Bilal Qureshi has contributed another piece for PTH. The views expressed here are those of the author. (RR)
After a meeting between Pakistan’s President Asif Zardari and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, It was announced that an Italian Delegation led by Italy’s Prime Minster Silvio Berlusconi will visit Pakistan sometime this year to explore business and investment opportunities.
President’s spokesman told the media after the meeting that President Zardari had requested Italian Prime Minister to help stabilize Pakistan’s economy by encouraging investment in Pakistan. Italy’s Prime Minister directed Italy’s ambassador in Pakistan to develop an investment framework for Italian businessmen with collaboration with Pakistan’s government and business community.
For Italian business community, six areas of investment have been identified for further evaluation – energy, marble quarrying and dressing, gemstones, leather value-addition and agriculture.
It seems that president Zardari has made it a mission to encourage investment instead of aid in Pakistan. If you look at Zardari’s performance, his efforts to bring direct business investment in Pakistan from around the globe stand out as the most ambitious and aggressive strategy to rejuvenate Pakistan’s economy. Credit has to be given to Zardari that despite awful law & order situation in Pakistan, he has been able to convince potential investors to explore business opportunities in the country. And if Zardari and the present government are able to complete their term, Pakistan might manage to beat the perpetual cycle of inflation, poverty, and economic stagnation.
It is often said that Nawaz Sharif was a business friendly leader in Pakistan, but Nawaz Sharif failed to stabilize the economy or attract significant direct investment during his two stints as Pakistan’s Prime Minister. Now, Nawaz Sharif has an opportunity to become a genuine leader and help the current government, especially Asif Ali Zardari to demonstrate to rest of the world that Pakistanis are united and they are serious about welcoming global investment. But, Nawaz Sharif is playing a dangerous game of carrot and stick with President Zardari and Prime Minister Gilani. Continue reading
PTH is not a partisan blog-zine. Our regular contributor, Bilal Quershi has sent this article for publication. We do not take any position on the views expressed here. However, in the interest of democracy and promoting and protecting free speech in Pakistan, we are publishing it. PTH Admin
Is there an end to Pakistan’s perpetual misery? Of course, there is no easy answer for this question. Moreover, it also depends on who is answering this untimely and rude question.
If you ask the coalition partners running the government, you are likely to get a tough, but realistic answer. But who cares about tough love, honesty, or facts, or honesty? On the other hand, if you ask the PML (N), you might get figures (don’t worry, they won’t add up in the end!) about how much more revenue can they generate without expanding the pie, bravado and artificial optimism with a caveat. What is that caveat? Well, they would argue, falsely, that if only Nawaz Sharif is given one more chance (never mind his two awful and failed stints) to lead the country, things will improve, inflation, lawlessness, water and electricity shortage and poverty etc will come under control, and believe it or not, it will happen instantly. Continue reading
As the minus-one formula gains currency in Pakistan, our writer Bilal Qureshi has authored this post to present a different case. PTH does not necessarily subscribe to these views. RR
Every time I write something about Asif Zardari, Pakistan’s current president, I get several e-mails daily condemning me for ‘supporting’ him. So, once again, I have to clarify something from the start. I am not a supporter of Zardari.
However, if one looks at the history of President’s in Pakistan, Zardari will stand out as the most significant name in the list. But, it is impossible to make this point in this extremely polarized environment when unfortunately, Zardari’s name gives heartburn to a large group of Pakistanis, both inside and outside the country.
For me, Zardari became a leader when he refused to compromise with those who wanted to sign a confession and leave the country, Continue reading
From The News
By Shandana Minhas
During his visit to Beijing President Asif Zardari said terrorism ‘needs to be tackled on an urgent basis’ and that he would ‘utilize every forum to brief the world about prevailing situation.’ Here’s an idea. Why doesn’t he do the same for Pakistan? For all the millions still doing the ala ostrich routine? He could be on all the channels simultaneously. His PR people could make him a slick presentation with charts and everything (no giving him a laser light though, that might be asking for trouble). Points he might like to cover include: Continue reading
By Raza Rumi
The triumph of a popular movement on March 16 has marked a new beginning. The retreat of an intransigent government and the wise response by the PML-N and the lawyers averted a major crisis that could have been violent, and also a potential recipe for harming the parliamentary system in its infancy. There was a sigh of relief among the public for a long-standing issue appeared to have been resolved. This has been a monumental achievement by all standards.
However, the inherent imbalances within Pakistan’s power structure and the state of its polity are yet to be addressed and the contradictions of how our power is exercised stared us as the good news rolled out through the ubiquitous TV channels and their zealous presenters. The way quintessentially political issues and turf-wars between the PPP and PML-N were battled and resolved through a stage-managed process only concealed the bitter power-realities of Pakistan. Continue reading
We are posting an impassioned voice of reason by Shaheryar Azhar, moderator of a thinking group of Pakistanis called “The Forum”. We are posting it for it represents the anguish most Pakistanis feel about the current situation in our beloved homeland. [Raza Rumi]
The Unraveling of Pakistan
“Pakistan is NOT unraveling”, I said in a voice pregnant with passion on February 7, 2009. The occasion was a small dinner at our apartment and I was responding to another forum member, who is an expert on terrorism with a well-reviewed book on Pakistan. She had just finished saying, “Pakistan is unraveling”.
And in support I had said the following:
1. Pakistan has just won a victory in Bajaur. And is now gearing up for a major fight in North and South Waziristan. The type of single-mindedness, spine and hard-headedness shown by the civilian government and the political cover provided to the armed forces was a major improvement over the Musharraf government. Continue reading
By Yasser Latif Hamdani
Those of you who have read my previous articles know that I was a staunch Zardari supporter till recently. In my last article, written a few hours after the disqualification of Sharif brothers, I opined that Zardari was being misled by the establishment. But as events have unfolded, it has become abundantly clear that Zardari is apparently an equal partner with the establishment in the latest game to befool Pakistan and its people.
There is absolutely no constitutional, moral or procedural justification for imposition of Governor’s rule under Article 234 of the Constitution. It is the end of imagination. The conditions simply did not exist. Without going into the merits of the Supreme Court decision though there aren’t many, the proper course of action was for the governor to call upon the provincial assembly to elect a new chief minister. Instead governor raj was imposed. Continue reading