Monday, August 19, 2013

With the present state of our economic affairs, its high time our business community stepped forward and offered its services to play a pivotal role in the economic development of Pakistan.

Looking back at the economic development of South Korea, one finds that the country had GDP of US$ 2.7 billion in 1962. It crossed the trillion dollar mark in 2007. The industrial giants played a pivotal role in the economic development of the country from the day South Korea obtained a multi-billion dollar loan (US$ 20 billions, I guess) and entrusted the funds to the then five top industrial houses of the country. 

Why is'it that we can't do it in Pakistan?

Mumtaz A. Piracha
Founder & Chairman
Good Governance Forum
Leading the Way to the Challenge of Change in Pakistan

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Kashmir dispute: Prime Minister urges UN to extend a helping handBusiness Recorder
The Prime Minister said Pakistan will explore all avenues to ease tension with ... his government, with special focus on energy crisis, economy, good governance ...
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Time to bring Aafia Siddiqui back


The US has done what it wanted to do. Whether the trial was fair or not and whether the 86 years' sentence was justifiable are not are no longer relevant. Under the Sindh High Court directive dated 16 May 2013, the federal government has been ordered to repatriate Dr Aafia Siddiqui under any of the two international conventions mentioned by the author or a bilateral agreement. Deputy Advocate General acceded to the plea of the petitioner's attorney.

The ball is now in the court of the federal government. The Interior Minister did constitute a committee to examine the case and put its recommendations. The committee has reportedly made 10 recommendations which are to be placed in the next cabinet meeting.

Mian Nawaz Sharif and Imran Khan are on record having made a commitment to bring back Dr Aafia Siddiqui once they are in power. So, the time has come for them to honour their commitment. US is ready to repartiate Dr Aafia Siddiqui once any of the international conventions or the bilateral agreement are signed.

Mumtaz A. Piracha
Good Governance Forum


Monday, August 12, 2013

President, PM urged to hold monthly meetings with businessmenThe Nation
... has urged President Mamnoon Hussain and Prime Minster Nawaz Sharif to hold meeting with business community to discuss their problems and to prepare ...

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Govt to overcome all issues: PMThe Nation
“The nation will see such a great day very soon when Pakistan will not only get its way ... Referring to the steps of the government regarding energy crisis, Mian ...
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Sunday, June 16, 2013

Tariq ButtSunday, June 16, 2013
From Print Edition

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif wants to install different choice experts in certain key positions to implement his economic agenda to steer Pakistan out of the dire financial straits but is hampered to do so for various reasons, including court rulings.

One of such figures is former finance minister and prominent banker Shaukat Tareen. He has been considered to head the ambitious housing scheme, launched by Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, that the federal government committed in the federal budget to expand all over Pakistan.

Another two posts that have been under consideration of the prime minister for Tareen are the chairmanship of the economic advisory council or federal adviser. Before and after the May 11 general elections, Tareen was often seen attending the important economy related meetings chaired by Nawaz Sharif.

However, when deliberations were going on to assign a coveted position to Tareen, Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry remarked the other day while hearing a case that some persons whose names appear on the Exit Control List (ECL) are being considered for being appointment as adviser. This was a thinly veiled reference to Tareen’s possible nomination.

The chief justice’s remark came out as a clear warning to the government to be vigilant and watchful of court decisions.

Along with several others, Tareen’s name was placed on the ECL on the court orders after its judgement, which scrapped all the Rental Power Projects (RPPs).

Tarin also remained finance minister during the PPP regime. Tarin’s own bank was alleged to have committed default of other banks. His sympathizers in the previous government had forestalled action against him on the pretxt that he has not done so. Tareen is brother-in-law of Anwar Majeed who is famous in banking circles and remained one of the closest cronies of the previous PPP government. He allegedly used to handle the banking affairs unofficially.

Among many others, all ministers for finance and water & power, who served the previous cabinets, including the one headed by Yusuf Raza Gilani of which Tareen was a part before Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh became the finance minister, were indicted by this verdict.

Although Tareen has not so far been appointed as adviser or special assistant or given any formal slot to lead a government body, he was included by the prime minister in a four-member committee on Friday, which would prepare proposals for restructuring the Pakistan International Airlines (PIA).

Zubair Umar, brother of senior Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Asad Umar, and member of the PML-N’s economic team, is another prominent personality, whom the prime minister desires to give a top post like the chairmanship of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR). However, not only a top stalwart of the federal government opposes his induction as the FBR chief but a court observation that the man appointed to a senior most position should have vast experience in the relevant field. Zubair Umar also likes to head the federal Board of Investment, it is learnt.

While striking down the nomination of Ali Arshad Hakeem as FBR chairman, the Islamabad High Court (IHC) observed some time back that the government should advertise the post before any nomination so that an appropriate candidate was picked up for this significant office through a competitive process.

However, the prime minister faces no hurdle in naming Khalilur Rehman Ramday as the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Chairman or Punjab Governor. But there are other handicaps that may not allow his appointment to materialize.

When contacted, Ramday told The News that he has neither been contacted nor sounded for any of the two positions. To a question, he said he retired as judge some three years back and faces no restriction to qualify for any such office. He said he would give his response only after there is something on the table from the quarters concerned.

However, not only the leader of opposition in the National Assembly Khurshid Shah would reject Ramday’s name as NAB chief, but the PTI was also likely to turn it down with equal vehemence.

In view of Federal Information Minister Senator Pervez Rashid’s declaration that the government would consult with other political parties while appointing provincial governors, both the PPP and PT would not approve Ramday for the gubernatorial office in Punjab.

Another likely nomination that is not apparently impeded by any reason except that the prospective candidate is the son-in-law of the prime minister is that of Captain (R) Safdar as Chairman of the Earthquake Rehabilitation and Reconstruction Authority. He was elected as member of the National Assembly from his native Mansehra seat. Previously, the office was held by PML-Q MNA Hamidyar Harraj and businessman Salim Altaf.