Budget – Mystery or History

5 06 2011

Budget’s out, public’s in while the politicians are having a bash yet again. They rule the graveyard; while the grave dwellers aren’t getting any light either. Loadshedding, KESC, mudslinging, infrastructure, terrorism, foreign policy, everything and everyone is in a squander. A shabby one.

The Finance Minister is just another face-change, loyal employee who came up with the budget on time. Something in Pakistan is on time. Trains are never. While security lapses would never be. To be or not to be.

But where is our international relationship heading for? Anyone gave serious thought. But no, don’t. If the Governments hears this, expect another ministry with 10 pseudo ministers would be heading 10 or so committees solely to study and research the plight, the flight of overseas Pakistanis and their status quos. So please, let Pakistanis live. No more tax cuts for such an idea.

International relations are always built on..?? Bulls or bullets or billets..?? Commerce, economics, MOUs and technology sharing and power sharing. Has anyone heard or seen any Pakistani conglomerate, or business group ever coming up with a rock solid idea? An idea to boost and promote Pakistan. Any at least body formation? Council, team..? Nothing. On the ground. No willingness. No seriousness.

To better international relations, we need business representation. Better relations. Better access. But please don’t export LABOURERS. They aren’t living a good life outside Pakistan even. They work 18 hours and are underpaid and underfed. Export your mangoes and more. Export quality, finished goods, business entrepreneurs but not jobs. Much of it has taken flight.

A body to reform the export policies and procedures should be in place, starting with Sialkot, which has the camaraderie of having its own private airport. Access should be made to international publications to promote skills, industries and products. Export policy, on freelance mode, should be taken up at universities in Pakistan. International relations offers wide array of customer base. Invite and be invited. GEO or JEENAY do. Give and take.

But be honest. What you have, offer..!! Don’t over commit. Explore and connect. How difficult?
Further to such initiatives, a rapport building and supporting group should be in place to have a check.

Have I started to sound boring..? Yeah. As nobody has ventured into this arena ever. Non-taxable countries are hubs and nearest to Pakistan but entrepreneurs are again scarce. Scary statistics, expensive visas, stricter policies. Multiply and quadruple your money, Governments are interested in that. India is doing the same, exporting products and business owners.

King of Fruits - Politicians

Pakistan produces mangoes, which are exported. It also produced politicians, never exported. That is the problem. Let American Senate, the respected Senate, have 2-3 Pakistani politicians, only provincial members (MPAs), to be selected in their House. I bet, no green patch or forestry shall exist in America. Even South America might sanction import of carrots. Sticks are history.

Business Circle

International relations can be given a boost if business circles are encouraged to invest in sports industry. Teams should be represented in every sport, Tempest freerunning is a good emerging sport. Some Pakistani should read and take the cause ahead.
Education, representation, Business units, exports and lesser imports should pave the way for better international relations.

Political class is just crass. Undependable. So why not a civilian movement. Why not a behemoth move that of Sir Syed of innovating the status quo. No rocket science involved. Public opinion should be given a formal voice and draft of action. Action is what missing from the scene. Negative action is all around. Positive action..? No actors.

Is anyone listening..? PTI’s sit-in in Multan is coming on 25th. Summers, heat, terrorism, bomb blasts, prayers, Ramazan approaching fast. Better gear up for more mangoes.


Afghanistan sitting on a gold mine

31 12 2009

The USGS estimates there are about 700 billion cubic metres of gas and 300 million tonnes of oil across several northern provinces.

KABUL — Afghanistan is sitting on a wealth of mineral reserves — perhaps the richest in the region — that offer hope for a country mired in poverty after decades of war, the mining minister says.

Significant deposits of copper, iron, gold, oil and gas, and coal — as well as precious gems such as emeralds and rubies — are largely untapped and still being mapped, Mohammad Ibrahim Adel told AFP.

And they promise prosperity for one of the world’s poorest countries, the minister said, dismissing concerns that a Taliban-led insurgency may thwart efforts to unearth this treasure.

Already in the pipeline is the exploitation of a massive copper deposit — one of the biggest in the world — about 30 kilometres (20 miles) east of Kabul.

“There has not been such a big project in the history of Afghanistan,” Adel said.

A 30-year lease for the Aynak copper mine was in November offered to the China Metallurgical Group Corporation and the contract is being finalised.

“It is estimated that the Aynak deposit has more than 11 million tonnes (of copper),” he said, citing 1960s surveys by the Soviet Union and a new study by the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

“With today’s prices, it contains an 88-billion-dollar deposit,” he said.

The mine is expected to bring the government 400 million dollars annually in fees and taxes, Adel said.

That is on top of an 800-million-dollar downpayment from the developer who has also committed to build a railway line, a power plant and a village for workers, complete with schools, clinics and roads.

About 5,000 jobs will be created and mining is expected to start in five years. “Up to 40 percent of the income will pour into our pockets,” Adel said.

The colossal Aynak project represents, however, only a fraction of Afghanistan’s unexploited resources, he said. The scale of the deposits is still being charted.

The USGS is carrying out a nationwide survey of mineral wealth and oil and gas deposits that is expected to be completed in a year, Adel said.

Studies of only 10 percent of the country have discovered abundant deposits of copper, iron, zinc, lead, gold, silver, gems, salt, marble and coal, the ministry says.

The USGS estimates there are about 700 billion cubic metres of gas and 300 million tonnes of oil across several northern provinces.

A Soviet survey estimated there are more than two billion tonnes of iron reserves, the ministry says.

One of the best known iron deposits is at Haji Gak, 90 kilometres west of Kabul.

“If everything goes as we desire, Haji Gak requires two to three billion dollars’ investment,” said the minister.

“Another 100 million to 1.5 billion dollars is needed to explore the gas and oil mines.”

The government plans to offer more projects for private sector tender next year, Adel said.

There is already some mining underway such as ad hoc emerald extraction in the Panjshir valley region northeast of Kabul, where dynamite is used to blow gems out of the ground.

And the ministry has handed two coal mines to private Afghan companies, although they lack standard equipment.

The site for the mine at Aynak, 60 km southeast of Kabul contains the world’s second-biggest unexploited copper deposit with the potential to generate revenue of $1.4 billion a year. Of greatest danger is the threat of toxic waste which has led to environmental damage around copper mines in several countries.
Reuters, Dec.12, 2007

The Aynak contract will be a model for others, with developers expected to put in basic infrastructure as Afghanistan’s power grid is weak and its transport network limited.

There is also the challenge of the insurgency, which overshadows development and has made many areas off-limits to foreign companies.

Writer and analyst Waheed Mujda warned there could be no mining in Taliban-held areas, which are mostly in the south, without the permission of the Islamic extremists.

“Any kind of agreement with Taliban will have to involve money and that money obviously would finance the insurgency in part,” Mujda told AFP.

But Adel is not concerned. “We can provide security for mining sites simply by hiring a private security company,” he said.

Most of the deposits that have been discovered are in the relatively stable north. There are, however, uranium reserves in the southern province of Helmand, one of the worst for Taliban attacks, the minister said.

The minister’s sights are firmly set on mining bringing his impoverished country a brighter future.

“In five years’ time Afghanistan will not need the world’s aid money,” he said. “In 10 years Afghanistan will be the richest country in the region.”


With Thanks to
Kindest Regards
Hassan Saleemi
External Relations & Media Manager
City Muslims
Mobile: 07956 574066
Landline (evenings): 0208 1234264

Kindest Regards
Hassan Saleemi
Landline (before 2pm UK time): +44/0 208 1234264
SMS Text: +44/0 7956 574066
External Relations & Media Manager
City Muslims

Hence Proved Emergency in Pakistan was not futile

19 12 2007

A bomb blast rocks a city in the NWFP killing a couple of soldiers and civilians; another incident is marred in the most backward province of Pakistan, Sindh, where a train is derailed and scores are killed; although the ‘free’ but irresponsible media claims the lives lost are only 40 and no more. Although, if logically analysed, maximum of 44 people can occupy the seats only in each compartment and 14-16 got derailed. Now that what would spiral the statistics. Moreover, the occasion of Eid which sees overcrowding of passengers in this mode of travel hence, much would be accentuated at the ground level. What we see is what they want to show.

Hence proved, emergency was a cushion against the unseen and the anticipated. The unseen but terrorising elements, necessarily sponsored through foreign lobbies, kept squirming to reel out their acts in the open to paint a destabilised picture of Pakistan. But those 42 days of so-called captivity proved to be quite serene. But not even a single day, did media rest with its foul shenanigans. It sounded as if media was handed over to the Gitmo administration for 50 years. But 42 days of isolation were divine, like those of Abraham who was put to test in the fire which lit for 40 days.

Hence proved, emergency was healthy but not for GEO which kept the propaganda going for all these days. GEO kept Jinnah alive and it sounded through those excerpts that he said nothing for civilians but for Journalists for the years he lived and endeavoured and that Pakistan is not for anyone save journalists. And what a sham. Financially (read burger and cheap chips) sponsoring children were brought in from local small schools to stage a protest where the protesters could be counted on fingers. The famous Davis road, at the main gates of The Jang office were these protesters gathering just in minions, which didn’t cause a ripple and mosquitoes don’t cause revolutions but are a nuisance. Same was the naive attitude of GEO as if wailing like a child to have its services restored. Almost a month and some more, gagging of the media didn’t cause life in Pakistan to be arrested. Ground realities and life on the road and behind the scenes was normal. Life went on as usual.

Now some more on this ‘bloody’ eid; the same game is being upped again for the elections, making it monotonous a routine. Last time, the turnout was 23%, the same can be expected this time also. Simple civilians have one vote, the crooks, the paid gangsters of the cities have 100,000 votes per crook employed by the party he is working with. So the level field game is much again the same. Renewed promises but never delivered. Alas the Pakistani civilians are too weak and frail to rise even their heads to think as to how their wishes are manipulated.

If the lawyers wanted some change, a mass level intellectual movement should have been mobilised to cause a ruckus in the political baloon. Benazir trips over on the issue of restoration of the judiciary (read – anti P.C.O panel) as she brings in the Washington devised mandate. Nawaz comes in with the same or polished mandate. Old car but new polish and people are taken for the ride and pillion ride is not allowed but Nawaz and Benazir are on the same bandwagon.

Paradoxical are their motives. People who were given chances not once but twice, didn’t prove then, how can they be expected to be pariah this time. Did Bibi happen to visit the angels of the seventh skies to have soul washed? Nopes she was on the cloud #9 which rains on the roofs of the White House. While Nawaz is the poodle to Benazir as was Blair of Bush’s.

Pakistan civilians are in for yet another ride. The same cycle renews every 7-8 years. Hence proved, memory if not touched with corruption and news for 7-8 years tends to lose on information prior to 7-8 years. One advice for the Pakistan civilians, with the entry of either Bibi or Nawaz, prices are not plummeting. Petrol is not to be for PKR 2 and Tomatoes for PKR 3.

Hence proved, the Black emergency was benign from what is to come.


Just a note on Gulgee. His death, very tragic but what ‘terrorism’ could he have caused at the very frail age of 83? And that he was brutally murdered. Possible link to this could be India which wants Pakistan to be at a compromising position and herself have the greater share of the cake everytime and everywhere. Gulgee with the international repute had a stupendous impact or footprint in the arts industry. India too boasts talent but cannot bear to see Pakistan leveling it any time. Thus every industry sees rot recently, irrespective of its nature. Even wheat is being imported and local market being discouraged to promote bilateral relations which India less cares about.

Moreso, his death also comes at a point when the train derailment incident was in the news. It was feared that the casualty reported might go spiraling and GEO might be on a vengeance mode against the Government and might want to level some scores of the Emergency Plus. Thus to cover up and neutralise the  effect of the train accident, Gulgee had to come under the Guillotine. Poor Soul. This could be another possibility.

Emergency & 9th November and Beyond

9 11 2007

6 days since the promulgation of the emergency. Media, most of it is under the locks, but no public turmoil seems to be outpouring against it save GEO news, which was and still is quite vocal for the emergency that seems only existing on GEO. The public response, particularly, the business community welcomed the move. Ironic. The business community cannot be bought overnight, but how come the community sides with the General?

Seeing this trend, the trend of serenity of an issue which was taken up quite seriously, where some of the EU countries and only 1 from the Far East, ‘Japan’, have upped the pressure through their usual threatening tones of banning Pakistan their aid and ending her tumultuous and tiring marriage with Common Wealth.

Now, with the expected protest call given by the Bibi jee, which was efficiently foiled yet again, which reflects management from Punjab’s side which is going strong and also non callous response of the public, situation at the ground level seems normal and life is going as it is. No restlessness, as planned and tried-to-be-instigated was visible. The conspirators and think tanks which see in Benazir the opening up of the nuclear assets and handing over the Doctor over the US, she already has proved the very political behaviour to devour Pakistan by providing the lists of the Sikh freedom fighters back in the early 90’s to buy the Prime Minister’s post, the treacherous way to which goes through many deals and White House, want her to be on the forefront and vocal about her position. The sheep of Pakistan a.k.a the Public, are short sighted and have loss of memory; even so, many might not be able to recall the former name of Faisalabad. With such mindset, democracy is another game to bank on the monetary reserves which saw the graph rising though gradually.

Now with elements gaining strength in Swat valley, situation there is still not being taken to note by the military. If it does, the fate would same as Bugti and Lal Masjid. Period.

With the current situation, in the NWFP, race is on for the future stakeholder of Pakistan between 2 contenders, Bibi and Military; latter being in the power, Bibi stresses interim government to oversee transparent elections which wouldn’t be possible under the current regime which would influence the elections in February to be swayed in their favour to keep the Bibi out. Possible, perhaps.

Emergency could be a herald, to gain time for more homework as pressure mounts with each passing day. The present Government, till now managed, with the plethora of projects being completed in more of a rush than calculated to woo more of voters who seldom have voted for any of these advocates of democracy carrying tainted history and democracy.

What is to Come?

Now with the facts available; no public outpour on emergency, Government now showing lax to allow some media channels which are screaming at the top pitch in futile reflecting their biased opinion and propaganda rich purposes to derail the Government. The conspirators would resort to some tactic to see the Government on its toes and doldrums. What could that move be? More of attacks? Possible. More of unrest in NWFP? Perhaps. Free hand to the militants in Swat who aren’t Taliban as realities confirm them to be Uzbeks; Ahmed Shah Masood too had an Uzbek background and also had Indian support and enjoyed public relations with the latter. The militancy would then be geared up at the border; foreign pressure would mount on the military. But they too wouldn’t be sitting without a plan. Maps would have been drawn by now, strategies chalked out, locals would have been invited for more rigorous support in return of peace and tranquility and control.

Much is to be seen, coming weeks are crucial for Pakistan.

The upcoming long march (between 15 and 18th of November) in protest of emergency would again be taken with an iron fist as precedented and wouldn’t show any promise but would keep investors on the wary, still. But politicians cooing while pigeonholed, would at least have something to exhibit that they too form the part of the game and that they shouldn’t be stashed out from deck of options the foreign lobbies have before them. But politicians too would be shown the exit this 15th which justifies the long march to justify their political ‘existence’ or be left out, simple.

Let’s wait and watch, how the stars form and the term in the Wild Wild West too coming to its ebb of end, things would change a bit quickly. Possible perhaps.

Emergency – Another Covert Musharraf and Iftikhar Partnership in the Making

3 11 2007

With the headlines already made since this evening. Pakistan has yet another time been put into a coma, although a short one this time. So much already said and more done than said. Let’s read between the lines as to what has caused this ruckus which caught most of us with surprise.

9th March is appropriate to start with. Or a little earlier than this; before this day, Rule of Law was not respected. Musharraf played a card, Chaudhary Iftikhar was mishandled and dismissed on puny charges, if such charges are taken in seriously, then many of the coterie of the present and earlier governments would have to seek self-exile and that too British sponsored. After the 9th, the public of Pakistan was given a new life. Although the form in 1947 but the spirit waited. The West stresses on the restoration of Democracy; but what has Democracy evolved for the people of Pakistan? Nothing but princely mansions never to be seen and questioned by the Pakistani citizen. Now after the respect was exposed; the respect of the Supreme Court and rule of Law, if noticed no democratic was that vocal for it. Why? They knew that if legislation, courts, Chief Justice are introduced as upholding rule of law, the heydays of usurping the public tax – money would be history. This was unacceptable. For this very conspiring notion of corruption, Jinnah was put to rest earlier. If the constitution and rule of Law awakes, black and white business sees the door. Musharraf tried this with the black garb of the political ascetic. But alas, the People of Pakistan can digest those who rob them of their pennies and build their mansions and factories.

So now, with the emergency in place, another pawn, another development. The Government’s anti-petition was under hearing and the Government knew it that it had lost ground. Now upcoming is the 18th of November when the President had to take oath as the President for the next 5 years and colluding was the Swat encounter which has geared up unanticipatingly; kudos to the Indian consulate in Jalalabad, which is overseeing terrorist activities in and around the NWFP and Baluchistan. Pakistan has to take note of this.

Under a very planned scheme, the Pakistan Military has been framed into this. Once it is made to believe by the people that Pakistan Military is against the very own people, the ground to act gets more stressed and limited and options do get lesser. Not to mention the Indian hand is very much active here. Nobody ever heard of Maulana Fazlullah, who camps alongside the border where he might be getting assistance from the Indian Consultate. Everone’s speaking of the Taliban here and there, but what about unseen forces which are out to bring ill-repute to the Pakistan Military. Then the unabated and uninformed American bombing is yet another cause of disrespect gaining against the Pakistan Military.

A well conceived notion is being imbibed into the common people against the Pakistan Military. Seeing this and the recent development going in behind and inside the books of law, a.k.a Chaudhary Iftikhar considering the legitimacy of Musharraf holding double oaths. Musharraf had to confront the two way road. Either the legal and legislative route or the one which allows more intensive decisive actions on such elements.

Not to mention, the Lal Masjid issue was leniently dealt with in its infancy. But where did from the weapons land in the Madrassah? Indian hand? Foreign financing? Probably, possibly. Indian elements with the connivance of Afghan compatriots and US dollars, much magic is going unnoticed.

Now with the emergency in place, Musharraf has options to sweep out such elements. But the initiators of rogue upsurge are themselves the holders of constitutional democracy. Musharraf would have to consider the ‘loss’ of such elements to consider the welfare of the State.

Nonetheless, what can be pre-maturely assessed, is that the President and the Chief of Army Staff had an intensive discourse with other of his comrades. The decision to eliminate the elements working in and out of Pakistan to destabilise it would have been reached and this ‘Emergency’ is the first card played.

Nonetheless, this emergency was mandatory. As the public now again, blindly stood up for the lady, who previously doesn’t have a nice track record. Proven but the public is just a herd of sheep which offers its leather for purses which hold the money but never bringing back the sheep, ever, life. Moreover had the Supreme Court upheld the verdict of illegitimacy of double oaths, the unruly elements springing up would have had some space to get dynamic. Democracy has proved beyond doubt in history that it holds position to be bloated and failed. Nothing positive can be expected as long as its Muslim nations.

The last card would be the reinstatement of Chaudhary Iftikhar as the Chief Justice. This is what I read in between. Probably, possible.

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