business and economy

Nawaz Sharif, a veteran of Pakistan’s political tumult

13 June 2013

CNN’s Jethro Mullen weighs in on Nawaz Sharif

The strongest contender to become the next Pakistani prime minister is hardly a newcomer to the country’s political stage.

Nawaz Sharif, 63, has had a long and rocky career that includes two stints as prime minister during the 1990s, ordering Pakistan’s first nuclear tests, a showdown with the nation’s powerful military, time in jail and years of exile.

After spending the past several years in opposition to the governing Pakistani People’s Party (PPP) — which has struggled to tackle the country’s crippling problems of militant violence, chronic power shortages and a flagging economy — Sharif now has a shot at another stint in office.

But observers say his positions on key issues such as Islamic extremists and relations with the United States remain vague, raising uncertainty about what kind of approach he would take if his Pakistani Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) were to succeed in forming a government in the national assembly following general elections this weekend.

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China: Braving the Storm

23 August 2010

My piece which appeared in Southasia

The Chinese economy, it appears, has recovered from the recession in record time. According to the National Bureau of Statistics in Beijing, annual growth was unexpectedly strong at 11.9 percent in the first quarter of 2010. By achieving such high growth rates in times of global recession, many expect China to overtake Japan this year to become the second largest economy of the world. Strengthened by these economic gains, China has used its political leverage to facilitate regional integration, by engaging in a number of bilateral swap arrangements with countries around the world.

Given that China only has 10% arable land, it becomes imperative for the country purchase commodities from other nations to satisfy the country’s growing consumption demands, and to invest in countries producing such commodities. Such a process will reinforce new corridors of increasing trade and investment flows between China and Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. Similarly, its gigantic market and related demand have led China to invest in natural resource supplies of different countries, especially those in Africa and the Middle East.

Read the full article here

Whatever happened to Kerry-Lugar?

24 May 2010

Pakistan’s dire fiscal situation has resulted in the reduction of development spending by 40 per cent. This does not bode well for the citizens who have been tormented by an energy crisis, persistent food inflation and rampant unemployment. In these circumstances, the development assistance under the Kerry-Lugar Bill (KLB) is much needed. Pakistan’s civilian government braved a media onslaught and the ire of the security establishment for tacitly supporting the US legislation. Other than the rhetoric around the ‘conditions’ drafted in Washington, there was an unstated agreement that the development assistance was welcome.

Months have elapsed and Pakistanis have yet to witness the roll out of the KLB. Global recession and political uncertainty at home underlie the tough days for Pakistanis especially the poor. It was expected that given the urgency of the situation, USAID was going to kickstart the delivery of its interventions. Well, the progress so far has been disappointing.

First, there seems to be no public sign of a consensus within the US bureaucratic machine how the aid under KLB will be delivered. Unconfirmed media reports suggest that the political versus the bureaucratic channels are not on the same page. The ‘political’ administration is ostensibly managing USAID systems and processes. There may be strategic reasons for that but the net result is that things are delayed. Not long ago, Pakistani government’s procedures were thought to be a problem but the trajectory of US bureaucracy only proves that public sector ailments are common. (more…)

More on the debate on IMF

10 November 2008

I had posted my piece on the forthcoming (?) IMF programme and expressed fears as a citizen. The op-ed that was published in the NEWS has evoked a hard-hitting response by a former IMF staffer. I am happy that a debate has ensued – this is why his scathing attack on my argument is more than welcome. Any noise is better than the silence of complacency. Raza Rumi (ed.)
by Dr Meekal Aziz Ahmed

Raza Rumi wrote a nice article entitled “Debating the aid plan,” in your newspaper of Nov 1. I agree with a lot of what he says. Things in our land are pretty grim these days. But just as Mr Rumi’s article was engaging me, there came the usual blast against everyone’s favourite whipping boy and scapegoat, the IMF.

Let me recall a timeless phrase so that Mr Rumi knows “where I am coming from,” as they say, and then move on to the substance of his critique. ‘The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, but in ourselves, that we are underlings.” Mr Rumi, who must have read his Shakespeare, surely is familiar with these words. How well that quote describes our hapless country which seems to be going nowhere, while we insist it is everyone else’s fault? (more…)

Discovering Rubber Stamps

16 June 2008

Looking for a rubber stamp?

Check out the new RubberStampChamp.com website! On that site, you will find all the great custom rubber stamps and prices we’ve always offered, plus hundreds of new marking and related products for shopping convenience. The customer service Champs are ready to assist you with any questions. Examples include fast, convenient and mobile alternatives to manual hand stamping, embossing, check signing and more. Long lasting performance, accurate timing, quality impressions and durable construction. (more…)

Ignite – Turning Energy into Income

14 March 2008

Ignite claims that it can turn energy into income. By clicking here you can find out how you can make money on your energy bill. Wouldn’t you like to get paid every time you turn on the power? (more…)

Credit Repair Service

14 March 2008

Check out this credit repair service. (more…)