Pakistan : Terrorist Wahabi Islamic Rep Pakistan 6 - Printable Version

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Pakistan : Terrorist Wahabi Islamic Rep Pakistan 6 - Naresh - 05-08-2010


[url=""]The sick man of South Asia [/url]

Temperatures of over 40 degrees centigrade are a precursor to a long hot summer of discontent. The feel good factor--if there were a scientific method of measuring it--is at an all-time low. There is a pervasive sense of despondency and insecurity about the direction in which the country is heading.

In a hard-hitting speech in the National Assembly the other day, leader of the opposition Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan lambasted the government on the poor law-and-order situation, the endemic load-shedding, and the price hike and unemployment. His boss Mian Nawaz Sharif has threatened that his followers will come out on the streets to protest against the bad state of affairs. President Zardai has made a desperate appeal to the Friends of Pakistan, particularly the US, to help bail out Pakistan's economy.

The plus factors which Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani so proudly highlights as achievements of the PPP government's two-year rule pale before the government's performance. The supremacy and sovereignty of parliament are not in doubt after the consensual passage of the 18th Amendment. Earlier, an agreed NFC Award between the provinces and the Balochistan Package are also feathers in the cap of the government, as well as of the opposition.

Interestingly, the UN report on Ms Benazir Bhutto's assassination has created more confusion than clearly pointing a finger at her real murderers. The three-member committee formed by the prime minister to investigate the hosing down of the site where Ms Bhutto was assassinated has absolved Musharraf's highly controversial MI chief Nadeem Ijaz, irking President Zardari.

The ruling party's so-called core group has again expressed the government's resolve to expose all elements involved in the conspiracy. The ham-handed manner in which the PPP-led government has handled the issue of the tragic assassination of their leader speaks volumes about its lax style of governance based more on cronyism and loyalty to the bosses than on merit. The stark truth is that, despite its professed eagerness to nab the real culprits in Benazir's gruesome murder, the government is stonewalling on the issue.

Bad governance has become the scourge of our democratic dispensation. The malaise is not confined to the federal government. Even the provincial governments, particularly Punjab, are afflicted by it. This is all the more worrisome as, with the Concurrent List gone under the 18th Amendment, the provinces will have to manage their own affairs, and perform rather than look towards the federal government for resources.

Despite a modest recovery from a near-collapse situation in 2008, the dismal state of the economy remains a major source of worry. State Bank governor Salim Raza has put a positive gloss on things by claiming that the economy has stabilised since then. But the plight of the common man and the basic economic indicators leave a lot to be desired. Raza has conceded that inflation has gone up to double digits since last November-- from 9 per cent to 13.5 per cent--and has predicted a GDP growth of no more than 3.5 percent in the current fiscal year.

A former World Bank mandarin [url=""](Shahid Javed Burki – Click for his Article)[/url] who also briefly served as Pakistan's caretaker finance minister under Moeen Qureshi has claimed in an article published in a local English daily that [color="#FF0000"]Pakistan is South Asia's "sick man" today[/color]. Quoting form the World Bank Global Monitoring Report, 2010, he contends that all South Asian economies, with the exception of Pakistan and Afghanistan, have pulled themselves out of the partial slowdown caused by the global economic meltdown of 2008-9. This speaks volumes about the governance abilities of our leaders.

Our economic managers can justifiably put the blame for the sluggish growth rate, the high rate of inflation and the power shortages on domestic terrorism taking its toll and on the poor economic planning of the previous regime. However, on the flip side, had it not been for Pakistan's role in the war on terror, where would the country's economy be without the Western largesse?

Islamabad has a fresh team of economic czars in the form of Dr Hafeez Sheikh, the advisor on finance and freshly inducted deputy chairman of the Planning Commission Dr Nadeemul Haq. With their wide international exposure and experience in the World Bank and the IMF they can add value previously lacking. However, will they be able to get the enabling environment to work in a sea of cronyism, lack of transparency and political expediency?

Dr Sheikh's predecessor Shaukat Tarin did a salutary job stabilising the economy. But he could not do more owing to the firewalls built around him by the contending vested interests. As for the former deputy chairman of the Planning Commission, Sardar Assef Ahmed Ali, he was merely keeping the seat warm.

Meanwhile, Punjab chief minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif, being portrayed in planted stories in the print media as an indefatigable administrator, has come up with a proposal for electricity generation by sugar mills instead of running after rental power plants. Mr Sharif, presiding over the Punjab Investment Conference, the first of its kind being held in Sindh under the aegis of his government, claimed that sugar mills could generate 3,000 megawatts of electricity.

Power from bagasse (crushed sugarcane) is not a new idea. Some sugar mills in Punjab, not those owned by the Sharif family, have already taken the route of co-generation of electricity. One of the largest sugar mills of the country has already got an approved tariff rate of 9.23 cents per unit from NEPRA to start producing electricity. However, the managements of some other sugar mills, including those of the Sharifs, insist that the tariff should be 11 cents per unit.

The question arises that if one sugar mill can make money at a lower tariff, why the rest cannot. And why a bonanza at the expense of the common man who will have to pay for the extra cents? Mr Shahbaz Sharif is not in favour of levying import duty on sugar. But how will the sugar mills be viable, producing both sugar and electricity, if imported sugar is cheaper than locally produced sugar, thanks to the high procurement price of sugarcane?

According to this newspaper's report, the Punjab government is on a spree of reemploying "cronies of the Sharif family" on contract basis. These include luminaries like discredited police officer Rana Maqbool, whose sole claim to fame was to torture Mr Asif Ali Zardari when he was in custody. The court-martialled former general Ziauddin Butt and former caretaker chief minister of the province Justice ® Ijaz Nisar, are among many others in the list.

What is most surprising that all this is happening on the watch of a chief minister who prides himself on good governance and transparency and rarely spares the federal government for its failure to live up to these lofty objectives. Naturally, the bureaucracy in Punjab is demoralised when cronies are placed in cushy positions at salaries and perks they can only dream of.

Punjab, from being a surplus province is now in deficit and borrowing heavily from the State Bank to make ends meet. But it is being made to pay Rs25 million for the purchase of a special bullet-proof Mercedes Benz for Governor Salmaan Taseer. Much to the chagrin of the chief minister, a special supplementary grant has been created through relaxation of rules to make the funds available for the purchase.

It is obvious that most of our leaders are quite oblivious of the optics of their actions. In their air-conditioned cocooned environment they hardly seem to be aware of the hard times being faced by the populace at large. With little or no stake being created for the common man in the present system, it is a recipe for disaster for our democratic institutions.

The writer is a former newspaper editor. Email:

Cheers[Image: beer.gif]

Pakistan : Terrorist Wahabi Islamic Rep Pakistan 6 - Guest - 05-09-2010

[url=""]U.S. Urges Swift Action in Pakistan After Failed Bombing[/url]
Quote:The new pressure from Washington was characterized by both the Pakistani and American officials as a sharp turnaround from the relatively polite encouragement adopted by the Obama administration in recent months. And it comes amid increasing debate within the administration about how to expand the American military’s influence — and even a boots-on-the-ground presence — on Pakistani soil.

Though the bombing in Times Square failed, Mr. Shahzad’s ability to move back and forth between the United States and Pakistan has heightened fears in the Obama administration that another attempt at a terrorist attack could succeed.

[size="5"]“We are saying, ‘Sorry, if there is a successful attack, we will have to act’ ” within Pakistan, one of the American officials said.[/size]

Somebody, tell India's Gidar Singh to follow his master.

Pakistan : Terrorist Wahabi Islamic Rep Pakistan 6 - Arun_S - 05-09-2010

Why is it that US prevents India from responding to deliver sever consquence when terror attacks against India is traced to Pakistan?

Moral duplicity and/or Indian political and military has no Cajuns?

[url=""]Clinton warns Pakistan of terror 'consequences' [/url]

Quote:Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has warned of "severe consequences" if a terror attack against the US would ever be traced back to Pakistan.

She told CBS while Pakistan had become more helpful in tackling extremists, co-operation could still be improved.

A Pakistani-born US citizen has been charged with an attempted bombing in Times Square in New York a week ago.

Earlier, Defence Secretary Robert Gates said the US was prepared to increase military assistance to Pakistan.

"We're willing to do as much... as they are willing to accept," he told reporters. "We are prepared to do training, and exercise with them. How big that operation becomes is really up to them."

But he played down the chances of an extended crackdown on militants, saying Pakistani forces were already "thinly stretched".

'Double game'

In an interview with CBS television's 60 Minutes programme, [color="#0000ff"]Mrs Clinton said there was now a "much better relationship" between the US and Pakistani governments, militaries and intelligence services.


[color="#0000ff"]"I think that there was a double game going on in the previous years, where we got a lot of lip-service but very little produced," she said.[/color] [color="#800080"]{Arun_s>> Once an idiot always an idiot. Idiots don't learn.}[/color]

[Image: o.gif] But the past two years had seen "the killing or capturing of a great number of the leadership of significant terrorist groups", Mrs Clinton added.

"[color="#0000ff"]We've gotten more co-operation and it's been a real sea change in the commitment we've seen from the Pakistan government. We want more. We expect more.[/color]"

"[color="#a0522d"]We've made it very clear that if - heaven-forbid - an attack like this that we can trace back to Pakistan were to have been successful, there would be very severe consequences," she warned[/color].

[Image: o.gif] Pakistan's government has promised to co-operate with the investigation into the failed car-bomb attack in Times Square, which has uncovered possible links to the Pakistani Taliban and an Islamist group in Kashmir.

Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik said the US had made a formal request to Pakistan to investigate links between the main suspect, Faisal Shahzad, and militants in the north-west.

"They think that Shazhad had been visiting South Waziristan and meeting [Taliban leaders] Qari Hussain and Hakimullah Mehsud. But it all needs confirmation," he said on Saturday.

Mr Shahzad, who was born in Pakistan and became a US citizen last year, has been charged with terrorism, attempting to use a weapon of mass destruction. He has yet to appear in court.

Prosecutors say Shazhad is continuing to co-operate with investigators, and has admitted to receiving bomb-making training Waziristan.

ABC News has reported that [color="#0000ff"]Mr Shahzad told investigators he was angry because friends had been killed by CIA strikes in Pakistan, his personal life was in crisis, and he feared for the safety of his family.[/color][color="#800080"]{Arun_S>> A man is known by the company he keeps. If his terrorist friends were killed by CIA strikes, he himself is a person hostile collaborator fighting against his country of citizenship, and giving moral and material support to USA's enemy}[/color]

Pakistan : Terrorist Wahabi Islamic Rep Pakistan 6 - Guest - 05-09-2010

Quote:Why is it that US prevents India from responding to deliver sever consquence when terror attacks against India is traced to Pakistan?

Moral duplicity and/or Indian political and military has no Cajuns?

Indian Political class is Gidar Class of India. Don't forget, India's Prime minister is appointed not elected. Country is tolerating appointed puppet and doing nothing, that shows Indians mindset.

Quote:{Arun_S>> A man is known by the company he keeps. If his terrorist friends were killed by CIA strikes, he himself is a person hostile collaborator fighting against his country of citizenship, and giving moral and material support to USA's enemy}

Actually, Pakis are using US drones to clear its enemies and ethnic cleansing is in full swing. Majority of dead are civilians or tribal leaders who are against Paki Army or Paki rule.

Pakistan : Terrorist Wahabi Islamic Rep Pakistan 6 - Guest - 05-09-2010

[url=""]Pakistanis pose as Indians after NY bomb scare[/url]

Pakistan : Terrorist Wahabi Islamic Rep Pakistan 6 - Guest - 05-09-2010

[url=""]FBI seek access to Shahzad’s father[/url]

[url=""]US drone strike in North Waziristan kills nine[/url]

Pakistan : Terrorist Wahabi Islamic Rep Pakistan 6 - Naresh - 05-09-2010


[url=""]Landslide lake rises to threatening level[/url]

HUNZA : The water level at a landslide-triggered lake in Hunza is threateningly on the rise, as third village is faced with the deluge risk, Geo News reported Sunday.

The landslide-generated lake on January 4 not only destroyed Ata Abad village but also completely inundated two Gojal villages i.e. Aieenabad and Shashkat.

The threatening water level may inundate Gojal tehsil headquarter of Gilmat, as the low-lying areas are already under water.

Residents of Atta Abad area of Hunza were given a deadline of May 15 to vacate the area over experts’ concerns that the Atta Abad lake dam may breach soon.

According to the experts, the water level in the lake has risen, which may lead to a breach in the dam.

Local administration issued an advertisement ordering residents to move to safer areas.

Two days earlier, Director General Frontier Works Organisation and the head of the engineer corps had also directed locals to take necessary steps in this regard.

Cheers[Image: beer.gif]

Pakistan : Terrorist Wahabi Islamic Rep Pakistan 6 - Capt M Kumar - 05-10-2010

<img src='<#EMO_DIR#>/ohmy.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':o' /> "Some Pakistani officials were more informed about al-Qaida and Taliban than they let on", Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has said.

"I'm not saying that they're at the highest levels but I believe that somewhere in this government are people who know where Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida is, where Mullah Omar and the leadership of the Afghan Taliban is and we expect more cooperation to help us bring to justice, capture or kill, those who attacked us on 9/11," Clinton told CBS in an interview.

Pakistan : Terrorist Wahabi Islamic Rep Pakistan 6 - Guest - 05-11-2010

[url=""]Nine soldiers killed in Orakzai battle[/url]

Pakistan : Terrorist Wahabi Islamic Rep Pakistan 6 - Guest - 05-11-2010

[url=""]US drone attack kills 14 in Pakistan: officials[/url]
Quote:US drones fired a barrage of 12 missiles, destroying a training camp for Islamist fighters in Pakistan's tribal belt and killing 14 militants on Tuesday, security officials said.

It was the second strike in the same mountainous area close to the Afghan border since Sunday, when the United States accused the Pakistani Taliban of being behind a plot to detonate a car bomb in Times Square 10 days ago.

The training camp was run by militants attached to Taliban-linked Afghan warlord Hafiz Gul Bahadur, who is reputed to control up to 2,000 fighters who attack US-led forces over the border in Afghanistan, officials said.

Pakistan : Terrorist Wahabi Islamic Rep Pakistan 6 - Guest - 05-11-2010

Looks like Khalid Khawaja is bumped by Paki Army/ISI not taliban as Paki media is saying.

Pakistan : Terrorist Wahabi Islamic Rep Pakistan 6 - Naresh - 05-12-2010


[url=""]Surging Hunza lake turns another village into island [/url]

GILGIT-BALTISTAN : Landslide-triggered lake in Hunza continued to rise, as another Gojal village of Gilmat turned into island, Geo News reported Wednesday.

The most of Karakoram Highway came under water in Gojal tehsil headquarter of Gilmat, cutting off Gilmat from other areas of Gojal. The disastrous water level turned Gilmat into an island with over 2500 people stranded there.

Meantime, the water level in Ata Abad Lake is persistently rising.

The high-ups are taking stock of the havoc that could possibly be wrought by the outpouring from the spillway of the lake. Control rooms and help centers have been set up on various points in Gilgit and Hunza.

The affected people lambasted government for maladministration, as no better measures were taken up after the lapse of even four months.

The lake-displaced people said if the same indifference of the government continued, they would be forced to leave their camps for the devastated areas.

Cheers[Image: beer.gif]

Pakistan : Terrorist Wahabi Islamic Rep Pakistan 6 - Guest - 05-16-2010

Quote:Next terror attack on US: postmarked Pak'

IANS | Washington

A former CIA analyst, who helped President Barack Obama formulate his Pakistan-Afghanistan policy, sees "a very serious possibility that the next mass casualty terrorist attack on the United States will be postmarked 'Pakistan.'"

"What we're seeing going on in Pakistan now is a very dangerous phenomenon," says Bruce Riedel, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution, in an interview with the Council on Foreign Relations, a Washington think tank.

"The ideology of Al Qaeda, the ideology of global Islamic jihad that all jihadists should focus on the United States as the ultimate enemy, is gaining ground with groups beyond Al Qaeda," said Riedel, who chaired a special interagency committee last year to develop Obama's Af-Pak policy.

Obama and previous Bush administrations have been pressuring Pakistan for years to shut down completely the jihadist Frankenstein that was created over three decades in Pakistan, Riedel said. But "no Pakistani government has yet been willing to take on the entire network of terrorist groups."

Pakistan : Terrorist Wahabi Islamic Rep Pakistan 6 - Guest - 05-16-2010

sob story from Progressive News paper - NYT

[url=""]For Car Bomb Suspect, a Long Path to Times Square[/url]

Pakistan : Terrorist Wahabi Islamic Rep Pakistan 6 - Naresh - 05-17-2010


[url=""]Railway crisis deepens, 68 more trains closed[/url]

Pakistan Railways financial crisis has further aggravated as the service of 68 more trains, which were running in deficit have been suspended. The total number of suspended trains has now reached to 84. In railways 120 trains were running in deficit out of which 16 were closed in the first phase, while 68 other trains were suspended in second stage, railway sources said. The authorities will decide the fate of 34 more trains within next two days. The closure of inter-city and passenger trains created problems for the passengers.

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Pakistan : Terrorist Wahabi Islamic Rep Pakistan 6 - Naresh - 05-17-2010


[url=""]Chairman NA body on Railways to spill the beans[/url]

ISLAMABAD: Chairman of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Railways Sardar Ayaz Sadiq has said he would soon reveal massive corruption in Pakistan Railways and how a top political personality intervened to pay a failed Chinese company hundreds of millions of rupees in advance, despite strong opposition by experts and the NA Committee.

The committee chairman appealed to the Supreme Court to intervene and take immediate notice of corruption of billions for purchasing extremely substandard locomotives and then for making a huge payment to the same company for another 75 engines.

Sardar Ayaz Sadiq did not name the top political personality. A 15 per cent down payment was also ordered and paid. The Railways Minister Ghulam Ahmad Bilour had also opposed the deal but was over ruled.

While talking to The News Sardar Ayaz said that he was ready to become a party in the proceedings of the apex court and would establish with documentary evidence how the national exchequer was plundered to pay more than Rs8 billion for purchasing low standard engines from the Chinese company.

He said he would establish as to how some bureaucrats and politicians took commissions in the deal and later wasted more money when these engines were imported and failed to perform. “Huge amounts were again spent from the people money to maintain these engines. I will appraise the court how these substandard engines were completely scrapped while still they were covered under the warranty provided by the Chinese company.”

Sadiq said: “I will tell the court how concerned Railway authorities and the Chinese company which sold these engines were not ready to repair the same despite the fact that repair and replacement during the warranty period was their contractual obligation.”

Sardar Ayaz disclosed that he was in the know that because of certain benefits some members of the present management of Railways were hell bent on acquiring 75 more locomotives from the same company [color="#FF0000"]while half of the previously supplied 69 locomotives purchased in 2001 were lying in junkyards of Pakistan Railways as they could not be repaired.[/color]

“It is a nightmare for the nation,” Ayaz said, adding when his standing committee worked for more than one and an half years and repeatedly asked the government not to purchase these locomotives from a failed company, certain vested interests intervened and forced the top bureaucracy and top political leadership to fall in line obviously using the same methods, which are followed in corrupt systems.

Ayaz said that Railways minister and other top government officials promised in one of the last meetings of his committee not to go for this dirty deal without following certain rules and regulations and fulfilling mandatory prerequisites and modalities.

He said he would spill the beans in the next a few days and would bring before the nation the entire record of the huge corruption, which was carried out to take commissions and benefits while the [color="#FF0000"]poor passengers were left at the mercy of low standard engines, which had crippled the well-built and strong Railway tracks of Pakistan[/color]. “This is an irreversible loss,” he said.

Ayaz was of the view that the apex court should take notice of how 15 per cent advance money was paid to the same Chinese company on the orders of a top political personality.

He said the Supreme Court should also ask government functionaries if Pakistan Railways cancelled this contract when the advance money of 15 per cent would come back in the national exchequer. It should also be called in question as to how the money paid for those engines, which were scrapped during their warranty period would be brought back.

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Pakistan : Terrorist Wahabi Islamic Rep Pakistan 6 - Guest - 05-19-2010

[url=""]Pakistan Army major held for links with Times Square bomber[/url]

Pakistan : Terrorist Wahabi Islamic Rep Pakistan 6 - Naresh - 05-19-2010


[url=""]Pakistan vs India: the widening gap[/url]

In 1947, Pakistan and India had roughly the same gross domestic product per capita, i.e. the average Pakistani was about as rich (or rather, as poor) as the average Indian. But with the end of British domination and the formation of a new country, this was an era of great ambition.

Alas, things did not work out as planned. Jinnah died a year into independence, a string of successive military defeats by India — including one which led to the loss of our Eastern half — and deep, corrosive political instability and corruption, plus an inability to even remotely deal with the deep structural problems the British never addressed (such as feudalism), have left Pakistan in a terrible fix. Our country is broken.

For the longest time, however, this hasn’t mattered because, as it was said to me many years ago, the most important thing is our national security. It’s true — perhaps after hundreds of years of foreign rule we have an excuse to be a little pathological about our security. [color="#FF0000"]But surely we should consider that no one in their right mind would want to annex Pakistan. Countries go to extreme lengths to keep our citizens out, the last thing they would seem to want to do is to invade us. [size="6"]Besides, what are they going to take?[/size][/color]

Yet, our elite continues to trot out this argument time and time again, stuck in some sort of time-warp, a time when Pakistan could afford self-importance and lofty concerns about its safekeeping. The stark reality — that we have not only hit a brick wall [color="#FF0000"]but that we will continue to sink economically, socially, politically, and in practically every sphere of human activity[/color] — has been held off by the illusion of Pakistan’s need for protection.

I think I know what will get the attention of our elite. I accept that many people —perhaps the vast majority of our leaders — are only interested in self-enrichment. In Kenya, whenever a new government comes to power they use the refreshingly honest phrase ‘Now it’s our turn to eat’. But there surely must be some who are thinking of a Pakistan a few years from now, perhaps five, 10, or, even 20 years from now. And what will that Pakistan look like?

With some certainty one can predict that it will be a desperately poor country with a largely illiterate population. Its cities will continue to be overpopulated. A small minority will have access to drinking water and a working toilet. The country will continue to produce little art, possess little advanced technology, publish few books and perhaps will continue to have remotely flown toys police our backyards from the skies. [color="#FF0000"]It will have a reasonable sized military though, the ‘largest in the Muslim world’ perhaps.[/color]

This scenario isn’t going to be a wake-up call to action. But — and here’s the kicker — although Pakistan will continue to be as poor and as miserable a place as it is now, our neighbour India is becoming a dramatically different place altogether. Last year the average Indian made about $3,500 annually. The average Pakistani, $2,000. Ten years ago the disparity was reversed. [color="#FF0000"]Ten years from now the average Indian will be twice as rich as the average Pakistani and this gap is only going to widen in the decades and years to come[/color].

India is racing toward economic and social advancement. Its population is becoming richer, more literate, more tech-savvy. And why is this happening? Because China’s awesome economic growth scares the living daylights out of India and this ensures that Indians are fixated by their economic growth in turn. Our former rival has put on running shoes and barely has enough time to check its rear view mirror to look at us, so focused is it on the Chinese panda.

Even though the Pakistan of the future will still be what it is now — and since our leaders can tolerate the present they will be perfectly willing to tolerate this future — what they and any proud, prickly and pathologically paranoid Pakistani might not be able to tolerate is turning up to a party to find out that your former neighbours who were once as poor and wretched as you now seem to have won the lottery. The sad fact is that unless we do something we will soon be alone in our misery and backwardness. [color="#FF0000"]Today’s India is not so much disinterested by Pakistan as [size="5"]it is embarrassed by its continued association with us[/size].[/color]

( )

Published in the Express Tribune, May 16th, 2010.

Cheers[Image: beer.gif]

Pakistan : Terrorist Wahabi Islamic Rep Pakistan 6 - Guest - 05-19-2010

Link to Everybody-Draw-Mohammed-Day, now banned in Pakistan <img src='<#EMO_DIR#>/laugh.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt=':lol:' />

People are very innovative <img src='<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' class='bbc_emoticon' alt='Big Grin' />

Pakistan : Terrorist Wahabi Islamic Rep Pakistan 6 - Naresh - 05-21-2010


[url=""]"Please save Pakistan's sinking textile"[/url]

KARACHI: Mohammad Ahsan is worried. The father of three was laid off last year when power outages and recession forced his bosses to close the garment factory where he worked.

Ahsan spent months searching for work and finally a small garments factory based in a suburban industrial park offered him a job. But he now fears that a similar spell of unemployment is round the corner.

Global yarn production is down. Pakistani producers are cutting local contracts and exporting to China, where prices are higher than at home. [color="#FF0000"]For Pakistani manufacturing already on the brink, it’s a death sentence.[/color]

“It seems the situation is getting worse again,” said Ahsan.

Living in Karachi’s impoverished Mauripur neighbourhood, he earns Rs.9, 000 (US $107) a month. His wife works as a maid and contributes 2,000 rupees to the household kitty. “It’s difficult to make ends meet. We are hearing about further lay-offs. We’re doomed,” he said.

The textile sector is one of the key drivers of the Pakistani economy, accounting for around 55 per cent of all exports, according to the official figures.

Last week, thousands of workers in Pakistan’s key textile hubs Faisalabad, where they blocked traffic and damaged properties, and Karachi went on strike to demand a ban on exports of yarn and cotton.

Manufacturers fear large-scale redundancies are on the horizon and some senior government officials agree with them.

“Export of Pakistani yarn -- lifeline of our value-added textiles -- makes our own country uncompetitive and benefits our rivals,” said Khurram Mukhtar, chairman of the Pakistan Textile Exporters Association.

If our industry collapses, millions of workers and their families would be deprived of their bread and it would be a huge catastrophe.

“It is true that uncertainty in our most rewarding export sector could force job cuts,” said Mirza Ikhtiar Beg, an adviser on textiles to Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani.

Beg said at least 38 per cent of the country’s workforce was involved in textiles.

In response to last week’s protests, Beg said the government had imposed a 15 percent regulatory duty on yarn exports for two months. But cotton producers, furious at an intervention they say will cost them money, retaliated with their own strike.

“We shut 450 spinning mills across the country to protest against the regulatory duty, which is one-sided and just to appease those in value-added textiles,” Yasin Siddique, a spokesman for Pakistani yarn merchants, told AFP.

He said spinners will strike at least once a week until the government withdraws the new tariff.


Cheers [Image: beer.gif]