Monday, 30 March 2015

Tackling corruption

Courtesy:- Malik Muhammad Ashraf

Corruption is generally defined as misuse of entrusted power or authority by elected politicians or appointed civil servants for private gains. It usually entails embezzlement of funds, nepotism, kickbacks, bribery as well as deliberate attempts to perpetuate a system with inbuilt avenues of corruption, graft and entitlement. The major cause of concern are the systemic corruption and political corruption which lead to other forms of corruption that eat into the social and economic fibre of a country besides generating social tensions and hampering its economic progress.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Is economic turnaround in sight?

Courtesy:-  Mian Saifur Rehman

Two things appear to be quite fascinating — rather somewhat inspiring — in Punjab’s ‘Apna Rozgar Scheme’. According to Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif, it is the country’s biggest welfare scheme of its kind and that it would provide respectable jobs to the youth of the province.

Indeed the term ‘biggest’ is encouraging as much heartening is Shahbaz Sharif’s commitment to the citizens’ respectability factor.

This combination has most often been found missing in many societies where the poverty-stricken beneficiaries would be subjected to hassle, non-transparent methods and discrimination, giving them a feeling of being at the mercy of the benefactors.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Bloomberg gives good marks to PM

Courtesy:- S Rahman

Bloomberg that is not in love with any entity and which has the reputation of giving candid analysis, has given good marks to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for managing to start turning around the country’s economy despite facing rough six months of street protests, weak economy and law and order situation.

The media company headquartered in New York City, in keeping with its tradition of giving independent opinions on financial, political and economic issues, has opined in one of its latest articles, “Corporate earnings are soaring, stocks have surged and the currency is among the world’s top performers. Add to it, the factors of lower oil prices, higher remittances and increased consumer spending. All these are pushing growth towards a seven-year high.”

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Who benefits from the CPEC?

Courtesy:-  S.M. Hali

A project of the scale of the CPEC perhaps comes once in the lifetime of nations, hence it is imperative to delve deeper into its advantages

There is a lot of bickering  going on amongst Pakistani politicians from various provinces regarding the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Some claim that it is going to benefit only the ruling party, others allege that only Punjab will gain from it while the other provinces will be left in the lurch. Others find fault with the route and surmise that it has been deliberately altered to promote the interests of Punjab. A few relegate the importance of the CPEC, considering it to be just a freeway. The fault perhaps lies in the way that the ruling was issued in Islamabad, without explaining the importance and magnitude of the project or elucidating the advantages that Pakistan will accrue from this all encompassing plan. Normally, politicians love to crow on about even minor achievements from the rooftops. A project on the scale of the CPEC perhaps comes once in the lifetime of nations, hence it is imperative to delve deeper into its advantages. For a country like Pakistan, which faces enormous challenges in terms of both law and order and a dwindling economy, the CPEC offers a panacea to most of its problems and will uplift the quality of life of its citizens.

Monday, 16 March 2015

Youth programmes

Courtesy:-  MALIK MUHAMMAD ASHRAF

Engine of socio-economic change

The status of the youth of a nation as architects of its future progress and prosperity, has an unqualified universal recognition in the modern era and that is why the nations all over the world focus considerable attention on harnessing the potential of their young generations — their human capital — through education and imparting of skills to ensure their productive absorption in the workforce as well as the creation of opportunities for their self-employment to accelerate socio-economic development of the country. In most of the developing and poor countries, lack of education, finances and technological skills are the biggest hindrances in their gainful employment in whatever opportunities are available in the job-market. Thus the growing un-employment among the youth not only affects the economic progress of that country but also unleashes disastrous consequence for the society in the shape of lawlessness and crimes.

Thursday, 12 March 2015

Realistic perspectives

Courtesy:-  Malik Muhammad Ashraf

 In the wake of the three-day visit of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to Saudi Arabia on the invitation of the Saudi King Salman Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud and the unusual protocol given to him on arrival by the host and the entire Saudi leadership, the western media as usual has tried to read too much between the lines in regards to the purpose of the visit and its outcome. A US TV channel reported that in view of the developments in the Middle East and the Security threats to Saudi Arabia, Pakistan had committed to provide nuclear cover to the Kingdom, while a Western newspaper went to the extent of saying that Pakistan would also provide troops for providing security to the Kingdom against any perceived threat. Some circles have also insinuated that Pakistan might side with the Saudis in the current tussle between Saudi Arabia and Iran. These assertions have been out rightly rejected by the information minister Pervez Rasheed.

Friday, 6 March 2015

SINO-PAK RELATIONS & CPEC

Courtesy:-   Sultan M Hali


The traditional and time tested Sino-Pak friendship has been cast in stone. The people of China and Pakistan have rejoiced each other’s achievements and provided solace when either was grieved. During China’s formative years, the Occident treated China spitefully, denying it recognition as well as its rightful place in the UN Security Council. Ironically, the illegal state of Taiwan with a meager population of 21 million was recognized as China while the 1.35 billion population of mainland China was ignored. In those dark days, Pakistan strongly advocated China’s case for recognition and served as a window for China to the world. It was through the good offices of Pakistan that the ice between USA and China melted in 1972 and US President Nixon’s visit to China was facilitated.

Wednesday, 4 March 2015

The process of electoral reforms

Courtesy:- Malik Muhammad Ashraf

The initiative of the PML-N government to forestall the prospects of horse-trading in the Senate elections by changing the mode of voting from secret ballot to ‘show of hands’ and bringing a constitutional amendment in this regard, has failed to elicit required support despite convening of the meeting of the leaders of the parliamentary parties by the prime minister and the forceful plea made by him for a collective effort to end the despicable practice of vote buying in the senate elections.

The government found the PTI to be a willing and staunch supporter of the proposal. However the PPP, JUI-F and ANP refused to cooperate with the government on the issue and instead decided to forge broader cooperation in the senate elections under the existing system of voting and during the post-election scenario. The argument preferred by the PPP and endorsed by other parties for not changing the mode of voting was that the matter should be referred to the Electoral Reforms Committee for making it part of the comprehensive constitutional package.