Funds, powers being misused to ensure victory in elections

Islamabad, MTT News Desk: The Pakistan Economy Watch (PEW) on Sunday said politicians are recklessly spending public funds, misusing powers and robbing massing to ensure victory in upcoming election despite their miserable performance over the years.

It is amazing that tax fraud is a punishable offence while wastage of public funds on controversial projects that benefit few isnt, it said.

Politicians simply don’t give much thought to long-term consequences of their decisions preferring short-term electoral successes, said Dr. Murtaza Mughal, President PEW.

He said that many recent decisions were examples of abuse of position as these steps had nothing to do with welfare of masses but were aimed to support influential business lobbies in return of their support during the elections.

Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that Punjab government has been distributing laptops and yellow cabs while federal government has outshined it by wasting away billions.

The coalition government is spending Rs 50 billion annually on the controversial Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), while the major chunk of money rose to support flood affected has been plundered, he said.

Similarly, recent 14.3 per cent hike in the wheat support price will not benefit farmers or commoners but the rural politicians; people will have to spend some Rs 360 billion on food alone, he said.

Dr. Murtaza Mughal said that Government which was already spending Rs 436 billion on purchase of food items will have to get more loans from banks to purchase wheat on the new price.

He said that restriction on import of used cars was also a decision to benefit auto mafia which dont want to competition to ensure windfall evident from their balance sheets. Profits of a major automaker increased by 25 pc, while another car assemblers profit climbed almost fourfold.

He also criticised TCP for promoting interests of sugar barons by buying sugar at hefty rates. Provision of gas to textile industry on the cost of masses and economy is also a step to ensure election victory.

The wastage of funds and exploitation continues as government has been appointing scores of incompetent party workers in the bleeding public sector enterprises in backdates due to a ban on new appointments recently imposed by the Election Commission.

In absence of an effective mechanism to check politically motivated spending the politicians will continue to deprive masses to meet their designs.


Decision to impose Governor’s rule in Balochistan lauded

Islamabad, MTT News Desk: The Punjab Forum on Monday lauded the decision of the federal government to dismiss incompetent political government to impose Governors rule in restive Balochistan.

The prime minister took a bold step of visiting protesting Hazaras at midnight who had been staging a sit-in in for the last three days along with the bodies of dead, said Baig Raj, president of the Punjab Forum.

He said that delay in accepting plea of masses to enforce Governors rule resulted in killing of hundreds of innocent people for which the government is responsible.

Baig Raj said that Government has sent a signal that it would not accept just demand unless forced to do so while many think that the latest development was an attempt to diffuse tensions that had gripped the country after killings.

Carnage of Hazaras, settlers and those going to Iran for jobs continued unabated since years but nobody seemed concerned, he added.

Baig Raj said that Governors rule will not resolve the problem unless a military operation is carried out to restore peace. Moreover, he said, demand to handing over Quetta to military is not fair as whole province is burning which calls for turning in entire Balochistan to the army.

Honourable return of thousands of settlers who were forced to leave province should be ensured, they should get their snatched property back and should be compensated for losses, he demanded.

Baig Raj further said that peace is not possible in presence of chieftains therefore after the operation the seats in the provincial assembly should be doubled so that Baloch people could get a voice.

He said that Pakistan is the only country in world which believes in negotiations with terrorists while the policy of reconciliation has emboldened anti-state elements who have shaken the foundations of state.

Delay in a merciless operation will break Pakistan as many enemy states are trying to dismember Pakistan with the help of Karzai administration.

Government has failed on every front across country with situation a bit better in Punjab, he said adding that any plan by the government to prolong their rule to plunder resources would be resisted, he warned.

Punjab Forum asks int’l HR bodies to push Pakistan for KBD contruction

Islamabad, MTT News Desk: The Punjab Forum on Sunday asked the international human rights organisations to push Pakistan for early construction of Kalabagh dam (KBD) as delay is threatening the whole population of the country.

It appreciated the landmark decision of the Lahore High Court (LHC) in which it ordered the federal government to construct Kalabagh dam (KBD) terming it in the best interest of country and generations to come.

As per the observation of the Chief Justice LHC, Justice Umer Ata Bandial, who has emerged as hero of the people of Pakistan, the KBD can be renamed as Federation Dam, said Baig Raj, President of the Punjab Forum.

If name of a province can be renamed, the name of a dam critical for national survival can also be renamed, he noted.

Speaking at a meeting to review current situation, he expressed disappointment over statements of federal ministers against the LHC decision which indicate that the federal government is too much focused on politics and it will never abide by the decision.

Baig Raj said that Parliament has no respect for human rights which is contrary to their claims; he said adding that political parties which are against the KBD will lose public support in the upcoming elections in certain critical constituencies.

He said that time has come when provincial governments and so-called nationalists of Khyber Pukhtoonkhwa and Sindh should realise that nothing can save them from remaining vulnerable to floods and becoming a desert if KBD is not built. A referendum is the two provinces can expose the claims of nationalists, he said.

Baig Raj said that patriot elements need to educate masses on the pros and cons of KBD mired in intense political controversy since decades, remove the cobwebs of ignorance, and save 200 million people from the hunger, thirst and poverty.

The federal government is constitutionally bound to start the project in the light of the Council of Common Interests decisions taken in 1991 and 1998; he said adding that lack of consensus on KBD amounts to playing with the future of Pakistan.

The politicians and pseudo-intellectuals who are opposing the dam are doing a great disservice to Pakistan and its people irrespective of where they live or to which province they belong, he observed.

Baig Raj said that prosperity of Pakistan is tied to KBD therefore all positive forces should join hands to tackle political and technical concerns of the project keeping national interest supreme.

The scarcity of water and power had affected the quality and security of life of the citizens which is a violation of their fundamental rights; therefore government should take immediate decision to improve the situation, he demanded.

Baig Raj said that anti-Pakistan lobbies have deliberately converted a purely technical and humanitarian issue into a political problem to harm country which worries of the people are unfounded.

Lashing out at the governments strategy of avoiding water sector development in order to save the federation from political pressures will eventually destroy the federation, he warned.

The government and its allies have no viable alternative to KBD ditched without a parliamentary debate which is making the problem more complex.

He said that USAID has been claiming to help Pakistan overcome energy crisis, they should try to influence ANP for the construction of KBD. He lauded to Pakistan Saraiki Party for supporting KBD.

Punjab Forum seek referendum in KPK over Kalabagh dam

Islamabad, MTT News Desk: The Punjab Forum on Wednesday said Pakistans survival is tied to early construction of Kalabagh dam (KBD) which is being delayed in the name of provincial harmony.

There should be some limits for so called inter-provincial harmony which is yet to be defined in clear terms, it said.

Mega power projects have been delayed due to reservations of international lenders while country continues to face worst load shedding and water crisis which is putting future of Pakistan at stake, said Baig Raj, President Punjab Forum.

We urgently need KBD, the most feasible power generation and water storage facility which is being ignored by the successive governments to keep some politicians happy, he added.

He said that energy and water crisis can only be resolved by constructing KBD; the most important and most politicalised and ill-fated project.

All the national and international experts have termed KBD one of the most feasible project but those on the top dont want to listen about it which amounts to sacrificing national interests for power, he added.

Baig Raj said that ruling coalition is focused on taking all coalition partners and some opposition leaders on-board which may be strengthening the democratic process but the policy is weakening Pakistan.

Reasons behind increasing poverty, hunger, crimes, reduced agricultural output, brain drain, flight of capital and shifting of industrial units to other countries include insufficient electricity and deficiency of irrigation water, he informed.

Those who are resisting the project are doing great disservice to country on the whims of foreign powers that want to see Pakistan as a failed state.

President of the Punjab Forum said that he dam would not benefit Punjab alone; it would also eradicate poverty from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and help boost output of Sindh.

A referendum in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on the issue of dam will expose the claims of so called nationalists who are playing with an issue which is matter of life and death for 180 million people, he demanded.

It is neither technical nor political issue, rather it is issue relating to humanity and national survival.

He said that Pakistan cannot reach consensus to make a dam while India is in process of making hundreds of dams, adding that we should not allow the issue to cost the country and generations to come.

We will have no future if politicians continue to prefer personal welfare over national interests resulting in destructive consequences.

Enemy nations want to destroy Pakistan not through bullets but economically.

Disappearing Girls of India

According to a recent report of UNICEF 50 million unborn female babies killed in India. India’s already abysmal sex ratio figures are getting worse day by day, with 80 percent of its districts recorded declining child sex ratios since 1991, as thousands of girl children are killed before or at birth. According to UN children’s agency annual report ‘ State of Worlds’ Children 2007′ the state of Punjab is the worst offender as the ratio has dropped from 875 in 1991 to 798 girls for, every 1,000 boys in 2001. After Punjab, comes the number of Haryana which saw a drop of 60 points from 879 girls in 1991 to 817 in 2001. Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal are the other states where girl children are largely unwanted.

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IMF…? Only if…


IMF again! I think Pakistan can do more than this, rather much more than this. Only if everyone desires, it can be the one last time IMF monitors Pakistani economy. I think it is just the way most of Pakistani nationals are conditioned under some known or unknown locally and foreign governed circumstances favoring the elites of today and of course, yesterday. It is an old debate that if we try to give something to Pakistan, we can improve as a nation. Slogans like “Pakistan has given us many things. What have we given to Pakistan?” are misleading. Patriotism arises through “ours first” strategies, rather then preferring foreign products over ours. As a professional in IT, I have come about many such experiences where various generous offers from some of the leading Pakistani software/IT had been let down by the government and defense organizations provided by some very lame excuses, which most of the time stated that office automation and work flow management systems cut down human jobs that will increase joblessness. They forget the fact that automation and time saving is first step to economic and financial growth and industrial development. As they say, time is money!…

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