U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton participates in a meeting with Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul, left, and Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, right, on the sidelines of the Tokyo Conference on Afghanistan in Tokyo, Japan, on July 8, 2012. [State Department photo by William Ng/ Public Domain, via statedept]
Dashing cricketer Shahid Afridi is to front efforts to eradicate polio from Pakistan, going head-to-head with militants who have banned vaccinations in an al Qaeda-linked stronghold on the Afghan border.
The charismatic former Pakistan captain was born in Khyber district, which is part of the militant-infested tribal belt, and campaigners hope his Pashto credentials can persuade parents to inoculate their children.
“It is a noble cause and I am happy to be part of smashing polio from Pakistan which has crippled many children,” Afridi told AFP.
He said the main target was remote areas of Pakistan, such as the al Qaeda and Taliban infested tribal belt on the Afghan border. (complete news)
Flashback: When ‘fear’ was a word in the dictionary (By Sher Alam Shinwari)
Syed Amiruddin Shah Gillani hails from a spiritual family; his ancestors migrated from Iran many centuries ago and settled in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, providing spiritual guidance to people. Now in his 80s, he recalls a time when peace prevailed everywhere; there was no violence in the land of the ancient Gandhara civilisation.
“There used to be peace, hospitality; literary and cultural activities. A typical tribal society with hujra and jumaat (mosque) entwined in social norms and traditions that kept institutions and people tied together is now in ruins. The image of a peaceful Pashtun society is smeared with blood and the smoke of bomb blasts everywhere. Tribal life in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has undergone a tremendous change; for Peshawarites, fear was a word that existed only in the dictionary during the 60s and 70s,” Gillani recalls sadly. (complete article) (via umalik)
Afghanistan has asked Pakistan for the first time to allow import of furnace oil to meet the requirement of its power plants.
“The government charges General Sales Tax (GST) on use of furnace in local power plants and Afghanistan will have to pay the same if exports are allowed,” the official said. Pakistan’s furnace oil demand is 9 to 10 million tons per year. Local oil refineries produce 2.5 million to 3 million tons per year while the remaining amount is met through imports. (Source)
Pakistan Premier League (PPL): Coming soon to a pitch near you…
Four companies have reportedly agreed to buy teams in the new Pakistan Premier League, formed by the Pakistan Cricket Board to replace the current Faysal Bank Twenty-20 League. The first edition of the tournament is expected to begin in October 2013. The PCB was one of the first cricketing bodies to develop a professional T20 league in 2004, with teams being directly owned by the PCB. The newer “franchise” model is based on the EPL, Pro20 and Big Bash leagues abroad. The Pakistan Premier League will also be including teams from Afghanistan (Kabul Cheetahs) and expected to include a team from China (Beijing Warriors) and the United Arab Emirates (Dubai Rangers).
Former Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya and retired Australian all-rounder Andrew Symonds both agreed to be part of the league straight away. The name of West Indian legend Brian Lara has already been linked with PPL as well as Chris Gayle.
By Murtaza Haider, Ph.D. Associate Dean of research and graduate programs at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University in Toronto.
Several policy-makers, politicians, and development professionals in the west believe that the economic survival of Pakistan rests on handouts from the United States. Often American legislators ridicule Pakistan for willingly accepting American dollars in charity, but not delivering on American demands in return.
The Westerners are not alone in believing that Pakistan’s survival rests on handouts from the US. While speaking on Canadian TV earlier this week, Raheel Raza, a Canadian of Pakistani origin, argued the same. “Ever since the inception of Pakistan the United States has given Pakistan aid without which it cannot survive,” said Ms. Raza.
The US economic and military assistance to Pakistan indeed has a long history stretched over decades during which several American governments have poured billions of dollars into Pakistan. The question, however, is to determine first why Americans aided Pakistan and second what was the money intended for. And even more importantly, one should determine if indeed Pakistan’s economic survival rests on American aid.
The British newspaper Guardian maintains an active database documenting six decades of American aid to Pakistan. The data is compiled by Wren Elhai of the Center for Global Development in Washington, DC. The database reveals that since 1948 the US assistance to Pakistan has largely been for civilian purposes. Of the $61.7 billion in total assistance (in constant 2009 dollars) provided to Pakistan between 1948 and 2010, $40.4 billion were provided for economic assistance and $21.3 billion in military assistance. The economic assistance to Pakistan peaked in the early 60s when in excess of $2 billion annually were provided to Pakistan. (Complete article)
I hope you all read this article in it’s entirety! (via umalik)