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PAKISTAN'S VISION 2025
#31
EHSAS : PM KHAN LAUNCHES AMBITIOUS SOCIAL SAFETY , POVERTY ALLEVATION PROGRAMME
https://www.dawn.com/news/1472228/ehsas-...-programme

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday launched an ambitious social safety and poverty alleviation programme for the welfare of the public.  Speaking at a ceremony in Islamabad to kick off the programme, named 'Ehsas' (compassion), the premier said the first change that would be brought under the poverty alleviation plan would be amending Article 38(D) of the Constitution which included a clause regarding providing people with food, shelter, clothing, education and taking care of their health.

But the provision in its current form is only a policy recommendation, Khan noted, saying that the government would need to bring an amendment in the Constitution and make it a "fundamental right" so the state can guarantee these five things to the people of Pakistan.

Examine: Madina state and ‘naya’ Pakistan

"This is the first step, it is a difficult task," the premier said, adding that the government was putting the pressure on itself so that anyone will be able to go to the courts and say that this is their fundamental right. Khan said under the programme, the money spent on underprivileged segments of society would be increased by Rs80 billion, and further by Rs120bn by 2020.


"No government has so far spent so much money on poverty alleviation," the premier claimed.

'One-window operation'
He announced that a new ministry for social protection and poverty alleviation was being set up which would work on the coordination of the programme's implementation throughout Pakistan.   The move is aimed at bringing all organisations that are working on helping the poor under one umbrella, Khan said, noting that until now different groups were functioning separately without any coordination between their efforts.


The prime minister announced that in the first phase, a database would be set up by December under which the government will know about people's income levels as well as how many indigent citizens were residing in each area.

"Once this data comes, we will coordinate all the organisations from one place," he said.

Khan added that everything will be made computerised using information technology and they would know which organisation is helping poor people in which area.

"We will run the poverty alleviation campaign in the country from one place," he said, adding that people from one area would be served under a "one-window operation".

Prime Minister Khan revealed that the government was conducting a new survey — which would be completed by December — on the basis of which people would be given financial aid. Until then, money will be distributed on the basis of a previous survey.

'Tahafuz' programme
Khan also announced that nearly 5.7 million women will be given savings accounts and mobile phones through which they will be able to access their bank accounts.

"This will be the most transparent way to give them their money," he said, adding that the cash transfers to the women will be increased from Rs5,000 to Rs5,500.   Additionally, 500 digital hubs were being created in tehsils where the prime minister said poor people could go to access their bank accounts as well as to look for jobs.

"We will not just give them money, we will give them opportunities so that they can improve their lives," Khan emphasised.

The premier then announced the 'Tahafuz' (protection) programme which would help people in difficult times by providing them with legal aid.   Once legislation regarding the programme is completed, Khan said, call centres will be set up to provide legal assistance to people as well as grants to children who want to study.

In addition, anyone who does not already have the Insaf health card will be able to call the Tahafuz programme office and the money will be organised for them.  Widows without any source of income will also be in the database and assisted by the programme, the premier said.  While on the subject of social safety, Prime Minister Khan disclosed that the government was not spending any money on the shelter homes it had set up in Lahore, Islamabad, Rawalpindi and Peshawar, as people were coming forward themselves and donating money.

"It is the first time that such a programme is coming to Pakistan. You will remember the day we launched this programme the day [Pakistan] becomes a great country," he said with confidence.

The premier said that street children would be assisted through public-private partnerships as will be transgender persons who often suffer maltreatment in the society.  Additionally, a "movement" for children forced to work under bonded labour would be started and daily wage workers would also be facilitated through the Tahafuz programme. He announced that Bait-ul-Maal would be funded to build homes for 10,000 orphan children in the next four years.  Terming stunted growth a "big issue" for Pakistan, the prime minister said a set of nine policies has been created to address nutrition problems. He also highlighted the need for the provision of deworming, iron, folic acid, as well as anemia supplements at basic health units.

He announced that for the first time a "multi-sectoral nutrition coordination body" will be constituted at the Prime Minister's Office.  In connection with this, he said the government had decided to start an experiment, starting with Islamabad and Lahore, to regulate the quality of milk and to ensure the availability of the right milk for everyone.

Khan said women in villages needed to be provided with goats so that they and their children can have access to milk, as well as with desi chickens. "Many people in cities don't have an idea [but] this is a tried and tested model in the whole world," the prime minister said, stressing that in order to provide poor people nutrition and increase their earnings they should be provided with goats and chickens.

Additionally, he said women in villages will be provided seeds to grow vegetables to eat and to sell. He said edible oil companies will be asked to give them seed packages as well.
"These are the small things that make a big difference," he told an exuberant audience.
"The things I am telling you are cheap things. A country that doesn't have money uses their brain," the premier added.

He also promised that persons with disabilities would be given facilities such as special sticks, wheelchairs, crutches and whatever equipment they may require. He announced that 20 centres would be opened for persons with disabilities in the underdeveloped districts.

PM ROLLS OUT RS 80 BILLION POVERTY PLAN
https://tribune.com.pk/story/1938439/1-g...-povertypm

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday rolled out a Rs80 billion poverty alleviation programme “Ehsas” – aimed at uplifting the downtrodden and vulnerable segments of society.  The government will allocate an additional amount of Rs80 billion in the country’s social protection spending in backward areas from the current year, raising it to Rs120 billion in 2021.  “The government has launched a war against poverty,” the prime minister said while addressing the inauguration ceremony of the programme.

He said an amendment would soon be made to the Constitution, moving Article 38(d) from the “Principles of Policy” section into the “Fundamental Rights” section.

This will make it a fundamental right for all citizens to be given food, shelter, education and health facilities by the state.  The prime minister also announced the establishment of a new ministry to alleviate poverty.  Various institutions likes the Benazir Income Support Programme, the Pakistan Baitul Mal and the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund will work under the new ministry, developing a one-window operation for the social protection of the poor and to facilitate citizens.

“Making the provision of food, clothing, housing, education and medical relief to citizens a state responsibility is a first step towards the creation of a welfare state,” the prime minister said.  Under the “Kifalat” programme, the government is designing a conditional cash transfer for healthcare and education of six million women and families so that they can have access to nutrition assistance.  The prime minister said he was establishing a multi-sectoral nutrition coordinating body within his office. It will also include the private sector to ensure food fortification and supplementation, he added.


“Sanitation and clean water are essential to stop stunted growth in children. It is worrying to see how contaminated milk is being sold in different parts of the country,” he noted. Under the new programme, 5.7 million women will be given savings accounts under the “one woman one bank account plan”.  The prime minister said 500 Benazir Income Support Programme and Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal offices would be transformed into digital hubs where the government’s IT, technology and innovation resources would be pooled.


The government’s digital resources, such as access to the labour information system, online curricula, and one window social protection interface would be accessible and create opportunities for BISP families to lift out of poverty.
Under Kifalat, the government will increase the current Benazir Income Support Programme cash transfer of Rs5,000 to Rs5,500.

The government is launching a precision safety net, called “Tahafaz” to protect individuals from catastrophic risks – a transparent and trackable digital system of cash transfers through which the government will give legal aid, education grants and health assistance to those without Insaf card entitlements.

Khan said the government had already committed to launching the Insaf Insurance Card in 38 districts for 3.3 million people over a four-year period and had committed Rs33 billion for this purpose.  In addition, through “Tahafaz”, the government will cater to additional needs of those requiring financial access to treatment. The government will make sure every poor and deserving person approaching public hospitals has access to treatment and surgery.

The government will also set up shelter homes in several major cities of the country. The government’s housing scheme will focus on facilitating provision of homes to the poor, including landless farmers, through interest-free loans. The government has allocated Rs4.5 billion for this purpose.

The Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal will establish five Ehsas homes this year, and the number would be raised by the passage of time. “In the next four years, the Bait-ul-Maal will provide shelter for 10,000 orphaned children,” Khan said. Referring to the government’s five million housing programme, Khan said the government would ensure that women were given joint ownership of houses. The government is launching a programme under which wheelchairs, tripod and quadripod sticks and crutches will be provided to disabled people.

In addition, the government will partner with the civil society and expert organisations to develop 20 centres for the disabled people in underprivileged districts. The government is adopting a new policy of placing placards outside of each basic health unit and hospital mentioning the amount allocated and the staff meant to be present there to increase transparency.  The prime minister said he had instructed all protectors of emigration office to create a single window for all types of requirements and make workers aware about their entitlements.

“The government has decided that migrant unskilled workers, earning less than a given income and who have not visited home for more than seven years, will be provided subsidy on air tickets,” Khan announced. He also announced an increase in the monthly labour pension through Employees Old Age Benefit Institution from Rs5,250 to Rs6,500. Biometric payments will be used for all labour pensioners from next year to counter pilferage.  The prime minister said being aware of the special problem of the inability to reach children where there were dispersed populations, the government would make e-learning content freely available online and use chat bots in local languages for displaced populations.

The government will allocate Rs3 billion per year for scholarships in the higher education particularly in backward areas.  The prime minister also announced a policy of corporate farming to help farmers with fragmented and small land holdings. This will provide market stimulus for livestock and fisheries in arid zones to create livelihood opportunities for small farmers.

The government will work on facilitating the expansion of microfinance services to reach remote areas. It will would include skill-training in school curricula from 8th class. The age of enrollment in technical training is also being decreased from 18 to 15 so that after matriculation and skill-training can be started immediately.  To facilitate remittances, the government is introducing a slab for remitters of up to $100 with half of the existing fee.
Reply
#32
PM KHAN TELLS PPP, PML-N LEADERS TO RETURN NATION'S MONEY IF THEY WANT REPRIEVE
https://www.dawn.com/news/1472844/pm-kha...t-reprieve


Prime Minister Imran Khan on Saturday, while addressing a rally in Khan Garh, Ghotki, said the government will not let PML-N and PPP leaders off the (accountability) hook "until they give the country's money back".


"This country will not forgive you. You have only one route: give the country's money back and we will leave you be," the premier said.

Prime Minister Khan noted that earlier, "the Sharif brothers [former prime minister Nawaz Sharif and Leader of Opposition in the National Assembly Shahbaz Sharif] used to say that the former president [Asif Ali Zardari] was corrupt; later, Zardari and his son [Bilawal Bhutto Zardari] used to say that the [Sharif] brothers were corrupt.

"Today, both are trying to come together to 'save democracy'," he remarked, questioning the sincerity of the two parties' political moves.

He said he wanted to "challenge" the two opposition parties to do whatever they wanted to do, but the government would not back down from holding them accountable. The prime minister said his opponents "can go ahead with train marches", a reference to the PPP's "Caravan-i-Bhutto", and "can also come to D-Chowk in Islamabad to stage a sit-in ('dharna'). "The government's containers are ready," he offered.

"We will provide you food in the containers," the premier said, adding he will see how long they can hold their ground.

"We [the PTI] held a dharna for four and a half months — not for our theft, [but] for the country's democracy and for free and fair elections."

'Sindh's royalties stolen'
Prime Minister Khan had begun his address citing the example of Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, who he credited with lifting Malaysia out of poverty.

"Remember, countries are not poor: [it is] corruption [which] leaves a country poor and indebted," the premier said.

Khan said that Sindh should be the most prosperous province of Pakistan as it is home to Karachi, the financial capital of the country; the most gas is extracted from the province; and because it has fertile land, where cash crops such as sugarcane and rice grow in abundance.

However, the premier said, poverty persists in interior Sindh due to endemic corruption.
He noted that in the past ten years, 70 per cent of Sindh's gas came from Ghotki, but regretted that the district which should have been furthest ahead had been left behind.

"In the past ten years, Rs234bn were distributed to Sindh as gas royalties," the premier said, adding that everything had gone to the provinces in the National Finance Commission (NFC) award even while the federal government itself was going bankrupt.

"The money for your development should have come from the province, as the centre had given them the funds," he said. "Everyone should ask how much of the share of royalties was given to Ghotki."

"This is corruption," he said, describing it as a few people controlling public resources while the rest of the country descended into poverty.

The premier said the money that should have been spent on the people of the country was pocketed by these elements and stashed in fake back accounts, and then moved abroad through money laundering.

He asked how the country's indebtedness rose from Rs6 trillion to Rs30 trillion in the past ten years alone.

"Where did the money go?" he asked, adding that when the people responsible for the country's precarious financial position were being held to account, "they say democracy had come under threat".

Khan said that the money of royalties from gas should first go to those areas where it was found. He cited the example of Texas in the United States where oil was found and as a result even now the richest people were in Texas.

"First it [Texas] became prosperous and then the rest of America," he said.
Alternatively, he said in Pakistan, the people in areas where gas was found were poor.



The premier concluded his address by sharing that in 'Naya Pakistan', those areas where certain resources were found, would also be the first to reap the benefits.
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#33
ASTAGHFIRULLAH WHAT TYPE OF TABDEELI IS THIS. MAY ALLAH HAVE COMPASSION AND MERCY FOR THE POOR PEOPLE IN PAKISTAN.  PAKISTANI LEADERS SEEKING A NAYA PAKISTAN GOING TO THE SATANIC USURIOUS IMF SHOULD BE VIEWED LIKE TAKING POISON BY A SICK PATIENT. JUST WHO ARE THESE MORONIC LEADERS AND IS ANYONE FORCE FEEDING THE PATIENT IF I MAY ASK?  THE FINANCIAL AND ECONOMIC ADVISERS OF THE PTI GOVERNMENT HAVE  NO VISION AND ARE NOT GIVING PAKISTAN A BREATHING SPACE BUT A POISONING AND SUFFOCATION. THERE SHOULD BE NO DEAL INDEED THE CASE FOR DEFAULTING ON ALL EXISTING IMF RIBA LOANS AND INTEREST PAYMENTS SHOULD BE MADE LOUD AND CLEAR. THE PTI GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE ARGUING THAT THE AGREEMENTS SIGNED BY PREVIOUS GOVERNMENTS  ARE NULL AND VOID. THEY SHOULD DEFAULT IMMEDIATELY AND TAWAKKALLAH. A  COUNTRY CREATED FOR MUSLIMS ON ENORMOUS SACRIFICE AND BREAKING AWAY FROM HINDU AND BRITISH HEGEMONY UNDER JINNAH  WAS
TO ESTABLISH LAWS BASED ON ISLAM CAN NOT AND MUST NOT TOLERATE THE WORST SECULAR MAN MADE RIBA LOANS FOR EXPLOITATION OF NATIONS. THE PTI GOVERNMENT DID NOT SIGN UP TO PREVIOUS CORRUPT GOVERNMENTS DEALS WITH THE IMF AND THEY SHOULD UNILATERALLY REVOKE ANY RESPONSIBILITY AND LIABILITY. IF TRUMP CAN RIP UP TREATIES SO CAN OTHER  NATIONS RIP UP TREATIES WITH THE UN IMF WORLD BANK BIS AND NATO. NO WONDER THERE IS TALK OF A BOLD MOVE BY IMRAN KHAN TO MOVE TOWARDS AN ISLAMIC PRESIDENTIAL POLITICAL SYSTEM BY PUSHING TOWARDS A REFERENDUM TO BREAK THE POLITICAL AND ECONOMIC DEADLOCK HE FINDS HIMSELF. THERE IS A NEED FOR A NEW VEHICLE FOR MOVING TOWARDS THE UNIVERSAL PARADIGM SHIFT TO MATERIALISE NOW.
 

IMRAN KHAN MAY BECOME THE PRESIDENT OF PAKISTAN IN FUTURE 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=elVvVR-oJao     


BAILOUT PACKAGE WITH IMF ALMOST WORKED OUT: ASAD
https://www.dawn.com/news/1475776/bailout-package-with-imf-almost-worked-out-asad

WASHINGTON: Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have — more or less — reached an understanding on a package for bailing out the country’s ailing economy, says Finance Minister Asad Umar.



“During the last two days, we have, more or less, reached an understanding. In the next day or two, we hope to reach a full agreement and then we will share the details with you,” the finance minister said at a Thursday night news briefing at the Pakistan Embassy in Washington.

“In the next step, the IMF will send its mission to Pakistan in the next few weeks to work out technical details. But in principle, we have reached an agreement,” he said.


• Finance minister says FATF judging Pakistan with a rigged jury • Fund officials air concerns over CPEC

The finance minister, who reached Washington on Tuesday evening, left for New York on Friday after two days of talks with the IMF and World Bank officials on the sidelines of the group’s spring meetings. The team of experts that came with him, however, remains in Washington to finalise the details of a multi-billion dollar, three-year bailout package.

Although Mr Umar did not explain the irritants that still need to be worked out, Dawn has learned the IMF is insisting on a market-oriented exchange rate while Pakistan wants to retain its current approach of a managed float.


During the talks, IMF officials shared their concerns on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and its possible impact on the IMF programme “but Pakistan assured them that there’s no overlapping between the two programmes,” an official source said.


“Some fine-tuning will be done in Islamabad and then the package will be signed,” the minister said.


Before the news briefing, the finance minister addressed the Pakistani-American community at the embassy, explaining why the country needs a bailout package.


“The more things change, the more they remain the same. This is what Pakistan is experiencing,” he said. “We’ve been going through a recurring cycle of a balance of payments crisis.”


Mr Umar said he could not recall the last time a government in Pakistan had not inherited a balance of payments crisis and sought IMF help. “The pattern has remained the same, in 1988, 1999, 2008, 2013 and 2018,” he said, acknowledging that “there is something, obviously, structurally wrong” with the economic policies followed by successive governments.


“While there may be specific decisions that contribute to this, or people who may be responsible, but there is clearly something structural at play which goes beyond personalities and decisions,” he said.


For some in the audience, it was a pleasant departure from the PTI’s usual practice of blaming everything on the PML-N government. In a lighter vein, the finance minister told the Pakistani-American community that their country was close to setting a world record, as it was about to enter its 13th IMF programme in 30 years. ‘That’s quite an achievement.”


Mr Umar refuted rumours that he was resigning or being fired. “I am not going anywhere,” he said. The finance minister said Pakistan was facing three main problems on the economic front — the fiscal deficit, current account deficit and savings and investment gap.


“The situation right now is that we are not taking loans to pay off past loans, but to pay off interest.”

Responding to a question about what actions the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) might take in Pakistan’s case, the minister said the next review would take place in the middle of May and the deadline for Pakistan to send a report for the review is April 15. He said Pakistan would send the report on time and then the review team would visit Pakistan in May but the actual deadline for the final decision is September.


He said Pakistan had made significant improvements since the last review, recognised by “virtually everybody we talked to. The question mark we have is: are we going to be judged by a rigged jury?”  He said he recently wrote a letter to the FATF president asking him to appoint any other member country besides India as co-chair of the Asia-Pacific Joint Group. “The finance minister of India is on record saying that they will use every means at their disposal to economically isolate Pakistan. What better way to isolate Pakistan economically than to get Pakistan on a FATF blacklist?”  The minister said with India co-chairing the proceedings, Pakistan did not expect a fair and unbiased decision from the FATF.
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#34
PRIME MINISTER IMRAN KHAN ATTENDS SPORT GALA IN TIRAH VALLEY 
2 May 2019 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AmqwIIqI3-4


PM IMRAN KHAN SPEECH AT GROUND BREAKING CEREMONY OF MOHMAND DAM  02 May 2019
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDtujuVqVrg


THE MOST POWERFUL PICTURE AND MOMENT OF 2019 SO FAR
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZAoMT91I_M



ALI JAFARI LEFT DURING THE VISIT OF IMRAN KHAN IN IRAN 
https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Haqeeqat+TV+One-day+Ago&&view=detail&mid=168982EEA8E951F617FC168982EEA8E951F617FC&&FORM=VRDGAR
ROUHANI REPLACES IRRG DEPUTY LEADER FOR COLLUDING WITH INDIA FOR DESTABLISATION ACTIVITIES


AN UPCOMING VISIT OF RUSSIAN PRESIDENT TO PAKISTAN IS A MOMENT TO REMEMBER 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVxu2GzqLMQ

FORECAST OF PAKISTANI WEATHER AND RAINY SEASON IS ON THE WAY 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eMMVWHH0IjI
CLAIMS THAT USA IS USING HAARP CLIMATE CHANGE WEOPONS  

Dr ABDUL HAFEEZ SHAIKH PTI OR IMF AGENT IN PAKISTAN 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAQ0ehkomCk

WHO IS REZA BAQIR HAS IMRAN KHAN GIVEN UP  
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8aSoFNuWGG8

THE INTERESTING MOMENT THE WAY ASAD UMAR RESIGNED
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m6N_k1pJbrQ]


PAKISTAN IS UNIQUELY PLACED TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF RELIGIOUS TOURISM WHAT IS STOPPING US

https://www.dawn.com/news/1479801/pakist...topping-us

PAKISTAN PROPOSES CAREC SINGLE VISA TO EXPLOIT TOURISM POTENTIAL

https://www.dawn.com/news/1479759/pakist...-potential


GOOD DAYS ARE WAITING FOR PAKISTAN INTERNATIONAL AIRLINE 
https://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Haqeeqat+TV+Today+News&&view=detail&mid=057533E18A4C0DE67EB5057533E18A4C0DE67EB5&&FORM
Reply
#35
NAYA PAKISTAN WITH THE SAME OLD POLITICAL ECONOMY 
https://tribune.com.pk/story/1969532/6-n...al-economy

Despite years of railing against international donors and the elite-led, exclusionary growth policies, the contours of the emerging political economy under the PTI government remains both elitist as well as increasingly susceptible to externally-dictated reform imperatives. The first signs of Naya Pakistan being unable to deliver on its promises of bringing about meaningful change had become evident early. The new government was full of electables, many of whom had not only served under the Musharraf regime or the earlier PPP and PML-N governments, but also had strong vested interests in preserving the socio-economic status quo.

As far as defying external economic agendas goes, one would have thought that the economic advisory council of the PTI government included enough retired IMF and World Bank personnel to exert behind-the-scenes influence for formulating economic policies palatable to donor agencies. But apparently that has not proven enough.


While the performance of the former PTI finance minister was hardly inspirational, his removal and the appointment of a former World Bank staffer have clearly signalled the government’s inability to chart an autonomous course of financial management. Any ambiguity concerning the government’s resolve to retain control over monetary policies has been brushed aside as well, by nomination of a serving IMF employee to take over as SBP governor. These moves are, however, not unprecedented. Pakistan has long been under the shadow of external reform agendas. For instance, the role of the Harvard Advisory Group in the 1960s, which managed to boost elite-led economic growth in our country but remained unable to help that growth trickle down to the masses.

Most major economic policy-making institutions in our country have included senior and/or retired IMF and World Bank personnel, at one time or the other, who have put in place a specific assortment of policies aiming to enable debt servicing while trying to boost growth. With increasing reliance on neo-liberal policies, and market-based mechanisms to encourage growth, these policies have often implied curbing public spending, and led to widening inequality.

The new SBP governor’s appointment is problematic, and has been dubbed by the opposition a move whereby Pakistan is now allowing the IMF to gain access to the desperately-needed foreign funds. Despite hectic efforts of the PTI government to secure bilateral support from friendly countries, we evidently still need IMF funds. Assuming that the recent reshuffling will enable Pakistan to secure another IMF bailout, let us consider the implications that this bailout will unleash. Here looking at a few other countries which got recent IMF bailouts is instructive. Consider Greece or Egypt. The IMF-prescribed fiscal measures initially made matters much worse as the Greek economy slid into the deepest and longest depression in any advanced country since the 1930s. In the last few years, the Greek economy has turned the corner. Last year the country recorded the strongest economic growth since 2007. However, ordinary Greeks are still struggling to claw out from under mountains of debt. The country’s unemployment rate is still among the highest in the EU. The situation in Egypt is similar. Its forex reserves have risen but things for the masses remain unchanged. Pakistan is already seeing soaring prices. One immediate impact of the IMF lending we will probably see is a further depreciation of the rupee, which will worsen the economic situation of average households. Whether Pakistan will be able to deliver the fruits of growth expected after the bitter pill of IMF reforms to the marginalised segments of society, and to our youth, which had placed high hopes in the present government, remains a tall order.
Reply
#36
DONT BLAME THE IMF
S. Akbar Zaidi
https://www.dawn.com/news/1483036/dont-blame-the-imf

THERE is little disagreement that Pakistan’s economy is in a disastrous state. Even the prime minister and Pakistan’s last finance minister have acknowledged this truth, publicly. In fact, the last elected politician to hold the job as finance minister was fired precisely because the economy was in such a mess. 

Not only is every key economic indicator in poor shape, all indications suggest that things are going to get much, much worse. Pakistan’s economy is going to slow down to levels not seen for more than a decade, with inflation and unemployment both reaching proportions not seen for a decade. And this is just the beginning.

With the government having just signed onto yet another IMF programme, it is important to emphasise the point, that it is not the IMF which is to blame for Pakistan’s economic condition — not for the past nor for where we are now, and also not for what is about to come. Rest assured, Pakistan’s economy is going to be severely constrained over the next few years, with higher inflation, more unemployment and lower growth, and with a far greater burden on working people than what has been the case for many years. Yet, the IMF is not to be held responsible for the state of Pakistan’s economy. 



Rest assured, Pakistan’s economy is going to be severely constrained over the next few years.

The entire responsibility for the wreck that is the Pakistani economy lies squarely on the shoulders of Pakistan’s ruling and propertied elite, both civilian and in uniform, since both have been and continue to hold power in and out of office. There should be no ambiguity about apportioning blame and responsibility here, and one needs to stop blaming the IMF for the mayhem created by this ruling elite.



It is not the IMF which has brought Pakistan’s economy to its knees, to rock bottom, not the IMF which has forced Pakistan to beg for money from supposedly friendly countries, and certainly not the IMF which has made the government of Pakistan finally run to the IMF for loans. The ruling elite, those who hold office and those who hold the strings of those who hold office, are all responsible for managing the economy the way they have over the last few years and over the last decades. This truth can be clearly explained by one simple economic policy measure and non-measure. From the Musharraf military dictatorship, to the elected governments of Benazir Bhutto, Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari, and now to the Imran Khan government, all have gone to the IMF seeking a ‘bailout’ and assistance to stop the country’s deteriorating economic condition. 

Yet all these governments, along with their allies and vested interests, have been the ones to have caused a situation where they have been forced to go to the IMF in the first place. They only need the IMF because they fail and refuse to undertake economic reforms since these would hurt their own interests. One key indicator regarding the state of the economy is that of fiscal deficit, that of having greater, unaffordable expenditure and lower revenue or having insufficient money to spend.

If a government is not going to tax its rich, it will always be short of money to spend, no matter how well intentioned and well meaning its social welfare programmes may be. If it has high and increasing defence costs and has to pay back interest on loans taken to pay for defence and other expenditures, it will always have a shortfall of money because it refuses to tax the rich. This is a circulatory argument: With no taxes on the rich and the elite, with the particularity of Pakistan’s political economy based on essential defence expenditures, and with a shortfall of revenue, there will only be more borrowing, more debt, and so on. The beginning and end of the problem and its solution is simply this: tax the Pakistani elite and the rich. What has the IMF got to do with this gross negligence and failure of Pakistan’s ruling elite? Because the government refuses to raise resources, it has to borrow from the IMF. The IMF is not responsible for the budget deficit ending up near 7.5 per cent of GDP this year.

It must be remembered that it is not the IMF which has come begging to the government of Imran Khan to borrow a pittance ie $6 billion; it is, in fact, the numerous governments of Pakistan which have gone begging for money.  This is simply because we do not raise enough resources — taxes — to be able to spend effectively, whether it is defence or development. If sufficient revenue were raised, there would be no need to beg for money, but in a country where every polio campaign, social welfare measure and women’s support programme are funded by one donor or the other, only because the ruling elite refuses to tax itself, going to the IMF becomes inevitable. But don’t blame the IMF for this.

Moreover, as a lender, the IMF is fully entitled to raise supposedly harsh conditionalities, only because it wants to ensure that its loans are returned, with interest. Banks, and even individuals, don’t lend unless they expect and get assurances that their money will be returned, and need to know about a business plan. As does the IMF, and it is fully entitled to do so. If you don’t like their conditionality, don’t borrow from them. Don’t blame the IMF for its stringent demands.

Since the government has signed an agreement with the IMF, and as the economy deteriorates noticeably over the next two to three years, we can expect those in office and the rest of the elite to blame the IMF for Pakistan’s economic disaster. Yet it is not the IMF that is to be held responsible, but our own elite, elected, unelected, and those who continue to lead Pakistan down the IMF path, yet again. Accountability must begin and end with our elite, not with the IMF.
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#37
SECURITY THROUGH FINANCIAL INTEGRITY:
MENDING PAKISTAN’s LEAKY SIEVE 
Tom Keatinge and Anton Moiseienko
https://rusi.org/publication/occasional-papers/security-through-financial-integrity-mending-pakistan’s-leaky-sieve?utm_source=RUSI+Newsletter&utm_campaign=1392a27eb6-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2019_04_04_02_42_COPY_02&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_0c9bbb5ef0-1392a27eb6-47706145

Corruption in developing countries is a major challenge for development and stability. Illicit cross-border outflows of corruption proceeds are particularly damaging, as they drain the country of finances with little chance of them ever being recovered. Pakistan is among the states that face this challenge. The current government of Pakistan has claimed its commitment to reducing corruption in the country on many occasions. In addition to repatriating stolen assets, the effective prevention of corruption-related illicit outflows is key to delivering on that commitment.

Alongside trade, Pakistan’s financial system is a key conduit for moving value in and out of the country. It is therefore the first line of defence against the exfiltration of corruption proceeds from Pakistan. This relates to both the formal financial system, including banks and licensed exchange companies, and the informal value-transfer systems, better known as hawala or hundi. Although prohibited by law, hawala and hundi remain widespread in Pakistan. To ensure the resilience of Pakistan’s financial system against abuse by corrupt actors, it is essential to drive up financial crime compliance standards in regulated businesses and take enforcement action against hawaladars operating illegally.

Challenges Facing Pakistan’s Financial System
There are several challenges in relation to the capacity of banks, exchange control companies and other financial institutions to prevent, detect and report suspicious activities that may be related to corruption.

Tax Avoidance and Shadow Economy
The first of these challenges is the extent of tax evasion in Pakistan. Much of the country’s economy operates under the radar of the tax authorities and is therefore cash-based and undocumented. For a financial institution that seeks to ascertain the legitimacy of its client’s business, this poses practical challenges. In law, regulated businesses are theoretically expected to report suspicious activities related to a range of crimes including tax evasion in the amount equivalent to approximately £55,000. In practice, this poses challenges given the number of businesses that would have to be reported and investigated in a country where only approximately 1.5 million people out of 200 million file tax returns, as required by law. Once a financial institution deals with an individual or business that cannot adequately account for the source of their money, the capacity to identify where the money comes from – that is, initially legitimate but untaxed business or criminal activity – is limited. Tackling this challenge will require several changes to current approaches in both the public and private sectors. The regulators of Pakistan’s financial sector, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), should clarify their expectations in relation to the reporting of tax evasion. These clarifications should reinforce the need to comply with reporting obligations while ensuring that financial institutions’ resources are not disproportionately directed towards addressing tax offences at the expense of other predicate offences (offences that give rise to criminal proceeds).

Challenges in the Banking Sector
In relation to other predicate offences, including those that are seen as particularly serious – such as corruption – financial institutions should share best practices in relation to identifying higher-risk customers – for instance, customers operating in industries known to be particularly susceptible to criminal infiltration – and establishing the source of their funds and wealth. As two RUSI workshops held in Karachi suggest, this conversation is still in its infancy, with most of the banks’ compliance efforts to date being directed at establishing automated  transaction-monitoring processes. The SBP’s supervision style should also be adjusted to pay greater attention to banks’ understanding and mitigation of risks. The current focus of the SBP’s enforcement effort has been the implementation of decision-making processes in relation to the reporting of suspicious transactions, as well as automated transaction-monitoring systems.

Challenges in the Exchange Companies Sector
Outside the banking sector, the activities of exchange companies appear to pose  money-laundering risks. Like banks, they can move funds in and out of Pakistan. But unlike banks, the ownership of exchange companies is opaque and potential links to politically exposed persons, who pose higher corruption risks, are impossible for an outside observer to ascertain. Very little is known about compliance practices in the sector and there is evidence that at least some Pakistani banks are wary of doing business with exchange companies due to money-laundering risks. These are exacerbated by the historical ties of exchange companies with hawala/hundi businesses, which are known for moving money surreptitiously. More visible SBP supervision of exchange companies is essential, as are enforcement efforts by the Federal Investigation Agency against unlicensed hawala/hundi operators.

Challenges in Other Parts of the Financial Sector
Businesses regulated by the SECP are only beginning to come to terms with  anti-money-laundering requirements after the SECP promulgated a new set of regulations in 2018. Some of these businesses question either the need for such regulation altogether or their practical ability to follow it. Outreach and enforcement efforts by the SECP, including the publication of case studies that show how regulated businesses can be abused for money-laundering purposes, can both demonstrate the rationale behind the regulations and alert the sector to the possibility of enforcement.

International Aspects

Private Sector Role
It is not only Pakistani institutions or individuals that are involved in transferring corruption proceeds out of Pakistan. The role played by overseas banks in their interactions with Pakistani financial institutions cannot be ignored. Non-Pakistani correspondent banks enable Pakistani banks to make transfers to a wider range of banks all over the world than would otherwise be possible. With correspondent banks, including those in London that were interviewed for this research, being aware of money-laundering challenges that Pakistan faces, they seek to ensure that their Pakistani respondent banks have appropriate anti-money-laundering controls. However, this outside pressure has its limits and does not negate the need for changes discussed above.

Inter-Government Engagement
International engagement on financial crime issues at the government-to-government level is also ongoing. To date, however, this conversation has largely been at cross-purposes. The ‘grey-listing’ of Pakistan by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) in June 2018 has been perceived as political and therefore unfair in Pakistan. The focus of the FATF on counterterrorist financing in Pakistan is seen as a foreign preoccupation that unjustly obscures the issue of greatest relevance to Pakistan itself, namely the proceeds of corruption siphoned off outside the country. It is possible that this perception could be mitigated if issues related to financial crime were discussed in concert and covered both terrorist financing and money laundering, including the questions of exfiltration of corruption proceeds from Pakistan that its government is concerned about.

A similar mismatch in Pakistani and international illicit finance-related priorities is evident in the UK–Pakistani relationship, with the UK seen in Pakistan as a prolific enabler of corruption in the country. In contrast, although the UK government has been active in supporting Pakistan’s criminal justice development, the predominant focus of UK law enforcement efforts in connection with Pakistan has been drug trafficking. Combining the UK perspective on Pakistan as a destination country for the proceeds from drug trafficking and from other organised crime activities, and Pakistan’s view of the UK as a magnet for corruption proceeds, is vital to promoting a productive dialogue and cooperation.
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#38
PAK INDIA TRAJECTORY
Touqir Hussain  
https://www.dawn.com/news/1484467/pak-india-trajectory

PRIME Minister Narendra Modi has been re-elected. So what next for Pakistan-India relations? Will the neighbours start talking again? Certainly. But will their dialogue amount to anything? I am afraid not. The irony is that whether or not India and Pakistan are talking their relationship changes little, as if it has been inoculated against friendship since infancy. 

The shadow of history has darkened the two countries’ view of each other. The burden of the past continues to oppress the present making the relationship resistant to change. What makes change still harder are their foreign policies, resting on conflicting identities and national purposes and moving in colliding orbits. Each has remained an indelible fixture of the other’s domestic politics, compromising the will to change.

Modi’s hard line on Pakistan is not exceptional. This has been the default position of most Indian leaders. The difference is Modi’s perceptions are beating to the rhythm of global sentiments towards Pakistan especially in the West that have turned negative. Modi’s negativity towards Pakistan is an asset in his relations with the US on which his foreign policy pivots. And at home he has played up the militancy issue to harden the existing public attitudes towards Pakistan, from which he derives political mileage and support for his brutal repression in India-held Kashmir. 

History’s shadow has darkened the two states’ view of each other
Relationships change when countries have a compulsion and incentive to seek change. Between India and Pakistan, one or the other stimulus has always been missing. When either sought better ties the other was not ready. That is how the 1999 bus diplomacy and 2001 Agra summit failed, and the Manmohan Singh-Pervez Musharraf back channel lost its way. On rare occasions when both sides were inclined to look for change, like Modi and Nawaz Sharif, non-state actors struck.


Given its economic challenges, Pakistan has stronger compulsions to seek better relations but like India wants the normalisation to be free of cost. Neither is ready to give the critical concessions the other demands. They have not only magnified each other as a threat but also exaggerated their own capability to deal with it. India feels that by virtue of its size and military and economic power it is intrinsically qualified to seek hegemony in the region. Pakistan rejects such a normalisation — particularly a normalisation minus Kashmir. That is why the relationship cannot improve as it lacks consensus on the terms of engagement. 

Meanwhile, Modi feels the benefits of alienating Pakistan exceed those of conciliation. But the policy has run its course. Frustrated that despite its power and influence, India cannot manage Pakistan, he decided on military action after Pulwama. But it did not quite work because of Pakistan’s successful response. The military option has the risk of escalation or becoming a regular pattern thus losing its effectiveness.

That leaves dialogue as the only option. But the problem is, it is one thing to have a dialogue and quite another to institute a dialogue process that would require an understanding on fundamental issues. And understanding is hard to come by, especially as the relationship is no longer just about Pakistan and India. India’s Pakistan policy is an adjunct to its China policy and a footnote in its relationship with Washington. And India is a subset of Washington’s China policy and relations with Pakistan.

No meaningful change is expected from India unless some or all of the following happen: there is progress in Pakistan’s fight against militant organisations; Modi’s repression in Kashmir fails; Afghanistan stabilises along with visible improvement in Pakistan’s economy; and US-China relations head for a dangerous escalation forcing India to reassess its ties with Washington. These are big ifs for the future. Meanwhile normalisation of Pakistan-India ties will remain subordinate to Modi’s global and regional ambitions, his Kashmir policy, and domestic politics. A resumed dialogue may achieve little more than some improvement in atmospherics, and a partial resumption of people-to-people contact, and progress on Kartarpur, all vulnerable to the next incident. 

Ultimately, for durable peace and prosperity to come to South Asia what is required is the emergence of strong leaders in Pakistan and India and a paradigm shift in domestic politics, national policies and the mindset of the people, possibly led by the next generation. Only a different Pakistan and India can be friends one day. 

Steve Cohen in Shooting for a Century fears India Pakistan rivalry could possibly last for a ‘century’, in cricket terminology. A forbidding thought indeed.

The writer, a former ambassador, is adjunct faculty Georgetown and Syracuse University.



THE NEW SALADIN


YOU must be pretty desperate to claim that a major oil discovery was around the corner when the experts all said such an announcement was premature. Old cynics like me have heard such claims many times: past leaders have proclaimed such a breakthrough, only to backtrack soon afterwards. But never did anybody before Imran Khan pin our economic recovery on the success of an oil strike. So when Kekra-1 — as the offshore oil well was dubbed — failed to find anything, there was a deathly silence from the government. Around $100 million had been sunk into the venture and it is doubtful whether by foreign oil companies will drill there anytime soon.


We have waited for manna from heaven in the form of an oil bonanza.


 For decades, Pakistanis have dreamt of a major oil strike that would transform their country into a kind of subcontinental Dubai. While we do have a few productive oil pockets, these are modest compared to those found in other parts of the region. And we have been fortunate in our large gas fields that have saved us billions of dollars in energy imports. However, our profligate use of this precious resource has resulted in turning us into net importers.


The point here is that, instead of getting on with fixing the economy through increased productivity and revenue collection, we have waited for manna from heaven in the form of an oil bonanza. And to fix our rotten system of governance, we wait for a messiah to rescue us from the hole earlier leaders had dug. Imran Khan is only the latest Saladin Ayyubi, the legendary Kurd general who defeated the Crusaders nearly 1,000 years ago. His promises to cleanse the
land of corruption and usher in a new Pakistan ring hollow as the economy continues on its death spiral.


It is not so much that he has failed to deliver, as the fact that he has handed most of the important portfolios to individuals with dubious credentials. The price of power has been high for the once-idealistic Khan, but one he was glad to pay to satisfy his ambitions. Sadly, he has turned out to be unprepared for the responsibilities of high office. But spare a thought for those who put him in power. In their calculus, Khan, with his international image of socialite and ageing playboy, would be able to deflect criticism of our alleged support for jihadist groups. But when FATF, the terrorism financing watchdog, threatened to place us on its crippling black list, it became clear that our prime minister’s reputation didn’t cut any ice with Washington’s power brokers. The worsening economic scenario, and the delayed appeal to the IMF for yet another bailout, also exposed Khan’s ignorance of fiscal realities. All these factors have, according to reports circulating in Islamabad, driven a wedge between the military and political leadership.

I can understand the cause of Khan’s frustration: having made numerous promises to attract voters over his long campaign to become prime minister, he now finds that he has no money to do very much. After interest on billions in past loans has been paid, and our huge defence budget is allocated, all that’s left is the money to pay administrative costs. Khan discovered early on that selling the buffaloes and official cars in the prime minister’s residence wasn’t enough to finance the foundations of naya Pakistan. So there’s less talk now of converting state buildings into universities, museums, hotels and galleries. Meanwhile, retailers, real estate agents, stockbrokers and car salesmen all report a sharp drop in business activity. Not that I have much sympathy for them, but we do need an active market to sustain employment and keep money flowing. Lower profitability means a drop in tax collection which is already very low.

Egypt’s middle class and the poor are still reeling from the effects of the $12 billion loan taken from the IMF to support its collapsing economy in 2016. As subsidies on a wide range of food and consumer goods were slashed or withdrawn, poverty levels have increased. One of the Fund’s conditions was that the budget deficit had to be brought down. As Akbar Zaidi argued so persuasively here in a recent column, you can’t blame the IMF for tough conditions. Like all banks, it wants to ensure that it gets its money back, and in most cases, this means restructuring the economy of the borrowing country. After all, the IMF hasn’t put a gun to our head and demanded that we approach it for a loan. Thus far, the rich have ducked paying their due taxes, and the well-connected have run all kinds of scams to milk the exchequer. Whether Khan’s team will be able to muster up the resolve and the motivation to upset their own class remains to be seen. But I’m not putting any money on such a transformation.
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#39
WHY GWADAR IS SO IMPORTANT FOR PAKISTAN AND CHINA  Usama Ghazi
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nEwHRPGlI8


The #HistoryOfChina #DekhoSunoJano by #OsamaGhazi  in this episode you will know the following facts about South China Sea, Malacca Straits, CPEC, Gwadar and the Chinese oil supply line.                 
1. How China is building artificial islands in the  Spratly Islands and Paracel Islands? 
 2. How the Chinese Navy is confronting Vietnamese near the disputed Islands? 
3. What a Philippines  Navy Ship Sierra Madre is doing on the Second Thomas Shoal in Pacific Ocean? 
4 How Gwadar will become an alternative supply line for both China and  Pakistan and what is the Indian and the US interest in this?


WATCH ALL EPISODES OF PAKISTAN's HISTORY
https://goo.gl/zmaAto
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#40
ZAID HAMID PREDICTING THE UPCOMING POLITICAL SITUATION
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bi3j33vZscQ


DECOLONISE NOW 

http://www.dawn.com/news/1485630/decolonise-now?preview


EXLUSIVE  FOOTAGE OF PAKISTANI PRISONERS LANDED ON ISLAMABAD AIRPORT VERY EMOTIONAL 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ANuDwyzjRmw
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