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Zarmina Chaudhry | Sunday 25 November 2012 ( 0 Comment)
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today i was reading an article by Dr Kamal Monnoo on the nation newspaper website.i found it worth sharing no only for my daily followers but also for those who are perusing their  hard work as cssp an attempting 2k12 css in Pakistan.have a look on it...
The announcement by the Government of Pakistan to grant the Most Favoured Nation (MFN) status to India continues to draw mixed reaction from all quarters, industrialists, business community at large, agriculturists and security analysts. While, on the one hand, there is this lobby, which argues that by doing so not only do we get access to a robust market of more than a billion people, but, more importantly, the free trade dynamics will unleash a future of mutual dependence, in turn, minimising cross-border security concerns; on the other hand, is a large cross section of nervous manufacturers, struggling farmers and sceptical security personnel, who all remain equally fearful of India’s regional designs in particular, and its poor track record on bilateral trade in general.
Amidst these conflicting views, the average Pakistanis stand quite confused, whether their government is doing the right thing by granting the MFN status to its arch rival or else, given the growing global free trade dynamics, what the correct policy on this should really be. To answer this properly, perhaps a good approach would be to first analyse the existing realities in each of the areas of concern and then try to determine the effects once MFN becomes a reality post-February 2012.
i    The total trade volume between Pakistan and India in 2009-10 was about $1.45 billion, out of which Pakistan’s exports to India accounted for only $275 million (19 percent of the total bilateral trade); whereas, the Indian exports to Pakistan stood at more than $1.20 billion (81percent). In the current year, the trade is said to have crossed the $2 billion mark, but the balance of trade has tilted further in favour of India. In addition, experts believe that Pakistan absorbs about $3 to 4 billion of Indian imports through unofficial channels, like smuggling and routing through countries like Dubai, Singapore, Thailand, etc. The pro-MFN lobby argues that not only can the Government of Pakistan earn crucial revenue by bringing the illegal trade into the official fold, but also reduce its import burden by sourcing cheaper Indian products closer to home and tapping into the huge trade potential of up to $42 billion (KCCI estimates) that exists between the two neighbouring countries. However, the reality is that although India granted the MFN status to Pakistan way back in 1996, the gesture did not help Pakistan in any way, because it was followed by the imposition of a number of non-tariff barriers by the Indian side, which ironically further crippled the access of the Pakistani products to the Indian market. Now with such a significant existing imbalance of trade between the two countries and this despite not having granted India the MFN status, no rocket science is required to gauge the gravity of the impact if the anticipated status is bestowed.
i    The number of importable products, which India allows from Pakistan, consists of 850 items, while Pakistan already allows non-MFN India 1,945 items. According to a World Bank report, by allowing India the MFN status, Pakistan will be restricted to the following three options: Gradually expanding the positive list, replacing a positive list with a short negative list, or completely eliminating the positive list. However, from our perspective, this liberalisation of imports couldn’t have come at a worst possible time. As March 2012 nears so does the testing time when Pakistan’s repayments to the IMF start kicking in. The current account balance has become a serious concern in recent months, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) reduced to a mere $359 million (six months ending November 2011) from $7 billion in 2006-07 and exports, which only a few months back were nearly 75 percent of imports have been reduced to virtually half that of the total import bill. Under the circumstances, the first measures the policymakers would be contemplating is to review and somehow restrict the import regime. So the question then that one may dare ask here is: Wouldn’t at this stage granting the MFN status to India be in effectcounterproducti
ve
to our needs and that should not the move for the time being be postponed?
i    The Pakistan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association (PPMA) has expressed serious concern on granting the MFN to India. According to them, the move will significantly affect the home industry, possibly forcing it to close down altogether. It strongly feels that all medicines should be on the negative list, as the industry forms the second line of defence in case of war, natural disasters, or epidemics – the PPMA meets around 90 percent of the country’s demand of finished medicine. According to them, the Indians already have very solid non-tariff barriers in place to protect their home industry and the size of the Indian pharmaceutical market is 10 times larger than the Pakistani market, which has allowed the Indians by now to become global players, and therefore the Pakistani pharmaceutical industry will stand no chance, unless it can either compete on a level playing field or get similar State support and protection.
i    If one makes a comparative analysis of the agriculture sectors of both the countries, one can assess the huge difference between both sides due to the asymmetry of subsidies extended to the farmers and the unequal availability of water resources. Further, Pakistan is far behind India when it comes to supporting its farmers by way of comparative prices of fertilisers, availability of modern machinery, energy resources for electric tube wells and the sheer allocation of budgetary funds for the agriculture sector. The existing scarcity of water and an alarming pace at which its availability continues to shrink further compounds the disadvantage for the Pakistani farmer. Regrettably, India continues to play games on this vital issue of concern to Pakistan by blaming environmental developments for the reduction of water flows in the Indus Basin, but we all know that the main reason for this are new water diversions created by India through construction of dams on the rivers in Pakistan’s share.
i    Finally, as a consequence of the MFN, aside from the concerns on an absence of or a rather compromised Pakistan’s internal defence mechanism in the spheres of health, seed development, yields and export competitiveness, there prevails a sense of scepticism over the Indian double game. We hear about the underlying potential of the flow of goods across the borders, but not a word is said about the necessity of creating long-term important linkages, such as technology transfer, joint resource management mechanism, cross-border investments, financial connectivity, regional anti-trust treaties, equal opportunity amongst SAARC nations, and devising joint regional legislations on rules of doing business. Also, on the one side India talks about cementing mutual ties through the instrument of trade, while on the other their political moves tend to exacerbate the longstanding security issues between the two countries. Bilateral issues continue to be viewed by them under a unilateral light and recently, the Indo-Afghan Agreement, which covers a wide ambit from humanitarian assistance to education to capacity development to the development of natural resources to security, can easily be interpreted to portray an India that still remains more focused on isolating or encircling Pakistan than to become its vibrant economic partner. As always, we see an India eager to gain direct access to Central Asia and Europe, but not willing to offer any such reciprocal accessibility to Pakistan on its eastern and northern sides.
There is no denying the fact that bilateral trade on equal terms will surely be very beneficial to both Pakistan and India. The dynamics of smooth bilateral trade cannot only play a pivotal role in strengthening the economies of both the countries, but also unleash a soft process, which over time can be the key to resolving longstanding sticky issues between the two sides. However, Pakistan needs to be careful and do its homework properly before granting such a status. In doing so, it needs to grapple with the elements of reciprocity and fair play to provide a level playing field to its own people. Only a carefully thought-out process of negotiations and a comprehensive package of agreements addressing the concerns on both sides, can be a win-win for both countries and, in all likelihood, the window between now and February 2012 presents too short a time to do all that is required!
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Zarmina Chaudhry | Sunday 25 November 2012 ( 0 Comment)
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I have been reading an article by Arshi Saleem Hashmi from book of contemporary affairs.He quoted a writer named “Pierre Lellouche” wrote in foreign Affairs(winter1979-80)
That ‘the problem of achieving a stable balance between nuclear power development and non-proliferation has been  a constant dilemma since the 1950’s;an international consensus on this issue has never seemed so un-attainable as today.

While reading above statement by writer I was thinking how this race of acquiring nuclear warheads started by America, lead the world on brunch of extinction.It was a chain reaction of national survival that lead the world’s nations to adopt cure from invasion in the form of nuclear warhead.
Former USSR did its first successful nuclear test in 1949 which is then followed by Britain,France and China in 1952,6o and 64subsequently.th
reat
from Chinese invasion lead India to execute its first nuclear test by naming it ‘peaceful’ nuclear explosions in 1974 and later on 1998 official declared itself as Nuclear state.to safe itself from invasion, same way Pakistan declared itself a nuclear state subsequently by performing Nuclear test at Chagi.
Pakistan was the only other nuclear power state until recently North Korea declared itself a Nuclear Weapon State in 2007.
Now nuclear 5 are trying to stop or eliminate the use of Nuclear warheads or weapons around the globe but  failed.what they are doing to stop the nations from developing their nuclear power is the tool of ‘international Isolation’.international isolation instead of curing this curse started by America itself is depicting a double edge policy wheres it deepens if the states are found developing military nuclear programme secretly and on the  other hand it may reinforce the belief Among the isolated developing nations that such weapons are needed to establish their position in the international system,hence the effect on national status and prestige.
A third factor that worries the developing world and dragging them towards maintaining and developing their Nuclear programmes is American Harsh policy of invasion and intervention with their alliances under the so called patronage.so the smaller states are justifying their nuclear development programmes by giving this reason.
America and its Big alliances now should understand that nuclear non-proliferation and nuclear development cant go side by side.specially when in this time when petroleum based energy sources are scarce.such scarcity of petroleum gives a competitive advantage to nuclear state but ix creating an havoc for smaller developing countries sooner or later nuclear energy would be the only solution of energy crisis around the Globe so non-proliferation and state isolation are no moresolution.soluti
ons
can only be seek in international inclusion and nuclear development for energy production.
So America & Nuclear 5 rather making invasion into oil rich countries on so-called terrorism issues should made the nuclear marathon a peaceful energy production source around the Globe.because it’s a bitter but true fact that being developed countries only they need to take step.now you the developed nations either can make Bomb to made the world extinct or make energy to run the factories and Human race on the planet Earth.
Zarmina  Siraj
Advocate of Youth
Virtual Politician
19th September 2k12
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Zarmina Chaudhry | Sunday 25 November 2012 ( 0 Comment)
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Israel launched its military offensive against Gaza on 14 November, marking the latest eruption in a conflict with Palestinian militants which has raged between the two sides for years. The latest violence has left dozens of people dead, many of them civilians, and shows no sign of ending soon.
Here is a guide to what has happened so far and how the situation may evolve.
How did this start?
Israel's offensive on Gaza began with an air strike that killed the commander of Hamas's military wing, Ahmed Jabari, whom it accused of responsibility for "all terrorist activities against Israel from Gaza" over the past decade.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) subsequently announced the start of Operation Pillar of Defence, which it said was intended to protect Israeli civilians from rockets and mortars fired by militants in Gaza, as well as cripple Hamas's capability to launch attacks.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the operation was launched because he could no longer "accept a situation in which Israeli citizens are threatened by the terror of rockets".
Israeli air strikes on what it said were rocket-storage sites and on Hamas facilities, and a surge in Palestinian rocket-fire into Israel, ensued.
Hamas, which has governed Gaza since 2007, said Jabari's assassination had "opened the gates of hell".
Although Jabari's killing signalled the start of Israel's offensive, it was preceded by spates of deadly cross-border violence which saw Palestinian militant groups, including Hamas's Qassam Brigades, firing hundreds of rockets into southern Israel and the Israeli military shelling Gaza and carrying out air strikes.
What do both sides want?
The Israeli government has said Operation Pillar of Defence has two main goals - to protect Israeli civilians and "cripple the terrorist infrastructure in Gaza". Mr Netanyahu has insisted that he is not seeking to topple Hamas.
On 18 November, the prime minister announced that the IDF had attacked more than 1,000 "terrorist targets" and had achieved "significant hits on weapons aimed at Israeli citizens, as well as on those who use the weapons and those who dispatch them". Israel has said it is doing its utmost to avoid civilian casualties, although more than half of those killed in Gaza have been women and children, according to Hamas officials.
Israeli military sources say most of the Iranian-made Fajr-5 and M75 medium-range missiles which had been in the possession of Hamas and the Islamic Jihad militant group were destroyed during the first few hours of the offensive. However, some have landed near Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and Israel has struggled to contain shorter-range rockets.
At the start of the offensive, Hamas's Deputy Foreign Minister Ghazi Hamad insisted it was not the aggressor and did not want to see the violence escalate. "We still say that we are the victims of the Occupation and we are the target," he said. But Mr Hamad also argued that Hamas had a right to defend its people and would respond to Israeli attacks, warning: "If Gaza is not safe, your towns will not be safe also."
Could there be an Israeli ground offensive?
Mr Netanyahu told a cabinet meeting on 18 November that Israel was "prepared for a significant expansion of the operation". He made no mention of the possibility of a ground offensive, but has said one cannot be ruled out. Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak earlier said the Israeli military would "do everything that is necessary to achieve peace and quiet".
The Israeli government has approved the calling up of 75,000 army reservists in apparent preparation for a ground offensive. Some 31,000 have already been summoned. Several infantry and armoured brigades have already been deployed in the Negev desert, near Gaza. Veteran Israeli commanders say about 30,000 troops reportedly took part in the 2006 Lebanon war and 20,000 in Operation Cast Lead - Israel's offensive against Gaza in 2008-09.
Analysts say Israeli commanders believe the build-up will help deter Hamas, making it clear Israel's intentions are serious, but also making it possible to launch an offensive were Hamas to refuse a ceasefire.
Since the end of Operation Cast Lead, Hamas's military wing has been preparing for another ground offensive. It is believed to have about 10,000 active fighters and 20,000 in reserve. The group has also built bunkers, improved its military technology and acquired more sophisticated and powerful weapons. Although the Qassam Brigades lost its leader, its command and control capability is still functioning.
How has the international community responded?
US President Barack Obama said on 18 November that it was "preferable" that Israel did not launch a ground offensive on Gaza, but reiterated that he was "fully supportive of Israel's right to defend itself from missiles" despite mounting Palestinian civilian casualties. Mr Obama said rockets fired into Israel by Hamas had been the "precipitating event" in the conflict and had to be stopped. The US, he added, had been "actively working with all the parties in the region" to bring about a de-escalation of violence.
UK Foreign Secretary William Hague said Hamas bore "principal responsibility" for the current conflict but warned that a ground invasion would "lose Israel a lot of the international support and sympathy they have in this situation".
On 16 November, EU foreign affairs chief Catherine Ashton said she was deeply concerned at the violence and deplored the loss of civilian lives. She said the rocket attacks were "totally unacceptable and must stop", but also said Israel had to ensure that its response was "proportionate".
However, there has been strong condemnation of Israel's actions from long-time Western allies in the region, notably Egypt, Turkey, Tunisia and Qatar. Egypt's President, Mohammed Mursi, said he would "not leave Gaza on its own", condemning what he called Israel's "blatant aggression against humanity". His Prime Minister, Hisham Qandil, travelled to Gaza on 16 November, where he pledged to work for a truce "to stop the aggression".
On 18 November, Arab foreign ministers gave their backing to the Egyptian peace effort and agreed to send a delegation to Gaza headed by the Arab League's Secretary General, Nabil al-Arabi. The ministers condemned what they described as Israeli "aggression" and expressed "complete discontent" with the UN Security Council's lack of action.
What are the prospects for a ceasefire?
An Israeli delegation travelled to Cairo on 18 November to discuss with Egyptian officials the possibility of a ceasefire. Israel's Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, has said that "the first and absolute condition of any truce" is the end of Palestinian rocket-fire from Gaza. "We want a long-term arrangement," Mr Lieberman added. Past ceasefires between Israel and Hamas have been short-lived.
On 17 November, the Egyptians held talks with a Hamas delegation. A senior Hamas official said it wanted guarantees that "all acts of aggression and assassinations would stop". Another official said the group would seek assurances from the United States that it would be the "guaranteeing party". Hamas is also said to want an end to Israel's blockade of Gaza as part of any deal.
What does this mean for the Middle East peace process?
Hamas has not been part of any peace talks with Israel, and two decades of on-off negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the West Bank has failed to produce a permanent settlement. The latest round of direct negotiations broke down in 2010.
Even before the Israeli offensive on Gaza began, the two sides had rarely appeared further apart and the conflict more intractable. In January, several months of indirect "proximity talks" ended without any progress.
The Israeli and US governments have also been angered by PA President Mahmoud Abbas's plan to submit on 29 November a request to the UN General Assembly for Palestine to become a "non-member observer state". The Palestinians argue that this would strengthen their hand in peace talks. Israel and the US say the only way to achieve an independent state is through direct negotiations.
On 18 November, Mr Obama said if the situation in Gaza worsened, "the likelihood of us getting back on any kind of peace track that leads to a two-state solution is going to be pushed off way into the future".
<an over view from BBC>


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