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China’s Afghan Pivot       

This unprecedented move positions China as the first nation to extend formal recognition to the Taliban-led government, showcasing both the country's pragmatic diplomacy and its commitment to fostering a shared future with Afghanistan. By Qaiser Nawab In a groundbreaking development, Chinese President Xi Jinping formally acknowledged Mawlavi Asadullah, also known as Bilal Karimi, as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan. This unprecedented move positions China as the first nation to extend formal recognition to the Taliban-led government, showcasing both the country's pragmatic diplomacy and its commitment to fostering a shared future with Afghanistan. Beyond fostering diplomatic...

February 4, 2024 at 5:22 pm | Economic Affairs

Chairman PTA presents Annual Report to PM

Chairman PTA presents Annual Report 2023 to Prime Minister Press Release The report highlights that the telecom sector generated Rs. 850 billion in terms of revenues in financial year 2022-23, showing a growth of 17% despite economic challenges. Chairman Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), Maj General (Retd) Hafeez-ur- Rehman, called on the caretaker prime minister of Pakistan, Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar to present PTA’s Annual Report for the year 2023. This report encapsulates the noteworthy progress and advancements witnessed in the telecommunications industry throughout the preceding year. During the meeting, Chairman PTA highlighted key milestones, innovative initiatives, and strategic interventions undertaken by PTA...

January 27, 2024 at 10:13 am | Economic Affairs

Rogue India, Benevolent China

Human rights organizations including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have documented a range of serious rights violations in the region by Indian authorities. By Qamar Bashir The inauguration of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya on January 22, 2024 is a highly abhorrent and agonizing event, particularly for the Muslim community in India and globally. The event was a symbol of the neglect of secular principles in the Indian Constitution and a disregard for the religious and communal sentiments of Muslims. The demolition of the famous Babri Masjid in 1992 and the subsequent legal and political developments leading up to the temple's inauguration are a painful and humiliating chapter in the Muslim history. The Ram Temple, for ma...

January 26, 2024 at 5:56 pm | Economic Affairs

The Misery Index

The Bloomberg Economics report comes as a significant boost for PML-N, enhancing its image as a competent economic manager. By Qamar Bashir The Bloomberg Economics report, lauding the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)'s economic management, comes at a critical time as Pakistan faces severe economic challenges. With the country in the throes of a financial crisis, marked by soaring inflation of 20-25% and an unemployment rate above 8%, the populace is burdened and seeking immediate relief. Notwithstanding its shortcomings, this report has indeed impacted the election campaigning for every stakeholder including PML(N), PTI and PPP, and has generated media and public discourses. This backdrop has triggered a wave of extravag...

January 26, 2024 at 2:10 pm | Economic Affairs

China hopeful of peaceful & timely elections in Pakistan

The Consul General of the Peoples Republic of China in Lahore Mr. Zhao Shiren has said that China believes Pakistan can hold a peaceful, safe and timely elections while the solution of Occupied Kashmir should be according to the resolutions of the United Nations. He expressed these views while talking to journalists in Meet the Press program at Lahore Press Club. Mr. Zhao Shiren said that general elections are internal matter of Pakistan.  We should not interfere, but we will welcome whoever forms government and move forward together. He said CPEC is the joint venture of China and Pakistan which has completed 10 years and will be completed in any case. Under CPEC, he said US $26 billion have been invested so far while construction ...

January 26, 2024 at 11:56 am | Economic Affairs

Elections 2024

Season of Lofty Promises The underlying assumption in each of political forces manifestos is that with their coming into power will lead to an instantaneous resolution of the myriad difficulties being faced by the Pakistani people. By Qamar Bashir The elections 2024 are unfolding in a landscape marked by intense competition and heightened political rhetoric. Major parties are engaging in a familiar cycle of blame games and lofty promises, often overlooking the complex economic and financial situation of the country. Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) has adopted a strategy that focuses on criticizing its main rival, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), branding it as responsible for the May-9 incident. Interestingly, PML-N app...

January 24, 2024 at 4:31 pm | Economic Affairs

Qatar: Doha Welcomes Four Global Giants for Transformative Collaboration

In a historic event marked by grandeur and significance, the Qatar National Museum in Doha witnessed the spectacular launch of four international companies – Fang-da Partners, Belt and Road Trading and Contracting, Gallery Five International, and SW International. Hosted by The Belt and Road Trading and Contracting, this momentous occasion brought together distinguished figures from various sectors to celebrate the spirit of unity and collaboration.The launch showcased each partner's narrative as a tapestry of innovation and shared aspirations, laying the foundation for transformative collaboration. The captivating live creation "One World, Peaceful World" served as an evocative testament to the shared pursuit of global harmony. The conv...

January 10, 2024 at 12:02 pm | Economic Affairs

Pakistan at cross road of IMEEC and BRI

The IMEEC project carries substantial political and economic significance. It seeks to strengthen trade and investment ties between India and the rapidly growing economies of the Middle East and Europe. By Qamar Bashir The India-Middle East-Europe Economic Corridor (IMEEC) stands as a visionary proposal aimed at creating a robust trade and investment network that would seamlessly link India, the Middle East, and Europe. This ambitious undertaking holds immense promise in terms of bolstering economic growth, fostering regional cooperation, and serving as a counterbalance to China's expansive Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). In the following discussion, we delve into the origins, significance, and potential impact of the IMEEC projec...

September 21, 2023 at 1:43 pm | Economic Affairs

A New Era, with New Leadership

In the near future, Pakistan may benefit from a harmonious alignment of government, Senate, judiciary, and the military—a formidable force that aims to combat entrenched mafias and steer the nation toward justice and prosperity. By Qamar Bashir These are undoubtedly extraordinary times in Pakistan, marked by an unprecedented alignment of leadership in all three branches of the state, all of which are now being led by individuals from Balochistan. This represents a significant shift in the landscape of governance and the vision for the nation. Muhammad Sadiq Sanjarani, who has served as the Chairman of the Senate since his inauguration on March 12, 2018, is known for his amiable and straightforward demeanor. He excels in building...

September 21, 2023 at 1:38 pm | Economic Affairs

Clean Energy for Economic Prosperity

Pakistan plans to increase its percentage of renewable energy to 60% in 2030 to reach its net zero emission goal as part of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Dr Abid Rashid Gil Energy transition in Pakistan is indeed a need of the hour. As a developing country with a rapidly growing population and expanding economy, Pakistan faces significant challenges in meeting its increasing energy demands while addressing environmental concerns. An energy transition involves a shift from traditional, fossil-fuel-based energy sources to cleaner, renewable, and sustainable alternatives. Such a transition is crucial for Pakistan's economic development, environmental sustainability, and social well-being. Pakistan's power generation relie...

September 13, 2023 at 7:14 pm | Economic Affairs

Revitalizing Balochistan: A Call for Transformation and Advancement

Throughout the history of Pakistan, leaders have made pledges to utilize the wealth of Balochistan for the betterment of its people. Regrettably, these commitments have frequently led to the misallocation of provincial resources, leaving its populace to grapple with adversity. By Qamar Bashir The region of Balochistan has often garnered attention due to its vast reservoirs of minerals, oil, and natural gas. However, it is imperative to shift our focus to the plight of its residents, who endure formidable challenges in their everyday lives. Is there hope for a departure from this repetitive pattern, or are we destined to see the cycle persist, with tribal leaders often bearing the blame for the ongoing poverty in the province? T...

August 28, 2023 at 6:56 pm | Economic Affairs

The Economy of Cabinet

Announcing a Cabinet fit for purpose will send the clearest signal that the caretakers mean business. Dr Pervez Tahir A “small” Cabinet has taken oath, with more to come later. The makers of caretakers, the tacit approvers and the dispersed opposition, agree that elections are the business of the Elections Commission of Pakistan, the single purpose of the caretakers is to fix the plummeting economy of the country. In the polarised state of affairs, this is a rare consensus. Political class has shown little appetite for the purpose. Rather, it has empowered the caretakers to achieve the purpose. The establishment has put its weight behind it by driving the SIFC. Economy is a vast area, with plague all around. With a limited ...

August 17, 2023 at 2:37 pm | Economic Affairs

German Army Chief Calls on COAS, Asim Munir

August 2,2023Rawalpindi: (PR)Lieutenant General Alfonas Mais, Chief of German Army called on General Syed Asim Munir, COAS at GHQ.During the meeting matters of mutual interest, regional security situation and defence cooperation were discussed.Both reiterated the desire to further enhance bilateral relations in all fields.The visiting dignitary acknowledged and appreciated Pakistan Army’s successes in fight against terrorism and Pakistan’s continued efforts for bringing peace and stability in the region.

August 2, 2023 at 1:02 pm | Economic Affairs

SIFC brings “Dust to Development”

Pakistan has the sixth largest gold reserves in the world, estimated at 42.5 million ounce in Reko Dik alone. By Qamar Bashir Within a month, Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) has launched its fourth high value flagship project "Dust to Development" with the goal of garnering $ 6.1 trillion in investment in the country's mining sector. Two friendly countries have already pledged investment of $ 40 billion and $ 22 billion, respectively, with an immediate commitment of $ 10 billion ready to be inked. The SIFC selected the mining, information technology, and agriculture industries as economic drivers solely on the basis of their merit. These investments are mostly in Balochistan; thus, the SIFC envisions the estab...

August 2, 2023 at 12:58 pm | Economic Affairs

Pakistan’s July headline inflation slows marginally, clocks in at 28.3%

Aug. 01 (E.A Report) — Pakistan’s July headline registered a marginal decline, clocking in at 28.3% on year-on-year basis in July 2023, comparing previous month increase of 29.4% and 24.9% in July 2022.On a month-on-month basis, it increased by 3.5% in July, showed data released by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) on Tuesday.The headline inflation figure is higher than expectations. It was earlier projected that the CPI figure would stand in the range of 25-27%.According to PBS data, food group, which commands a significant weight of 34.58%, increased to 272.44 in July 2023 as compared to 261.78 in June 2023, a gain of 4.07%.In its Monthly Economic Outlook for July, the Ministry of Finance stated that inflation is expected ...

August 1, 2023 at 7:27 pm | Economic Affairs

The Dar(nomics)

Soon after Dar took the office in 2022, he declared that the country would not default and the economy would return to normalcy; the populace received his word with skepticism. By Qamar Bashir Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Mr. Ishaq Dar has been known to me since I were Press Minister at the Embassy of Pakistan in France. After my assignment in September 2015, Finance Minister and his close associate Miftah Isamel as head of the Board of Investment (BOI) visited France. They met with nearly all of France's key business, trade, and investment stakeholders from both the public and private sectors. In addition to meeting with the French Chamber of Commerce, he also met with the French Minister of Finance. At the outset, Is...

July 30, 2023 at 11:11 am | Economic Affairs