Friday, January 30, 2009
NEW YORK: Two years of global financial and economic meltdown could leave over 50 million more people unemployed by the end of 2009, risking social unrest, the International Labour Organization warned.New estimates indicate that "global unemployment in 2009 could increase over 2007 by a range of 18 million to 30 million workers, and more than 50 million if the situation continues to deteriorate," the ILO said in a statement.That could raise the world's jobless total to 198 million, or 230 million people in the worst case scenario, according to the figures in the ILO's report, "Global Employment Trends 2009".In 2007, some 179 million people were out of work, according to the report.Officials were more inclined to a middle range scenario of 30 million job losses for 2007-2009, raising the worldwide unemployment tally to 210 million. That could propel the global unemployment rate to an average of 6.5 per cent, or 7.1 per cent in the worst case, for this year, against 5.7 percent in 2007.
The report indicated that 190 million people were jobless by the end of 2008 after 11 million jobs were shed around the world last year alone, based on a combination of official national data and estimates. The ILO figures indicated that developed economies would be hit the hardest with the fastest rise in unemployment rates, from an average of 5.7 per cent in 2007 up to 6.6-7.9 percent in 2009.The report estimated that last year the developed economies and European Union failed to create jobs in 2008, while unemployment picked up sharply to 6.2 per cent, ending five consecutive years of decline.But East Asia, which had the lowest regional unemployment rate at 3.5 per cent in 2007, was forecast to experience a jump to 4.5-5.5 percent in a year.
The crisis could also push another 200 million workers into extreme poverty as they eke out a living in informal, underpaid and unstable work, especially in Africa and South Asia, the ILO predicted.
KABUL (NNI): Afghanistan could soon face a constitutional crisis, with Hamid Karzai's term as president of the war-torn country due to expire before new elections are held. The president's term ends in May under the constitution, but the Independent Election Commission said last week that polls could not be organised in time because of snow-blocked roads and security concerns, reports Financial Times. Mirwais Yasini, deputy parliamentary spokesman, said elections were unlikely to be held until after Ramadan in September, potentially opening a months-long period of uncertainty about who will be in charge. Although the country's 2004 muddled constitution leaves open the possibility of delaying elections because of unfavourable conditions, it does not address what would happen to the presidency during such time. Opposition politicians, unhappy that the election will be delayed, believe Karzai should relinquish power to a caretaker president. The constitution would suggest Sibghatullah Mojadedi, speaker of the upper house of parliament, but he has not been in good health. "There should be a provisional administration and an acting president appointed, who should be chosen by a decision of both houses of parliament and prominent national figures," said Burhanuddin Rabbani, a former president who now heads the United National Front, the country's largest opposition group. John Dempsey, a lawyer who heads up the US Institute of Peace in Kabul, said the politicians opposing Mr Karzai had a "plausible legal argument". "Whether or not Karzai stays in office beyond that [May] date, or whether a caretaker government takes over, the government could very well be facing a legitimacy crisis in the summer," he said. The spring and summer is traditionally when Taliban attacks escalate and the new US administration will be ramping up its efforts to turn round the deteriorating situation in the country. Added to this, the International Institute for Strategic Studies warned in a report that presidential elections this year would take place "amid rising violence and with a government that is unable to exert its authority in the provinces". "Against this background there is a risk that it will not be possible to hold elections; or voter turnout may be below the minimum necessary for the ballot to be valid. The integrity of the whole international mission in Afghanistan is therefore very substantially at stake." Humayun Hamidzada, a presidential spokesman, said the constitution allowed for the president to remain in office until after elections were held. "The people who say otherwise are playing at politics and are not taking account of what is in the national interest or the realities in the country." The president's office is believed to be considering seeking a Supreme Court decision to back its constitutional interpretation.
ISLAMABAD: Inspector General Frontier Corps NWFP Maj. Gen. Tariq Khan has said that militants in SWAT and tribal areas are getting arms and financial assistance from Afghanistan. He told the Senate Committee for Defence that foreign hand was involved in worsening situation in Swat, FATA and other tribal areas.Khan said the government has approved induction of 7000 men into FC, as well as the pay scale has been brought upto that of Army scale, in order to fight militants and terrorism in the affected area. He said miscreants from Afghanistan, in connivance with local militants, were attacking forces in Pakistan. Media’s role to that regard was not appreciable, he said.
Protest in Peshawar against Wapda, Nadra
PESHAWAR: Residents of Union Council Kakshal-I, Peshawar, staged a demonstration against Wapda and Nadra here on Friday to decry the alleged non-cooperative attitude of the staff concerned.The demonstration was staged outside the Peshawar Press Club. The demonstrators were holding banners and placards inscribed with their demands and slogans against the relevant authorities. Kakshal Nazim Arshad Tandar and Naib Nazim Ibrahim Khan led the demonstrators.Addressing the demonstrators, they said area people were facing numerous problems due to Wapda and Nadra officials, who allegedly had an uncaring attitude. They said continuous and unannounced power loadshedding had multiplied the problems of residents, while excessive bills had hit the people hard.
The speakers also demanded transfer of the SDO of Kohat Road subdivision. The peakers flayed the attitude of the Nadra officials, alleging that despite attestation of documents from Nazim or MPA, the Nadra officials were not issuing the CNICs. They said the same was the case with the Passport Office staff.They demanded of the officials to issue the CNICs and passports to those who had completed the requirements. The demonstration disrupted the traffic as the demonstrators marched towards the press club from Kakshal, obstructing the flow of traffic. The vehicles were moving at snail’s pace, as the marchers did not allow the motorists to move on the busy Sher Shah Suri Road.
TURKISH PM RETURNS AS A HERO
Afghan Foreign Minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta,has met with top Pakistani officials in Islamabad to discuss issues that affect both countries ahead of a visit by the new U.S. special envoy.The Pakistani foreign ministry says visiting Afghan Foreign Minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta met with his Pakistani counterpart, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, and with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari. The ministry says they expressed readiness to strengthen their cross-border cooperation on fighting terrorism and militancy.The new U.S. envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke, will visit South Asia next week as the Obama administration reviews its policy on the Afghan conflict.A statement from Pakistan's foreign ministry says Qureshi hopes what it called a "military surge" in Afghanistan will be paired with a politically and developmentaly-oriented surge.The United States says it is boosting its troop strength in Afghanistan by some 30,000 soldiers.
Afghan Foreign Minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta, 9 Jul 2008Afghanistan's foreign minister has met with top Pakistani officials in Islamabad to discuss issues that affect both countries ahead of a visit by the new U.S. special envoy.The Pakistani foreign ministry says visiting Afghan Foreign Minister Rangin Dadfar Spanta met with his Pakistani counterpart, Shah Mahmood Qureshi, and with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari. The ministry says they expressed readiness to strengthen their cross-border cooperation on fighting terrorism and militancy.The new U.S. envoy to Pakistan and Afghanistan, Richard Holbrooke, will visit South Asia next week as the Obama administration reviews its policy on the Afghan conflict.A statement from Pakistan's foreign ministry says Qureshi hopes what it called a "military surge" in Afghanistan will be paired with a politically and developmentaly-oriented surge.The United States says it is boosting its troop strength in Afghanistan by some 30,000 soldiers.
It is funny to read the statements of PML(N) leaders from Hazara over the name Pakhtunkhwa. Let me remind the PML(N) group that Nawaz Sharif is not a national leader and PML(N) should not forget that for getting ANP support when Nawaz was the Prime Minister, he promised ANP to rename NWFP as Pakhtunkhwa. These leaders from Punjab should remember that Pakistan is already at the edge of collapse because of stone age barbarians, Taliban. Today Pakhtun's blood is spilling in Swat and brave Army of Pakistan is afraid to kill these monsters of Swat valley who are denying education to Pakhtun girls, who are destroying our schools, who wants to impose their views on majority of people, who wants to live in peace and improve their lives. It is really shameful and tragic that none of these so-called politicians of PML(N) ever said anything against Taliban activities in Swat valley but they are worried about the name of Pakhtunkhwa, I don't think these so-called politicians have any moral values, today Valley of Swat is burning. Ignorant and criminal Taliban are busy killing Pakhtun people who oppose them. Many innocent people have been killed in most inhuman ways after being termed as spy. Whoever tries to resist in any manner in this area against the norms imposed by these militants is termed as an agent/spy. There are many reports that identify people beheaded and hanged on trees and poles at the unfortunate Grain chowk now identified as Khooni Chowk. Is it Islam? What these politicians of PML(N) think about these tragic events, what so-called religious leaders like Fzal and Qazi think about it? It's not the people of Hazara who are opposing the name of Pakhtunkhwa, it's the PML (N) of Nawaz brothers who are trying to divide people of this great province. Gen. Ayub Khan was born in Rehana village in Haripur District, NWFP, into a family of the Tareen tribe, The Tareens are a prominent Pashtun tribe residing in Pakistan and Afghanistan. The tribe have an influence on politics in Haripur District and Hazara area of the North-West Frontier Province of Pakistan, The principal language of Tareens is Pashto, which proves that people of Hazara are group of Pakhtons even if they speak different language than Pashto. On the other hand anyone who talks about the so-called referendum on this issue then they should have referendum whether Pakhtuns want to continue to live with Pakistan or Afghanistan. It seems like politicians of PML(N) are generating a new issue of hate and divide in this province. Let's not make it a political issue. One should not politicize an issue for own interests. I see no reason for denying Pukhtoons the legitimate name of their province on the grounds that this will increase ethnic tension. On the contrary, if anything, it will defuse the existing tension. Let's not forget what happened to East Pakistan when West Pakistan denied them their right of Bengali language. The problem is Pakistani politicians never learn from history. These politicians need to understand that Pakistan's imposition of Urdu on East Pakistan was a mistake. It seems like some opportunist politicians of PML(N) in the province are trying to create political tension over Pakhtunkhwa. People in Pakhtunkhwa wants to be recognized as a nationality in their own right and for this they want their living place to be named as Pakhtunkhwa. Why can Punjabis have Punjab, Sindhis Sindh , Baluchis Balochistan, but Pukhtoons can't have Pakhtunkhwa ? Why Pukhtoon are being treated like occupied Palestine who will breakaway at the first chance? and if do decide to break off , trust me with all its might, Pakistan can't prevent that. Pakistan couldn't beat Bengalis into submission and it can never force Pakhtun into submission. Its stupid that some people who consider themselves super patriotic imply that Pakhtuns are any less patriotic than themselves. Let me remind those self-declared super Pakistanis that Punjab did not have any option except joining Pakistan. Punjab had to chose between joining Pakistan. But we Pakhtun had a choice to join our brothers in Afghanistan, with whom we share not only our ancestry but our culture, our history, our tradition, and our language, but Pakhtuns decided to stay with Pakistan . How can someone from Punjab or Sindh or any other part of Pakistan give us a lecture on patriotism? I think these people are the one who needs a lesson in patriotism, because by suppressing minorities' right and denying them their identity they are weakening Pakistan not Pukhtoons. Its tragic that Pakistani politicians did not learn any lesson from history. Bengalis were at the forefront in the struggle for Pakistan but when Pakistan suppressed them and denied them their rights and their identity what happened? We all know the end result. By calling Bengalis traitors because they demanded their rights they were converted into traitors. Alas we could learn from history because if we don't, history is doomed to repeat itself. Acceptance of history is a good sign, no wonder, but learning no lesson from it is unforgivable. Pease someone help me to understand how renaming NWFP is gonna break Pakistan or divide people in this province? and please don't give me the crap about patriotism and Islamic unity. What's wrong with Pukhtoons having their identity in Pakistan like Punjabis, Sindhis, and Baluchis? Its the politicians who are making mess over the name not the people living in this province. Sindh, Punjab and Balochistan are border provinces too why they are not called ,east-south, north-east or south-west provinces. Why these are calles with identity of race residing in that territory? We are unanimous on one thing that people from this province are all Pathan if all are not Pashtun. So please take back the British name and give us our own name. The usage of Pakhtunkhwa in Pakhto poetry dates back to the middle ages. The word is a combination of two words - that is Pakhtun and Khwa. Pakhtun or Pashtun is a noun while Khwa means side. Culturally there is no doubt that the land was called Pakhtunkhwa in Pakhto literature since 15th century. The word Pakhtunkhwa was also used in the modern poetry by contemporary poets like Qalandar Momand (1930-2003) long before it was suggested as the nomenclature for the NWFP. The name NWFP is certainly a misnomer today since it does not satisfy the aspirations of the people of the province. Three of the four provinces, the Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan, got their own identity either through their environment or inhabitants. But the NWFP has been named neither after the historical and cultural background of the inhabitants nor derived its name from environment. Since the name (NWFP) does not reflect the true ethnic identity of its inhabitants, therefore a demand for its change is a logical consequence but unfortunately the matter has been turned into a controversial issue again by so-called politicians. Those opposing the word Pakhtunkhwa argue that the name will not represent non-Pashto speaking population of the province. The argument is unjustified and impractical. There is hardly any country in the world which does not have ethnic minorities. Even in Pakistan; Punjab, Sindh, and Balochistan have large number of people who do not speak the language their names ostensibly suggest. The 74 percent population of NWFP speaks Pashto as mother language in present day NWFP and the proportion will greatly increase when FATA will ultimately be merged in the province. Choosing a proper name for the province is the fundamental right of its residents. It would help strengthen the federation besides removing the sense of deprivation among people of the smallest province of the country. It is time that politicians belonging to different factions of Muslim League too come out of their mindset and start objectively treating the demands the smaller provinces. It will help us build a stronger and more vibrant federation. Instead of debating again and again over this issue, politicians are wasting their time, they should either spend their time on development of this province or quit politics. There is no need to challenge the Pakhtunkhwa issue as it has been passed with overwhelming majority in the provincial assembly, members of this assembly should discuss how to solve the problems in this province. Renaming the NWFP province to Pakhtunkhwa has a long political history in Pakistan. Pakhtoons and nationalist groups, which are passionate about naming their inhabited land after their identity as Pukhtoons, have been demanding the change of the province's name for decades. But a number of political groups and opportunist politicians are not in favour of calling NWFP as Pakhtunkhwa and they are trying to divide people in Pakhtunkhwa. These members of assembly should be discussing creating jobs, hiring police officers, opening new schools, colleges and universities, hospitals and providing clean water and electricity to their voters and keeping province safe, rid Province of violence and terror, generate productive employment for youth, provide education, healthcare, and bring progress to the doorstep of workers, farmers and small businesses, elimination of child labor etc. These are the issues people for which people have elected these assembly members to solve.