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Pakistan Press (31 May 2018 NewAgeIslam.Com)


Historic Change for FATA By Reema Shaukat: New Age Islam's Selection, 31 May 2018





New Age Islam Edit Bureau

31 May 2018

Historic Change for FATA

By Reema Shaukat

Use of Torture

By Ali Nawaz Chowhan

US Trade War or Recipe for Disaster

By Rashid A Mughal

Watching America From Within

By Shahid Javed Burki

Over To The Caretakers

I.A. Rehman

What Will Help Crack Pakistan’s Code?

By Saad Gul

The Politics Of A Spy Swap

By Imran Jan

Compiled By New Age Islam Edit Bureau

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Historic Change for FATA

By Reema Shaukat

May 31, 2018

FEDERALLY Administered Tribal Areas or popularly known as FATA is the semi-autonomous tribal region in the north western area of Pakistan, comprising seven tribal agencies and six frontier regions. FATA was considered as a no go area decades ago as the colonial powers introduced Frontier Crimes Regulation (FCR) for this area. According to FCR, a political agent would be responsible to look after the administration of area and work as a connexion between tribal heads, local populace and colonists. However, it proved difficult for the colonial government to establish its writ in the tribal areas and the introduction of laws were named as black laws as they were without any justification.

British vacated the subcontinent but left their imprints and despite being part of Pakistan, people of FATA felt underprivileged. Under the Constitution, FATA is included among the territories of Pakistan (Article 1). It is represented in the National Assembly and the Senate but remains under the direct executive authority of the President (Articles 51, 59 and 247). Laws framed by the National Assembly do not apply here, unless ordered by the President, who is also empowered to issue regulations for the peace and good government of the tribal areas. FATA for the long time continued to be governed primarily through the Frontier Crimes Regulation 1901 and was also administered by the Governor of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) in his capacity as an agent to the President of Pakistan, under the overall supervision of the Ministry of States and Frontier Regions in Islamabad.

Recently, in a historic move FATA was merged with KP province, therefore people living in FATA will now be able to get rid of centuries’ old draconian laws, or Frontier Crimes Regulation. President of Pakistan has signed new set of rules for the region which is now FATA Interim Governance Regulation, 2018. This new ‘FATA Interim Governance Regulation, 2018’ is a set of interim rules that apply to the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) until it merges with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa “within a timeframe of two years”. However, the president will have the jurisdiction over FATA and the Provincially Administered Tribal Areas (PATA) until he signs Constitution (Thirty-First) Amendment Bill, 2018, which proposes abolishment of Article 247 of the Constitution. As per Article 247, the executive authority of the federation shall extend to FATA and PATA. This bill was passed by KP Assembly in its final phase and prior to the passing by two-thirds majority, it was approved from the upper and lower chambers of the Parliament.

As both the National Assembly and Senate have passed the bill, this breakthrough step will bring the tribal boundaries which comprises of seven agencies and six frontier regions within domain of the higher courts. The main purpose of FCR was to protect the interests of the British rulers and counter the opposition of Pashtuns to their rule, especially in KP which earlier was NWFP and Baluchistan and their adjoining tribal areas. However, after independence, KP and Baluchistan gradually got rid of FCR, but FATA remained its only hostage. FCR consummate dissociates tribespeople from approaching the formal courts as it states that appeal, wakeel (lawyer) and daleel (evidence) are not applicable for its residents. The other vilest feature of this Black Law is its collective responsibility clause, which is imposed on anyone in the tribal areas for a crime committed by his or her relative or anyone in from the same tribe.

Moreover, officials of the political administration relish unchecked powers under the FCR and the orders given by a political agent cannot be challenged before the high courts. With the FATA merger it is expected that people of these tribal areas will now be able to enjoy equal rights as Pakistani citizen. This merger of FATA isn’t a one day giant leap but it took many years for the people of FATA to struggle for their rights. Last year in 2017, FATA Reforms Committee, approved the proposals for administrative structure of FATA and FCR. The most striking feature of the reforms is extension of courts’ jurisdiction to FATA without disturbing the traditional Jirga system. The purpose of the plan will be to strengthen administrative structure, mineral development, healthcare, education and industries. The reforms envisaged provincial assembly polls in FATA in the 2018 elections, local bodies’ polls and spending of 30 percent development funds through the elected representatives.

This historic merger comes with both opportunities and challenges too. There are many opportunities for the people of FATA now as COAS also mentioned in meeting with FATA youth that the mainstreaming of FATA shall facilitate bringing enduring peace, stability and socio-economic development to the long neglected and terrorism rid tribal area. He also emphasized that youth has to remain aware of inimical forces which want to exploit fault lines and try to reverse our gains. This unification of FATA with KP will bring socio-economic change in FATA with lot of job opportunities and other social uplift programmes. Though challenges also exist, so the first challenge for this merger of FATA is timely implementation and usage of funds so that common man from particular areas can benefit from it. Interestingly, this merger of FATA gives a big shout out to people like Manzoor Pashteen who are polluting young minds against the state and launching false allegations time and again through social media. As this area remained part of proxy war and was badly hit by terrorism, therefore regional powers having interest in this area because of its location, and they might try to destabilise peace initiatives in FATA. Hence, government has to be more watchful and monitor all the aspects of merger properly.

Source: pakobserver.net/historic-change-for-fata/

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Use of Torture

By Ali Nawaz Chowhan

May 31, 2018

INTERNATIONAL law prohibits the use of torture and so evidence obtained through torture must necessarily be excluded. As a state party to the Convention Against Torture and to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), Pakistan is required to “take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its jurisdiction”. Pakistan signed CAT a decade ago, and ratified it in 2010.

Through all this time, from 2006 to 2012, in just one district of Faisalabad, we know that at least 1,452 individuals were subjected to torture. They were beaten with sticks, suspended from the roof, sexually assaulted, deprived of sleep amongst many other unspeakable things. Ongoing torture during this six-year period, that includes the years that Pakistan stepped up to adopt CAT leads to one conclusion — Pakistan was in flagrant violation of its international human rights commitments.

International law separately provides that legal assistance must be made available during pretrial procedures including police questioning. For instance, the Human Rights Committee has stated that “[i]n cases involving capital punishment, it is axiomatic that the accused must be effectively assisted by a lawyer at all stages of the proceedings”. It is unclear if the Pakistani citizens undergoing this cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment were represented by a lawyer during detention.

Coercive interrogations are admitted regularly during trial.

Second, the use of torture undermines the justice system’s fairness and legitimacy. Article 14(g) of the ICCPR guarantees the right of defendants “[n]ot to be compelled to testify against himself or to confess guilt”. The Human Rights Committee elaborates that “[d]omestic law must ensure that statements or confessions obtained in violation of Article 7 of the Covenant are excluded from the evidence”.

In a 2007 report on the death penalty in Pakistan, the International Federation of Human Rights concluded that “[t]orture in order to obtain confession, to intimidate and terrorise is widespread, common and systematic”. According to research by Justice Project Pakistan, it is commonly linked to other violations of human rights, such as illegal detention and forced confessions. This often results in wrongful convictions.

The Constitution provides that “[e]very person who is arrested and detained in custody shall be produced before a magistrate within a period of twenty-four hours of such arrest”. Yet, many victims of police torture are being detained for days without being entered into the system.

As a result of this practice, police have the ability to abuse prisoners prior to bringing them before a magistrate. Once a defendant has confessed under torture, few procedural protections exist. Under Pakistani law, interrogations are supposed to be excluded on a showing of torture, but in practice, coercive interrogations are admitted regularly during trial. Often, such ‘confessions’ are the only evidence prosecutors have against defendants. In practice, the lack of use of sophisticated methods of investigation leaves the investigation team with only one method to solve a crime ie confession. Too often, this leads the police to use torture to force confessions in order to proceed with a case. The admission of such testimonies is made easier by the low-quality of representation of defendants who fail to challenge it.

Worse still, there is no meaningful system in place to prosecute perpetrators or provide remedies to survivors. And as a result, such treatment continues to remain socially and politically acceptable

An important way to dismantle this acceptance is ending the impunity for perpetrators. The National Commission on Human Rights, a state body working independently of the government and directly acco­untable to parliament, has already prepared a report on torture which was sent to the federal government and finds mention in our previous yearly report. The misfortune is that torture, both physical and psychological, are not defined under the law formulated in Pakistan, despite ratifying CAT.

This is why the NCHR, earlier this month, initiated a formal inquiry into nearly 1,500 cases of torture uncovered in just one Punjab district, Faisalabad. NCHR commissioners travelled there to hear the testimonies of torture victims in person.

We heard their pain, we heard their stories of being humiliated and ostracised by their communities. And we are now obliged to take action against police officials who engage in such practices, no matter what their rank. This abhorrent use of torture as an interrogation method must be eliminated but it cannot be done unless we stop making it consequence-free.

This probe must be supported by all stakeholders, as its results will be an important step towards police reform. Robust investigations, coupled with effective avenues for post-conviction relief, are crucial if justice is to be served.

Source: dawn.com/news/1411119/use-of-torture

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US Trade War or Recipe for Disaster

By Rashid A Mughal

May 31, 2018

OVER 1,100 leading economists sent a letter to President Donald Trump urging the president to reverse course on recent trade tactics — lest the US repeat one of the biggest mistakes of the Great Depression. The letter, drafted by the conservative-leaning National Taxpayers Union, warned that recent tariffs and trade protectionism were harmful to the US economy. The economists cited a 1930 letter that warned Congress against passing the Smoot-Hawley Act, a large package of tariffs that many studies cite as a major reason for the depth of the Great Depression. “Congress did not take economists’ advice in 1930, and Americans across the country paid the price,” the letter says. “The undersigned economists and teachers of economics strongly urge you not to repeat that mistake. Much has changed since 1930 — for example, trade is now significantly more important to our economy — but the fundamental economic principles as explained at the time have not.”

The Smoot-Hawley tariffs, much like Trump’s measures, were designed as protection for US industries. But they ended up making the situation worse. Included on the new letter are 14 Nobel laureates and economists from across the political spectrum, including former chairs of the Council of Economic Advisers under Presidents Barack Obama, George W. Bush, and Bill Clinton. The letter also quotes the warnings from the 1930 letter, which warns that tariffs raise prices on consumers, damage industries that rely on trade director or indirectly, hurt the fortunes of American farmers, and lead to retaliatory measures from other countries. The 1930 letter also painted the tariffs as a threat to national security. “Finally, we would urge our Government to consider the bitterness which a policy of higher tariffs would inevitably inject into our international relations,” the 80-year-old letter read. “A tariff war does not furnish good soil for the growth of world peace.” Describing the recent US move to impose tariffs on steel and aluminium products as a “black day for the world and business”. Mackenzie, the CEO of BHP,the largest Metal giant in Australia, told a forum that “BHP will never seek to hide behind trade barriers to shield ourselves from out lack of competitiveness”. “Free trade is self-evidently the life blood of the global economy and we expect it to flourish despite the regrettable developments in the United States” he said. “The demand for infrastructure investment in BRI regions is huge”. Many of the countries and regions along the Belt and Road (CPEC) rely on steel imports, which could mean an increased demand of 150m tons of extra steel and a massive windfall for mineral producers, according to BHP estimates.

The US is flowing against the tide of globalization by advocating protectionism to seek its own profits and that will leave itself less room for development. Recently the US government has been threatening to increase tariffs on imported goods, as an act of trade protectionisms and imposing its unreasonable will on other countries. US President Donald Trump holds that his country the world’s largest economy is a “victim of free trade” and has been treated unfairly” in the global trade system. Taking such an allegation as a banner, the US sees itself as standing on “a moral high ground”. The US has inappropriately adopted trade protectionisms only to find that its way of solving trade frictions is supported by nobody even its allies. At the recent meeting of the WTO Council for Trade in Goods, the EU, Japan, South Korea and Australia warned that the trade barriers set up by the US will threaten the rules based multilateral trade system. British International Trade Secretary Lian Fox told BBC that British is a firm supporter of the WTO and the country will abide by international trade rules. All these clear responses are undoubtedly a strong blow to the US. Obviously the “national security” excuse is invalid. The purpose of the US is to nakedly protect its industry through increasing tariffs, which is sabotaging the rules for fair trade.

Without rules, there will be no order. As one of the major makers of international trade rules, the US has become an obvious breaker of them judging from what it is doing. It’s move has put the world under the threat of being in disorder and made the entire world economy jittery, uncertain, shaky and has disappointed almost all it’s friends. “International trade should be established upon rules not strength or power, said former WTO Director General Pascal Lamy, pointing out that the rules based multilateral trade system might need some adjustments, but the prerequisite is to first consolidate it. This is not a recipe for sustained economic growth, especially for the world’s largest economy and one that gets 71% of its gross domestic product (GDP) from consumer spending. America can’t use credit cards to buy its way to prosperity. The US won’t get much help from the rest of the world. The IMF cut its outlook for global growth to 3.8% from previous estimates of four percent. It noted that there is a 38% chance the euro zone, the world’s biggest economic region, will fall back into a recession. Economic trajectories for China, Japan, and Russia are also an issue. All of this could seriously damage the US economy. That’s because approximately 50% of the public companies that make up the S&P 500 get sales from Europe. Add it up. The stock market is sorely overvalued. The so-called US recovery may have helped make Wall Street wealthier, but it has done little or nothing to benefit common man in the Street. The US economy isn’t as strong as we’re being told it is and the global economy is in a mess too.

pakobserver.net/us-trade-war-or-recipe-for-disaster/

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Watching America From Within

By Shahid Javed Burki

May 29, 2018

Watching America from within, as I do, can be very dispiriting. The loss of comfort is considerable for those who, like me, belong to the Muslim faith. For those of us who have come from Pakistan, the burden is twice as heavy. There can be no doubt what Donald Trump feels about Pakistan. That is so even though he knows very little about the country of my origin. Not too long ago, I met a retired lieutenant general who knew well some of the senior former American military men who occupy important positions in the Trump administration. The encounter was at a reception in Washington. “If you put a map of Asia with countries not identified by their names and ask the president to point to Pakistan — even Afghanistan — he is likely to put his finger on Nepal or Laos,” he said. Trump’s anger at Pakistan is based on the assumption that his country is not succeeding in Afghanistan because of Pakistan’s perceived treachery. He has been quite vocal about his distaste for Pakistan. It was apparent on August 21st, 2017 when he announced his administration’s approach towards Afghanistan. His first tweet of the year 2018 was a sharp rebuke of Pakistan, brought about by no particular development.

“Pakistan,” wrote the president has “given us nothing but lies and deceit,” and accused it of providing safe havens to the terrorists “we hunt in Afghanistan.” Three days later, the United States government announced that it was suspending nearly all of the $13 billion in annual security aid to Pakistan. In putting Pakistan down, Trump has expressed a strong preference for strengthening relations with India. Nikki Haley, the United States ambassador to the United Nations, said in a statement that her government has asked “India to keep and eye on Pakistan.”

Trump and his administration have gone beyond expressing anti-Pakistan sentiment and suspending financial aid. On May 11th, the United States’ State Department barred diplomats working at the Pakistani embassy in Washington from travelling outside a 25-mile radius around the city without approval. Pakistan retaliated on the same day. While the United States’ restrictions apply only to the diplomats assigned to the embassy and their families, the Pakistani move was more far-reaching. It banned the Americans from using tinted glass windows or using diplomatic licence plates on private cars.

Affecting the Pakistanis living in the United States is also the sharp shift in the attitudes and worldview of a large segment of the population who are now to the extreme right of the American political spectrum. This is has happened as a result of the political rise of Donald Trump. His political rhetoric encouraged these groups. The extreme right is peopled mostly by angry white men. As Amanda Taub wrote in an analysis for The New York Times, “Two of modern society’s most disruptive forces — anger amongst many men over social changes they see as a threat, and the rise of social media upending how ideas spread and communicate. The alt-right wing populism, men’s rights groups and a renewed white supremacist movement have capitalised on many white men’s feelings of loss in recent years. The groups vary in who they blame, but they provide a sense of meaning and place for their followers.”

I ran into this kind of sentiment in a chance encounter with a young American at the airport in Istanbul. This happened a few days after Trump had unexpectedly won the US presidency. I was returning from Astana, Kazakhstan, after attending the annual meeting of a think tank called the Astana Club. I changed planes at Istanbul and was waiting at the business class gate for boarding the Turkish Airlines flight to Washington. I was the only person at the gate when a young, lightly bearded white man walked up to me and asked if I was travelling business class. I thought the question was a bit strange since I was waiting at the business class gate. He then volunteered some information about himself. He had just returned from some Central Asian country after signing a large, lucrative oil-exploration deal. But he had missed the flight to Denver, Colorado, where he lived. He was re-routed through Washington.

It was not clear to me why he offered all that information about himself. He then asked me where I was headed, something that would have been obvious to him since I was standing at the gate for a flight to Washington. I said I was also going to Washington. “Why are you going there?” he asked. I said I lived there. “Oh come on; that’s not what I am asking.” Now I understood what he was getting at. “Young man, I have lived in the United States longer than you have. I moved to America before you were born. But that is not what you are interested in. You want to know where I am originally from. I am from Pakistan and I am very proud of my Muslim heritage. Is there anything more I could tell you about myself?”

He said I spoke very well; I must be highly educated. I said I was. “You are probably holding a multi-million dollar job in an American corporation working out of Washington. It is people like you who are blocking the advance of people like me, the original Americans.” He then said that I was the sort of a person who must have voted for “that criminal” in the November elections. He was obviously referring to Hillary Clinton. I said I did and then walked away. This encounter was a good indication of where America was headed in terms of the expressed views of some of its citizens towards the non-white segment of the population. This anger was all there but Trump and his rhetoric made his followers less inhibited towards expressing it.

Source: tribune.com.pk/story/1721107/6-watching-america-within/

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Over to the Caretakers

By I.A. Rehman

May 31, 2018

THE second elected government to complete its term in the era of civilian supremacy bows out today. All political groups, the administration and services, and conscious citizens should help the caretaker governments at the centre and in the provinces to complete the transition to a new representative dispensation in accordance with the best traditions of democracy and fair play.

Regardless of how the ruling and opposition parties found their way to agreement on heads of caretaker governments at the centre, the fact that they could do so confirms the soundness of the system. It is also a good omen for progress towards democratic consolidation. Till the time of writing, a jarring note was struck with the withdrawal of the consensus nominees as caretaker chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab, and the failure of the ruling and opposition parties of Sindh and Balochistan to name caretaker chief ministers. This only shows that the political actors involved need to go through a crash course in democratic decision-making.

Why do political parties haggle intensively over selection of caretakers? Quite obviously each party in contention believes that any caretaker who is its rival party’s friend could harm its electoral prospects and it also wishes the interim set-up to be headed by its own favourite so that it can gain an advantage in elections. Like the whole idea of having caretaker regimes to oversee general elections, the squabble over the choice of caretakers is a hazard of democratic underdevelopment. One should like to hope that the present caretakers and their successors in the years to come will strengthen the traditions of democratic and non-partisan conduct and we will start having confidence in any elected government’s ability to hold free and fair elections, however remote from reality this ideal may appear today.

One hopes the caretakers and their successors in the years ahead will strengthen democratic conduct.

The debate on the caretakers’ mandate has not concluded. Opinion is divided on allowing them power to bring about radical changes in state policies or to carry out urgently needed reform the regular governments could not implement for want of will or wherewithal. While there is much to be said for restraining the caretakers from encroaching upon the jurisdiction of elected representatives, there should be a discussion on the ways of benefiting from the experience of caretaker governments. Their suggestions for better governance may even come in the form of ordinances that may or may not be ratified by the post-election government.

That the foremost duty of the caretakers is to ensure the holding of free, fair, peaceful and democratic elections goes without saying. Their main task in this area is to help the autonomous Election Commission of Pakistan discharge its constitutional obligations with as little friction as possible. The ECP must have the support of the administration that it needs but no state service must be allowed to interfere with the electoral process before the polling, during the polling, and after polling has ended.

While the debate on the steps the caretakers should take to guarantee a fair determination of the electorate’s will is open, two matters that deserve to be given priority may be mentioned straightaway. First, a discourse on democratic imperatives should be allowed. Regardless of their background, the caretakers must not forget that a general election is a political process and it ought to be respected as such. Not only political parties but civil society organisations too, regardless of the biases against them in certain quarters, should be allowed to promote good electoral practices.

Second, notwithstanding the limitations to their authority the caretakers represent continuity of the state’s executive arm and they cannot be expected to allow what is illegal, or to prevent anyone from doing what is legal. Implementation of the National Action Plan against terrorism, for example, cannot be ignored, nor can it be allowed to slow down. Likewise the wave of discrimination against religious or ethnic minorities or unlawful actions against them cannot be permitted to get stronger.

One instance of a new campaign against religious minorities is the scheme of asking Muslim and non-Muslim state employees to file affidavits regarding their belief.

These affidavits are believed to have been designed in the light of an observation made by the Islamabad High Court in a case related to the Faizabad dharna. Has that observation become obiter dicta that nobody can seek clarification about? Has the federal government sanctioned identification of state employees’ belief?

True, the identification of non-Muslims by their faith is necessary when they are recruited against the quota fixed for non-Muslims but that is a confidential sharing of information between a jobseeker and the employing authority. Once a non-Muslim joins service he is a state employee no matter what his belief is.

Ever since the Islamabad High Court made its observation much has been said about the dangerous implications of citizens’ religious profiling. That the members of minority communities become more vulnerable than before cannot be denied. The most distressing part of the affair is that religious profiling generates an endless cycle of minorities’ persecution. History offers us many horrible examples of segregation that intolerant majorities impose on their minorities, including ghettoisation and obligation to wear branded clothes in public.

There can be no two opinions on the increase in the level of intolerance in Pakistan that is being extolled in the name of Islam’s glory. That the vandalisation of a house in Sialkot that is venerated by the Ahmadi community took place only the other day ie 44 years after the community was put outside the pale of Islam, proves the point. As for the declaration of faith by Muslims the exercise is totally unnecessary. Indeed, a good case can be made for removing the reference to religion from the passport.

This increase in intolerance and rejection of the pluralist beauty of Pakistan society will be an unwelcome factor in electoral contests that the caretakers will have to address. The protection of the political rights of religious minorities along with the rights of women should be high on the caretakers’ agenda.

Source: dawn.com/news/1411122/over-to-the-caretakers

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What Will Help Crack Pakistan’s Code?

By Saad Gul

May 30, 2018

Close your eyes and imagine waking up one fine morning to an entirely changed Pakistan. Police stations and courts no longer give you the spooky, grim and uncomfortable looks. Instead justice and fairness is visible all around. ‘Chowkis’ have disappeared and traffic seems to be flowing seamlessly. Road etiquette is at its best. People are treating one another with politeness and seem genuinely interested in one another. Women’s participation in the workforce is soaring.

Technology has enabled us to open up bank accounts instantly using just our smartphones. Religious fundamentalism is history and tourism is booming. No one is judging or is being judged because they’re worried ‘what will other people think?’ Instead, all energies are being focused on how to contribute to Pakistan’s journey to greatness forward.

But wait, wishes are no horses. And hence we need just a pinch to remind us we are not dreaming but living in the present in a country of 210 million, which has failed to produce a few great athletes, leaders, planners and visionaries. But there is something that drives this dream, ie, we all desire change and want to come on a par with other nations.

If you’re pondering that the summit is too high and we’ve never been there, we can learn from China’s example. Nearly 40 years ago, China started transitioning from a planned economy towards a market economy and the average growth rate, since, has been around 9.5% every year. For those of you who are unsure about this number, let’s just say that it’s very high. To put it in context, Pakistan achieved a growth rate of 5.3% during fiscal year 2016-2017, the highest in a decade. What did China do to quickly come atop the global food chain? They designed and implemented gradual pragmatic structural reforms.

Unfortunately, these things won’t just magically happen to us that way, for the simple reason that we are still clinging to the old ways of doing business, shy of urgently-needed structural reforms. We have got to start doing things that we’ve never done before.

What do we actually need to take Pakistan out of its current lethargic model of governance? Two ways a) structural reform, b) investing in high quality, accessible education.

Common business barriers that include cumbersome licensing permit and tax procedures; poor contract enforcement; inflexible labour markets; and regulations that favour local monopolies and state-owned enterprises stagnate progress. Poor infrastructure quality, crony capitalism and a major institutional void create the worst business conditions which lowers investment and slashes productivity by increasing the time and outlays required to establish and operate a business.

Since we couldn’t do a good job at filling in the infrastructure void ourselves, and now that China has come to our rescue with the CPEC investment dollars, we must focus our policy on productivity enhancing reforms, like Brazil did. We may offer, like Turkey, tax breaks to attract FDI to companies which allow expanding Pakistan’s exports or increase our productive capacity. Moreover, private investment in Pakistan today accounts for only 10 per cent of the economy. In emerging markets however, the average is about 18 per cent. There is still potential in the manufacturing sector, if targeted towards core manufacturing activities that will enable further production. The key is to achieve a high employment rate, which would help increase household income. Higher income results in higher consumption, and thus better overall quality of life. Alongside supportive fiscal and monetary policies, identifying the appropriate mix, sequence and timing of reforms for Pakistan will be crucial and will have to go through trial and error.

We must stop intellectual bleeding or ‘brain drain’ by incentivising students and young professionals to return to Pakistan after gaining education and work experience abroad. They bring with them skills, experience and knowledge from abroad, which they can deploy here if given a chance.

Furthermore, educating ourselves about emotional intelligence, organisational behaviour and personal leadership is of utmost importance. We still have time.

Source: tribune.com.pk/story/1722327/6-will-help-crack-pakistans-code/

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The Politics of a Spy Swap

By Imran Jan

May 30, 2018

One of the most suitable ways to stay cognisant of the truth in politics is to be a spy. Spy agencies know the truth while governments continue to befool their people. Such is the case with some of the latest developments in Pakistan-US-India relations. The story is convoluted yet simple if we only keep one movie and one book as our references: Bridge of Spies with Tom Hanks and The Killing of Osama Bin Laden by Seymour Hersh.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Congress that he would get Shakil Afridi released. He said, “Please be aware that it’s at my heart and I know it’s important and we can do that. We can achieve that outcome.” Pompeo was a spy chief until recently, he should know what the truth is. Hersh in his work revealed that there was no such thing as a courier who was tailed by the CIA resulting in finding the Abbottabad compound. What actually happened was that Jonathan Bank — the CIA Islamabad station chief inside the US Embassy — was approached by a former senior officer in the Pakistani intelligence with accurate information on the whereabouts of Bin Laden. The trade was for him to receive much of the $25 million reward.

The Americans approached Pakistan military chief Pervez Kayani and ISI director general Shuja Pasha with the verified intelligence about Bin Laden. The cooperation was achieved quickly with the commitment of continued military aid, much of which was anti-terrorism funding. Pasha pushed for the aid to continue and signed off on the plan to send in helicopters to Abbottabad. Kayani told the Americans, “You have to come in lean and mean. And you have to kill him, or there is no deal.”

The ISI allowed a four-man American cell at Tarbela Ghazi for the raid. The cloak-and-dagger episode is one of the most fascinating ones. The most disturbing revelation that Hersh makes is that before the Abbottabad raid, when the US and Pakistani spies were working out the details, it was none other than the CIA that told the ISI to arrest Shakil Afridi and use him as a sacrificial lamb to cover up the story. Afridi had a history of working with the CIA in the past. While he had not assisted the CIA in the hunt for Bin Laden, nevertheless, he fit the profile.

Having these facts as reference, it is mind-boggling and outright ridiculous to watch Pompeo tell Congress that he would make efforts to bring Afridi home. The secretary of state is being totally disingenuous. On the other hand, spy swaps are suddenly the latest fad. Asad Durrani in his controversial book titled Spy Chronicles that he co-authored with ex-chief of India’s RAW A S Dulat, hinted at a possible use of Indian spy Jadhav in a swap or his return for the right price. Musharraf also pointed out that had he been in power, he would have swapped Shakil Afridi for Mullah Fazlullah.

Shakil Afridi’s and Jadhav’s fates might very well resemble that of Rudolf Abel, a Soviet spy captured by the FBI. His lawyer tried to convince the judge not to award Abel a death sentence as he could be useful in a possible spy-swap situation with the Soviet Union. The famous episode is depicted in the movie Bridge of Spies, where Abel is swapped for American U-2 spy plane pilot Francis Gary Powers. In Afridi’s case, swap talk makes sense if the official narrative is believed. Otherwise, how can Afridi be swapped with those who got him behind bars in the first place?

Source: tribune.com.pk/story/1722308/6-politics-spy-swap/

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