|Posted by vosbboorg on December 14, 2011 at 10:55 AM||comments (0)|
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Headlines: Institutions working within constitutional ambit: GilaniShamsi airbaseFrom the Newspaper | Editorial | Yesterday
A PICTURE may be worth a thousand words but the story it tells isn`t always what is hoped for. With the American presence at the Shamsi airbase in Balochistan coming to an end, security authorities have allowed cameras to record the American evacuation and the return of Pakistani soldiers to the base. The idea of doing so was clearly to suggest that Pakistan had stood up to the American superpower and prevailed in a stand-off over control of the base. But it is an odd way to try and project the strength of the Pakistani state. In fact, the images of Pakistani soldiers taking guard around Shamsi as an American plane prepares to depart ought to raise an awkward question: how did Pakistan manage to lose control of the airbase in the first place? What has been projected as a moment of triumph is really masking years of embarrassing half-truths and misinformation.
Shamsi is an airbase deep inside Pakistani territory. It was built in the early 1990s by the UAE ruler to facilitate the hunting of the endangered and protected houbara bustard. After 9/11 and the arrival of American forces in neighbouring Afghanistan, the base somehow came under the control of American personnel via an opaque trilateral deal. Earlier this year Pakistani officials claimed that because Shamsi had been leased to/belonged to the UAE, Pakistan couldn`t evict the Americans from the base. Now, having finally managed to get the Americans to leave, Pakistan`s security authorities are trying to paint it as a victory. The Americans were portrayed as `reluctant` to leave the Shamsi airbase. Could their reluctance really have been rooted in some kind of legally binding understanding that neither the US nor the Pakistani state wanted to make public? The root of the problem is that once a matter is deemed to be related to `national security` a wall of secrecy is erected around it and no one other than a select and privileged few has a right to ask questions or get answers about the matter.
|Posted by vosbboorg on December 14, 2011 at 10:55 AM||comments (0)|
“I’m fine and will return soon”
President Asif Ali Zardari is fine and will return home soon.
“I’m fine and will return soon,” President Zardari reportedly told a news anchor, who repeated the comments on television.
“I did not want to leave. My children and friends and the prime minister insisted that I go for a checkup.”
“My enemies will be disappointed.”
“Those that run from the country run with their kids,” the president was quoted as saying. “My son is in Pakistan. I left him there.”
|Posted by vosbboorg on December 1, 2011 at 9:35 AM||comments (0)|
Cabinet meeting discusses Nato attack Updated 2 days ago 4
ISLAMABAD: The Federal Cabinet meeting under the chairmanship of PM Gilani is underway at the Punjab Governor House to discuss the Nato attack and energy crisis in the country, Geo News reported Tuesday.
The meeting assumed importance in the wake of Nato attack in which 24 Pakistani soldiers were killed.
Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar is expected to brief the cabinet about protests lodged by Pakistan on the international forum in regards to the Nato attack.
Prime Minister Gilani is also expected to take the federal ministers into confidence over the decisions made by the Defence Committee of Cabinet.
Pakistan not to participate in Bonn Conference Updated 2 days ago 55
LAHORE: Pakistan will boycott an international conference on Afghanistan's future in Bonn next week to protest against a Nato cross-border attack that killed two dozen soldiers, Geo News reported Tuesday.
Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani, while chairing the Cabinet meeting, announced to summon a joint session of the parliament after the recommendations of the parliamentary committee on National Security to discuss Mohmand Agency incident and the controversial memo affair.
Foreign ministers belonging to more than 90 countries are expected to attend the Bonn Conference that is believed to take up sensitive and thorny issues regarding the withdrawal of occupying forces for the war torn country and entering into dialogue with the Taliban.
The Cabinet agreed that unilateral actions like Abbottabad incident and last Saturday in Mohmand Agency were "not acceptable".
Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar briefed the Cabinet about the incident and described the ongoing diplomatic efforts to highlight the violation of Pakistan's territorial sovereignty, which is also a violation of the international law.
The Cabinet extended deepest condolences to the families of those who embraced Shahadat last Saturday in Mohmand Agency
Obama not to offer formal apology to Pakistan: Report Updated 7 hours ago 53
WASHINGTON: President Obama will not offer formal condolences to Pakistan over the death of more than dozen soldiers in NATO air strikes last week, New York Times report stated.
The report stated that the White House has decided that President Obama will not offer formal condolences — at least for now —overruling State Department officials who argued for such a show of remorse to help salvage America’s relationship with Pakistan, the paper quoted administration officials.
|Posted by vosbboorg on October 28, 2011 at 1:05 PM||comments (0)|
The secret of China's success
October 13, 2005
The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, based in Paris, is often considered the "rich nations' club".
Itwas founded in 1960 following the successful reconstruction of Europeunder the Marshall Plan, to help co-ordinate economic and socialpolicies among the core affluent countries of North America, Europe,and the Pacific, to facilitate their growth and to devise commonpolicies toward the other blocs of that age, namely the communistcountries and the developing world.
Over the last couple ofdecades, and particularly after the end of the cold war, some of thericher emerging markets, such as Mexico, Poland and Turkey have alsobecome members. Today the membership comprises 30 affluent democracies,the bulk of which are located in Europe.
To be accepted into theOECD is one mark of having "arrived" on the global economic andpolitical stage. The search is currently under way for a newSecretary-General to succeed Donald Johnston (a Canadian), and there issome expectation that the appointment will go to an Asian, even thoughcurrently the only two Asian members are Japan and South Korea.
TheOECD has also been expanding its links with important non-membercountries such as Brazil, Russia and China. Notwithstandingconsiderable interest on the part of the OECD, and despite our prouddemocratic tradition, India has so far been lukewarm in availing itselfof these opportunities, perhaps fearing rich country criticism of someof our economic policies.
As against this, despite its politicalvulnerability, and in anticipation of its economic superpower status,China has confidently availed itself of the considerable expertise incomparative analysis of the OECD staff.
The most recentexpression of this collaboration is the first OECD Economic Survey ofChina, which was published in September (OECD Economic Surveys: China.OECD Publishing, September 2005. Paris. www.oecd.org). As iscustomary, the published version follows upon a review of the draft bythe OECD members in the presence of the country being studied.
Whilethere is an enormous outpouring of economic analysis on China fromother official bodies such as the World Bank and the IMF, the OECDChina report is nonetheless a valuable addition. This is so for threereasons.
First, the report deploys the considerable expertise ofOECD staff in analysing issues of growth, productivity and technicalchange. Second, the report is admirably compact, and allows a rapidtour d'horizon of a large number of policy and analytic issues in anaccessible way.
Third, the description of Chinese reforms is inlanguage that is analytic and transparent, rather than the usual turgiddescriptions of responsibility systems and Party Congresses.
Oneweakness is that the report does not contain its own statisticalappendix, leaving the reader entirely dependent on the materialpresented in text tables and charts.
A reading of the reportprovokes a number of reflections on the links between reform andgrowth. As the OECD's Chief Economist, Jean-Philippe Cotis, notes inhis preface, extremely bold changes have been introduced in the lastfive years.
He remarks: "[F]ew OECD member governments haveembarked on reforms that have restructured or closed hundreds of stateenterprises every month over a five-year period … or have endedlife-time employment practices and, in the process, stimulated anation-wide reallocation of resources."
He adds: "Structuralreforms in China have triggered a durable process of economicdevelopment, at a time when there are many signs that … this process ofeconomic convergence has stalled or even backtracked in many OECDcountries."
In contrasting our steady progress with China's evenmore spectacular performance, we sometimes take comfort in the factthat the Chinese reform effort is a decade older than ours. The reportmakes clear that the basis for the high and sustained growth China isnow enjoying is essentially the product of policy decisions earlier inthe decade, i.e. at about the same time as India's reform, from astarting point that was considerably more distorted than ours. Thethree great reforms have been liberalising domestic prices, embracinginternational trade and welcoming foreign investment.
Theoutcomes are well-known: the value of Chinese exports of goods andservices is now exceeded only by Germany and the United States (andalready exceeds that of Japan). By the beginning of the next decade theOECD projects that China will outstrip even the US in the value of itstotal trade.
The OECD report also provides information on theownership of consumer durables, which provides an interesting benchmarkagainst which India can be compared. Thus, the ownership of householdrefrigerators is 46 units per 100 households; NCAER projections suggestthat by the end of this decade the figure in India would still only beabout half that, or around 22.5.
Similarly in 2003, the Chineseownership of colour TVs was almost as high as in the developedcountries at around 94 units per 100 households. Our projections forIndia for the end of the decade are about two-thirds of that, at around64.
Our projections are, admittedly, based on relativelyconservative assumptions of growth, at around 7 per cent; if we wereactually to attain Chinese growth rates the gap would of course beclosed more rapidly.
China is far from being a paragon of reform;in particular there remain major issues connected with the financialsector and corporate governance, and their record, for example, ofcapital market development and integrity is less successful that ours.
Thegrowth accounting analysis presented in the report does confirm theenormous contribution made by capital accumulation to Chinese growth.But this has been accompanied by a significant contribution fromeducation and general productivity, which in turn is related tocompetitive pressure coming from, among other things, foreign directinvestment.
What can one conclude from the report about India'spast and India's future? With respect to the past we clearly have beenguilty of considerable complacency. The initial conditions of India andChina at the beginning of the 1990s were not all that different.
Evenallowing for the different shares of investment more assertive policiesof international integration could have helped boost our growth ratemuch earlier. For the future, it is likely that the demographic factorsthat have so favoured China are about to peak, while India's still havea way to go.
A commitment to greater competition in the domesticeconomy stimulated by low trade and FDI barriers could well help.Perhaps so could a review by the OECD!
The author is Director-General, NCAER. The views expressed here are personal.
|Posted by vosbboorg on October 16, 2011 at 7:15 AM||comments (0)|
The Pakistani president and the Japanese prime minister reemphasized that peace and stability in South Asia is necessary for peace and prosperity in Asia but throughout the world. Earlier on, during comprehensive dialogue between the two leaders, both countries decided to strengthen mutual relations as well as trade and economic ties by promoting comprehensive partnership.
The president also called on Japanese Foreign Minister Seiji Maehara. The president said that Japan was an important friend and trade and development partner of Pakistan. There was a need to further promote the existing cooperation, he said. He emphasized on the need for Japanese cooperation in various fields, including trade, development, security, energy and institutional capacity building. The Japanese foreign minister assured continuing Japanese assistance for revival of the Pakistani economy.
President Zardari exchanged views with the Japanese leadership on an important issue and highlighted Pakistan's concern in that regard. He said that why cannot Japan cooperate with Pakistan in the field of nuclear energy, and provide it nuclear energy for peaceful purposes if it can do the same for India? Pakistan also deserves that and there is no justification of denying Pakistan nuclear technology. The president made it clear that India had forced us to become a nuclear power. Pakistan does not want to join the arms race in the region. There is no truth in the media reports that the number of our nuclear weapons is greater than those of India. The fact is that the United States showed discrimination against Pakistan with regard to civilian nuclear deal, and refused to provide nuclear technology to Pakistan for its economic and social development in spite of its needs and insistence. This was the gist of the president's earlier interview with the Japanese media, in which he was asked if he would raise the issue of nuclear cooperation during his meetings with the Japanese officials. The president said that he did not know what questions will be raised at that point. He said that the objective behind his visit is to apprise the Japanese Government and people of the situation and challenges confronting Pakistan. The president emphasized on the Japanese automakers to install plants in Pakistan.
In his meeting with President Zardari, Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan, while reiterating his resolve for full cooperation with Pakistan in the war on terror, emphasized on regional peace and stability and showed interest in playing role in South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). He said that Japan would fully cooperate with Pakistan in water and power resource management and infrastructural development.
In his meeting with Japanese Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry Banri Kaieda, the president said that Pakistan considered Japan a large market for its exports and desired joint ventures, consortium and trade contacts with Japan.
There is a need to follow the Japanese strategy to end uncertainty. Academic, practical, and technical capacity of every individual should be built so that the country takes rapid strides to development on modern footings. It is regretting to note that a UNDP [United Nations Development Program] report has disclosed that Pakistan lags behind Laos, the smallest country on the world, in terms of human development in the list of 169 countries. Pakistan stands 125th throughout the world. If we closely review president's visit and Pakistan-Japan friendship, they have positive message for us, namely social and economic stability, and coordinated effort in that regard is the demand of the situation.
|Posted by vosbboorg on October 16, 2011 at 7:10 AM||comments (0)|
Public figure. Benazir Bhutto was born June 21, 1953, in Karachi, SE Pakistan, the eldest child of former premier Zulfikar Ali Bhutto. He founded the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) and was prime minister from 1971 to 1977. After completing her early education in Pakistan, she pursued her higher education in the United States. From 1969 to 1973, she attended Radcliffe College, and then Harvard University, where she graduated with a B.A. degree in comparative government. It was then onto the United Kingdom to study at Oxford from 1973 to 1977. There, she completed a course in International Law and Diplomacy.
Bhutto returned to Pakistan in 1977, and was placed under house arrest after the military coup led by General Mohammad Zia ul-Haq overthrew her father's government. One year after Zia ul-Haq became president in 1978, the elder Bhutto was hanged after his conviction on charges of authorizing the murder of an opponent. She inherited her father's leadership of the PPP.
There was more family tragedy in 1980 when Bhutto's brother Shahnawaz was killed in his apartment on the Riviera in 1980. The family insisted he was poisoned, but no charges were brought. Another brother, Murtaza, died in 1996 (while his sister was in power) in a gun battle with police in Karachi.
She moved to England in 1984, becoming the joint leader in exile of the PPP, then returned to Pakistan on April 10, 1986, to launch a nationwide campaign for 'open elections.
She married a wealthy landowner, Asif Ali Zardari, in Karachi on December 18, 1987. The couple had three children: son Bilawal and two daughters, Bakhtawar and Aseefa.
Bhutto returned to Pakistan on October 18, 2007, after President Musharraf granted her amnesty on all corruption charges, opening the way for her return and a possible power-sharing agreement.
Bhutto's homecoming rally after eight years in exile was hit by a suicide attack, killing 136 people. She only survived after ducking down at the moment of impact behind her armored vehicle. Bhutto said it was Pakistan's "blackest day" when Musharraf imposed a state of emergency Nov. 3 and threatened to bring her supporters on to the streets in mass demonstrations. She was placed under house arrest Nov. 9. Bhutto called for his resignation four days later. Emergency rule was lifted Dec.
Bhutto was killed when an assassin fired shots and then blew himself up after an election campaign rally in Rawalpindi on December 27, 2007. The attack also killed 28 others and wounded at least another 100. The attacker struck just minutes after Bhutto addressed a rally of thousands of supporters in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, 8 miles south of Islamabad. She died after hitting her head on part of her vehicle's sunroof -- not as a result of bullets or shrapnel, a spokesman for Pakistan's Interior Ministry said. President Musharraf said he had asked a team of investigators from Britain's Scotland Yard to assist in the investigation into Bhutto's killing. Hundreds of thousands of mourners paid last respects to former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto on December 28, 2007 as she was buried at her family's mausoleum in Garhi Khuda Bakhsh, the southern province of Sindh. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf announced three days of mourning. Bhutto's husband, Asif Ali Zardari, her three children and her sister Sanam attended the burial. Bhutto was buried alongside her father Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, Pakistan's first popularly elected prime minister who was later on executed by hanging.
The shooting and bombing attack on the charismatic former prime minister plunged Pakistan into turmoil. Pakistan is armed with nuclear weapons and is a key U.S. ally in the war on terrorism. Furious supporters rampaged through several cities, torching cars, trains and stores in violence that left at least 23 dead. Pakistan's election commission announced January 2, 2008 that parliamentary elections would be postponed until February 18, a delay of six weeks. Bhutto reportedly had been planning to give two visiting American lawmakers a 160-page report accusing the Musharraf government of taking steps to rig the Jan. 8 vote.
"The United States strongly condemns this cowardly act by murderous extremists who are trying to undermine Pakistan's democracy," President Bush said from his ranch near Crawford, "Those who committed this crime must be brought to justice."
Pakistan's Interior Ministry also revealed that it had ''irrefutable evidence'' showing that al Qaeda was behind Bhutto's assassination. Brigadier Javed Iqbal Cheema said the government had recorded an "intelligence intercept" in which “al Qaeda leader” Baitullah Mehsud "congratulated his people for carrying out this cowardly act." Mehsud is regarded as the commander of pro-Taliban forces in the lawless Pakistani tribal region South Waziristan, where al-Qaida fighters are also active. Mehsud has denied involvement.
|Posted by vosbboorg on October 16, 2011 at 7:00 AM||comments (0)|
|Posted by vosbboorg on October 16, 2011 at 6:45 AM||comments (0)|
ATC rejects acquittal plea of top police officials
RAWALPINDI: An Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC), on Saturday, rejected an acquittal plea filed by former police chief of Rawalpindi Saud Aziz and former Rawal Town SP Khurram Shahzad in Benazir Bhutto assassination case.
The two police officers are accused of failing to provide adequate security to the slain prime minister, Benazir Bhutto (BB), and destroying vital evidence.
Aziz and Shahzad said they were also being charged with terrorism, murder, attempt to murder and being part of a criminal conspiracy.
They maintained that under the law, charges of murder and terrorism could not be levelled against them since an investigation team had not provided any evidence to prove these allegations.
They, in their appeals, pleaded to the court that there were no sufficient proofs against them in the case and therefore they be exonerated.
Aziz and Shahzad were present in the court on Saturday along with seven other accused in the case.
Justice Shahid Rafiq heard proceedings of the case at Adyala Jail.
During the previous hearing, the court had reserved its verdict after hearing arguments of the defence and prosecution lawyers with regard to the appeals. Charges will be framed against both officials on October 22. BB was assassinated in a gun and bomb attack at an election rally outside Liaquat Bagh on December 27, 2007. agenci
|Posted by vosbboorg on October 16, 2011 at 6:40 AM||comments (0)|