Project Promoting Polyarchy in place in Pakistan has been completed. An illiterate population, an obsequious and partisan press, a bigoted leadership and gaggle of self-centered politicians who believe in “Cest Le estat me moi” ( I am the state) are now all working for profit and their Swiss bank accounts.
The Pakistanis voted for the PPPP and the PMLN….now after 30 days, the people are asking…”what about”…we say “Hore Chumpow”
If they can nominate a Neocon as an Ambassador they can do anything. We suggest hiring the real thing, why settle for a cheap Pakistani imitation of Dr. Emerson, Dr. Spencer or Peter King. Hire them as Ambassadors also.
The prices of flour are at an all time high in Pakistan. No more general to blame! The PPP is silent about the 5Es and the PMLN does not even mention the 5Ds. Flour prices despite the increase to Rs 625 per mound is half the international rates for wheat. This will place tremendous pressure on the smuggling supply chain to sell the wheat to other countries outside the borders.To keep pace with the international price of oil, the government will have to eliminate the subsidies on oil, and quadruple the prices. This will be political suicide, so the government will resort to deficit financing, a hall-mark of Darnomics (VooddooSupply Side economics). Enter the IMF with strings attached to roll back the Nuclear program etc. The IMF will also impose harsh edicts to take away the financialpowers of the central government and hand it over to the provinces. This is exactly what happened in Yugoslavia.
The 30 days have passed the judiciary has not been restored. Maulana Faslul Rehman said is best. We do not believe in “ulti ginntee”. He said 18 days have passed and counting.
The new government claimed that they would bring down the prices to 50% of the levels of 2007. Mr. Nawaz Sharif and the PPPP claimed that the electricity shortage was a result of incompetence and they would instantly fix the issues of energy and water shortages. They also claimed that the price of “atta” would go down and that the government would not increase the price of oil. All these were empty promises. Inflation is going up unabated, the shortage or food items is at crisis level.
The leaders of government incessantly complained about the growing role of American armed forces in Pakistan.
The New York Times is reporting the US trainers plan to “accompany” Pakistani troops to where the action is (point of contact). This is the South Vietnam and South Korea model now being followed in Iraq. The purpose of the model is to outsource the killing to Pakistan, while management sits behind the bunkers.
The “United States trainers initially would be restricted to training compounds, but with Pakistani consent could eventually accompany Pakistani troops on missions “to the point of contact” with militants, as American trainers now do with Iraqi troops in Iraq, a senior American military official said. Britain is also considering a similar training mission in Pakistan..
The new government with all its Anti-American rhetoric, tall claims of sovereignty, and the supremacy of the parliament has apparently acquiesced to the American demands and decided to roll over and play dead while the forces pour down carnage on the people of FATA and NWFP.
Salman defends economic strategy of past govt By By our correspondent 4/15/2008
LAHORE: Former federal finance minister Dr Salman Shah has defended the overall economic strategy of the past government, stating that undue pressure created by high oil and commodity rates did put temporary pressures.
He was speaking at a discussion arranged by SAFMAon the State of Pakistan’s economy.Defending the increase in petroleum rates by the interim government, he said that budget deficit would have gone out of hand had these raises not been made. He said the new government in fact should announce similar increases in petroleum rates before the end of the current fiscal.
He said even then the government would be burdened with subsidies on petroleum products. He advised the government to eliminate all subsidies on petrol by the end of next year.He said the government promoted use of locally produced natural gas that has kept the petroleum demand to almost the same level as in 1999. He said now that entire available gas production is being utilized the import of petroleum products is on rise. He said Pakistan would pay $11.5 billion for the same amount of oil it imported in 1999-2000 for $3.1 billion.
He said global wheat rates were at almost the same level as in Pakistan only 16 months back. Today he added even after increasing the wheat support price to Rs625 per maundthe internationalwheat rates are double the local rates.
He said that there is no overshooting of expenses. He said Rs400 billion budget deficit amounts to four per cent of GDP. It would be higher this year due to high oil and commodity rates that burdened the national exchequer.
He claimed that the growth, inflation and debit indicators have improved vastly during past eight years. The GDP he added has shot up from $65 billion to $160 billion. Tax revenues he continued have shot-up from Rs300 billion in 1999 to around one trillion rupees now. He said these increased revenues in fact facilitated the government in accelerating growth and development work.
He said it was wrong to assume that 9/11 facilitated the transformation in economy. He claimed that Ghazi-Brotha hydropower project completed in 2004 added over 1400 MW power in the system. He said the electricity consumption however increased by higher percentage than envisaged by the planners. He added that there was a lapse on the part of the government to neglect further addition in electricity production. However he clarified that 3000MW power projects were initiated by the previous regime that would be operational in 16 months.
U.S. military prepares to train Pakistani forces
US officials have requested $750 million to expand a program designed to assist foreign militaries engaged in counterterrorism.
By David Montero
posted April 16, 2008 at 10:00 am EDT
Suggesting a dramatic shift in Washington’s counterterrorism strategy, the State Department and the Pentagon want to beef up training of foreign militariesand paramilitary troops. The proposal comes as US military trainers are preparing to train Pakistan’s paramilitary forces this summer.
In a proposal to Congress this week, Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice requested $750 million to train troops around the world who are engaged in counterterrorism operations. That would constitute a 250 percent increase, The New York Times reports.
Mr. Gates said that rapidly building up the armed forces of friendly nations to combat terrorism within their borders was “a vital and enduring military requirement.”
The additional funding is designed to augment the Global Train and Equip program, created in 2006 to assist foreign militaries, The Times reports.
“The current program has paid for parts and ammunition used by the Lebanese Army against terrorist threats in a Palestinian refugee camp as well as for helicopter spare parts, night-vision devices and night-flight training for Pakistani special forces fighting suspected members of the Taliban and Al Qaeda along the Afghan border, Mr. Gates said.”
Funding for the program expires in about five months, The Washington Post explains. But Gates and Ms. Rice hope to make the program permanent.
Gates and Rice seek to increase funding authority for the program from $300 million a year to $750 million, make it permanent and expand it to allow assistance to police and paramilitary forces. The program is to expire at the end of September….
A third facet of the proposal would make permanent a program that allows U.S. Special Operations Forces to spend $25 million annually to pay or supply equipment to indigenous forces that support their clandestine operations.
The proposal comes as Washington is preparing to send military trainers to Pakistan’s North West Frontier Province, an area near the Afghan border where Taliban troops and Al Qaeda have been on the upsurge, CNN reported last week.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates has signed deployment orders that will send U.S. military trainers to Pakistan this summer, CNN has learned.
Their mission: To teach Pakistan Frontier Corps units counterinsurgency skills critical to fighting the Taliban and al Qaeda.
The Christian Science Monitor corps against Al Qaeda
Pakistan’s Frontier Corps, as well as the Pakistani Army, have come under increased attack in recent months, suffering several hundreds of casualties in a spate of suicide attacks. And in a battle with Taliban militants in Swat Valley last fall, poorly trained Frontier Corpsmen were killed in large numbers or fled without fighting, prompting alarm from many observers, including the editors of Foreign Policy magazine, who wrote, “Desertion is becoming a serious problem in the ranks of the Frontier Corps, the locally recruited paramilitary force that has been on the front lines of Pakistan’s fight against insurgents in its tribal areas.”
US military trainers on Pakistani soil is not a new thing, The New York Times explained in an article last month. But their numbers are set to rise significantly.
For several years, small teams of American Special Operations forces have trained their Pakistani counterparts in counterinsurgency tactics. But the 40-page classified plan now under review at the United States Central Command to help train the Frontier Corps, a paramilitary force of about 85,000 members recruited from ethnic groups on the border, would significantly increase the size and scope of the American training role in the country.
United States trainers initially would be restricted to training compounds, but with Pakistani consent could eventually accompany Pakistani troops on missions “to the point of contact” with militants, as American trainers now do with Iraqi troops in Iraq, a senior American military official said. Britain is also considering a similar training mission in Pakistan, officials said.
But American troops stationed in Afghanistan’s border region appear to harbor suspicions about the Frontier Corps, The Washington Post reported.
“The Frontier Corps might as well be Taliban…. They are active facilitators of infiltration,” said a U.S. soldier who spoke on the condition of anonymity for security reasons.
Many Pakistani analysts and leaders have warned that a larger US military footprint could lead to a backlash from the public in Pakistan, the British newspaper the Guardian reports.
“They are making a big mistake. With the Frontier Corps they are going to put people to fight against their kith and kin. It will create a greater problem,” said General Hamid Gul, a former head of Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence, the country’s spy agency.
But some Pakistani observers see the proposed new training program as a welcome and vital change, writes Haider Ali Hussein Mullick, a Pakistani scholar and US foreign policy researcher, in Newsweek’s PostGlobal blog.
The current U.S. plan to increase the training of Pakistani troops – paratroopers, Pakistani Special Forces, and Frontier Corps – is a step in the right direction. U.S. training programs must be supplemented by U.S. military hardware and intelligence exchange across the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. A unilateral U.S. attack on Pakistan’s rustic tribal areas, however, will be devastatingly unsustainable and counterproductive.