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Archive for category NAWAZ SHARIF SAGA OF ABSOLUTE & CHRONIC CORRUPTION

Pakistan: A Need for Clarity in light of the Confessions Of An Economic Hitman (Deception of IMF / World Bank)

Pakistan: A Need for Clarity in light of the Confessions Of An Economic Hitman (Deception of IMF / World Bank)

Saeed A. Malik.

There is much that Pakistan needs to pull itself out of the hole it finds itself in. Among these is the utmost need for clarity on the following questions:

  1. What has happened to Pakistan?

  2. Why did this happen?

  3. What should be expected to follow?

  4. What is the way out?

Unless clear and precise answers to the above are forthcoming, the way forward cannot be determined. And losing our way in the dark of the night will only increase our pain and add to our troubles. So trying to find answers to these questions the best we can, should at least be attempted.

  1. What has happened to Pakistan?

If a person owes more money than he has the resources to pay back his debt, technically he can be said to be bankrupt. So is the case with states.

This is the closest Pakistan has come to national bankruptcy. Thus far the efforts of the government have succeeded to buy time to set the national house in order. There are goals set for the future. And to the achievement of these goals, our hopes are tied.

But there is no certainty as yet that these goals will be achieved.

Pakistan has borrowed even more to gain time in order to prevent a total shipwreck and to plan its way out of the morass. It had no other option.

From now until we turn the corner therefore, our national security must remain in the most parlous state that it has ever been. This must be very clear to all.

  1. Why did this happen?

We are supposed to be a parliamentary democracy. We elect people who are sworn to defend the highest national interest. Each of these people who offer themselves for elections must spend at least Rs ten crores to have any chance of winning. When they win, it is their first goal to recover what they have spent in the process. Then they must make a hefty profit on this investment. Thus the very system is rooted in illegal money-making, out and out corruption, and subversion of the rule of law. And yet we insist on calling this system a democracy.

The elected members of parliament cannot recover their investment and then go on to make a profit on it, without help from the bureaucrats. So they subvert the bureaucracy. Next, they must indemnify themselves against the possibility of facing criminal proceedings on account of their crimes of corruption. To ensure this all law enforcement agencies and the judiciary must also be subverted. Concurrently with this, the political opposition and the media must be made friendly. They make a partnership with the first and buy the second. And ultimately they aim for the greatest immunity of all i.e the certainty to be elected perpetually. This they manage by mangling the constitution.

This is precisely what has happened to Pakistan. What ought to have been a democracy, turned out to be a vast criminal enterprise. Every national institution, except the armed forces, was co-opted, and then destroyed in the process. And also destroyed along with these institutions was the value system which holds any halfway decent society together. 

A system in which one must first invest to get elected, and then make a profit on this investment, has to be founded on the legitimation of plunder. And this leads to the fattening of the leaders and emptying of the national treasury. The already poor are ground into dust, and the middle classes are pushed into poverty.

To expect a  system founded on its opposition to the rule of law to blossom into a democracy, can only be the expectation of an idiot. The system is designed to promote crime. This is exactly what befell Pakistan. On this, there must be total clarity.

But the question that will not easily be put to rest is, whether it was insatiable greed alone which drove the Zardari-Sharif to combine to inflict rape on their motherland, or was there some other force propelling them in this direction as well.

 To get an answer to this we need to examine the case of Iran. There are a number of motivating factors driving the U.S policy against Iran. But the main driver of this policy is Israel’s central, Yinon-driven obsession with Iran i.e to destroy any Muslim country in the middle east which could potentially challenge Israeli hegemony in this region.

Iran has been groaning under decades of sanctions. The aim is to bankrupt this state so that the pain inflicted on the common man brings him out on the street, and this brings about a regime change.

 

 

Pillaging the World. The History and Politics of the IMF

 

 

But Iran does not even have the rudiments of a bomb as yet, while Pakistan has hundreds of them, as well as proven delivery systems. Why are there no sanctions on Pakistan, which is not only potentially a far greater challenge to Israel, but additionally it has done the most to undermine the “containment of China policy” by its full support for the CPEC, which will bring China directly into the middle east?

The answer should be clear as daylight. And this answer is that when you have your team of economic hit men directly ruling the roost in Pakistan, they will do a far quicker job of bringing the country to its knees than any number of sanctions could!

The reader needs to just examine the ease with which loan after the loan was extended to Pakistan for the last ten years, without bringing under scrutiny our country’s ability to repay the same! 

And this is precisely what the role of an Economic Hitman is defined as i.e take the target country to a stage where it no longer has the ability to repay its loans. Once there, such a country’s arm can be twisted to till it surrenders its sovereignty. See the attached video below.

  1. What should be expected to follow?

For the moment Pakistan’s economic situation has left it few options but to borrow more and to print currency to get by. This is directly responsible for the inflation Pakistan is experiencing i.e there is more currency in the country than there are goods to buy, so that the value of the currency is depreciating, while that of the goods is appreciating relative to it.

But very soon all employers, including the government, will have to revise the pay structure of its employees so that people get a livable wage. For this, it will have to print more money. And this will have to be repeated every few months. And the more is the currency that gets printed, the lower the value of money will fall, and the more expensive will the goods become. 

And this is exactly what has happened to the dollar rate. It will keep rising in value in inverse proportion to the fall in the value of the Pakistani rupee i.e as the value of the rupee falls, so that of the dollar will increase.

So unless something spectacular happens to save our hides, we are on our way to hyperinflation. And what follows this is hyper-instability. And this is a frightening prospect.

What makes the situation worse is that a global recession in 1020 is almost a certainty.  And as per economist Nouriel Roubini, if there is a war on Iran, this could result in the first global depression since 1929.

Thus there is little hope for the situation in Pakistan turning around in a year, or two years, or three.

This needs to be foreseen. 

So this is where the Zardari-Sharif machine and their teams of hit men have left Pakistan. That this slide occurred on the watch of two army chiefs, who held ultimate de facto responsibility for national security, makes me retch.

  1. What is the way out?

Nothing in the short term can help ease the economic situation of Pakistan than speeding up work on the CPEC. Additionally, China needs requesting to set up some industries in Pakistan on an urgent basis. Chinese interests in Pakistan will make it likely that they will agree to help out Pakistan. But they will think over this twice unless Pakistan has a strong government and a considerably more efficient bureaucracy in place. And most importantly, China would like Pakistan to be first embedded solidly in the pro-China camp.

It must be quite clear to all that Hafeez Shaikh and company are products of the Chicago School’s economic thinking. They have been schooled to push the neo-liberal economic agenda. It is absolutely essential for Pakistan to get an alternative view on all the economic plans they have crafted. No point wading into what might well turn out to be another economic minefield without first having it reexamined from an alternate point of view.

Be very clear on how to deal with the business community. No raids. No random arrests. It will pay to listen to their genuine grievances and to address them before taking any action against them.

Stolen assets need to be recovered, and hidden ones documented.

The principle that needs to be adopted is that if the people who have plundered Pakistan and inflicted such unbearable pain on its wretched millions do not return stolen assets, they shall not be allowed to enjoy the fruits of their ill-gotten wealth either. No deals, no “production orders”, no A or B class in jail. Let them be treated as the thieves that they are. All their wealth should be confiscated by the state e.g Asif Zardari’s 19 sugar mills etc fall in this category.

And all such people who have not returned stolen assets, should not be allowed to leave the country even after they have completed their jail terms. And those against whom prima facie evidence of wrongdoing exists, but who have yet to be indicted because of the overstretched state resources to do this, should at the very least be put on ECL.

If this is meticulously done, those who have undocumented wealth will on their own begin to come forward to pay their dues. 

Broadening the tax base and the system of gathering taxes has to be improved. A lot will depend upon how FBR functioning is improved. And this is a whole new subject.

How to repatriate assets held abroad will be the real problem, but there are ways to do this as well. No country would want Pakistan to be pushed against the wall to the extent that it will be forced to sell off some of its defense technologies in order to survive. If they SERIOUSLY suspect this, they will become amenable to repatriate both our criminals hiding among them, as wealth as Pakistan’s stolen millions. But this will happen only if China is standing squarely behind Pakistan. 

This drive will have to begin with tightening up NAB. This should begin with bringing Choudhary Qamar Zaman on trial for deliberately facilitating mega-crooks to go free. Begin this by bringing charges against him for the way he handled the Hudaibya case. If this is done, it shall serve notice to the rest of NAB, which needs to be done if NAB is to function optimally.

From all of the above, it should be quite clear that the government can do little to give immediate economic and financial relief to the people of Pakistan, beyond setting the right direction, so that each passing day brings about an improvement. However, what the government can do, without any additional expenditure, is to significantly improve governance. For this to come about, all that is really needed is to weed out the worst officers from all institutions, and place, promote, empower, and support the very best.

Pakistan does not have the financial capital to fall back on. Yet it has reserves of human capital, which it can tap to bring about a significant improvement in governance. Greater reserves of this human capital lie lost in the ranks of the retired, than in those of the serving, which have largely been infected by the rot which spread in the last ten years. It is for the government to set aside many of the rules governing employment and massively requisition the services of such retired officers whose claim to fame was ability and integrity, and who are still in reasonable health to serve the state.

The sad thing, however, is, that even with the limited supply of very good officers which the government can deploy in certain areas to improve governance, this has not been done. One’s take is that on the subject of governance, the performance of the present government is even poorer than the outgoing one. And this must have taken some doing!

But the reason for this is again the “system”. All MNAs and MPAs are interested in having DCs and SPs of choice posted in their constituencies. Their prime interest is not good governance, but that of exercising control.. Thus the system has made the PM hostage blackmail by the legislators, whether these belong to his own party, or belong to his affiliates.

And this is the central problem. Pakistan is forced to sustain a political system which is directly responsible for the ills and maladies the state and its people are suffering from. It is a system which is antithetical to the demands of good government but must be borne nonetheless. Pakistan is in the unhappy position of trying to clean out the village well, without first fishing out the dead dog which is the cause of the pollution. The dog is this very system. The well cannot be cleaned as long as the dog is there. Pakistan is grappling with the direst emergency of its existence, and trying to combat it, pinning its hopes on a dead dog!

Only when there is absolute clarity on this issue can Pakistan move purposefully ahead. This is an emergency situation and must be combated as one. The constitution was deliberately mangled to remove all remedies against such a situation. But the Supreme Court exists. The PM should resort to S.C for an in camera hearing, to lay before it the reality of our national security, and how it has been undermined. He should make a plea for the formation of a national government by the President of Pakistan to tide us through this period of national emergency and to restore the fortunes of the state.

Each day that passes with the government trying to address the situation with tools not adequate to it, is a day lost. And each day the dog stinks worse.

Confessions Of An Economic Hitman

What is an economic hitman? 

Cenk Uygur and John Perkins, hosts of The Conversation, break it down. 

MORE TYT: https://tyt.com/trial

https://youtu.be/t8ZEFpHGFZA

Preview YouTube video Confessions Of An Economic Hitman

 

 

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PML(N) govt pays $50 billion mark-up on loans in 4-years

A special brief report by J. Choudhry/Editor Corporate Ambassador. This report is based on the data of the Ministry of Finance, posted below. It makes clear each and everything.

2016-17 budget

Can you believe it that this country of poor had paid $50 billion worth mark-up on loans obtained from the domestic and foreign institutions in the last four years, from 2013-14 to 2016-17? According to the Finance Ministry’s budget reports, in 2013-14 the PML(N) government spent $12 billion (Rs 1147.8 billion) on payment of mark-up against domestic and foreign loans. In 2014-15, another $13 billion worth amount (Rs 1303.7 billion) spent on payment of interest on loans, whereas, in 2015-16 the payment of mark-up on loans amounted to about $12.40 billion (Rs 1263.56 billion). In the last financial year, 2016-17 (ended in June-2017), the PML(N) government spent another $13 billion (Rs 1348.43 billion) for payment of mark-up (sood/usury) on loans.

 

Thus in four years of PML(N) government, the country has spent a massive amount, equal to $50 billion on the payment of mark-up. It does not include the amount spent on repayment of loans, domestic and foreign. In last four years, the government had obtained about $58 billion worth loans, mostly from the domestic resources —- domestic banks and State Bank of Pakistan while foreign lenders like IMF and others did not provide a big amount of money for budgetary support.

2014-15 budget1

2012-14 budget1

stock exchange loses 12,000 points

Pakistan Stock Exchange has suffered massive losses in recent months and the PSX-100 index had skipped to about 40,237 points on Oct 12, 2017, from 52,000+ points on May 16, 2017, and 53,000+ points in Jan-2017. Increased political tug of war in Panama case and after the disqualification of Nawaz Sharif that things have worsened on the economic and political fronts in the country. The PML(N) govt has deliberately ruined the economic stability perhaps to take revenge of Panama case from Pakistan and Pakistanis.

Foreign exchange reserves of Pakistan have also declined by more than $4 billion since Nov-2016 when reserves stayed above $24+ billion and now at below $20 billion. Table of forex issued by State Bank of Pakistan is posted below.

Forex down $4.26 billion

Posted on  by Javed Mahmood (J. Choudhry) _ Editor Corporate Ambassador

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 The Strategy of Madness by Saeed A. Malik.

 The Strategy of Madness.

Saeed A. Malik.

Although Machiavelli did advocate that a Prince may sometimes profit by playing mad, I can only think of a couple of times this strategy was actually employed.
The first time it was used was by Richard Nixon during the Vietnam War. He told Melvin Liard to let the word out so that it gets to the Russian and Vietnamese leadership that the U.S President harboured such extreme hatred of communism, he could be expected to do just anything to end the Vietnam War. He wanted it bruited about that it was not beyond him, in a fit of madness, to order a nuclear strike on both the countries! He believed that if played properly this could induce both the Russians and the Vietnamese to come to the table and to end the war on U.S terms.
Melvin Laird, who was Nixon’s secretary of defense at the time, was then ordered by Nixon, to lay out plans which would give credibility to this “Madness”. But he chose to put off giving shape to any such plans by one excuse or another. He thought this strategy was too “crazy” and dangerous and could lead to a nuclear war.
But Nixon insisted, and in Oct 1969, US bombers, loaded with nuclear warheads were ordered to fly along the borders of USSR. And for three successive days, they did this.
No one is certain about the degree of fright these manoeuvres created among the Soviets, but nothing much came of them.
But the next time this strategy was employed, it did create an immense amount of fright. This was when Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, then under arrest and knowing his quarters were bugged, began issuing fusillades of invective against Zia ul Haq and his generals, enumerating all the nice things he would do to them when he returned to power.
By this stratagem, Bhutto did succeed in generating some serious fright. Serious enough to get himself hanged!
And now we are seeing Mian Nawaz Sharif, egged on by his brilliant daughter, taking a leaf out of Bhutto’s book and running with it.. Whether the result he achieves is going to be as brilliant as the one achieved by Bhutto, one cannot predict at the moment. But one can clearly see where he is headed.
He has decided that being the lion that he is, it best behoves him to roar and to keep on roaring until the roar flattens out into a bray. And he seems to have arrived at the felicitous conclusion, that without him, Pakistan stands to lose all meaning. Thus, if he cannot have Pakistan all to himself and his brood, Pakistan would be better off as a heap of rubble.

So far his crowning achievement is the tattering of a political party built of three decades of loot and plunder.

The only thing more pathetic than

Nawaz Sharif is his sorry remnants of slobbering court jesters, making excuses for him and trying to put Humpty
Dumpty

together again.

 And then there is Chaudhry Nisar–sulky little Jack Horner…the sole carrier of the flag of integrity in the late lamented PML-N…the symbol of loyal service to the party. So loyal in fact, that he has proudly confessed to advising Nawaz Sharif at every turn, of how to make away with the wealth he stole from the country he pulverized and pauperized, and therefore to escape the just deserts coming to the plunder king of a ravaged land. 
But luckily for Pakistan, whatever be its plight, Nawaz Sharif’s last attack on the state and its army seems to have put public support decisively behind the army. 
Most writers and nearly all the anchors have given to cutting him slack, have either genuinely turned, or seem too embarrassed to help him along with their usual platitudes of mercenary support. Perhaps Pakistan will see better days yet. 
Perhaps the process of accountability now underway will be an across the board process, and proceed from top to bottom, because the poor bottom, having been buffeted so long and so mercilessly, is now in a truly sorry state and needs some relief.

Saeed A. Malik. 

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Invisible Blinkers By   Brig(R)  Saleem Qamar Butt

Invisible Blinkers

By

Brig(R)  Saleem Qamar Butt

The moment one lands back from a developed country at any airport in Pakistan, one gets an uncanny feeling of chaos, mismanagement, dishonesty, rudeness, pollution and lawlessness…..all antonyms to values otherwise expected to prevail in an Islamic country where everyone claims to be a pious and holier than holiest Muslim. 

One is compelled to ponder as to why people in majority behave so bad living here or even those who live abroad and soon after touching home base, behave in the same appalling manners. Our airports, railway and bus stations, all public places and traffic on roads is perhaps one of the worst display in the world and speak volume about our poor education system and overall poorest grooming as human beings or members of a civilized society. Ironically, nothing seems to be done either by the government or by non-government institutions to arrest these negative practices.

While our religion puts so much emphasis on piety, cleanliness, truthfulness, doing good things and stopping self and others from evil practices, discipline, politeness and on helping the needy, why then people apparently performing all Islamic duties (haqooq Allah) and visibly following five main pillars of Islam, falter so badly on performing duties as a useful and sober member of society (haqooq-ul-ibad)? There is no short answer though; yet, a shallow dive into this matter reveals that most of us are wearing ‘invisible blinkers’, that keep us from considering a situation rationally or suffering from a phenomenon akin to a pair of flaps attached to a horse’s bridle, one beside each eye, to keep the horse from looking anywhere but straight ahead…..focused on self preservation and progress alone. What causes these invisible blinkers’ attachment to our eyes that causesmunafqat’, ‘double-dealing’ or ‘hypocrisy’? I posed this question to an Islamic scholar and he gave an out of the ordinary answer. According to him, “if a person willingly, knowingly or unknowingly eats forbidden or Haram, his/her sense of judgment on sifting right from wrong is taken away by Almighty as a punishment” something similar to ‘summun bukmun….!’

However, in societies like Japan or Singapore where religion is not so much visible, Islamic virtues and values are best seen in practice and hypocrisy is almost extinct. It is said that ‘poverty has no religion’….but our society defies this proverbial truth too because the rich class is more corrupt and duplicitous than poor people. The honest minority is facing enormous frustration as corruption infested society makes it almost impossible to remain free from ill practices one way or the other. No amounts of dua or prayers seem to work to put the rail back on tracks as far as Pakistan’s difficulties and challenges are concerned. Nevertheless, sometimes most complex challenges have simple solutions.

If we can follow the dictum, charity begins at home, we may find the silver lining sooner than expected. In Germany and Japan after second world war and in Central Asian Republics after independence from former Soviet Union in early 90s, the institution of Mothers and teachers played the main role in grooming and educating the children and youth to rise as shining stars of hope and prosperity of nations and results achieved by these countries in all fields in a short span of time are too obvious to neglect. If we can choose and elect the right leadership, who can provide people universal free education system, well-groomed mothers and highly qualified teachers, we can achieve in a decade what we have missed in the last seven decades. The training of trainers through Japanese and German teachers at the national level on a massive scale and raising the status of teachers in the society needs to be accorded a high priority. Our highly educated women resource need to be galvanized to undertake to groom of mothers as being practiced in Ladies Clubs in military circles. Inclusions of sports in all educational institutions must be made compulsory for the inculcation of sportsmen spirit and to ensure mental and physical health. A political party that can include these simple and basic grassroots level steps in its manifesto may be given preference for electing our government instead of lofty but hollow slogans. We as a nation have to strive hard to get rid of invisible blinkers. 

Allah only helps those who help themselves; therefore, we have to bell the cat ourselves rather than expecting in vain miracle happening by mere inactive prayers.

* Brigadier(R) Saleem Qamar Butt, SI (M) is a student of International Relations, Defence and Warfare Studies with expertise in Executive Management, Military & Intelligence Diplomacy, Strategic Analyses and Forecast.

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sqbutt61@gmail.com

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Of New Islamabad Airport

Incompetence is the Hallmark of the Corrupt Nawaz Sharif PML-N Government


Of New Islamabad Airport

Brig Rashid Wali Janjua

First visit to Islamabad Airport. Today was my first visit to the new airport as I was travelling to Karachi via PK 309. I started from Chaklala Scheme III at 16.45 hrs and reached the airport exactly after one hour of travelling on a Sunday when the traffic on Peshawar road and GT road was quite light. As we approached the airport the sight of wide approach road was reassuring. Suddenly I found a big queue of vehicles at two checkpoints which created a jam. So despite new facilities the ubiquitous traffic jam issue remained as it was on old Benazir Bhutto Airport. The new building of the airport presented a grand and spruced up look. Here at least was an international standard airport at Islamabad. As I entered the airport I beheld the red granite floor. While standing I closely examined and found chipped off edges of granite slabs, which was quite surprising as it indicated a poor workmanship. Apparently in hurry someone had compromised on workmanship. The queue for boarding pass was a horror story however. Quetta bound passengers were milling around all counters raising noises and entering in heated debate with the PIA booking staff. A plane bound for Quetta was diverted elsewhere and the Quetta flight now was at 11 pm. There was shortage of booking staff and the overworked and harried booking staff battled frequent internet breakdowns and communication problems. A seasoned staff member confided in me that due to sudden inauguration many services could not be fully developed a d especially communication equipment shortage like walkie-talkies etc was hurting the smooth operations. When I reached the booking gentleman he kept fidgeting with my ticket and his computer for good 15 minutes. After that he told me that since my ticket was economy premium and that the plane had been changed there was no premium economy and that I should contact my booking agent to upgrade my ticket to business class. The News was frustrating yet I went to another staff member and explained the problem. My travel agent meanwhile told me that since PIA ha changed the airplane to a 777 and failed to inform we needed to upgrade the ticket. I acquiesced. While this was being done suddenly the ticketing system went down with internet issues. Meanwhile I heard loud shouts by Quetta passengers who had started getting violent due to frustration. There were few counters and all overloaded with frequent computer breakdowns. Complete mayhem with harried looking booking staff and clueless coordination gentlemen presented an anachronistic scene for a newly inaugurated airport. Now when my ticketing issue was sorted out I was directed to finance desk to pay some amount. I moved around but found the finance guys absent! If I thought this was hilarious more was yet to come. The finance guy was frantically called on internet call bit the signals went down and no contact. Flight departure time meanwhile was approaching close and I was getting restless. After a tense wait of 15 minutes the cash guy sauntered in and I explained my requirement. He made few calls to get the right information as he was not aware of the ticket change dues payment procedure. After wasting a lot of time he finally informed me that there were no extra charges and that I could go. Relieved finally I dashed for Gate B1 to be precise for my inaugural flight from Islamabad Airport. After a lot of escalator movements we reached at the gate expecting to be led to the pedestrian bridge. No such luck however and this takes the cake. At the gate a forlorn yet spirited ASF guy informed us that we would have to wait for a bus to take us to the plane. I asked,”Where is the pedestrian bridge?” He replied matter of factly,”Sir, the pedestrian gate could not be operated as the Civil Aviation guy has gone away with the Key”. The passengers despite their discomfiture burst into guffaws. At least there was some redeeming feature in this disorder. Our flight took off 3xactly an hour late, nothing wrong with that since by PIA standards that was perfectly normal. 
Amid all this turmoil on the airport especially on the booking counters, there was one gentleman with the name of Harish Kumar and two ladies Maria and Bushra on the counters who were a picture of equanimity and handled all irate passengers with professional courtesy and a cool head. One felt for those nice souls caught up in an impossible situation. The overall impression was such that as if someone had deliberately conspired to create confusion on the airport.
I appeal to all concerned that if due to electoral expediency the premature inauguration was necessary all facilities and requisite should have been provided at the new airport. My humble suggestion is to suspend operations there for few months to get the complete staff and facilities operative and the flight operations are conducted from the old airport till then.

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