Tag Archives: Pakistan Muslim League (N)

IS PAKISTAN HEADING TOWARDS ANOTHER ECONOMIC DISASTER?

BY AKHTAR MALIK: 6 DEC 2013.
7900_383727198395858_1703794330_nWhen the govt of Gen Pervez Musharaf came to an end in 2008 the foreign exchange reserves in the country were $ 16.4 billion. The Zardari-led PPP government played its destructive part and within 5 years the foreign currency reserves were reduced by about $ 5 billion. In May 2013 The reserves stood at $ 11.457 billion.

The PML-N govt came to power with a claim of thumping majority votes in May 2013. Many people considered NS as an experienced PM who knew the rules of rules of business and economics very well. They thought that he will make Pakistan economically as strong as his own business empire has become within a few years. But what this poor nation has witnessed is a horrible display of incompetency. The foreign currency reserves have dipped to around $ 8.4 billion in just 6 months! This means that the feat which was performed by PPP govt in 5 years have been accomplished by NS govt within just 6 months. The amount in hand is just sufficient to make only one payment of our import bill. It is horrifying to note that the foreign currency reserves are depleting at an astonishing rate of $ 550 million per week. With this rate the national exchequer is be totally empty before April 2014.

The performance of NS govt in this field is not unusual. In 1999 when the NS govt was toppled over by Gen Pervez Musharaf there were only $ 300 million left in the country as the foreign reserves. Many supporters of Noon league would say that since the dictator (Mush) was acting on the commands of America so he was getting lot of dollars. But how different the present govt is doing? Same policies of Mush and Zardari still continue, we are still fighting America’s war on terror and still suffering from drone attacks. So there is no reason why the dollars should not be coming to NS now.

I fear that under the govt of NS we are fast heading towards an economic disaster. Begging bowl has become our ‘national symbol’ and myth of ‘standing on own feet’ is far from sight. The NS doesn’t seem to be in any mood to recover the looted money from the corrupt people or to bring the illegal money hoarded by them in foreign banks. In this state of affairs any dream of making Pakistan as a respectful member of international comity of nations will remain elusive.

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COLLECTIVE WISDOM OR STOLEN MANDATE DURING PAKISTAN ELECTIONS 2013

By Akhtar Malik 27 Oct 2013
downloadI am always a proponent of democracy and want that the will and sentiments of the people should be reflected in the parliament / government through their elected representatives. I wish that true representatives of the people should perform so well that the nation should never remember or recall the ‘dark periods’ of martial laws. I also believe that the collective wisdom of the masses is mostly right. But the question arises: Is this the real collective wisdom that has manifested in the shape of recent election results? This question will remain hanging like a sword on the heads of the rulers and will keep them haunting till they prove through transparent investigations that the mandate was genuine and was obtained in fair manner.

The ‘landslide victory’ of PML-N in Punjab has astonished the analysts. Though the surveys had estimated an edge of PML-N over PTI in Punjab but it was just an edge. The success of PML-N should have conformed to the estimated popularity of NS at the best. The people of Punjab had seen NS as their PM twice and PML-N ruling the province 5 times. Should we conclude that people of Punjab were so myopic in their vision that they committed such a blunder in elections which could lead to their collective suicide? Or their collective wisdom is so defective that they remained oblivious to the future of their children even? No. I will never say that, because I know the people of Punjab very well. I know how they had rejected the false charisma of Bhuttoism just after his first stunt in power from 1972-77, and then PPP was never able to form government there. So there have to be more plausible reasons for this fiasco.

In Sindh, PPP has got more votes now than they got in 2008 elections. Please note that in 2008 there was a factor of sympathy with BB. The treatment that has been meted to the people of Sindh by PPP government in their 5-year tenure would not have earned them even 50 % of the votes that they have got. The plight of flood effected people, the exploitation by feudal lords and lawlessness / dakoo raj in interior Sindh have made the lives miserable. Similarly MQM was allowed to hold sway in Karachi and other urban areas by not allowing the Army to stay inside the polling stations. The false mandate of MQM is being exposed through checking of thumb impressions and will further break their myth.

It was only in KPK that the election results have, by and large, corresponded with the survey reports of party popularity. It seems that the managers of election had decided to stay away from any interference there and let the things move the way they were. Had the elections been manipulated in KPK we would have seen ANP/PPP winning again. I don’t say that there has been no rigging in KPK at all. It may have happened but I have base by assessment on the election results vis a vis the pre-election survey reports, which negates the chances of massive rigging in that province.

In Baluchistan the election results have been by and large genuine, mostly conforming to the tribal and Sardari culture, barring a few incidents of rigging. One of the MNAs has been elected by just bagging 500 plus from Awaran area. One can debate whether the person can be termed as a true representative of the people of that area or not.

The plan of the managers of elections seemed to be to maintain status quo in the political paradigm of Pakistan by using Punjab as power base, allow PPP / MQM to hold sway in Sindh, let the events move in KPK in normal manner to allow PTI to make a fragile government there, and let the political parties in Baluchistan get a fragmented mandate in order to cobble a suitable government there.

The rulers who come to power through genuine mandate always keep the welfare and interests of the people on top priority. They are more concerned about the safety of the people, their economic uplift and development, rather than securing their own political futures and family business empires. The genuine rulers would never let their nation down in the eyes of the hostile neighbors or international community. This is because they know that if they deviate from the public interests, they will be voted out next time. But those who come to power through stolen or fake mandate, remain oblivious to the public interests. One can always observe them to be indifferent, withdrawn, intimidated, in low morale and guilty-conscious from their body language.

Though many of my friends may not consider it fair to pass a judgement about the present mandate being stolen or fake, till it is proved through impartial and transparent investigations (which the present system will never allow), but for me ‘The actions speak louder than the words’. Whatever we see on ground, whether happening to the poor people of Pakistan or during our interaction with international communities, makes me believe that the present mandate is essentially fake and cannot be termed as COLLECTIVE WISDOM of the unfortunate people of this land.

Akhtar Malik is a freelance writer and can be reached at akhterhayatmalik@yahoo.com

What Position Should Imran Khan Take on War On Terror Now

By Akhtar Malik
27 June 2013
US-Drone-attacks-on-PakistanThe factor of ‘coming out of war of America’ is vital and very basic condition, but it is not the only factor contributing to terrorism in our country. There are factors like religious extremism, foreign funding to our banned outfits, harboring of out terrorists by international players, politicization of police/investigative institutions and a very poor/outdated/time consuming judicial system which are seriously hampering our efforts to eliminate terrorism. PTI will have to address all these factors in order to achieve success in this field.
Should we abandon the ‘rhetoric’ of coming out of war of America? Partially yes and partially no. It may be noted that Obama had declared last year on the eve of his election as President that ‘the decade of war on terror has come to an end’. Pakistan should have been shrewd enough to declare an end to this war also, but we didn’t. Now the situation is; America is preparing to pull out from Afghanistan and is all set to negotiate with Taliban, who were so far being considered as arch enemies. Pakistan has not yet been able to decide whether to have dialogue or not and if yes, then with whom? Is TTP ready for dialogue? Is TTP the only outfit to have dialogue with, and what about other organizations like Lashkar e Jhangvi, who are equally responsible to play havoc with our lives? How and where the dialogue will take place? What will be agenda? And most important factor- what will be course of action left for Pakistan in case the dialogue fails? The question of stopping the NATO supply is also meaningless at this stage.
Another aspect which most of the analysts tend to overlook is the possibility of continuation of drone attacks even beyond 2014! The US will be leaving a skeleton force in Afghanistan on the plea of training etc and the same is true for the presence / operation of CIA agent like Black-water, in Pakistan. So if the Pakistan govt doesn’t formally announce a farewell to ‘American war’ within next one year, I am afraid that drone attacks will continue as usual even after the exit of US / NATO forces.
The composition of future govt in Afghanistan is very important for us because all our efforts to control terrorism will hinge on that govt. The new, future Afghan govt must cooperate with us in terms of cutting off all kind of support to terrorist groups, failing which we will not see any peace and prosperity in Pakistan. We should also reciprocate in similar manner by disarming all sorts of militant groups, whatsoever their missions and names may be, as violence always begets violence and we have already paid heavily for this mistake. The only institutions to carry arms should be the armed forces and law enforcing agencies.
Imran Khan may be advised / briefed on above lines who should demand, as an opposition leader, similar actions from PML-N govt.