, and armed militias roamed the streets and looted. Various factions tried to exercise power. The 40,000 or so Americans, who had been serving in various technical capacities in Iran, were returned home, fearing for their safety. The followers of Khomeini were more numerous and dominated. Khomeini was allied with a largely anonymous committee of clerics and civilians and in contact with local supporters, and he established what many recognized as legitimate authority.

Khomeini and his ulama allies wanted a judiciary government -- rule by Islamic law: sharia. Something unprecedented was happening in the history of Islam. Scholars were the backbone of sharia, but the scholars had not ruled. Noah Feldman of Harvard University writes that "scholars had traditionally functioned as a balance against the executive authority of the ruler, now the scholars for the first time actually were the ruling class." Feldman writes of a Platonic structure called the Council of Guardians, scholars who would "review all legislation for its Islamic content" and eventually "play a key role in vetting candidates for office and even selecting a new supreme leader after Khomeini's death."
On March 3, Khomeini announced that no judge was to be female. On March 6, he announced that women were to wear the hejab head covering. Khomeini declared that all non-Islamic forces were to be removed from the government, the military, judiciary, public and private enterprises and educational institutions. Corrupt behavior and customs were to be ended. Alcohol and gambling were to be banned and so too were nightclubs and mixed bathing. Friday noon prayer and sermons were to be the focal point of the week, and all Friday prayer leaders were to be appointed by Khomeini. Men and women were to be publicly segregated, women to enter busses through one door, men through another, each with a separate seating section. In school classrooms prayers were to become mandatory. Khomeini spoke of music corrupting youth, and he banned all music on radio and television and closed twenty-two opposition newspapers.

On March 30-31 a national referendum was offered for choosing a political system, but the only form of government to appear on the ballot was an Islamic republic, Khomeini proclaimed the establishment of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Newspapers were banned. Protests by a left-of-center political movement, the National Democratic Front, led to the group being banned. The Khomeini regime weakened Iran's bourgeoisie by nationalizing banks, insurance companies, major industries, expropriating some urban land and expropriating the wealth of some families and by appointing managers to various companies.

Students seized the U.S. embassy on November 4, 1979. Khomeini wavered at first but then gave the students his support. Khomeini called the United States the "Great Satan" and the U.S. embassy a "den of spies." Prime Minister Bazargan and his cabinet resigned on the 6th following the hostage taking. Bazargan compained about the " atmosphere of terror, fear, revenge and national disintegration." Those occupying the U.S. embassy held fifty-three Americans hostage and demaded that the U.S. deliver to Iran the Shah as an exchange. The Carter Administration refused, and Americans were to remain as hostages until November 1980.

Carter's attempt to rescue the hostages in April, 1980, failed. The Shah died of cancer in July. The Khomeini regime began new negotiations to free the hostages, fearing perhaps the tougher man, Reagan, more than they had Carter. In January 1981, on the day that Reagan was inaugurated president, Iran agreed to free the hostages in exchange for $8 billion in frozen assets and a promise by the United States to lift trade sanctions.

Khomeini and the Shia clerics around him relished the success of their return to what they saw as Islam's fundamentals, and they wished it to be an influence outside Iran. Many in the Middle East were enthusiastic about the creation of Khomeini's Islamic Republic -- much as the Bolshevik capture of state power had encouraged socialists in the West. Half of the people of the region was under twenty-five years of age, and many tried shaming their parents into adopting Islamic dress. Sermons at Mosques increased the demand for militant action in behalf of advancing Islam.
PLO chairman, Yasser Arafat, had been the first foreign dignitary to visit Khomeini, back in 1979,

[B]JWT Desk[/B]

Naveed_Bhuutto Tuesday, November 27, 2012 02:28 PM

[I][CENTER][SIZE="5"][B]ZAB: ‘Peoples are real masters’[/B][/SIZE][/CENTER][/I]

[I]Zulfikar Ali Bhutto struggled to make Pakistan a great country of the world.[/I]

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was true leader of people of Pakistan. The people always remained the central and social point of his politics and internal, external policies. He was given the title of Quaid-i-Awan for his love with the people. He is remembered as a martyr of people and Pakistan. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto in his speeches and statements as prime minister of Pakistan and chairman PPP paid rich tributes to the people of Pakistan. In his inaugural address on the occasion of commissioning of permanent TV centre at Lahore Bhutto talked about his vision of Pakistan and destiny of its people.

“I have a vision that one day the fields in our countryside will blossom with abundance. The rolling fields and orchards and village squares will ring with the songs of happy children, children with the colour of blood in their cheeks and with books held proudly under their arms. In the streets of our great cities, we will no more have to live with the shame of children in rags, with sunken eyes and hollow cheeks, children debasing their parents and their society by begging, to keep themselves warm and fed. I have a vision that this day will come.

The day will come when the 60 million people of Pakistan will no longer be as beggars in the streets of the world. They will work within a system which gives to each because of his rights as a human being and not because of the circumstances of his birth. They will be strong in their faith which brought them together in one nation. They will be proud of their identity, and confident in their ability and strength to shake the foundations of ignorance, poverty and disease. With their own endeavours, our people will redirect the flow of history.

We will build a society in which the old values of greed and self-advancement will be replaced by a common concern for the welfare of the whole community. We will build our monuments to our contemporary civilisation. Institutions of learning, factories and dams, atomic reactors and television centres — these will be our Taj Mahals of the 20th century.

I have a vision that this day will come, and I have a programme whereby this day will come soon. For my part, the programme consists of ensuring that the economic, constitutional, social and administrative conditions are created within which human endeavour has the opportunity to be transformed into productive and creative endeavour. My part, my government’s role, is to provide secure, unshakable foundations for the building of a prosperous future. But the nation-builders will still have to be made by people themselves. Too long have we lived with the fatalistic and superstitious belief that prosperity is a butterfly which one day will come to rest of its own accord in our immobile laps. These attitudes are the attitudes of people who live in a state of despair. I say to you that, inspite of the ordeal and the trauma through which our people have lived in the recent past, today there is no call for Pakistanis to exist in despair. The dangers to our identity and to our progress no doubt continue to surround us on all sides and from within. But this nation has endured in these last 12 months. I say to you that, if you so decide, this nation will endure also for the next 12 centuries and more.
The day will come when the 60 million people of Pakistan will no longer be as beggars in the streets of the world. They will work within a system which gives to each because of his rights as a human being and not because of the circumstances of his birth.
Therefore, I have a vision in which I want my fellow countrymen to share, so that when each one of us is asked the question, he may say: “We have a vision.”

Zulfikar Ali Bhutto struggled to make Pakistan a great country of the world. He narrated his objective in the following words:

“The role objective of his struggle and the struggle of his party was to serve the common man, the peasants, the labourers, workers, in fact all sections of society, with utmost selflessness and sincerity and to enhance the prestige of the country.” [Z.A. Bhutto’s Speeches & Statements: Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, p.277]

About his slogan roti, kapra aur makan, Bhutto said, “This slogan represents our ethics in terms of the socio-economic conditions of our country and our past history…. I did not say that I would whistle and clothes would fall from heaven, that I would sing a song and houses would be built or food provided. I told the people that they would have to work hard and struggle very hard to increase production…. We would change the direction of our planning from building palaces and sky-scrapers and from non-essentials to the basic priorities of the people.

There are to try and build houses for them, increase the production of food and improve the production of clothing. Now this is the philosophy of the slogan of roti, kapra and makan. [Z.A. Bhutto’s Speeches & Statements, vol-II, p.121, Ministry of Information]
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto believed that social justice can give people a bigger stake in the socio-economic system. There is no alternative to standing committed to the people who are real masters of Pakistan and supreme judges of their representatives.
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto explained his views about Pakistan, people and prosperity in the following words:

“I have to communicate to you tonight a most important decision taken by your Government. The decision is meant to transform the hub of our national economy. It flows from that commitment which is supreme and everlasting in my heart and mind. This is the welfare, the happiness and the progress of the people of Pakistan. I believe that no object can be dearer than to reduce, and eventually to eliminate, the operation of all those forces which stunt our society’s growth, cripple its energies and condemn the vast majority of our population to utter helplessness. I consider no fulfillment more gratifying than to pave the way for an upstanding, productive, vibrant future generation. I have said repeatedly that Pakistan’s strength lies in the strength of its people. If the people, the farmer bent with his toil and the nameless man in the street, are not strong, if they are caught in the vice tightened around them by the hoarder and the speculator, the racketeer and the smuggler, then the country’s strength can only be fragile, its morale low and its spirit enfeebled.

Our national economy, as you know, is primarily agrarian. One of the first campaigns which your government, therefore, launched was that of land reforms. This was an assault on feudal power. We limited the size of land holdings and redistributed the land in excess of that size to its tenants. In an area like Balochistan, we first ended the pernicious practice of shishak and then we went ahead and liquidated the Sardari system with all its tentacles and attendant evils which had been entrenched for centuries. We exempted small landowners from the payment of land revenue.

We assured the farmer of minimum support prices for wheat. We established corporations for the export of rice and cotton in an endeavour to secure remunerative prices for these commodities in a volatile international economy. We initiated schemes for fighting the menace of water logging and salinity. We devoted a substantial portion of our resources to subsidizing the inputs of agriculture. We arranged the supply of tractors. We reduced the price of fertilizer. We provided subsidies for the sinking of tubewells. We are doing our utmost to improve the quality of seed and to extend the coverage of plant protection measures. All this effort is aimed at enhancing the productivity of our agriculture and rationalising our rural economy.

But, after all this sweat and expense, after all the multiplicity of arrangements that had to be made in pursuance of these plans, we found that the end product of agriculture was still beyond social control. Why? What is the element that has so far eluded your government’s grasp and blocked the percolation of these benefits to the small agriculturist? Who defrauds both the farmer, on the one side, and the consumer of agricultural products, on the other? Who manipulates the agricultural market? Who steals from the urban consumer the advantages of substantial government subsidies for the provisioning of wheat? What is the barrier in the way of managing our agriculture as it should be managed in this day and age?

This element, this insidious all-pervasive force, is that of the middle man, be he a cotton ginner or a paddy husker. For generations, the middleman in agriculture has sucked the farmer’s blood and kept the consumer, whether an individual or an industry, at his mercy. He has artificially reduced the price of commodities like seed cotton and paddy, which the farmer delivers to him, and raised the price of lint, cotton seed and rice, which he supplies to the consumer. He has evaded or obstructed all our measures to secure fair rewards for the farmer’s labour. He has done so by the variety of means which are at the disposal of those who have not a trace of social conscience. He exploits the farmer’s economic weakness and he takes advantage of the glut in the market at the time of the harvest to deny him a fair price. He hoards stocks in anticipation of higher prices and an undeserved profit. He underweighs the commodity delivered to him, mixes one variety with another, forms a league with the smuggler and establishes a black market.” [ZAB Address to the Nation, July 17, 1976]

[B]The writer is a renowned columnist.
Email: [email]qayyumnizami@gmail.com[/email][/B]

wannabe Tuesday, November 27, 2012 02:37 PM

Green Climate Fund and Responsibilities of Major Emitters
[CENTER][B][SIZE="5"][FONT="Verdana"]Green Climate Fund and Responsibilities of Major Emitters[/FONT][/SIZE][/B][/CENTER]

As a result of global warming, melting of glaciers, unprecedented rains and droughts will occur more frequently in the future. Since it is a global problem; it requires concrete global efforts to reverse and halt the change by taking bold and committed actions by the world community.

He 2011 United Nations Climate Change Conference was held in Durban, South Africa from 28 Nov to 11 Dec to establish a new treaty to limit carbon dioxide emissions. The delegates of 194 countries attended this 17th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 17) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Primary focus of the conference was to secure a global climate agreement before the expiry of Kyoto Protocol first commitment period (2001-2012). Progress on agreements, reached at the 2010 Conference at Cancun, was also reviewed that includes “cooperation on clean technology, forest protection, adaptation to climate impacts and transfer of funds from rich countries to poor in order to help them protect environment. The establishment of a Green Climate Fund was also sought.

The Green Climate Fund, which is yet to be established, meant to disburse funds to help poor countries adapt to climate impacts. In Cancun Climate Talks 2010, developed countries promised to provide 100 billion dollars under this fund to deal with climate change impacts starting from 2020. A report to finalise the terms of the GCF by a committee was stalled by the US and Saudi opposition. The US has also backed out of its promise to guarantee annual contribution to the GCF. Similarly, South Korea, Germany and Denmark did not agree to put any money into the fund.
To prevent more than 2 C of global warming at least 6 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide cuts are required, however, the delay to take concrete actions will continue to pose threat to the existence of many of the world's people and places.
Till GCF becomes operational, we have to look for countries' voluntary commitments which are not foreseeable in near future. To prevent more than 2 C of global warming at least 6 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide cuts are required, however, the delay to take concrete actions will continue to pose threat to the existence of many of the world's people and places. Asia, no doubt, will be the most severely affected continent because of the changes associated with global warming. Parts of Bangladesh, Maldives, India and almost all of Pakistan are likely to suffer the most as Pakistan has already begun to feel the impact. The devastating floods of 2010 and 2011, indicate what may lie in the future.

As a result of global warming, melting of glaciers, unprecedented rains and droughts will occur more frequently in the future. Since it is a global problem, it requires concrete global efforts to reverse and halt the change by taking bold and committed actions by the world community. Currently, China crossed the US and became the most atmospheric emitter. Emissions by America declined due to downturn in the economy while by China they continue to increase. China's emissions in 2010 were at 6.9 g tonne of carbon dioxide while by US were 5.28 g tonnes. India became the third largest emitter with 1.6 g tones while Brazil's emissions are at .38 tones. The EU 27 countries together let 3.6 g tones of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. This change in relative emitters' position created a new situation as was witnessed in Durban, South Africa at the time of concluding of the conference.
The responsibility of major emitters has increased manifold, keeping in view the enormity of catastrophe that the world is witnessing in the form of climate change impacts and has also endangered the very existence of many a people and small islands, to play proactive role in the establishment of Green Climate Fund and make their contribution to help poor countries so that the world could become a safer place to live on.
The Durban Summit concluded in an agreement that has been accepted by Global Climate Community. For the first time, developing and developed countries will agree to create a legal framework that should be binding on all parties to be written by 2015, and will come into force after 2020.The delay was the result of a battle between two groups: the first i.e. European Union and least developed countries and small island states, which stress for a speedy, faster cuts while the other group i.e. US, China, India, Brazil, South Africa seeks to resist pressure for faster and quicker progress towards achieving the goals.

In the wake of increasing death every year environmental refugees, sea level rise, looming threat of disappearance of small Islands, ocean acidification, desertification of region, loss of biodiversity at the level of extinction and destruction of economies, it seems quite irrational to postpone the agreement till 2020 while the spending of d 1 dollar in adaptation to climate change could save 60m dollar in damages. Pakistan is one of the countries that will receive funding from GCF if finalized after 2020. Now it is incumbent upon us to come up with concrete policies and programme aimed at addressing the problem. The responsibility of major emitters has increased manifold, keeping in view the enormity of catastrophe that the World is witnessing in the form of climate change impacts and has also endangered the very existence of many a people and small islands, to play proactive role in the establishment of Green Climate Fund and make their contribution to help poor countries so that the world could become a safer place to live on.

The writer is director in a public sector organization.
Muhammad Ramzan

Naveed_Bhuutto Friday, November 30, 2012 01:07 AM

[B][I][CENTER][SIZE="5"]Governance crisis and Pakistan[/SIZE][/CENTER][/I][/B]

[I]The crisis of governance in Pakistan is extensive and it is almost in a state of collapse. It is imperative to appoint people of integrity to head all government institutions to run the state affairs in a transparent manner. [/I]

Since the emergence of Pakistan, the issue of good governance is the main cause of concern. Before the creation of Pakistan, British policies caused a split between the Hindus and the Muslims. The Hindus were quicker to side with the ways of the Britishers. On the other hand, Muslims did not take any interest in the national affairs. This situation continued in the sense that the Muslims kept themselves aloof from the government affairs. This attitude of the nation continued in the manner that no effort had been made towards good governance after the emergence of Pakistan.

Rule of law is the first prerequisite of the good governance in any country. For this purpose a constitution is framed for running the government affairs. In the beginning of our independence, provincialism, parochialism and sectarianism were hovering throughout the newly formed state. Since 1947 to 1950 no effort had been made to frame constitution. The inaugural session of the Legislative Assembly was held on August 14, 1947, in Karachi. For the interim period Government of India Act, 1935, was adopted with a few amendments according to the needs of the country. However, the first phase of the Constitution making was the approval of the Objectives Resolution which Liaquat Ali Khan, the first prime minister of Pakistan got passed by the Legislative Assembly on March 12, 1949, after the demise of the Quaid-e-Azam. It can be called a milestone in the constitution making history of Pakistan.

[B]A country without Constitution[/B]
Later on the recommendation of Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan, Governor General Khawaja Nazimudin set up a committee known as Basic Principles Committee. Its function was to determine the basic principles for the future constitution. This committee was headed by Moulvi Tamizuddin Khan with Liaquat Ali Khan as its Vice-President. However, with the assassination of Liaquat Ali Khan, the working of the committee was adversely affected. This Committee presented an interim report to the Legislative Assembly and it resembled with the Government of India Act, 1935. According to this report, Urdu was declared to be the only national language. Secondly, East Pakistan was allocated lesser number of seats in the Legislative assembly despite having larger population. This mistrust sowed the seed of bad governance in the country as the eastern wing was not satisfied with the outcome of the Committee report.

After nine years of efforts, Pakistan succeeded in framing a Constitution which became effective on March 23, 1956, declaring the country as an Islamic Republic. General Ayub ruled the country for 10 years with poor record of governance and was elected president through indirect election. This centralization of power ignited public anger against him and he had to step down by a people’s movement.

This Constitution laid great emphasis on the fundamental rights and the judiciary was given the power to enforce fundamental rights and the courts were to decide if a law was repugnant to any provisions of fundamental rights. The Bill of Rights was absent from the Interim Constitution. It is, therefore, necessary that the nature and content of fundamental rights should have engaged the attention of the framers of the Constitution. A committee on the fundamental rights of the citizens and on matters relating to minorities was set up at the inaugural session of the first Constituent Assembly in August 1947. Since Pakistan has religious minorities, it is necessary to protect the rights of all individuals, irrespective of caste, creed or religion.

[B]Start of martial laws[/B]
Unfortunately, the 1956 Constitution did not last longer than two-and-a-half years and no general elections were held under it. Major-General Iskandar Mirza took over as Acting Governor General in August 1955 and later he was confirmed as president. In the meantime a number of governments were formed with quick succession which resulted in the failure of democratic system. General Ayub Khan saw this as an opportunity to fulfill his political ambitions and encouraged army generals to demand imposition of martial law in the country. On October 8, 1958, all assemblies were dissolved and the first martial law was imposed in the country. In fact, this was a beginning of recurring periods of martial law.

The second attempt to frame a constitution was made with the presentation of a report to General Ayub by the Constitution Commission on May 6, 1961. General Ayub rejected this report and suggested a presidential form of government. Later in 1962, Ayub introduced a constitution, under which the president was the repository of all powers, like the clock-tower of Faisalabad, where all the roads converged.

General Ayub ruled the country for 10 years with poor record of governance and was elected president through indirect election. This centralization of power ignited public anger against him and he had to step down by a people’s movement. As per law, he has to hand over the government to the Speaker of the assembly, he deliberately gave the reins of powers to Army chief, General Yayha on March 25, 1969, who imposed martial law in the country. This too off tracked the country from its real path of democracy and the concept of good governance was again violated. The biggest tragedy the country faced during this period was the secession of East Pakistan with the open intervention of India. General Yahya proved to be a total failure and another example of bad governance.

In a nationwide broadcast on November 28, 1969, Yahya Khan announced far-reaching constitutional measures, including restoration of a federal parliamentary system, holding of general elections on October 5, 1970, the task of framing constitution for the newly elected government within 120 days, the conferment of maximum autonomy to provinces, the dissolution of the One Unit, etc. No doubt all these measures were taken in the right direction, but at the later stage they were proved to be a total disaster.

[B]Fall of Dhaka[/B]
On December 7, 1970, general elections were held on the basis of ‘one man, one vote’ and resulted in the overwhelming victory for Mujibur Rehman’s Awami League in East Pakistan and a large majority for Zulfikar Ali Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party in West Pakistan. After the election, Mujib grew more and more adamant over his Six Points. On the other hand, Bhutto refused to go to Dhaka to attend the National Assembly session. This is another example of not accepting the mandate of the winning party. After the breakdown of political talks between both the parties, Yahya Khan ordered military action to suppress the revolt of the Awami League. Having realised that the Mukti Bahani could not achieve the objective, India launched attack on East Pakistan and full-scale war started on November 22, 1971. On December 16, 1971, Yahya admitted defeat in East Pakistan.
Meanwhile, violent protests started on December 18, 1971, against the military regime in West Pakistan. It was followed by a vocal revolt by army officers in GHQ, Rawalpindi, on December 19, 1971, which led to Yahya resignation. Bhutto was subsequently sworn in as Pakistan’s new President on December 20, 1971. After the completion of one term of office and running for the second, he allegedly indulged in rigging as a result of which the country witnessed a large scale public protest throughout the country. This movement led by ulema resulted in the removal of Bhutto’s government in 1977 and again the country witnessed another martial law imposed by General Zia-ul-Haq. This period was worst of its kind as for as governance was concerned and the country facing the consequences of his blunders in the form of bomb blasts and the wave of terrorism.

[B]Horse trading[/B]
The good governance was seriously affected by various regimes to win over support of those members of the National and provincial assemblies, belonging to other parties. This culture created a new trend in the country and game of votes started. All the major parties indulged in this illegal practice and the Changa Manga politics was introduced. All the sitting governments in order to control their MNAs and MPAs have to form big cabinets, thus putting heavy burden on the national exchequer. In addition to this, they have to spend heavy amount to bribe their legislators.
The recent example of horse trading is witnessed in the Punjab assembly in which a Unification Group was formed among the Pakistan Muslim League-Quaid members. This created extreme uproar in the Punjab Assembly and the PPP and PML-Q members raised voice against those members who violated their party discipline and joined the Unification Bloc.

[B]Minorities’ status[/B]
Quaid-e-Azam in his two press conferences in New Delhi on July 14, 1947, announced that all minorities would be treated as equal citizens in the newly formed country. According to him, “Minorities to whichever community they may belong, will be safeguarded. Their religion of faith or belief will be secure. There will be no interference of any kind with their freedom of worship. They will have their protection with regard to their religion, faith, their life, and their culture. They will be, in all respects, the citizens of Pakistan without any distinction of caster or creed.”
In the second press conference, the Quaid said, “They will have their rights and privileges and no doubt, along with it goes the obligation of citizenship. Therefore, the minorities have their responsibility also and they will play their part in the affairs of this state. As long as the minorities are loyal to the State and owe true allegiance… they need have no apprehension of any kind.”

However, after the creation of Pakistan, the successive government failed to fulfill the commitment made by the founder of the country. Even the sane and moderate voice of minorities was not tolerated by the extremist elements. The murder of federal minister for minorities, Shahbaz Bhatti, in Islamabad in March, can be given as an example of intolerance towards minorities in the country. He had been threatened by extremist groups because he had spoken out against the blasphemy law. This Law has been in the spotlight since November when a court sentenced Asia Bibi, a Christian mother of four, to death. On January 4, Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab, who had strongly opposed the law and sought presidential pardon for Bibi, was gunned down by one of his bodyguards. There are big question marks over security of minorities of Pakistan. The time has come for our government to take a strong stand against extremists to create good govern- menace in the country.

Good Governance is a must to run the state affairs in a transparent manner. For the achievement of this objective, it is imperative to appoint people of integrity to head all government institutions. The crisis of governance in Pakistan is extensive and it is almost in a state of collapse. All discretionary power at all government levels should be withdrawn and all decisions should be regulated by law and merit. All government jobs should be filled through merit to end the culture of approach and bribery. Kalashinkov culture, drug trafficking and smuggling should be eliminated through a systematic and effective reform programme. Good governance also means less expenditure on the government machinery, including a small cabinet and the government should follow the constitution in letter and spirit. The key to good governance lies in the fact that all state institutions should work within their limits. For example the legislature should legislate, the executive should execute laws and policies and the judiciary should interpret the constitution and laws.

[B]Waseem-ur-Rehman Khan[/B]

Naveed_Bhuutto Saturday, December 01, 2012 04:45 AM

[B][I][CENTER]Failed State[/CENTER][/I][/B]

[I]The concept of publishing this report is to develop ideas for promoting greater stability worldwide, to encourage debate and help guide strategies for sustainable security. [/I]

Failed state index
The Foreign Policy magazine and Fund For Peace (US) publish the failed state index every year. From 2005 onwards, six reports have been published. The report uses 12 indicators in social, economic and political terms. Each indicator has a scoring range of “zero” to “12”, making a total score of 120. A higher score is indicative of increasing susceptibility to failure while a lower score indicates sustainability. The world map is thus drawn in four colours, i.e.

Red means “alert”, orange means “warning”, yellow means “moderate” and green means “sustainable”.

A failed state is defined as:

"One in which the government does not have effective control of its territory, is not perceived as legitimate by a significant portion of its population, does not provide domestic security or basic public services to its citizens, and lacks a monopoly on the use of force."

The index covers countries at risk, not countries that have already failed. Below are the top 20 most vulnerable countries.

1. Somalia 2. Chad
3. Sudan 4. Zimbabwe
5. Democratic Republic of the Congo 6. Afghanistan
7. Iraq 8. Central African Republic
9. Guinea [B]10. Pakistan [/B]
11. Haiti 12. Côte d'Ivoire
13. Kenya 14. Nigeria
15. Yemen 16. Burma
17. Ethiopia 18. East Timor
19. North Korea 20. Niger

Somalia is at the top while Norway is at the bottom of the list.

The Foreign Policy magazine index ranks Pakistan 8.1 on demographic pressures, 8.9 on refugees and IDPs, 8.9 on human rights and 9.3 on external intervention.

The concept of publishing this report is to develop ideas for promoting greater stability worldwide, to encourage debate and help guide strategies for sustainable security.

The 12 indicators are:

Social indicators
Mounting demographic pressures
• Pressures deriving from high population density relative to food supply and other life-sustaining resources.
• Pressures deriving from group settlement patterns that affect the freedom to participate in common forms of human and physical activity, including economic productivity, travel, social interaction, religious worship.
• Pressures deriving from group settlement patterns and physical settings, including border disputes, ownership or occupancy of land, access to transportation outlets, control of religious or historical sites, and proximity to environmental hazards.
• Pressures from skewed population distributions, such as a "youth or age bulge," or from divergent rates of population growth among competing communal groups.

Massive movement of refugees or internally displaced persons creating complex humanitarian emergencies
Forced uprooting of large communities as a result of random or targeted violence and/or repression, causing food shortages, disease, lack of clean water, land competition, and turmoil that can spiral into larger humanitarian and security problems, both within and between countries.

Legacy of vengeance-seeking group grievance or group paranoia
• History of aggrieved communal groups based on recent or past injustices, which could date back centuries.
• Patterns of atrocities committed with impunity against communal groups.
• Specific groups singled out by state authorities, or by dominant groups, for persecution or repression.
• Institutionalised political exclusion.
• Public scapegoating of groups believed to have acquired wealth, status or power as evidenced in the emergence of "hate" radio, pamphleteering and stereotypical or nationalistic political rhetoric.

Economic indicators
Uneven economic development along group lines
• Group-based inequality, or perceived inequality, in education, jobs, and economic status.
• Group-based impoverishment as measured by poverty level, infant mortality rates, education level.
• Rise of communal nationalism based on real or perceived group inequalities.

Sharp and/or severe economic decline
• A pattern of progressive economic decline of the society as a whole as measured by per capita income, GNP, debt, child mortality rate, poverty level, business failure, and other economic measures.
• Sudden drop in commodity prices, trade revenue, foreign investment or debt payments.
• Collapse or devaluation of the national currency.
• Extreme social hardship imposed by economic austerity programme.
• Growth of hidden economies, including the drug trade, smuggling, and capital flight.
• Increase in levels of corruption and illicit transactions among the general populace.
• Failure of the state to pay salaries of government employees and armed forces or to meet other financial obligations to its citizens, such as pension payments.

Political indicators
Criminalisation and/or delegitimisation of the state
• Massive and endemic corruption or profiteering by ruling elite.
• Resistance of ruling elite to transparency, accountability and political representation.
• Widespread loss of popular confidence in state institutions and processes, e.g., widely boycotted or contested elections, mass public demonstrations, sustained civil disobedience, inability of the state to collect taxes, resistance to military conscription, rise of armed insurgencies.
• Growth of crime syndicates linked to ruling elite.

Progressive deterioration of public services
• Disappearance of basic state functions that serve the people, including failure to protect citizens from terrorism and violence and to provide essential services, such as health, education, sanitation, public transportation.
• State apparatus narrows to those agencies that serve the ruling elite, such as the security forces, presidential staff, central bank, diplomatic service, customs and collection agencies.

Suspension or arbitrary application of the rule of law and widespread violations of human rights
• Emergence of authoritarian, dictatorial or military rule in which constitutional and democratic institutions and processes are suspended or manipulated.
• Outbreak of politically inspired (as opposed to criminal) violence against innocent civilians.
• Rising number of political prisoners or dissidents who are denied due process consistent with international norms and practices.
• Widespread abuse of legal, political and social rights, including those of individuals, groups or cultural institutions (e.g., harassment of the press, politicisation of the judiciary, internal use of military for political ends, public repression of political opponents, religious or cultural persecution).

Security apparatus operates as a "State within a State"
• Emergence of elite or guards that operate with impunity.
• Emergence of state-sponsored or state-supported private militias that terrorise political opponents, suspected "enemies," or civilians seen to be sympathetic to the opposition.

[B]Dr Najam us Sahar Butt (CSP)[/B]

Arain007 Saturday, December 01, 2012 07:21 PM

[B][U][CENTER][SIZE="5"]An Ill – Piloted Muslim World[/SIZE][/CENTER][/U][/B]

[B]By Shamshad Ahmad[/B]

I remember in the 1980s as he orated against the Soviet Union, President Reagan often quoted from Thomas Paine's Common Sense with his vision of a United States great enough "to begin the world over again.” Indeed, one of his Republican successors did it. President George W. Bush did begin the world all over again. But he turned it upside down. No wonder, we are today living in a difficult and turbulent world.

The ideological polarisation of the cold war in two rival blocs, the East and the West has given way to a new configuration of power in the form of unipolarity unleashing its own security challenges and problems for the world at large. The world now stands divided between the “West and the Rest” and as before, between two unequal halves, one embarrassingly rich and the other desperately poor. While the West is endowed with abundance of wealth and affluence, the
“Rest” that comprises mostly Third World countries representing the overwhelming part of humanity languishes in poverty and backwardness.

Unfortunately, all is not well with the Third World. Most developing countries suffer from serious governance and rule of law problems rooted in their authoritarian and non-representative political culture. Some of them are mired in perpetual intra-state or inter-state conflicts. What is even more disturbing is that the world's two largest regions, Africa and South Asia, both rich in natural and human resources, are the biggest victims of poverty and violence. Both continue to be the scene of endemic instability as a result of conflicts and hostilities, unresolved disputes, unaddressed historical grievances, and deep-rooted communal and religious estrangement.

And the Muslim world is in no better shape. It represents the tragic story of “Medusa”, the ill-piloted French naval ship in the 19th century that ran aground because of its incompetent captain's blunders and his dependence on others for navigational guidance, leaving behind a sordid tale of helplessness, death and desperation. The Medusa's wreck is still out there, lying stuck on the West African coast, and isn't going anywhere. Like Medusa's wreck, the mastless Muslim world is just lying there, aimlessly floating with no one to steer it out of the troubled waters.

The Muslim world is in crisis. Representing one-fifth of humanity with a global land mass spreading over 57 countries, and possessing 70 per cent of the world's energy resources and nearly 50 per cent of world's natural resources, the Muslim world should have been a global giant, economically as well as politically. Rich in everything but weak in all respects, it represents only five per cent of world's GDP. As a non-consequential entity, it has no role in global decision-making, or even in addressing its own problems.

Though some of them are sitting on world's largest oil and gas reserves, the majority of Muslim countries are among the poorest and most backward in the world. Poor and dispossessed, Muslim nations emerging from long colonial rule may have become sovereign states but are without genuine political and economic independence. With rare exceptions, they are all at the mercy of the West for their political strength and survival and are politically bankrupt with no institutions other than authoritarian rule. They have no established tradition of systemic governance or institutional approach in their policies and priorities.

Every ingredient of political life in these so-called sovereign states has been faked; sovereignty is not sovereignty, parliament is not parliament, law is not law, and the opposition parties are as corrupt and wasted as the ruling parties. Even the independence following the colonial powers' handing over of the reins of government to local rulers was not true independence. Other than being members of the United Nations, they remain virtual colonies of the West with no sense of freedom or dignity.

They have no bone, no muscle and whatever wealth they possess, is being exploited by the West. The rulers in today's Muslim world, ironically, without exception, are at the mercy of the US for their political strength and survival, and are responsible for the current political, economic and military subservience of their countries to the West. Their lands and resources remain under “protective” military control of their “masters”, who are also the direct beneficiaries of their oil proceeds and investments.

Peace is the essence of Islam and yet the Muslim nations have seen very little of it, especially after the Second World War. Some of the Muslim states are home to foreign military bases, while others have allowed foreign forces to use their territory freely and even to carry out their “operations” at will. There are others selflessly engaged in proxy wars on behalf of others and in some cases against their own people. The tragedies in Palestine, Kashmir, Iraq and Afghanistan represent the continuing helplessness of world's Muslims.

Since 9/11, Islam itself is being demonised by its detractors with obsessive focus on the religion of individuals and groups accused of complicity or involvement in terrorist activities. Islam is being blamed for everything that goes wrong in any part of the world. With violence and extremism becoming anathema to the world's high-and-mighty, Muslim freedom struggles are being projected as the primary source of “militancy and terrorism.”

Global terrorism is now being used to justify military occupations and to curb the legitimate freedom struggles of Muslim peoples. Muslim issues remain unaddressed for decades. Palestine is tired and has given up. Iraq is still burning. Afghanistan has yet to breathe peace. Kashmir stands disillusioned. Lebanon is simmering. Libya has been tamed. Egypt and Syria are being chiseled anew. Pakistan is on ICU resuscita tion. Iran is on notice. The Muslim world could not be more chaotic and more helpless. Surely these are critical times for the Muslim world.

What aggravates this dismal scenario is the inability of the Muslim world as a bloc to take care of its problems or to overcome its weaknesses. Its rulers have mortgaged to the West not only the security and sovereignty of their countries but also the political and economic futures of their nations. Despite material affluence in a few oil-rich countries, there is a widespread sense of political and economic deprivation in the Muslim world. These are all a dreary phenomena for which the rulers of the Muslim world alone are responsible. Thanks to our obscurantist mindset, we have done nothing to secure our future in this alarmingly chaotic world.

It makes no sense in dwelling nostalgically on Islam's past and “lost” glory. For us, the steady erosion of Islamic polity and power, Muslim world's stumbling lurch into western colonialism, and now, total political, economic, social and technological backwardness should be stark reminders of the historical magnitude of the failures of Muslim leadership. We cannot entirely blame the West for the Muslim world's institutional bankruptcy, its political and intellectual aridity, its deficiency in knowledge, education and science and technology, its aversion to modernity and modernisation, and its growing servility to the West.

On its part, the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) that groups together the fifty-seven Muslim states has no role whatsoever in global decision-making. It is naïve to expect the OIC to bring any change to the Muslim world which remains alien to peace, democracy, science and technology, socio-economic development, rule of law, equality, women's empowerment, tolerance, harmony, moderation, fraternity and brotherhood.

The OIC is merely an inter-governmental organisation and cannot be expected to do things that only governments of sovereign states can do. It has neither the credentials nor any operational capacity to be the panacea for the ills of its member-states. Though its ideological basis gives it a unique character, it remains seriously handicapped by the absence of regionality and complementarity in its geo-strategic, political and economic interests.

We just had yet another OIC summit in Makkah last month coinciding with the 26th and 27th day of Ramadan. The only special feature of the event was its consecrated timing which may have not only brought about a new spirit for the otherwise totally non-consequential Muslim world but also given a much needed opportunity to its self-serving rulers for availing themselves of their presence at the holiest Islamic soil to do some compunctious soul-searching while begging forgiveness for the sins they have committed in mortgaging to the West not only the security and sovereignty of their countries but also the political and economic futures of their nations.

Muslim leaders are good at oratory promising to their subject paradises on earth. But the problem is that their self-centred visions will not bring change to societies that are among the most illiterate and most backward. Thanks to our obscurantist mindset, we have done nothing to secure our future in this alarmingly chaotic world. Societal mindsets will change only with political, economic and social advancement of the people. This requires, not 'Oh I See' proclamations but tangible actions at national levels for rationalisation of socio-economic priorities through reallocation of resources with high quality education and scientific knowledge becoming the top most strategic priority in individual Muslim states.

Things will not change unless the Muslim world fixes its fundamentals and puts its house in order. Angels will not descend to help or salvage it. Ironically, they have been busy helping the West. It must take control of its own destiny through unity, mutuality and cohesion within its ranks. Its wealth and resources now being exploited by the West should be used to build its own strength and for its own socio-economic well-being.

The key to reshaping the future of the Muslim world lies in its political and economic independence and military strength with each Muslim nation opting for peace and democracy, and for knowledge and technology as top priority. Only governments rooted in the will of the people, and sustained by stable and accountable institutions can lead the way to genuine and healthy transformation of their societies. Each one of them will have to revamp existing mindsets and opt for peace, progress and harmony through genuine democracy and good and accountable governance.

[B]Source: [URL="http://www.jworldtimes.com/Article/92012_AN_ILL_PILOTED_MUSLIM_WORLD"]An Ill Piloted Muslim World[/URL][/B]

Naveed_Bhuutto Monday, December 03, 2012 10:58 AM

[B][I][CENTER][SIZE="5"]Energy crisis: Hydropower projects - causes and solutions[/SIZE][/CENTER][/I][/B]

[I]This situation in particular has raised alarm because of the planned Chutak and Nimoo-Bazgo Dams on River Indus by India.[/I]

The headlines in the local dailies of February 28, 2011, state that the government wakes up to India’s hydel projects built or being build on rivers entering Pakistan from Indian-held Kashmir, strangling Pakistan’s lifeline. Unfortunately this wake-up call is restricted only to investigations on not raising timely objections on India securing international credit incentives to construct hydropower projects. It is a blatant violation by India of the Indus Basin Waters Treaty.

This situation in particular has raised alarm because of the planned Chutak and Nimoo-Bazgo Dams on River Indus by India. Pakistan’s Ministry of Environment was shocked that India could obtain carbon credits without clearance by Pakistan of cross border environmental impact assessment of the two projects. Ironically, Islamabad’s representative heads a forum of UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which approves such credits. Chatuk Project is 42 meter high hydroelectric project located on Suru River, Indus tributary in Kargil district of Occupied Kashmir.

Nimoo-Bazgo hydroelectric project is 57 meter high being built in Leh district on Indus River. India had applied for UNFCCC carbon credits in 2006 and obtained approval of design from CDM’s executive boards of UNFCCC in 2008. The news also breaks the information that India plans to build 190 projects on River Indus on the plea that it shall thus ‘control’ water entering Pakistan. It implies declaration of Water War against Pakistan depriving it of energy and food needs.
Also Indian Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) has been distributing funds lavishly to the anti-Pakistan lobbies in our country that has led to the present impasse

Many reports emanating from the American Senate’s Foreign Affairs Committee indicating severe water shortage in times to come in Afghanistan and Pakistan points figures at Pakistan’s failure to use the Indus Basin water to its advantage in the past decades. Governments come and go without giving due importance to this alarming situation, the result of which are already appearing in the shape of dry rivers; Bayas, Sutlej and Ravi already in India’s control under Indus Basin Treaty appear as small nullahs with dirty water nowadays, River Chenab is already having Bursar Hydropower project, Jhelum constructing Yuri Dam with Yuri II, an off-shoot of Kishen Ganga Project due for completion soon.

The argument given is that Pakistan looses 30 to 35 Million Acre Feet of water each season to the sea and this surplus water is not being made use of. The last year’s floods speak volumes about this alarming situation. The Indus Basin Waters Treaty allows only storage of 1.7 million acre feet of water on Chenab through the hydroelectric dam by India whereas the Indian dam shall store 2.2 million acre feet of water.

It is feared that on the grounds of water not being stored by Pakistan, India might convince the donor agencies to re-hash Indus Basin Waters Treaty in its favour. By now it must be evident to all that India calling Held Kashmir as ‘Atoot Ang’ not for the love of it but for its waters only.

This situation arose by India’s water hegemony has also been noticed by the US. Senator John Kerry in his recent report has written on the issue as to how to avoid water conflict in South Asia though it lays short of suggesting any solutions for the lower riparian, Pakistan. He advocates that Indus Basin Waters Treaty (IWT) between India and Pakistan could avoid this conflict if its decisions are strictly adhered to.

Most importantly it spells the mechanism to assist Pakistan in building dams and canals to make up for the loss of the three rivers. Only run of the river hydroelectric dams could be built by India and not reservoirs, no tunneling, no diversions etc.
Pakistan thus needs to wake up and very emphatically thwart the efforts of the anti-reservoir building lobbies and arrange consensus among all political parties to make dams on the Indus River.
Finally, it pays down mechanism for dispute resolving. India had violated all these conditions of IWT. It has made dams by diverting waters from the rivers entering its lower riparian by making link canals and underground tunnels as well. Taking the plea of avoiding sedimentation, it is tunneling water on the Baghliar Dam.

Kishen Ganga Dam is the most controversial project for which the same is true. To top it all, it has started building Kama hydroelectric project on Kabul River in Afghanistan that shall curtail water in Kabul River entering Pakistan thus creating a reason of feud between Pakistan and Afghanistan. India has a history of lingering on water disputes between Pakistan and India despite many sessions of the IWT in the past, the latter not making any use of funds that could have been made available by the international donor agencies for making reservoirs on Pakistani rivers in the past.

Also Indian Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) has been distributing funds lavishly to the anti-Pakistan lobbies in our country that has led to the present impasse.

Pakistan thus needs to wake up and very emphatically thwart the efforts of the anti-reservoir building lobbies and arrange consensus among all political parties to make dams on the Indus Rivers, especially in wake of last year’s floods from which lessons need to be learnt.

It has been three years of the present political dispensation with unfulfilled promises to put an end to load shedding. The only way out thought, was to be in the shape of rental power plants. Even that step ended in fiasco as none worked and there was talk of heavy kickbacks. Apart from the factors such as terrorism, inflation, corruption, unemployment etc., the main problem has been lack of will of the past political or dictatorial governments to provide energy like electricity, gas and clean drinking water to masses at affordable tariffs.

The blame should be equally shared by successive governments since the sixties. Ayub Khan at least built Tarbela Dam though even at that time, he preferred it over Kalabagh Dam as Tarbela Dam was located in NWFP It should, however, be appreciated that at least a dam was built that despite silting problems is still providing some units of energy and some water for agriculture.

Ghazi Barotha Dam though an excellent project but does not have a reservoir. No plans have been made on emergency footings in the last five decades and even if they existed, these were not implemented due to weakness of the successive leaders in the right decision making process. The political heads remained busy and still are busy, in consolidating their seats to spend as much time in power, rather than doing anything concrete for the masses.

We shall, therefore, restrict our present discourse to the importance of large water reservoirs as the only cheap option to provide electricity on affordable tariffs. It is in everybody’s knowledge that the economic stability and prosperity of any country depends on its energy production and consumption. As reiterated above, Pakistan has not used its hydel resources to its maximum capacity and relied more on thermal units, those too are getting old as time passes by.

In recent years, the import of oil has increased due to continuous rise in oil consumption and the inadequate production of oil in the country and the ever-rising rise in oil prices imported. Lack of refineries, moreover, has made Pakistan largely dependent on the import of petroleum products. This adverse situation has put a high pressure on the cost configuration in power generating sector. This situation has led to shortage in domestic and commercial electricity and gas supply.

We shall leave discourse of oil, natural gas, thermal, coal and other renewable energy sources and projects for subsequent submissions but shall concentrate on hydropower projects now. Let us look at the hydroelectric projects that need to be built immediately.

Present situation
Hydro power potential in Pakistan is 45,000 MW. The total current Hydel Power Demand in Pakistan is about 18,000MW. Whereas only 15 per cent (6,500 MW) of Hydel Power has been exploited. Tarbela Dam (3478MW), Ghazi Barotha Dam (1450MW), Mangla Dam (1000MW) and Chashma Dam (187MW) are the four major projects in this regard.

The storage capacities of these are declining by 20 per cent due to sedimentation, especially in Tarbela and Mangla. Various other projects are under construction (presently on hold) with major Neelum-Jhelum Project having proposed capacity of 969MW. Also there are many sites in Punjab Canal Network that needs to be implemented.

Akhori Dam
Construction of Bhasha Dam if built shall take a decade or more which shall only replace the dwindling capacity of Tarbela and Mangla Dams and not add to the capacity; a fallacy being projected. One of the answers is in the construction of Akhori Dam. Building of Akhori Dam could be partial answer as this project shall store about 8.6 billion cubic meters (7 million acre feet) surplus Indus River water that is spilled after filling Tarbela reservoir.

The feasibility studies already carried out confirm its technical and economic viability. This dam, if built has the capacity of storing monsoon water to be released for mitigating irrigation shortages during the dry season. Akhori Dam Project is quite trouble-free in its perception and includes a gated intake structure, a 37 kilometers long water conveyance channel, a reservoir, a hydropower station, a spillway, dams and ancillary works.

The reservoir is proposed to be developed by constructing dams across a valley near Akhori village. The valley is situated between Attock and Fatehjang towns, on the left bank of the Haro River, about 40 kilometers west of Islamabad and 35 kilometers south of Tarbela dam. The intake structure will be designed for supplying water from Tarbela to Akhori reservoir and it will be constructed on the southern periphery of Tarbela reservoir.

The intake will function as an additional spillway of Tarbela that will release the water into the conveyance channel for delivering to and storing in Akhori reservoir. The invert or sill of the intake structure will be at the same level as the crest of two existing spillways of Tarbela. Apart from storing water for agriculture, it has capacity to generate electricity as well as the design of hydropower station shall tie together the hydro energy of the stored water before it is released from Akhori reservoir into the Haro River.

Then the released water shall join the Indus River downstream of Ghazi Barotha hydropower station. Also, sedimentation problem is believed to be less as the raised intake sill can divert to Akhori reservoir sediment free water that is near the top surface of the full Tarbela reservoir.
To be continued

[B]Dr Amjad Parvez Sheikh[/B]

Naveed_Bhuutto Friday, December 07, 2012 06:04 AM

[B][I][CENTER][SIZE="5"]Why Pakistan is not Egypt[/SIZE][/CENTER][/I][/B]

[I]People are wishing for a revolution in Pakistan like the Middle East without any intelligible points of reference between the two[/I]

Jubilation at the momentous events taking place in the Middle East has rapidly and perhaps predictably, been accompanied by comparisons between the situation in Egypt, Tunisia and now Libya with that of Pakistan. Talk shows, newspaper columns and even casual conversations are all littered with what Hamid Dabashi has perceptively identified as ‘lazy clichés, phony metaphors, and easy allegories’ meant to prevent people from properly understanding the precise nature of the events in the Middle East where despite similarities, each country has its particularities.

Everyone from Altaf Hussain to Imran Khan is talking about a revolution without uttering a word about what it means and what it would look like in Pakistan. Confusion surrounding the lessons of the uprisings is so high that a group of young protesters recently gathered in Liberty Roundabout, Lahore (perhaps Pakistan’s ‘Tahrir Square’ according to the protesters?) in support of the Egyptian people’s struggle as well as to ‘condemn democracy’ and call for an Islamic Revolution for the establishment of a Caliphate in Pakistan.

It seems as if people are simply wishing for a revolution in Pakistan now that the process has begun in the Middle East without any intelligible points of reference between the two. However, if history is anything to go by, the problems and prospects of the Pakistani revolution are going to arise out of the country’s specific history despite similarities with the Arab world.

The starting point of the discussion has to be the fact that all countries are a part of the global capitalist system that has been in the making for the past 500 years. Moreover, unlike current mantras of ‘globalisation’ this world system is built on the difference between the underdeveloped (formerly colonised and subjugated) countries and the developed formations. Therefore, at a high-level of abstraction there are similarities between all underdeveloped countries (and not just between an ‘Imagined Islamic Community’ as the Islamists assert) due to their shared histories of colonial and post-colonial domination that was once encapsulated in the notion of the ‘Third World’.

The countries of the South have all been subjected to neo-liberal restructuring that has inflicted widespread poverty, inequality and unemployment on these societies. There are of course other similarities: one relates to the so-called demographic time bomb whereby the majority of the population (more than 60 per cent) in Pakistan and Egypt is below the age of 30 years.

The unemployment unleashed by neo-liberal prescriptions has hit sections of the youth the hardest with youth unemployment extremely high in both these countries. Lack of jobs coupled with increased access to education and a longing for social mobility has created widespread frustration which has been instrumental in fuelling the present resurgence of Arab nationalism in the Middle East; this nationalism is precisely the point of departure between the revolutionary process in Egypt and the situation in Pakistan.

The sense of a continuous shared identity is extremely well-engrained in most of the Arab world especially Egypt, which was the birthplace of modern Arab nationalism. That nationalism of the 1950s and 1960s was built on the foundations of anti-colonialism, secular citizenship and social welfare but the ‘political form’ for implementing these changes were authoritarian, one-party states with strong military apparatuses (minus of course the Gulf states where monarchies of various ‘Islamic’ colours rule to this day). The current wave of unrest is challenging precisely this authoritarian political form with the aim of greater democratisation within the nation-state. Nowhere are the people questioning the contours of the nation-state itself; in other words, there is no ‘national question’ around the territorial integrity of the nation-state but a straight forward ‘political question’ around the best form of managing the existing territory.

This is in stark contrast to Pakistan where the very basis of the nation-state has been under attack from ethnic nationalism since its very inception and the political and national questions are inextricably linked.

As the culmination of a sub-movement within the Indian struggle for independence, Pakistan shared little more than a ‘Muslim’ identity which soon clashed with ethnic identities of the provinces that became Pakistan. The increasing use of Islam by the state was first and foremost meant to counter the competing ethnic nationalism of the Bengalis, Balochis, Sindhis and Pakhtuns who wanted greater economic, political and cultural representation in the new national dispensation.

The military-bureaucratic state failed to realise that Pakistan was and continues to be a multi-ethnic and multi-national state where a composite instead of unitary nationalism would be the best guarantee against territorial fragmentation.

Instead, it chose to suppress the demands of the different provinces resulting in a proliferation of ethnic nationalism.
One does not have to be reminded of the East Pakistan tragedy nor the current conflagration in Balochistan to realise that the greatest difference between the revolutions of the Middle East and Pakistan’s situation is ethno-nationalism. Unfortunately, in their eagerness to draw parallels between Pakistan and Egypt, the mainstream media in Pakistan has conveniently overlooked this basic distinction between the two.

As the Arab youths take to the streets and topple one tyrant after another, it will no doubt inspire young people all over Pakistan. However, it would be useful to remember that it is in fact young people (and not waderas and sardars as the common stereotype goes) who form the backbone of the ethno-national movements in Balochistan and Sindh. Thus, while youths in the Punjabi heartlands may be inspired by the movements in the Arab world, the young people of Balochistan and Sindh may draw a different inspiration from these revolts.

The only hope for a nationwide movement and the emergence of a truly representative Pakistani nationalism is the recognition of difference alongside the forging of a common struggle for democracy, social justice and freedom from oppression.

[B]Muhammad Ali Jan[/B]

Naveed_Bhuutto Tuesday, December 11, 2012 08:59 AM

[B][I][U][CENTER][SIZE="5"]The invisible hand[/SIZE][/CENTER][/U][/I][/B]

[I]In the wake of Shahbaz Bhatti’s murder, the best thing we can do for this country’s embattled non-Muslim peoples is to highlight how we remain hostage even now to the ideology of national security[/I]

It is telling that there has not been nearly as much of an uproar amongst the chattering classes about Shahbaz Bhatti’s murder as there was two months earlier for Salman Taseer. A number of explanations come to mind: first, that the liberals are just tired after two months of relatively intensive activism; second, that a large number of liberals share Taseer’s social circle but have no direct connection to the family and friends of Shahbaz Bhatti; and third that the Raymond Davis affair has really caused people to sit up and rethink their political positions.

I put number three in as a possible explanation rather wishfully. I do think that many who were coming up with justifications for Davis to be smuggled out of the country are likely to be feeling a bit more sheepish about their positions now that everyone has acknowledged that he was a spook. But I doubt that there has been any serious introspection about the class and ideological polarisations that have been definitively shown up by the varying responses to Davis’ trigger-happy behaviour on that fateful day in Lahore.

Thus, the fact that Bhatti’s murder has been protested largely by Pakistanis, who share his faith can be attributed to war-weariness and the fact that Bhatti did not hail from the chattering classes. Our Christian minority is amongst — if not the most — marginalised groups in society, and this episode has simply reinforced just how isolated Christians really are. For those of us who claim to represent the interests of religious minorities, this must count as a big indictment.

Given this basic fact, and especially in the light of recent events, it is critical for those who claim to be at the forefront of the challenge to ‘extremism’ to stand in complete solidarity with non-Muslims. This does not mean issuing the token condemnations of ‘mullahs’ and the religious lobby more generally. Indeed, there is an urgent need to go beyond the rather superficial binary of ‘secularism’ versus ‘theocracy’ and forcefully assert that the root of the problem is still the Pakistani establishment.
Christians in Pakistan — even the small number who do not live their lives in abject poverty — are too scared at the best of times to say anything controversial, let alone speak truth to power.
In short, Shahbaz Bhatti’s murder is nothing less than clear evidence of the fact that the self-proclaimed ‘defenders of the nation’ still harbour delusions of grandeur about their role within the polity, and by extension, in our wider region. More specifically, I believe that the establishment wants to reserve the right to use Islam to maintain its political dominance, regardless of the fact that this strategy is becoming increasingly risky and dragging all of us into a deep and widening abyss.

Salman Taseer is perhaps a better example of the cynicism and desperation that is creeping into the ranks at the helm of affairs. Taseer had a long association with the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP), but over the past two decades had become quite cozy with the establishment alongside its Western patrons. But the contradictions that have been thrown up primarily by imperialism’s direct intervention into Afghanistan have caused nerves to fray and given rise to tension in the oldest of political alliances. When the time came Taseer was expendable because the establishment was not willing to countenance the possibility that the religion card might be taken away from it once and for all.

If there is any doubt about this fact — and therefore the duplicity with which the religious right has been dealt with — then we need to cast our eyes only as far as Balochistan. Here it is clear that very little has changed in the thinking of the generals and brigadiers at the top of the tree. The elected government has more or less stopped feigning that it has any meaningful input into dealings with Baloch nationalists. Shock and awe is very much the modus operandi here: more Baloch youth and political activists have been disappeared and killed in the past six months than in the past three years. It goes without saying that a security apparatus so obsessed with crushing a genuinely representative movement for self-determination in Balochistan could not possibly be paying too much attention to the religious right.

As things stand, almost 100,000 Pakistani soldiers are stationed in Waziristan. Given the media blackout in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) it is impossible to really know what is going on in any of the seven tribal agencies. But it is easy enough to guess that a staged game of cat and mouse continues indefinitely while Pakhtun society — and the rest of Pakistan — continues to be ripped apart at the seams.

Of course, as I have insisted on umpteen occasions in the past, using military means to address ‘extremism’ simply reinforces polarisation. Liberal imperialism is the other side of illiberal Islamism. Both politics take us further and further away from the world that most progressives wish to build. And choosing the former over the latter is a folly of historic proportions — a fact that should be very clear given the dismal failure of the so-called ‘war on terror’.

In the wake of Shahbaz Bhatti’s murder, the best thing we can do for this country’s embattled non-Muslim peoples is to call a spade a spade and highlight how we remain hostage even now to the ideology of national security. There have been so many debacles caused directly by the arrogance and ignorance of the establishment that one has lost count. And even now, when almost everything is out in the open, it appears that the military-bureaucratic oligarchy continues to live in its warped little dream world. How long can this go on? Perhaps more importantly, how long will we allow it to go on?

[B]Aasim Sajjad Akhtar[/B]

Naveed_Bhuutto Tuesday, December 11, 2012 09:01 AM

[I][CENTER][SIZE="5"][B]Bamboo capitalism[/B][/SIZE][/CENTER][/I]

[I]China’s success owes more to its entrepreneurs than its bureaucrats.[/I]

Few would deny that China has been the economic superstar of recent years. Thanks to its relentless double-digit annual growth, it has become the world’s second-largest economy and in many ways the most dynamic. Less obvious is quite what the secret of this success has been. It is often vaguely attributed to “capitalism with Chinese characteristics”–typically taken to mean that bureaucrats with heavy, visible hands have worked much of the magic. That, naturally, is a view that China’s government is happy to encourage.

But is it true? Of course, the state’s activity has been vast and important. It has been effective in eradicating physical and technological obstacles: physical, through the construction of roads, power plants and bridges; technical, by facilitating (through means fair and foul) the transfer of foreign intellectual property. Yet China’s vigour owes much to what has been happening from the bottom up as well as from the top down. Just as Germany has its mighty Mittelstand, the backbone of its economy, so China has a multitude of vigorous, (very) private entrepreneurs: a fast-growing thicket of bamboo capitalism.

These entrepreneurs often operate outside not only the powerful state-controlled companies, but outside the country’s laws. As a result, their significance cannot be well tracked by the state-generated statistics that serve as a flawed window into China’s economy. But as our briefing shows, they are an astonishing force.

[B]The Mittel Kingdom[/B]
First, there is the scale of their activities. Three decades ago, pretty much all business in China was controlled by one level of the state or another. Now one estimate—and it can only be a stab—puts the share of GDP produced by enterprises that are not majority-owned by the state at 70%. Zheng Yumin, the Communist Party secretary for the commerce department of Zhejiang province, told a conference last year that more than 90% of China’s 43m companies were private. The heartland for entrepreneurial clusters is in regions, like Zhejiang, that have been relatively ignored by Beijing’s bureaucrats, but such businesses have now spread far and wide across the country.

Second, there is their dynamism. Qiao Liu and Alan Siu of the University of Hong Kong calculate that the average return on equity of unlisted private firms is fully ten percentage points higher than the modest 4% achieved by wholly or partly state-owned enterprises. The number of registered private businesses grew at an average of 30% a year in 2000-09. Factories that spring up alongside new roads and railways operate round-the-clock to make whatever nuts and bolts are needed anywhere in the world. The people behind these businesses endlessly adjust what and how they produce in response to extraordinary (often local) competition and fluctuations in demand. Provincial politicians, whose career prospects are tied to growth, often let these outfits operate free not only of direct state management but also from many of the laws tied to land ownership, labour relations, taxation and licensing. Bamboo capitalism lives in a laissez-faire bubble.

But this points to a third, more worrying, characteristic of such businesses: their vulnerability. Chinese regulation of its private sector is often referred to as “one eye open, one eye shut”. It is a wonderfully flexible system, but without a consistent rule of law, companies are prey to the predilections of bureaucrats. A crackdown could come at any time. It is also hard for them to mature into more permanent structures.

[B]Cultivate it, don’t cut it[/B]
All this has big implications for China itself and for the wider world. The legal limbo creates ample scope for abuse: limited regard for labour laws, for example, encourages exploitation of workers. Rampant free enterprise also lives uncomfortably alongside the country’s official ideology. So far, China has managed this rather well. But over time, the contradictions between anarchic opportunism and state direction, both vital to China’s rise, will surely result in greater friction. Party conservatives will be tempted to hack away at bamboo capitalism.

It would be much better if they tried instead to provide the entrepreneurs with a proper legal framework. Many entrepreneurs understandably fear such scrutiny: they hate standing out, lest their operations become the focus of an investigation. But without a solid legal basis (including intellectual-property laws), it is very hard to create great enterprises and brands.

The legal uncertainty pushes capital-raising into the shadows, too. The result is a fantastically supple system of financing, but a very costly one. Collateral is suspect and the state-controlled financial system does not reward loan officers for assuming the risks that come with non-state-controlled companies. Instead, money often comes from unofficial sources, at great cost. The so-called Wenzhou rate (after the most famous city for this sort of finance) is said to begin at 18% and can even exceed 200%. A loan rarely extends beyond two years. Outsiders often marvel at the long-term planning tied to China’s economy, but many of its most dynamic manufacturers are limited to sowing and reaping within an agricultural season.

So bamboo capitalism will have to change. But it is changing China. Competition from private companies has driven up wages and benefits more than any new law—helping to create the consumers China (and its firms) need. And behind numerous new businesses created on a shoestring are former factory employees who have seen the rewards that come from running an assembly line rather than merely working on one. In all these respects the private sector plays a vital role in raising living standards—and moving the Chinese economy towards consumption at home rather than just exports abroad.

The West should be grateful for that. And it should also celebrate bamboo capitalism more broadly. Too many people—not just third-world dictators but Western business tycoons—have fallen for the Beijing consensus, the idea that state-directed capitalism and tight political control are the elixir of growth. In fact China has surged forward mainly where the state has stood back. “Capitalism with Chinese characteristics” works because of the capitalism, not the characteristics.

[B]JWT Desk[/B]

Naveed_Bhuutto Tuesday, December 11, 2012 09:02 AM

[CENTER][SIZE="5"][B][I]Islamic concept of hijab/veil and the West[/I][/B][/SIZE][/CENTER]

[I]Hijab is to dress modestly in such a way as the outline of the female body is not visible.[/I]

Islam is a reformatory and revolutionary religion which provides guidance to its followers for eternal success in all walks of Islam. The Islamic Shariah consists of articles of faith i.e. beliefs, modes of worship — rituals, moral standards or ethical values, Civil and criminal laws. Islam gives dignity and respect to both sexes. For promoting healthy values and decency in the society, Islam ordains different dress code for men and women keeping into consideration their physical bodily structure and human instincts.

In order to give impetus to healthy moral standards, Islam has prohibited free inter mixing of men and women. Islam has prescribed strict punishment for those men and women who commit adultery or lead immoral life. Islam promotes the institution of marriage for satisfying our physical bodily needs in a legal and positive manner and for halting lewdness and abominable sources of copulation. In this regard Islam has prescribed such dress code for both sexes which prevents incitement of lust and is a symbol of decency and dignity.

Hijab or veil which is a dress code for Muslim women requires that a woman should not expose her beauty in front of strangers. Hijab is to dress modestly in such a way as the outline of the female body is not visible. This is meant and intended for reducing potential attraction between men and women who are not marriage partners. It is compulsory for Muslim women not to wear skin tight or transparent clothing, or to breast feed their babies in front of strangers.

Hijab is a symbol of modesty, privacy and morality. It has to be distinguished from satar. Hijab (veil) is to be observed from strange men while satar relates to the covering of body. Satar, according to Shariah, are the parts of body of a person which are unlawful to expose — these are between the naval and knee for a male and the entire body for a female except the face and the hands as far as the wrists. It is obligatory to observe satar during salat and the one who offers salat without adhering to the requirement of satar has done a sin and his/her salat is not going to be accepted by the Almighty God.

A large majority of Muslim jurists are of the opinion that covering face as well as other parts of the body is included in hijab, whereas some have opined that face and hand up to wrist are excluded from hijab. However all the Muslim scholars are having consensus on this point that a women is not allowed to expose her beauty and adornment/Zeenat in front of those people who are not her Mahram i.e those with whom she can enter into marital knot.

There is no difference of opinion about condemning and abhorring free inter mixing of opposite sexes, wearing of obscene/half naked dress, promotion of extra marital sexual relations, and inciting of sexual relationship.

Islam ordains both men and women to abstain from obscenity and lewdness. In verse No. 30 of Surah Noor Almighty God commands Muslim men to be modest and says, “(O Prophet) enjoin believing men to cast down their looks and guard their private parts. That is purer for them. Surely Allah is well aware of all what they do”.

Similarly about the importance of Hijab Almighty God says in verse No. 53 of Surah Ahzaab, “…..And when you ask of them (the wives of Prophet) anything, asks it of them from behind a curtain. That is purer for your hearts and for their hearts….” The aged women are exempted from certain limitations of Hijab as the God says in verse No. 60 of Surah Noor, “The women who are past their youth (and can no longer bear children) and do not look forward to marriage will incur no sin if they cast off their outer garments without displaying their adornment. But if they remain modest, that is still better for them. Allah is All-Hearing, All-knowing”.
Islam promotes the institution of marriage for satisfying our physical bodily needs in a legal and positive manner and for halting lewdness and abominable sources of copulation.
The other divine religions also exhort their followers to eschew including in indecent and immoral acts. It has been written in the Gospel of John, “Those women, who do not cover their head during worship of God, let their head be shaved of.” Similarly at another place it has been written, “Those men and women who try to appear belonging to apposite sex are cursed by Almighty God.” The present moral values of the West/European countries are not those which have been prescribed in their religions but are in contradiction of their religious values.

The West has even gone to such extent of moral decline that they are legalising homosexuality which is having no place in any divine religion and is completely inhuman, immoral and shameful. In this regard, the West has also launched a disgusting campaign against the dynamic and golden Islamic principles of morality and modesty.

In order to halt the rapid growth of Islam in the West and to promote obscenity and lewdness in Islamic society, they are raising undue hue and cry against the Islamic concept of Hijab/Veil and some of the western countries like France has even banned use of Hijab by Muslim women. This act of the west is a sheer violation of fundamental rights. The West is also making an abortive attempt to project Islamic laws as Anti women.

Unfortunately some so called feminists of the Muslim World are also out for assisting those western elements who are aspirant to malign Islamic laws. Instead of halting the spread of Islam, such anti-Islam moves of the West are counter productive and is making the Muslims realise the nefarious designs of such elements and is further elaborating the glory and utility of Islamic codes of ethics such as Hijab.

Hijab in no way obstructs the development of women life in any field of life, but it protects the inner and outer adornment/beauty of women and ameliorates the moral and ethical values of society as the God Almighty says in verse No. 19 of Surah Noor, “Verily those who love that indecency should spread among the believers deserve a painful chastisement in the world and the Hereafter. Allah knows, but you do not know.”

[B]Atta ur Rehman Khilji [/B]

01:03 PM (GMT +5)

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