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Pakistan News And Discussion-11

<!--emo&:roll--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/ROTFL.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='ROTFL.gif' /><!--endemo-->
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[center]<b><span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>Federal budget 2007-2008 : a review - Prof Khurshid Ahmad</span></b> <!--emo&:flush--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/Flush.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='Flush.gif' /><!--endemo-->[/center]

Budget making is definitely a very serious exercise and the budget document a solemn piece of legislation that reflects a nation's resolve how best to overcome economic hardships and how to effectively harness the available resources to achieve autarky in all fields of national economy.

<b>Unfortunately, the budget presented by the government for the fiscal 2007-2008 is highly disappointing. It is obviously an election budget and not one based on genuine economic logic.</b> The government has taken credit for what it claims to have achieved by way of seven per cent rise in the GDP and $14 billion as foreign exchange reserve. The question, however, arises as to what extent are these due to the government's economic policies and to what degree due to exogenous factors like foreign remittances of Pakistani expatriates and economic and political assistance received as a result of the government's dubious surrender to US pressure after 9/11.

<b>A recent study on development indicators released by the World Bank on April 15, shows that from 1999 to 2005 the average GDP <span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>per capita growth in Pakistan on the basis of purchasing power parity has been 4.62 per cent. During the same period the average per capita increase in other developing countries was: Philippines 5.17 per cent, Indonesia 5.77 per cent, Turkey 5.79 per cent and India 7.32 per cent. It is important to note that the average growth of GDP per capita for all low-income countries during this period was 6.38 almost 30 per cent more than what was achieved in Pakistan. In this context too much clap trap about macro indicator is to be taken with a pinch of salt.

The government's claim about reduction in poverty to the extent of 10 points, i.e. from 34 per cent of the population to 24 per cent, is similarly hardly tenable.[color][b] In fact this would mean almost 33 per cent of the people living under the poverty line to cross the poverty line upwards. This means that every year 2-3 per cent of the population has moved above poverty line. In aggregate terms this would mean that out of 52 million people living under the poverty line some 13 million have improved their status and got out of the grip of poverty. [b][color=red]A statistical miracle indeed!</span></b>

What about the ground realities? Do these confirm the government's claim? Even the survey (PSLM 2004-05) on the basis of which this claim is made contains evidence, which falsifies this official position. Accordingly to Vol. II of the survey, giving provincial and district data, it is stated in Table 5.1 (Page 406) that actually 24 .15 people interviewed had claimed that they were worst off or much worst off in 2005 as compared to 2001. The remaining 51.5 said that their position has not changed. How can the official claim of 33 per cent of people moving upward from poverty line be reconciled with this confession by the same group of people? Asian Development Bank's latest report on Poverty Reduction Programme of Pakistan (Working Paper No. 4, 2007) also records people's perception that the development programme conceived so far, including the SAP, have not brought about any real qualitative change in the country, particularly, in rural areas.

<b><span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>One feels seriously concerned about the mis-presentation of facts and data by the government.</span></b> Surprisingly, there are serious discrepancies and contradictions in the budget speech and documents. The minister of state, as well as the prime minister and his advisors have claimed that the size of the current budget is Rs1,875 billion. Yet in the federal budget document the total outlay of the budget is given as Rs1, 599 billion: (Budget in Brief, Chapter 2, p.7). This goes to show how irresponsible the government has been even in a highly serious exercise like budget-making.

Even a cursory glance of the budget reveals at least six major failures, which may be summed up as follows:

1. The country is faced with unprecedented balance of payments and balance of trade deficits. When the government took over in 1999-2000, the trade deficit was $1.74 billion. Now it has risen to over $11 billion. In fact, it is feared that this deficit could be well over $13 billion. The balance of payment deficit in 1999-00 was $1.14 billion, which turned positive in 2002-2003 and became $3.16 billion in the year the current National Assembly was elected. Presently the B/P deficit has reached the Himalayan figure of $6.2 billion. The budget fails to come up with any policy initiative to drastically reduce these two major deficits.

2. Economic growth can be sustained only if the Commodity Sector of the economy grows and becomes the main engine of growth. The growth we are witnessing at the moment is based more on the services sector and exogenous factors like foreign remittances and the US aid for Pakistan's mercenary role in its 'war on terror'. There has been no significant and sustained quantitative or qualitative improvement in the agricultural sector of economy. Basically, the agricultural sector has remained a neglected sector where the cost of production is escalating resulting in food inflation. The industrial sector is also lagging behind, particularly the textile industry, which accounts for almost sixty per cent of our exports. It is because of this crisis in our textile sector that exports have seriously lagged behind. In fact, raw cotton is now being exported ($3 billion this year), while value-added textile exports are on the decline. Other industries including leather, surgical instruments and even the sports industry are in serious trouble. Their cost of production remains high, making our exports uncompetitive. The government has neglected these problems. Unless these problems are thoroughly reviewed, this may lead to even de-industrialisation of Pakistan. <b><span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>Already 116 textile mills have been closed, half a million spindles gone out of motion and several million people rendered jobless.</span></b> So strong in rhetoric, the budget is silent on the problems of the country's most crucial commodity production sector.

3. Inflation is beyond anybody's control. The common man is caught in its menacing grip. He is unable to have two square meals a day. Food inflation, according to official figures, is over 10 per cent and according to unofficial assessments between 15 to 20 per cent. This is ironical in the context of claims about bumper agriculture crop. The proposed relief measures stated in the budget are non-starter. Subsidies have always increased corruption and failed to deliver. There can't be a substitute for a correct economic strategy to fight inflation. Out of a subsidy of Rs210 billion that the government claims to offer in vital sectors of public interest, over Rs90 billion are meant for WAPDA and KESC. One wonders, how this hefty subsidy could be relevant in reducing inflation and bringing any relief to the poor consumers? The country needs a policy to reduce the cost of production by reducing import duties and sales tax on items of daily use. Utility Stores do not cater for more than two per cent of the population and do not serve the poor only. They are hardly the answer. Inflation can be fought only with a combined use of monetary and fiscal policies, taking care of the demands and supply sides simultaneously. This is, however, not being done. That is why the Frankenstein of inflation has been haunting the country throughout the tenure of the present government. Inflation in the year 1999-2000 was 3.58 per cent. In 2002-2003 it was 3.1 per cent and in 2004-2005 it rose to 9.3 per cent. It has been eight per cent during the current and last fiscal year. The budget has miserably failed to seriously address the very crucial issue of inflation in all its dimensions.

4. The other major problem faced by the country relates to poverty and unemployment. Both are organically linked. So is the question of human resource development and manpower and educational planning. The budget is full of rhetoric but there is no plan to effectively face these challenges. There are no sufficient allocations for poverty reduction and massive promotion of health-care. A vital sector like education is starved of resources. The government has increased expenditure and remains addicted to ostentatious living. The development expenditure has been revised downwards to the tune of Rs36 billion. The budget fails on the count of real development, poverty eradication, human resource development and social welfare.

5. Another major problem relates to the elitist nature of the economy. Musharraf-Shaukat policies have made the rich richer and the poor poorer. The extent of inequalities in the country has increased to scandalous proportions during the last eight years. The government's economic survey admits that the top 20 per cent are getting at least 400 per cent more than what is being received by the lowest 20 per cent. According to another study, out of every 100 rupees added to the national income, only Rs3 go to the lowest 10 per cent and over Rs40 to the upper 10 per cent. The stock exchange and real estate boom has only been instrumental in producing millionaires and billionaires because of speculation, not through real value-addition in the economy. The country's elitist class of big landlords and capitalists has become the robber-barons. They are subject to no tax. It is the common man that is crushed under the weight of indirect taxes, while the class of exploiters is spared of any effective tax regime. Inequalities are multiplying and producing divisiveness and polarisation in society. The budget fails to even take note of this gruesome situation.

6. Finally, the government's claim about the fiscal discipline is fictional. The budgetary deficit is above Rs300 billion. The quantum of both the external and domestic debts has increased. Total national debt has swollen to more than Rs1500 billion during the last seven years. The debt management strategy has totally collapsed. Another aspect of the government's failure relates to squandering away of the fiscal space of around forty billion dollars provided during the last seven years in the form of remittances from Pakistani expatriates ($26 billion) and foreign assistance ($10-12 billions). These huge resources have not been harnessed in investment avenues and the bulk of them has gone in conspicuous consumption, real estate and stock exchange speculation. The country is living beyond its means. The rulers have set the worst example. Unproductive expenditure has recorded exponential increase. So has expenditure on the armed forces, whose budget has increased three-fold from around Rs90 billion to virtually over Rs300 billion in the 2007-08 budget. This has made the country's economy lop-sided and the government will have to account for this strategic failure.

Finally, huge allocations made for district and tehsil governments and local unions, are for all practical purposes a lucid political bribe to be used for election purposes. This is a total abuse of public money.

<b><span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>Viewed in this backdrop, the federal budget 2007-08 deserves to be thrown out by the parliamentarians in the same way as happened with the budget presented by Mr Yasin Watto in 1986-87. This year's budget deserves a similar fate. Would the National Assembly do its duty or buckle under pressure from the government in uniform?</span></b>

<i>The writer is a member of the Senate and affiliated with the Jamaat-i-Islami. Email : khurshid@ips.net.pk</i>

Cheers <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->

[center]<b><span style='font-size:21pt;line-height:100%'>Correction</span></b> <!--emo&Confusedtupid--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/pakee.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='pakee.gif' /><!--endemo-->[/center]

IN the third last paragraph of <b>Mr Javid Husain’s article <span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>‘Public welfare and democracy’ published yesterday, the figure should have been Rs380 billion</span></b> instead of Rs80 billion <!--emo&:liar liar--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/liar.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='liar.gif' /><!--endemo--> as printed. The error is regretted.

Cheers <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->
They still don't know how to cook books in La-whore style.

[center]<b><span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>28 killed in mysterious explosions in North Waziristan</span></b>[/center]

MIRAN SHAH: At least 28 people were killed and several injured in mysterious explosions in Dita Khail areas in North Waziristan, the reports said.

The incident occurred due to missile attack in the said area by the US allied forces, some sources said. However, Director General Inter Services Public Relation (ISPR) Maj. Arshad Waheed said it was not a missile attack but <b><span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>the incident occurred due to explosions caused by explosive material.</span></b> <!--emo&Confusedtupid--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/pakee.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='pakee.gif' /><!--endemo-->

Those killed were miscreants and they were killed while preparing explosive devices due to explosions caused by the explosive material.

The heirs of those killed in the incident said that US allied forces fired shells on a seminary and a home next to the seminary, in which over 20 people were killed and 10 others injured.

The injured were taken to Miran Shah hospital where three of the injured were stated in a critical condition.

Cheers <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->

<!--QuoteBegin-Mudy+Jun 19 2007, 11:57 PM-->QUOTE(Mudy @ Jun 19 2007, 11:57 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->They still don't know how to cook books in La-whore style.

<b>Mudy Ji :</b>

The Pakistani former Ambassador has nailed the lie of Pakistan’s Annual Defence Expenditure being about USD 3.5 Billion. Basis Pak Rs. 60 = USD 1, the sum of Pak Rs. 380 Billion Equates to USD 6.34 Billion.

According to Khalid Ahmed the Pakistani Annual Defence Expenditure is about 10.5 Per Cent of the GDP - Basis a GDP of USD 143.6 Billion that equates to over USD 15 Billion.

As they say in Pakistan <b>"Nobody can Ruin Pakistan <span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>the way the Pakistani Army is ruining Pakistan!!!"</span></b>

Cheers <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->As they say in Pakistan "Nobody can Ruin Pakistan the way the Pakistani Army is ruining Pakistan!!!" <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Uncle is supplying unlimited amount of Oxygen. Nothing will change, unless and until mass conversion or free supply of drugs to Pakis.

watch it, funny as hell.

[center]<b><span style='font-size:14pt;line-height:100%'>Jemima’s Bengal cats go missing - Rauf Klasra</span></b>[/center]

LONDON: The rare “Bengal cats” of Jemima Khan have caused a big stir in London as police have been called to find them after they went missing. Jemima, who is worried and upset, says she would give 1,000 pounds to whosoever finds her darling cats. Jemima has called in the police after losing one of her rare Bengal cats.

<img src='http://www.thenews.com.pk/top_story_pics/6-20-2007_8590_l.gif' border='0' alt='user posted image' />

A report has claimed that two police officers were spotted visiting her home in London’s Fulham Tuesday along with her former boyfriend, actor Hugh Grant. At one point, Jemima reported that two of the cats were missing before one was apparently returned by a neighbour. The cats are worth up to £1,000.

A spokesman for Scotland Yard said: “We attended an address in Fulham today (Tuesday) in connection with the disappearance of a Bengal cat. The officers spoke to the owner and at this stage there is no evidence to suggest that the cat’s disappearance is suspicious.

“However, if there is any evidence to the contrary this will be considered. “The cat is understood to have gone missing on 15 June and the owner’s second cat also went missing on the 18th before it was returned later the same day.”

Jemima gave Grant a pair, which he took with him when the couple split this year. Helen Hewitt, who runs the Ocicat and Bengal Cat Club, said there had been a recent spate of thefts targeting the pets.

<b>Comments :</b> Along with the above news report appears a photo - almost a "mug shot" of Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz.

<b>Now what that has got to do with Shaukat Aziz, we don't know. His photo insertion could just be a gaffe - an honest mistake - or may be there's more to it than the simple story. Is the cat in Islamabad? Is he the cat? Does he have it? If so, did he steal it to get her attention?</b>

Aziz is a self proclaimed "lady's man" - if news of his tell-tale encounter with Condi Rice, as mentioned in a most recent published book is any indication.

In a biography titled "Twice as Good : Condoleezza Rice and Her Path to Power" by Newsweek chief of correspondents and senior editor Marcus Mabry, the author writes that Aziz had tried to seduce Rice. (He bragged - to Western diplomats, no less - that he could conquer any woman in two minutes).

<b>But Imran Khan was in London the week or the week before the cats went missing. Did he have anything to do with it?</b>

Along with the news report appears a photo - almost a "mug shot" of Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz.

Why is <b>“Salwar Kameez's”</b> photo at the wrong place at the wrong time? Or is <b>“Salwar Kameez” a Cat?</b>

Cheers <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->
Pakistan: Some likely scenarios By Colonel Dr Anil Athale (retd)
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->My brief trip to Pakistan validated the following constants about the nation:

The disaffection among the elite with military rule.
Intense dislike of America, both amongst the elite as well as the masses.
Religious parties fear marginalisation in the 2007 election.
A sense of disillusionment over the India-Pakistan peace process, which was widely expected in Pakistan to deliver Kashmir to Pakistan.
A deep sense of inferiority at the individual and societal level vis a vis India.
Unemployed, young and fanatical youth forming over 60% of the population.
The army's fear of losing its grip over its men and national power.
Confidence in a successful deterrent strategy based on the concept of 'Mad Mullahs and stray General' that was shown to be effective during Kargil 1999 and Operation Parakram 2002.
Constant sense of 'victimisation' as Pakistanis and Muslims due to the media that focuses on the worldwide woes of the Muslim Ummah.
Population growth (the average per woman fertility in Pakistan is 5.4 children), with 60 percent of the population under 25. This, coupled with lack industrialisation and curbs in the Gulf countries on emigration, will intensify unrest among the young unemployed.
Perhaps the most important constant in Pakistan is the domination of that country's Punjab region<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Nuggets from the Urdu press </b>
<b>Imam Kaaba says women not to be used as shields</b>
As reported in daily Jang, the Imam Kaaba, Sheikh ul Quran Dr Abdur Rehman Alsadees bin Abdul Aziz, said that the organisers of Lal Masjid are using women and children as shields. He stressed that ulema shall not use the mosque for fitna (mischief). Jihad can only be declared by acquiring enough power from the government. He said no person can declare jihad on his own. He also said that killing people in the name of difference of sects (maslak) is against Islam. Islam accepts the power of logic and the Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) had dialogues with people of different faiths and left them on their own.

<b>Was the education minister a prohat in his earlier life?</b>
Sarerahe wrote in daily Nawa-e-Waqt, that the Federal Minister for Education, Javed Ashraf Qazi said that Ashoka and the Guptas can’t be removed from history books. He is the same Qazi who said the Holy Quran had 40 chapters. Sarerahe wanted to tell him that he didn’t want to remove Hindus from history books, yet the Hindus are planning to remove us from the Subcontinent. Qazi is fond of installing the statues of Hindu personalities in our educational institutions. Was he a priest (prohat) in his earlier life that he wants to please Hindus?

Federal government threatening CD shops in NWFP
As reported in daily Nawa-e-Waqt, 50 CD shops in Charsada have been closed due to bomb attacks and threats. According to the BBC, a local CD shop owner said that trade activities have suffered because of these threats. This area is the stronghold of Interior Minister Aftab Sherpao and ANP Chief Asfandar Wali Khan. The Interior Minister of NWFP, Asif Iqbal Dadozai, said that federal agencies are involved in the threats to educational institutions and CD shops in an effort to malign the MMA government.

<b>70 stray cats dispelled from Ganga Ram Hospital</b>
According to daily Khabrain, 70 stray cats from the operation theatre and other wards of Ganga Ram Hospital were rounded up and left near the river Ravi. The MS of Ganga Ram Hospital found cats all over the hospital and ordered that the hospital be cleaned of cats. Previously the cats returned to the hospital when they were left out of the city.

<b>Pickpockets attend funeral </b> <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->
As reported in daily Jang, pickpockets joined a funeral of 60 year old Anayat, who was killed in a bomb attack in Quetta. They picked the pockets of eight people in the funeral procession in the factory area and deprived them of thousands in cash and other valuables.

<b>War of number 9 and number 1</b>
In Daily Pakistan Magazine, the numerology expert from Gujrat, Javeed JM, said that 9 is the number of Pervez Musharraf’s name. He predicted that the opposition parties would create trouble for Pervez Musharraf after the elections. He said the deal between Musharraf and Benazir or with Nawaz wouldn’t help as both the opposition leaders’ number is 1. People with number 9 and number 1 can’t get along with each other as both numbers don’t accept the leadership of anyone.

<b>I want to die like Tipu Sultan</b> <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->
As reported in daily Jang, Tehreek-e-Insaf Chief, Imran Khan said that he is not afraid of death and wants to die like Tipu Sultan. He said that he is not afraid of the MQM and will form a panel of lawyers to file a case against Altaf Hussain. He said that Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry is the only man who has refused to surrender before GHQ. He also said that this government is declaring students of madrassas terrorists and attacking them.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->SCENARIO: Pakistan after Musharraf    FT.com
<b>A democratic ‘moment’? </b>
Dr Ayesha Siddiqa
One thing is clear from a study of Pakistani politics and the military: no substantive change can happen unless there is a change in the leadership of the country. The control of the elite cannot produce better results than what we witnessed during Musharraf's period 

When I heard the news of General Zia-ul Haq’s death in the mysterious plane crash in August 1988, like many others I could not believe that a decisive change had taken place. Today, in June 2007, it is difficult for me to think of a Pakistan without General Pervez Musharraf.

Even so, we shall assume that the democratic movement, which began with the attempt to dismiss the Chief Justice of Pakistan, did finally manage to push General Musharraf out. Does the moment herald the dawn of a new democratic era? Do I see a substantial change in the political environment of the country?

There are two possible scenarios of what might happen. One is that ‘managed’ elections are held and a civilian government put into place, the stress on managed being important. According to the Freedom House checklist for human rights and civil liberties, presented in Charles Tilly’s latest book on democracy, one of the criterions for assessing the quality of a polity is whether the people are free from the influence of the military, religious parties, oligarchs and totalitarian leaders and whether elections are held without the influence of the these power players. Since the next elections will be held in sub-normal conditions, the military and its intelligence agencies will continue to play a significant role in the election and we will see such people and parties win that are favourable to the armed forces.

This scenario does not see clear majority for any one party. There will be a coalition government in which the likely partners will be the Pakistan People’s Party, the Mutahidda Qaumi Movement, Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (Fazl), Awami National Party, and elements from the Pakistan Muslim League-Q. Such a coalition will result in two possibilities: first, the country will dive into another battle between the seemingly secular, pro-West forces and anti-West ones (in reality, all parties are highly conservative and non-secular but the battle will be on a pro- versus anti-West agenda); second, a conflict which might ensue after the elections will further complicate an already bad situation and create greater problems of political stability for whoever forms the government.

It must be remembered that more than seven years of military rule have eroded the capacity of civilian institutions to perform. Combined with this incapacity will be the eagerness of the followers of different political parties to ask for rewards. Pakistan’s political system is patronage-based and followers demand rewards. This will happen post-election also. At this point, the generals will be all too delighted to show the world and the people that civilians are highly inept and cannot perform. Hence, the country will be back to the unstable political cycle of the 1990s, unless the GHQ decides to follow General Musharraf’s concept of replacing the prime minister while retaining the cabinet and the Parliament.

It is also possible that Nawaz Sharif and his brother manage to sort out their differences with the army in the next couple of years and return to rule after the post-Musharraf civilian regime has failed.

Another possible scenario, given the nature of the movement that ousted Musharraf, is that the next government will be put on the spot by the seemingly alert civil society since people will reject authoritarianism in both civilian and military garbs.

But this may not happen. Pakistan is seeing a crucial ‘democratic moment’ that could easily be lost or will pass after some cosmetic changes. Once a moment is lost, it is very difficult to regain it. Lawyers or other communities will not find it possible to come out on the streets frequently.

What is most certain is the fact that the post-Musharraf scenario does not necessarily mean any substantial reduction in the influence of the army. Numerous political parties are eager to have a convenient arrangement with the GHQ, which basically means that their leaders will make compromises on political space from the word go. Such covert negotiations carry the seed of future political instability. This is precisely what happened during the 1990s when important political parties eagerly struck secret deals with the army. In fact, the deals of the 1990s were less sinister than what will happen after Musharraf. The potential deals would be made more consciously with a fair concern for not overstepping into the domain of the armed forces.

The judiciary will also be unable to play the role it played after the reference against the chief justice. The crisis was tiring and the judiciary might want to play it safe, as in the past. Future judges might not want to take on the military and would probably be averse to a crisis similar to the one they experienced at the fag-end of Musharraf’s rule. This would allow the military again to come out as a powerful player. Musharraf’s departure has not meant the military has lost out on its cronies and clients.

This is certainly a pessimistic picture and may hopefully prove incorrect. But one thing is clear from a study of Pakistani politics and the military: no substantive change can happen unless there is a change in the leadership of the country. The control of the elite cannot produce better results than what we witnessed during Musharraf’s period.

<i>The writer is an Islamabad-based independent defence analyst. She is the
author of a book on Pakistan’s arms procurement decision-making. Her
latest book is Military Inc, Inside Pakistan’s Military Economy</i><!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<b>Pak morality brigade abducts 12</b> <!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Islamabad: Hardline religious students from a mosque in Islamabad kidnapped 12 people,<b> including nine Chinese among which five were women, early today accusing them of ''immoral activities''</b>, the students said.

The abductions were the most provocative action by the Taliban-supporting students associated with the Lal Masjid, or Red Mosque, that they have undertaken since January to press for various demands.

''The women were involved in prostitution in a massage centre,'' the students said in a statement. Police confirmed some people had been abducted but said they had no details.

<b>The News newspaper reported that Chinese nationals were among the abducted people. The nine persons were kidnapped from a house in a residential neighbourhood of the city. A private security guard outside the house said ''Taliban students'' had come and taken away the ''Chinese'' inhabitants.</b>

Nothing new, no harm repeating again.

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Spymasters run Pakistan: report </b>
IANS | Islamabad 
Pakistan's Intelligence Agencies have gained unprecedented ascendancy since President Pervez Musharraf seized power. Their role has been the "solitary decisive factor", particularly since 2002, says a media report citing several instances.

The country's current anti-terror campaign and two controversial actions of the Musharraf regime -suspension of Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry, and the house arrest of AQ Khan, the controversial father of the country's nuclear weapons programme -are being credited to the Intelligence Agencies.

<b>On the role of the Civilian Government, it says, "Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz is not a person who has the habit of grudging or complaining. He is content with the room he has been provided to operate."</b>

<b>The "latest bomb shell" by the Intelligence Agencies, according to The News, is the March 9 suspension of Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry, that took the nation by storm and shook President Pervez Musharraf and the entire applecart he is leading, the report says, adding that the agencies' role was "extremely critical and beyond an iota of doubt".</b>

The newspaper, however, did not cite any source for its report. "The Intelligence Agencies' role did not end with the creation of the judicial mess," says the report of the nationwide agitation that the presidential action has sparked.

"They had been very active in the damage control exercise so that the crisis turns out to be favourable to the boss at the end of the day. Hardly any member of the civilian set-up has been trusted as being capable of stemming the erosion at the public level," it alleges.

<b>"The reliance of the present top man, like his uniformed predecessors, on the intelligence agencies has been immense and plays the most singular role in his decision-making. It is through the Intelligence work that he gets the job done and relies on the conclusions of the spymasters,"</b> the newspaper said.

By comparison, "this mighty State structure had little dominant role in the decision-making process when Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto had ruled twice each. 
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Nuggets from the Urdu press </b>
<b>Imam Kaaba shall be made temporary Amir ul Momineen</b>
As reported in Daily Pakistan, the Khatib of Lal Masjid, Maulana Abdul Aziz said that Imam Kaaba Sheikh Abdul ur Rehman Alsadees shall announce the implementation of Islam in Pakistan and be made a temporary Amir ul Momineen. He said that Imam Kaaba shall announce a shura that would appoint an Amir. He also urged the traders of Islamabad to provide money to the CD shop owners to start new businesses.

<b>Don’t mess with the tail of Iran</b>
As reported in daily Express, President Ahmadinejad of Iran has vowed to continue its nuclear program. He said that Iran has become a lion who is sitting firm and if anyone touched the tail of the lion it would not spare a moment to eat him. He said the atomic program of Iran is for peaceful purposes and that Iran would not clarify its position any further to the international community.

<b>Decline of religious influence in the cricket team</b> <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->
As reported in daily Jang, ex chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board, Shaharyar Khan, called Inzamam ul Haq the spiritual priest of the Pakistan cricket team. This statement was found to be true, as the influence of religion has disappeared from the cricket team after the exit of Inzamam ul Haq. Team members were saying their prayers individually in their rooms. In the past, during the captaincy of Inzamam, all team members would say their prayers collectively in hotels, cricket grounds, and in the dressing room.
<b>Sunni tribes in Iraq to fight Al Qaeda</b>
As reported in daily Jang, Sunni warrior tribes in Iraq are now supporting nationalist rebels against Al Qaeda. Sunni sheikhs of the Ambar Salvation Army have attacked Al Qaeda targets. Sunni sheikhs who are supporters of Saddam Hussein were fighting against the Shia led coalition in Iraq. They have now changed their target and have started attacking Al Qaeda. Al Qaeda attacks on the local population and Sunni sheikhs infuriated the Sunni sheikhs and tribal elders.

<b>Homemade bomb in Mardan</b>
According to daily Khabrain, in Labor Colony, Mardan a man, Ikhtair Ahmad, tried to blow up a crafts centre for women. The culprit tried to blow up a two kilogram homemade bomb in haste due to the fear of police, and the bomb blew up in his hand. The crafts centre women were threatened a month earlier to wear burqas (veils) or the centre would be blown up. The culprit is a masters degree holder and belongs to Peshawar.

<b>Muslims cannot attack the Ghaus e Azam shrine </b> <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->
According to daily Jang, Minhaj ul Quran Tehreek demonstrated in front of the press club against the bomb blast in the shrine of Ghaus e Azam Syed Abdul Qadir Jillani that destroyed one of its minarets and killed 24 people. The Amir of Lahore, Professor Zulfiqar Ali, said that non-Muslims are conspiring against the peace in Iraq and no Muslim can think of such an act.

<b>Who is BM Tahir?</b>
As reported in daily Jang magazine, BM Tahir played a pivotal role in the Libyan deal of centrifuges and Dr Qadeer Khan considered him as his son. Dr AQ Khan used to stay at BM Tahir’s residence in Dubai. All deals, money transactions and dispatching of machinery were the responsibility of Tahir. He travelled to Dubai 44 times in four years since 1999 and travelled to Iran 20 times from Dubai.

<b>AQ Khan’s involvement in nuclear proliferation</b>
As reported in daily Jang magazine, close members of his network say AQ Khan got involved in nuclear proliferation because of greed. Dr Khan got impressive kickbacks and commissions from these deals. Dr Khan’s assets are spread in Dubai, Pakistan and London. He is also a shareholder in many big hotels, restaurants and night clubs. He spent one million dollars on the weddings of his two daughters. Some disagree with the motive of greed as he lives a simple life, but he spent extravagantly on his foreign trips.

<b>Columnists on the payroll of AQ Khan</b>
As reported in daily Jang magazine, close friends of AQ Khan said that he acquired a top position in Pakistani society. This played a very important role in corrupting him after 1990. Whenever he entered a room it was his wish that everybody shall stand up to show respect. He gave heavy funds to columnists and journalists to write in his favour. In public he displayed a modest image but in private interviews he boasted about himself.

<b>AQ Khan was direct descendent of Ghauri</b> <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->  <!--emo&Big Grin--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/biggrin.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='biggrin.gif' /><!--endemo-->
As reported in daily Jang magazine, Dr Khan claimed to be the direct descendent of the 13th century Muslim conqueror Shahabuddin Ghauri, and that is why he named the missile ‘Ghauri.’ He wanted to have a city named after him in Pakistan. In one television interview he said that he is the creator of Pakistan’s atom bomb and its missile program. At the peak of his success and prominence he considered himself invincible.

<b>Was AQ Khan above law?</b>
As reported in daily Jang magazine, AQ Khan considered himself above the law. This can be proved by the example of his violation of rules when he constructed his house on Rawal lake in Rawalpindi. The sewage pipe from his wonderful palace fell directly into a lake that is used by the people of Rawalpindi for drinking. When the local government tried to bulldoze his house, his guards opened fire on the driver of the bulldozer and prevented the house from <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
<!--QuoteBegin-SSridhar+Jul 2 2007, 09:16 AM-->QUOTE(SSridhar @ Jul 2 2007, 09:16 AM)<!--QuoteEBegin-->For the attention of Naresh ji,

Am unable to reach you thru' yahoo.

<b>SSridhar Ji :</b>

Have mailed you Alternative Address by Y-Mail and PM

Cheers <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->

[center]<b><span style='font-size:24pt;line-height:100%'>Imports from India surpass $1 billion mark</span></b> <!--emo&:clapping--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/clap.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='clap.gif' /><!--endemo-->[/center]

<b>KARACHI - For the first time Pakistan’s imports from India have surpassed the mark of one billion dollars in 11 months of the last financial year, The Nation learnt on Monday. From July 2006 to May 2007 Pakistan’s imports from the arch-rival bordering country amounted to 1.113 billion dollars while exports to India amounted to 288 million dollars. Thus the country had sustained a huge deficit of 827 million dollars in bilateral trade with India in 11 months of FY07.</b> <!--emo&:cool--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/specool.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='specool.gif' /><!--endemo-->

From July 2006 to May 2007, the imports from India are much higher when compared to 770 million dollars imports in the entire financial year 2005-06. In sharp contrast to a hefty growth in imports from India, the exports of Pakistan to the said trade partner showed a paltry increase when matched with 264 million dollars exports in FY06. Foreign trade analysts said that the trade liberalization had benefited much to India and caused a huge trade deficit to Pakistan. <!--emo&:flush--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/Flush.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='Flush.gif' /><!--endemo-->

Pakistan and India liberalized their bilateral trade in 2005-06 as a result their mutual trade showed a substantial growth over 2004-05. Pakistan’s imports in 2005-06 increased to 770 million dollars, from 485 million dollars in 2004-05, while country’s exports to the neighbouring trade partner rose to 264 million in FY06, from 190 million dollars in FY05.

The Nation learnt that the imports of machinery, spare parts, chemicals and raw materials from India depicted a sharp growth in the last financial year. Analysts, however, said that Pakistan should try to reduce the burgeoning trade imbalance with India by promoting exports of different items through mutual arrangement. Otherwise, they said, the balance of trade of the country would further widen in the current financial year.

The bilateral trade of Pakistan and India started paralysing in 2000, when India suspended Samjhota Express service while holding Pakistan responsible for attack on the Indian Parliament. Pakistan not only denied the attack, but also gave a befitting response to India by suspending trade through rail and road from Wahga border that embarrassed Indians and caused a blow to imports from the neighbouring country.

However, in 2003-04 Pakistan and India normalized their trade and diplomatic relationship as a result of which the mutual trade of both the countries started showing improvement.

Worth noting is that the Pakistan government is opening trade with the bordering country on the request of the business community and industrialists.

Cheer <!--emo&:beer--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cheers.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='cheers.gif' /><!--endemo-->
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin--> <b>Thus the country had sustained a huge deficit of 827 million dollars in bilateral trade with India in 11 months of FY07</b> <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
Now, how they are going to reduce trade deficit? by sending more terrorist or Paki Army.
<b>Six people killed in Pakistan mosque clashes</b><!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->At least six people, including a paramilitary trooper and a television cameraman, were killed in gunfire during clashes with militant students at a mosque run by a Taliban-style movement in Islamabad on Tuesday, officials said.

A cleric inside Lal Masjid, or Red Mosque, told Reuters eight students had been killed in exchanges of fire, and a loudspeaker in the compound broadcast a message calling on followers of the movement to begin suicide attacks.

The clashes began when about 150 students attacked a security picket at a Pakistani government office near the mosque, snatched weapons and took four officials hostage, according to police.
This is a Islamic nation.

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