Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Video - Mai Baghi Hoon (Jeyay Bhutto)

Video Report - PTI Gives New Tax Amnesty Scheme To Pakistan | Najam Sethi Show | 14 May 2019

Video Report - Pakistani girls sold in China's 'bride market'

Video Report - Why Pakistani Girls Are Getting Married With Chinese Men?

Pakistan signed deal with IMF : Will it bring new taxes and Inflation?

We all know who’s behind ‘NABgardi’: Bilawal Bhutto

Pakistan Peoples Party Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari remarked on Tuesday that everyone knows who is behind the latest spade of ‘NABgardi’. 

“Our three generations have been battling them,” he wrote in a tweet on social media. “We will not stop now.”
The tweet comes the same day the National Accountability Bureau summoned him in the Park Lane cane on May 17, Friday. This is the second time he will appear before NAB in the case.

Pakistan: The Chant Of ‘Da Sanga Azadi Da’ – OpEd

Nearly 15% of population of Pakistan (around 200 million) belongs to Pashtun ethnicity. Time and again our Pashtun brothers and sisters have proved their loyalty and love for Pakistan and sacrificed the most be it in terms of Pakistan movement or later whenever any rough time and situation arises in the border region or when the military operation was conducted in the North West region and they had to become IDPs. However, the slogan “Da Sanga Azadi Da” (what kind of freedom is this?) is voice of many Pashtuns these days and its echo can now be heard in whole country and raising many questions in minds of all Pakistanis. PTM – Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement; is the recent conflict the state and people are facing these days.
Looking back, the journey of PTM is not very long, being established by 8 university students in May 2014 with very basic demand of removing the landmines from tribal areas which had claimed more than 40 lives. The case of NaqeebUllah Mehsud and controversy of Rao Anwar, unfortunate incident of Tahir Dawar and all those missing persons cases brought the PTM in spotlight since 2018. This was the time PTM started gaining support from masses and people joined and rendered their support for them as the demands seemed genuinely worth considering. At the same time, the controversies and scandals started surfacing regarding PTM’s chairman and leadership– the Khaisor event and allegations of Matorkey brothers, and among them there are now voices of foreign hand involved behind PTM activities. Between this scramble of truths and politics and controversies and messed up situation, the major concern is its impact on a common young mind particularly Pashtun youth and those from the tribal belt – now part of KPK.
This goes without saying that the love for our forces and homeland runs in our blood and there is sheer intolerance for all anti state sentiments in our hearts. Amongst all the recent developments including the stance of government, the voice of Pashtuns, the statements of Pakistan Army, the media talk and analysis and all the other voices of political parties and human rights organizations makes a young mind inquisitive and curiosity of finding the facts and truth with the debate of patriotism and treachery reaches its peak. Being a young student, I have my own set of questions.
The PTM’s influential circle is mostly youth and young adults. University students and other educated/ well aware young adults who have paid a hefty price throughout their lives owing to a tiresome battle for peace they are fighting and now torn between militants and military. The sacrifices these people have made by leaving their houses and land and going through the struggles of rehabilitation and are still being scrutinized for what the militants and terrorist groups have done to them and their areas. The required support from government and other institutions is lacking for them. The basic demands of PTM is therefore voice of their hearts and these grievances have now become deep rooted and serves as a fertile land for all the anti state powers; be it the foreign agencies and militant groups from across border, regional politics and all others who have evil plans for our dear homeland and exploitation for them becomes very easy. Foreign funding, media access (as local media is not giving them coverage), international and national support at various forums etcetera are the baits being used.
Considering the severity of situation, the state cannot just sit idle and has to take actions which are bound to be disliked by the targeted community. The culprits or black sheep will get their due share but the sufferers are only going to be those young minds and people who once again put their trust in the wrong hands maybe, or whose sentiments and emotions have been exploited once again by people of some other motives who got off track by the period of time and nobody will claim responsibility of all this messed up situation from both ends – the PTM or the state.
Every new day is bringing new things and new dimensions to this conflict but need of time is to secure the future of our precious Pashtuns who love Pakistan no less than others and who are being held hostage time and again previously by the militants who are now again trying to reclaim them directly or indirectly and now by some other nationalists who are accusing the armed forces openly for all their issues (Ye jo dehshatgardi hai; iske peeche wardi hai). The correct answer to this puzzle lies only in genuine and considerate resolution of their mainstream problems. To share and make them understand the limitations (if there are any) so that they themselves can fight the elements who try to take advantage from plight of others. Hoping things to turn out the best way possible for resolution of this conflict and may our Pashtun brothers and sisters experience Azaadi the way they want!

Fresh #IMF deal a 'political blow' to #Pakistan PM Imran Khan

By  Haroon Janjua

After months of difficult negotiations, Islamabad and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) declared on Sunday that they had reached an agreement on a fresh bailout package for Pakistan. If the deal is approved by the IMF's management, the South Asian nation will receive $6 billion (€5.34 billion) in financial assistance over a period of three years to stave off a balance-of-payments crisis.
Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Pakistan's de facto finance minister, told the state-run Pakistan Television that he hoped it would be his country's last bailout package from the IMF.
Under the deal, Pakistan would give up central bank control of the currency to adopt a market-based exchange rate and take measures to improve the functioning of loss-making state-owned firms as well as curtail subsidies, among other things. The World Bank and the Asian Development Bank would provide up to $3 billion in additional assistance in pursuance of the IMF deal, Hafeez Shaikh said.
The economy of the majority-Muslim nation with a population of over 200 million has slid deeper into crisis since Imran Khan took over as prime minister last year. Burgeoning fiscal and current account deficits and a dip in revenues from tax collection are at the heart of the crisis. "Pakistan is facing a challenging economic environment, with lackluster growth, elevated inflation, high indebtedness, and a weak external position," Ernesto Ramirez Rigo, who led the IMF mission to Pakistan, said in a statement on Sunday. "The authorities recognize the need to address these challenges, as well as to tackle the large informality in the economy, the low spending in human capital, and poverty."
A challenging environment
"Through the IMF bailout package, Pakistan will resolve its balance-of-payments crisis. There is currently a financing gap of $12 billion and the bailout will help bridge the gap this year as well as in the coming three years," Minister of State for Revenue Hammad Azhar told DW.Pakistan has gone to the IMF numerous times since 1980 seeking bailouts. The country has had a tense relationship with the lender as the conditions attached to the assistance are always unpopular.PM Imran Khan initially appeared reluctant to approach the IMF for aid, fearing that it would impose tough conditions on government policy. Instead, Khan's administration sought billions of dollars in help from "friendly countries," including Saudi Arabia, China and the United Arab Emirates, to fix the nation's finances.But with inflation climbing to over 8%, the rupee losing a third of its value over the past year, and foreign exchange reserves barely enough to cover two months of imports, it was forced to turn to the IMF.
Growing discontent
Analysts have warned that any IMF deal would likely come with strict conditions that could restrict PM Khan's ability to fulfil his grand promises to build an "Islamic welfare state," as the country is forced to tighten its purse strings.
"The IMF deal, with the austerity measures it will entail, will be a political blow to a Pakistani government that had promised to build out a new welfare state," Michael Kugelman, a South Asia expert at the Washington-based Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars, told DW. "The IMF package will make it quite tough for Khan to achieve his economic promises and therefore undercut the populist image that he has sought to showcase to the electorate," he added.
This view is shared by Kaiser Bengali, a renowned economist in Pakistan. "The IMF has an agenda to privatize the assets of the country, which will lead to massive unemployment," said the expert.
The bailout announcement comes as discontent is already growing over measures Khan's government has taken to fend off the crisis, including devaluing the rupee by some 30% since January 2018, sending inflation to five-year highs.Khan came to power after winning a simple majority in last year's parliamentary elections on promises to improve the country's economy and provide jobs to people. But his critics say his government has so far not been able to honor his commitment to the masses. A government report published on Friday also noted that Pakistan's growth rate is set to hit an eight-year low, with the country's GDP rate likely to sink to 3.3%t against a projected target of 6.2%.
But some observers say the IMF package will be beneficial to end the growing uncertainty and build investor confidence. "The deal will put an end to uncertainty and improve Pakistan's financial situation," Abid Sulehri, an economist, told DW. "Even though it might have some negative effects, in the form of a rise in inflation, it will produce positive results in the long run."
US support?
When asked why China didn't come to Pakistan's rescue, Minister Azhar said: "China has already been providing funding for Pakistan's trade and infrastructure development, and we opted for the IMF funding so as to introduce structural reforms in the economy."The United States, which has tremendous influence over the IMF, warned last year that any potential international bailout for Pakistan should not provide funds to pay off Chinese lenders."Make no mistake. We will be watching what the IMF does," US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said. "There's no rationale for IMF tax dollars, and associated with that American dollars that are part of the IMF funding, for those to go to bail out Chinese bondholders or China itself," Pompeo added. It's not yet clear if the bailout agreement reached on Sunday enjoys Washington's backing.Pakistan's crisis also comes as the country is facing possible sanctions from the Financial Action Task Force — an anti money-laundering monitor based in Paris — for failing to rein in terror financing.
The organization will soon decide whether to add Pakistan to a blacklist that would trigger automatic sanctions, further weakening its already faltering economy.

Pakistan is worried about conditions behind IMF’s $6 billion bailout, stock market crashes

National security imperatives of the waters are rising as surely as the sea levels around the world because of climate change.
Pakistan’s stock market fell the most this year amid concern about the steps needed to seal a $6 billion loan agreed on with the International Monetary Fund.
The lender’s executive board will meet to approve the agreement for the 39 month loan, “subject to the timely implementation of prior actions and confirmation of international partners’ financial commitments,” IMF’s mission chief Ernesto Ramirez Rigo said in a statement.
A lack of clarity around these actions prompted speculation about further currency devaluations and interest rates increases, which rattled markets, according to NBP Fullerton Asset Management Ltd. and FIM Partners.
The loan would represent the 13th bailout since the late 1980s from the IMF to Pakistan, which is facing a balance-of-payments crisis triggered by high fiscal and current-account deficits and dwindling foreign exchange reserves. The pact was reached after Prime Minister Imran Khan overhauled his economic team, including the installation as central bank governor of Reza Baqir, who previously served in senior positions at the IMF, including in Egypt.
“The IMF statement is understandably vague at this stage and that is leading to more speculation,” said Mohammed Ali Hussain, Dubai-based head of research at FIM Partners, which handles $2.1 billion in assets. “Granular details about the program as well as the timing of conditions will play a role in market sentiment.”
An Egypt-style program, where most changes are required at the start, would be bad for sentiment though a gradual one “may play a bit better,” he added.
The nation’s benchmark KSE-100 Index of stocks fell 2.35% at close, the most in more than five months, erasing earlier gains of 1.5%. The rupee was little changed.

Graph: Bloomberg

More Needed

IMF’s Rigo noted efforts to stabilize the nation’s economy but said more needs to be done.
“Decisive policies and reforms, together with significant external financing are necessary to reduce vulnerabilities faster, increase confidence, and put the economy back on a sustainable growth path,” he said.
Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, an economic adviser to the prime minister, told state-run Pakistan Television that there had been some overspending by the government, so to “recover costs we will have to increase prices in certain areas of the economy.” The IMF facility “should be taken as a program of structural changes” and its success depends upon how successfully the country implements it, he said.
Pakistan agreed on a bailout after almost a six-month delay that prompted rating companies to downgrade the nation’s credit score earlier this year. The central bank has already devalued the currency by about 20% in the past year, making it the worst performer in Asia, according to a basket of 13 currencies compiled by Bloomberg.
“Any currency adjustment should be made as soon as possible,” said Amjad Waheed, chief executive officer at NBP Fullerton Asset Management Ltd., the nation’s largest mutual fund. “This will give confidence to foreign investors to enter the market. It will also encourage local investors to move towards equities.”
Prime Minister Khan has faced criticism from economists and opposition parties for delaying the loan and mishandling the economy. Khan had said the program was delayed as he set about securing more than $7 billion of loans from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and China. While the IMF loan also doesn’t solve the financing gap, it opens up the possibility of Pakistan accessing debt markets, according to Hasnain Malik, head of equity strategy at Dubai-based Tellimer.
“This bailout package should be a positive in the medium to long run, provided the reform agenda is religiously pursued,” said Khurram Schehzad, chief executive officer of financial advisory firm Alpha Beta Core.
Pakistan’s opposition parties have asked for a parliamentary briefing on the details of the IMF loan agreement.
“We don’t accept it like this,’’ said Senator Sherry Rehman of Pakistan People’s Party, the nation’s second-biggest opposition party. “It seems that the agreement will bring a tsunami of price hikes.”

Deadly bomb attack targets policemen in Pakistan's Quetta

By Asad Hashim
Several wounded as bomb targets police vehicles outside a mosque in the third attack in Balochistan in three days. At least four policemen have been killed and several others wounded after a bomb attack targeted their vehicles while they stood guard outside a mosque in Pakistan's southwestern Balochistan province.
The attack on Monday night, third in the region in three days, targeted two police vehicles parked in the Satellite Town area of Quetta, the provincial capital of Balochistan, said city police chief Abdul Razzaq Cheema.
"Police vehicles provide security in various parts of the city for Taraweeh prayers [special prayers during Muslims' holy month of Ramadan]," Cheema told reporters. "As two of these vehicles stopped outside the al-Huda mosque, an explosion took place."
Twelve people were admitted to the city's main government hospital following the attack, the hospital spokesperson told Al Jazeera before adding that two of them were suffering from serious head wounds.
Images from the blast site showed blood and glass strewn across the wrecked police vehicles.
The attack comes two days after at least three gunmen stormed a five-star hotel in the southern Balochistan port city of Gwadar, about 700km south of Quetta, killing at least five people and engaging in a gun battle with the military that lasted several hours.The Baloch Liberation Army (BLA), an armed ethnic Baloch separatist group, claimed responsibility for that attack.On Saturday, two paramilitary soldiers were injured in an improvised explosive device (IED) blast in the province's Pishin district, about 70km north of Quetta, local media reported.The Pakistan Taliban, an armed group that has been fighting since 2007 to impose a strict interpretation of Islamic law in the country, claimed responsibility for the Pishin attack as well as the Monday's explosion in Quetta.
Targeted killings
Balochistan is Pakistan's largest and least-populated province. It has seen regular violence in recent years, with attacks claimed by Baloch separatists, Pakistan Taliban and local affiliates of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIL or ISIS).
It has also seen a series of killings and bombings targeting Quetta's minority Shia Muslim population, killing more than 509 people, according to government data.
The province, rich in mineral and natural gas reserves, is also the focal point of much of the $60bn China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project's trade component, with a new port constructed at Gwadar and a network of roads under construction.
The CPEC trade corridor will link southwestern China with the Arabian Sea through Pakistan, culminating in the port at Gwadar.
The Pakistan Taliban has frequently targeted Pakistani security forces and civilians in Balochistan, with attacks increasing in frequency as the group has been displaced from its erstwhile headquarters in Pakistan's northwestern tribal districts by sustained military operations.
The group is now believed to be based mainly in eastern Afghanistan, carrying out sporadic large-casualty attacks against civilians and government.

Video Report - Pakistan and IMF Sign Bailout Package With Severe Economic Cost | Najam Sethi Show | 13 May 2019