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INDIA fuelling militancy in Pakistan

Welcome to the June 2015 edition of Economic Affairs magazine. This edition, as you will note, comprises of more articles than usual, covering a wide variety of topics, domestic and global. This month, our cover story features the intricate operations devised by India's external intelligence agency, Research And Analysis Wing (RAW). Some well-documented proof points in the direction that RAW is quite actively involved in meddling in matters on Pakistani soil. This elaborate network set up by RAW involves structures which are present not only in Pakistan but also in Afghanistan, operating through multi-tiered organizations. The purpose is clear: create terror within Pakistan, a premise which is well-documented b...

June 28, 2015 at 1:07 pm | News Desk

EDITORIAL: Setback to the economy

The first thing first: there is no threat to the democratic process in the country from the armed forces. It's on record that the forces' high command has exhibited extreme patience and helped the civil rulers in confronting serious challenges by conducting it through heavy waters of poor governance; yet the underlying tone of most of the high-decibel oratory in joint session of parliament was that the sit-ins at the D-Chowk are part of a 'plan' to wrap up the democratic system. The hard fact is that the sit-inners have challenged the government headed by Nawaz Sharif that enjoys a comfortable majority in the parliament, and is fully empowered to handle it. Perhaps, it is the common fear of being wrapped up, based on our history that has ge...

September 18, 2014 at 5:49 pm | News Desk

EDITORIAL: Still time to back down

Editorial The hectic, perhaps even frantic, shuttling back and forth of political intermediaries between the PML-N and PTI camps had suggested that perhaps some kind of middle ground could be reached and the growing atmosphere of political crisis could be calmed down. Unhappily, neither the PML-N nor the PTI appears to be in any mood to back down first — or at least before the eleventh hour, which is nearly here. The PML-N has had the capital’s administration enforce the infamous Section 144 of the criminal code that prohibits the public display of weapons — and most importantly, curbs the public’s right of freedom to assemble. Without a shred of doubt, no matter what the PML-N leadership or the Islamabad administration ma...

August 15, 2014 at 12:02 pm | News Desk

EDITORIAL: Penny for your thoughts

Penny for your thoughts The main opposition parties in the parliament are criticizing the present government for not disclosing the name of the friendly Muslim country which has gifted $1.5 billion aid to Pakistan. Opposition parties are apprehending that the significant aid may be to deploy Pak forces in the Middle East to safeguard Saudi interest and other Arab countries. It is largely believed that the trusted friend is Saudi Arabia which gifted Pakistan $1.5 billion to help shore up its foreign exchange reserves, meet debt-service obligations and undertake large energy and infrastructure projects. Whether it is a gift or something else, but the assistance has contributed to a sharp recovery of the Pakistani rupee, which rose t...

April 1, 2014 at 3:19 pm | News Desk

EDITORIAL: Pakistan, making out of crisis

Had it been asked “how wise would it be to invest in an economically crippled and terrorized country?” the reply would be “suicide”. Unfortunately, Pakistan is a country which could not be termed a stable country, yet a number of opportunities are available for investors and execution on many projects is pending due to financing issues. If these projects get materialized successfully, it would pull the country out of the darkness caused by energy crisis. The projects of Thar coal, IP, TAPI and LNG import aren’t new but under consideration for many years. The successive governments were unable to make progress on these projects due to inconsistent policies.  Considering the much-talked looming energy crisis and the oil import b...

March 10, 2014 at 6:08 pm | News Desk

Editorial: Ending Taliban Infestation

Now, it has been more than a decade now that the government has shown leniency and soft tone to tame and bring Tehreek-e-Taliban (TTP) to the table. This grave leniency has not only worsened the law and order situation in the country, deteriorated its economy and but has also put the image of its prestigious institutions at stake. Instead of any counter action, the emotional speeches and formation of committees by the governments has always encouraged TTP to carry forward extremism and militancy against the state, its institutions and people as and when desired. In an interesting turn of events, the federal government and the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) have announced their teams of negotiators to talk about peace. The security a...

February 6, 2014 at 4:47 pm | News Desk

Editorial: Pakistan’s energy security via shale gas revolution

Pakistan's energy security via shale gas revolution  US natural gas prices have fallen below $2 per million BTU (approx 1000 cubic feet), about one-sixth of the price Pakistan has agreed to pay for Iranian gas. With over 50 trillion cubic feet of known shale gas reserves in Sindh alone, Pakistanis can also enjoy the benefits of cheap and abundant source of energy for decades via the shale gas revolution already sweeping America. Increased production of gas from shale rock in the US has created a huge new supply, pushing down gas prices from $13/BTU (million British thermal units) four years ago to just $2/BTU today, even as the price of oil has more than doubled. By contrast, the Iran pipeline gas formula links the gas price to oil ...

January 5, 2014 at 6:53 pm | News Desk

Editor’s Note: A year to remember

Year 2013 would always be remembered as the year that witnessed a rare event in Pakistan’s political history. The smooth transition of power from PPP to PMLN prior to May 2013 General Elections was truly a remarkable event that shaped the path for days to come. The people finally felt that Pakistan’s stumbling economy could not handle another crackdown on democracy. The five years of PPP saw the success in Gwadar port project and advancement in Pak-Iran Gas pipeline deal. The new government was expected to bring out good results on the issues it promised in its manifesto. As a matter of concern the energy crises and security were amongst the major issues at hand. Both these issues are still a topic of serious concern for the general pub...

January 5, 2014 at 6:41 pm | News Desk

Editorial: The armed legacy

The armed legacy Change of Command in Pakistan Armed Forces The change of command in Pakistan Armed Forces is never an ordinary event. The reason is simple. Pakistan has been under military siege for so many years in her short history that everyone from the ordinary people to politicians are interested in the new face of Military top management. Those who claim that behind the curtains Pakistan is run by the Generals have learnt from the history. Seeing the legacy of former Military Chief General Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, one can get the hint that the generals have learnt from the history as well. Strengthening democracy to boost economic growth of the country has been one of the finest silver linings of General Kayani’s tenure. Despite...

December 6, 2013 at 5:58 pm | News Desk

The necessary evil

EDITORIAL: The necessary evil US drone strikes targeting Militants and Pak-US relations ISLAMABAD: There are best of the relations, there are worst of the relations and then there is Pakistan and the US. Each day brings the twists of economic policies and developmental correlation between the two countries to a new standstill. There have been times of mutual financial and strategic assistance with images like that of Ayub Khan patting President Johnson on the cheeks. Then there are times like the PM’s recent visit to the US and a moderate, between the lines expression of Pakistan’s detest over drone strikes. The US does not mind at all as President Obama listens to the request and pats it on the cheek with another drone strike ...

November 5, 2013 at 11:02 pm | News Desk

Editorial: Acts of terror and economic cost

From the Editor's desk Fighting the war on terror compromises the economy now and threatens it in the future International terrorism became a prominent tool in political agendas in the late 1960s. A major act of international terrorism occurred on September 11, 2001 in a set of coordinated attacks on the United States. The US has made the “War on Terrorism” the centerpiece of its global strategy since the attacks on the Pentagon and World Trade Centre. It has proclaimed leadership of a worldwide alliance to exterminate the scourge of terrorism.But whatever the motives, the act of war, be it an offence, or an act of defence comes at an economic and social cost. There is more than some truth to the fact that often terrorism is r...

October 3, 2013 at 8:48 pm | News Desk