Showing posts from February, 2012

Gas transmission lines: Regional integration

Courtesy:-  AmBASSADOR B A MALIK FEBRUARY 27, 2012 Regional integration has remained a pipedream of the policymakers and the people of South Asia since the visionary idea of Saarc was floated in 1985. Periodic conferences including regular summits of heads of state/government have produced nothing tangible in spite of piling up tons of statements, declarations and agreements on a vast variety of subjects including terrorism, trade and cultural ties. The time has come to move from diplomatic language to concrete action to place South Asia on the map of regional organisations. It is sorely disheartening to note that our region has lagged far behind other areas of the world in the field of regional co-operation. As it is pointless to cry over wasted time or spilt milk the nations of South Asia are left with no choice but to join hands and team up immediately for shared peace and development. There is no need to dig into extraneous reasons for the painfully slow progress in

Politics of regional cooperation

Courtesy:- Dr Hasan Askari Rizvi 13 hrs ago |  Comments (1) Pakistan and its neighbouring states often emphasise the need of promoting regional cooperation. Though some regional cooperation organisations exist in the region, cooperation among these states has generally been weak and limited. Some of these states entertain distrust about one another and they generally have more active relationship with the states outside the region.

Diplomacy behind trilateral cooperation

Courtesy:-  Sajjad Shaukat Diplomacy is employed for both positive and negative purposes. In positive sense, it is used to resolve an issue peacefully, and in negative sense, it is applied by states to gain selfish ends without caring for peace. Secret diplomacy always thwarts the aims of peace diplomacy. Let us analyse the new determination of  Pakistan , Iran and Afghanistan for regional cooperation in wake of emerging geo-political scenario in the region. In the third trilateral summit at Islamabad, on February 17 this year,  Pakistan ’s President Asif Ali Zardari and Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Afghan President Hamid Karzai put their heads together to forge regional cooperation in multifaceted areas. They pledged to strengthen cooperation to eradicate terrorism and militancy from the region. The leaders of the three neighbouring  countries  declared that they would not allow any threat emanating from their respective territories against each other.

Moving towards normalisation

Courtesy:-  Dr Rashid Ahmad Khan The prime ministers of Pakistan and India have found a common chemistry to work together for peace and to hail each other as messengers of peace and cooperation between their countries Indian Commerce Minister Anand Sharma’s Pakistan visit may not have gone entirely as expected. Its outcome, however, provides a clear indication that Islamabad and New Delhi are firmly set to move forward on the road to normalisation of their relations by enhancing their bilateral trade. The failure of Pakistan to hand over the complete negative list of items to the Indian side was a bit disappointing for those who had hoped the visit would finally clear the way for open trade between the two countries. But the signing of three agreements on customs cooperation, mutual recognition and redress of grievances relating to non-tariff barriers will boost the confidence of the Pakistani and Indian business communities to engage each other in mutually beneficial trade and comm

US sullying Pak affairs

Courtesy:-  S M Hali    February 22, 2012 The resolution by US House of Representatives on Balochistan is not only in extreme bad taste, but also amounts to interfering in Pakistan’s internal affairs that is contrary to the UN mandate. Balochistan is an integral part of Pakistan. The instrument of accession was signed by the Khan of Kalat on March 27, 1948, while the other states under British rule had already joined the newly independent country in 1947.

Economic consequences of the 20th Amendment

Courtesy:-  Pervez Tahir The 20 th  Amendment to the Constitution  will have an unintended consequence for the good of the economy. By firmly placing the appointment of the caretaker government within the political domain — and away from the establishment and the technocratic hopefuls — the Amendment saves the country from the economic experimentation that previous set-ups have been indulging in, in the past. A caretaker government is meant to run the routine business of the government while the Election Commission holds elections without fear or favour. However,  caretaker governments in the past have been the handiwork of the establishment, working through the president. Under the new Amendment, the role of the president is ceremonial, in that, he administers oath of office to the caretaker prime minister and cabinet. In the interest of the political system, the new institutionalised arrangement will force the outgoing government and the opposition to agree on names that do no

The first stone

Courtesy:-  Ayaz Amir Friday, February 17, 2012 Pity our doomsday prophets who have been predicting the end of things. For them this is likely to be a long year. When predictions fall by the wayside, when fate refuses to march to our tine, and the pillars of the temple expected to fall remain standing, hope turns to dust and time takes on a different dimension. I know you will shriek on hearing the word memo one more time but to get an idea of how quickly things can change just consider the excitement with which this net was first cast, as if there was no escape for its intended victims. Now it is an embarrassment, best forgotten by all concerned.

Expansion in Pak-Sri Lanka ties

Courtesy :-    Malik Muhammad Ashraf Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa visit to Pakistan has, undoubtedly, given a new dimension to bilateral relations between the two countries, in view of the fact that they have agreed to enhance bilateral trade from the current volume of $375 million to $2 billion within the next three years, besides expanding cooperation in the field of economy, defence, media and technical education. Till recent past, the relationship between the two countries predominantly focused on defence cooperation because of Sri Lanka’s war against the Tamil Tigers. It is, perhaps, not an exaggeration to say that Pakistan actually helped Sri Lanka end the 30-year insurgency by providing the much needed arms and ammunition to fight the militants. The Tamil Tigers were so enraged by it that they even tried to kill the Pakistani Ambassador in 2006.

Diplomacy and perseverance pay off

Courtesy :-  MA Malik In view of the fact that 30 percent of Pakistan's exports, worth £3 billion, land in the European Union (EU) countries, the five years waiver granted by the World Trade Organisation Council (WTOC) for Trade in Goods for duty-free access of Pakistani goods to EU countries is decidedly a very significant and unprecedented step in the history of the world body, which will go a long way in reviving the sagging economy of Pakistan. It is estimated that this particular decision will fetch Pakistan additional earnings of 990 million euros. This unprecedented favour conferred on Pakistan at the request of EU itself, represents a rewarding success for the diplomatic efforts and perseverance of the present government in convincing the EU countries that instead of aid, what Pakistan required was enhancement in its trade and preferential treatment to its exports to EU. The initiative for ‘Trade not Aid’ was launched in the backdrop of the devastating deluge of July 201

Freedom or licence for TV

Courtesy:- Zubeida Mustafa THERE is much to be cherished about the freedom that our media, especially the electronic media, has come to enjoy. The extent to which this freedom — it was called licence in earlier days — has gone is provoking a debate.  This is a positive development because there are some media heavyweights who are now ready to admit that something is amiss. When critics first started speaking up against the electronic media a few years ago, the issue that gave rise to controversy was the portrayal of violence. The Pakistan Medical Association raised this issue and invited some journalists for a dialogue to explain how scenes of violence impacted on the minds of young children.

Pakistan, Qatar convert ties into strategic partnership

Courtesy:-  Muhammad Saleh Zaafir Wednesday, February 08, 2012 DOHA: Pakistan and Qatar have decided to convert their ties into a strategic relationship as Qatari Ruler Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani said the ongoing visit of Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani to Qatar had opened a new chapter in the relationship of the two brotherly countries and new vistas of cooperation. “Qatar is willing to cooperate with Pakistan in all fields,î he said Tuesday.  Expressing unswerving solidarity with Pakistan in various spheres of life during his more than an hour meeting with Prime Minister Gilani here at the chief executive office (Amiri Diwan) on Tuesday, he termed the occasion a historic and fresh start after a gap of nine long years. The meeting took place in an extremely cordial atmosphere where all issues pertaining to international, regional and bilateral importance came under discussion. Foreign Minister Ms Hina Rabbani Khar who left for Russia immediately after the meeting also took

Pak foreign policy needs changes

Courtesy:-  Shaukat M Zafar D:\\wwwroot\data\pictures\139192.jpg not foundThe vision of our founding fathers of a progressive, moderate and democratic nation committed to development of a modern Islamic state is now badly at stake. A deliberate attempt is underway in the West to defame  Pakistan by questioning its credibility in war on terror. Slamming Islam and  tracking  Muslims have become order of the Western civilization. The US used Pakistan  to its advantage for as long as it could and  Pakistan  provided services for which the benefits accrued. The global landscape is now rapidly changing and  Pakistan  does not have the luxury of time on its side as it figures out its way out of the woods.  Pakistan ’s foreign policy requires a paradigm shift in the wake of recent deterioration in our ties with US by diversifying  Pakistan ’s  international relations , while Pak-US relations face a deepening conflict. Its rescue is vital for our nation’s future as also for pe

Kashmir solidarity day & youth’s uprising

Courtesy:-  Farhat Iqbal   Ever since 9/11 terrorists’ attack on American soil, the nature of the Kashmiri uprising changed from a phenomenal support to a primarily domestic driven movement - “Youth Uprising”.  Despite a paradigm shift in Pakistan’s policy, the Indian government continued to deploy large numbers of troops in Kashmir for cracking down on civil liberties. India still maintains 500,000 troops that comprise its regular army, the Border Security Force and the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF). Kashmir has been in the throes of an uprising since 1989. The suffering of the Kashmiri people has been very painful and distressing. Many thousands of them have been killed, wounded and permanently disabled by the Indian occupation forces over the past several years. The latest round of protests erupted after the June 11, 2010 killing by Indian police of three Kashmiri youth. The humiliation, the memories of victimization and of those who have lost their lives fuels collectiv

Freedom will definitely dawn in Kashmir

Courtesy:-  Moazzam Raza Tabassam February 3, 2012 D ue to New Delhi’s stubbornness and reluctance, the Kashmir valley known as a heaven on earth, is today suffering oppression and tyranny. When the Kashmir dispute erupted in 1947-1948, the United States championed the stand that the future status of Kashmir must be ascertained in accordance with the wishes and aspirations of the people of the territory. The US was a principal sponsor of the resolution, which was adopted by the Security Council on 21st April 1948 and which was based on that unchallenged principle. Following the resolution, the US as a leading member of the United Nations Commission for India and Pakistan, adhered to that stand. The basic formula for settlement was incorporated in the resolutions of that Commission adopted on 13th August 1948 and 5th January 1949.Though the United Nations was able to arrange a ceasefire between the Pakistani and Indian forces on the Kashmir front, but it could not play an e

PNCA painting exhibition marks Kashmir Day

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA) opened up an art exhibition on Wednesday, displaying masterpieces by 25 leading artists of the country in connection with the Kashmir Day. Scores of people visited at the PNCA and appreciated the artists who painted and drew sketches of the people who had sacrificed their lives for the freedom of Kashmir.