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"Naya Pakistan": Key Challenges for PTI Chief Imran Khan

"Naya Pakistan" led by Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf Chief Imran Khan faces multi-dimensional challenges of governance, economy, security and ties with the United States and India.

The first and most pressing challenge is the severe balance of payments crisis. It will force Imran Khan to beg and/or borrow billions of US dollars to shore up the country's reserves. It must deal with the geopolitical challenge of potential US veto of the IMF bailout of Pakistan.

In addition to dealing with the looming bop crisis, the PTI government must address the issue of exports that have halved from 16% of GDP in 2003 to about 8% of GDP in 2017-18. It needs to make concerted efforts to promote exports by making the domestic industry more export-oriented. It must help exporters understand the requirements of foreign markets and use its diplomats to promote Pakistani products and services in international markets.

Pakistan must overcome the civil-military divide and build consensus to develop policies vis-a-vis the United States and India while at the same time maintaining close ties with China. The new leadership needs to use institutional processes such as regular national security council meetings attended by by top civilian, military and intelligence officials.

Azad Labon Ke Sath host Faraz Darvesh discusses these challenges with Misbah Azam and Riaz Haq (www.riazhaq.com)

https://youtu.be/CQ41Qt_2XQM

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Views: 111

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 7, 2018 at 12:54pm

#India's Imran challenge. #India no longer has a choice of ‘dialogue-or-no-dialogue’ with #Pakistan. #ImranKhan offered an olive branch in his victory speech. #Modi has a wonderful opportunity to respond by supporting/attending #SAARC Summit in #Islamabad https://www.theweek.in/columns/mk-bhadrakumar/2018/08/04/indias-imr...

By M.K. Bhadrakumar August 12, 2018

The astonishing part is that the Indian narrative is blithely unaware that Imran is a product of our turbulent times. The Pakistani election results have completely overshadowed an event of momentous significance to that country—direct talks between the United States and the Taliban (without the participation of Afghan government), which took place in Qatar. The timing—just two days before the Pakistani elections—was exquisite. And, the Pakistani military leadership made it possible. The Taliban since expressed satisfaction that the meeting ended with “very positive signals” with an agreement to meet again “soon” and that the two sides discussed Taliban’s participation in the Afghan government.

A recurring fallacy of Indian foreign policy discourse is its tunnel vision—the singular failure to correlate diplomacy with the wider geopolitical templates and regional and global alignments. We must understand that Pakistan is preparing for the formidable challenge posed by the imminent outbreak of peace in Afghanistan. The tumultuous history of Pashtun irredentist claims underscores that had there been no Imran, Pakistan would have had to invent one.

This has sub-plots and a few of them have direct bearing on India’s vital interests, too. First, peace in Afghanistan eases pressure on Pakistan’s internal security and allows it to concentrate its forces more on its eastern border with India (which brings us to the Kashmir issue.) Second, Pakistan expects quid pro quo from the US for bailing it out of a humiliating defeat and ignominious retreat from Afghanistan. Pakistan seeks strategic balance in South Asia, which requires course correction in US regional policies. Third, Pakistan’s close cooperation with the US helps it to breathe new life into its relations with the west, while its Eurasian integration processes also continue apiece. (No doubt, Imran makes a brilliant global salesman for his country.) Fourth, in a stable regional environment, Pakistan hopes to garner the benefits of China’s Belt and Road Initiative as well as attract western investment. Geo-economics gains primacy. Indeed, history has not ended in our region.

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 8, 2018 at 7:17am
Dr. Ata ur Rahman: #Pakistan: a new beginning. After a decade of loot and plunder by successive democratic governments, there is finally hope that Pakistan will embark on the road to progress. #PTI #ImranKhan #NayaPakistan https://www.thenews.com.pk/print/352100-pakistan-a-new-beginning

The massive loans taken by the last two governments have placed Pakistan in a dire financial situation. Our current account deficit is $18 billion. The value of the rupee declined from Rs60 per dollar to Rs123, whereas the magnitude of foreign loans increased from $37 billion, accumulated over 60 years, to $95 billion – an additional debt of $58 billion in just 10 years. The outstanding rupee debt is Rs4 trillion, which the new government will need to rollover during the coming months. Around 190 Public Sector Enterprises have lost a huge sum of Rs1.1 trillion, and we have lost some Rs3.7 trillion over the last three years.

The former finance minister has escaped the clutches of the law and taken refuge in the UK. He needs to be brought back through Interpol and given exemplary punishment, if found guilty of looting public funds. The former prime minister languishes in jail for massive corruption and misuse of public funds. Imran Khan has emerged as a knight in shining armour after relentlessly struggling against corrupt rulers for 22 years. His speech was full of wisdom and humility – it came straight from the heart and proved that Pakistan finally has a leader who is a visionary, and is honest and committed.

The vast amounts of looted public funds have been accumulated abroad, while thousands of Pakistanis are committing suicide due to abject poverty. The answer lies in implementing a punishment system such as that of China, Thailand, Morocco, Philippines, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq and Vietnam. Such trials should be carried out by military courts, as the normal justice system cannot work against such a powerful mafia. The murder of late Justice Nizam Ahmed is a reminder of what can happen to judges. Plea bargaining should not be allowed, except for commuting a death sentence to life imprisonment, with Class C jail facilities, only if all looted funds are brought back.

One of the most important tasks that lie ahead for the new government is revamping the judicial system. Some out-of-the-box thinking may have to be done to make this possible. The system can be improved by hiring several thousand new judges on contractual basis from a lot of qualified lawyers. They should be given the mandate to decide all new cases within three months. Those who fail this test should be fired. The backlog of cases must be cleared within 24 months. This can be done; all it requires is will. It will also be an appropriate justification to the name of the party in power -- Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.

Pakistan’s wealth lies in its 100 million people below the age of 20. So our action plan must primarily focus on unleashing their potential, so that Pakistan can transition into a knowledge-based economy. Achieving this will require funds. The fastest way to generate funding is by introducing projects in the agriculture sector. Providing access to water through building dams and lining canals, reducing water wastage and using biotechnology to improve crop yield and disease-resistance should be given the highest priority.

The mushrooming of substandard universities has promoted mediocrity and contributed to the joblessness of poorly prepared ‘qualified’ graduates. This must stop. Our focus should be on sending our brightest students to top universities abroad. They must then be attracted back through research grants, jobs on arrival, and their salaries must be tripled as per the tenure track system. This system, introduced in 2005, must be made mandatory for all new faculty inductions so that there exists a mechanism for weeding out non-productive faculty through international evaluation.

There is a huge scope in several sectors of our economy. These include information technology, mineral processing, electronics, engineering goods, value-added agriculture etc. The projects to be undertaken in each sector have already been shortlisted in a 320-page document prepared as a result of intense consultations with thousands of stakeholders through a ‘foresight’ exercise carried out under my supervision during 2004-2006, and approved by the cabinet in 2007. These now need to be picked up and implemented upon.

To make rapid progress, Pakistan needs to focus on projects which can create jobs and thereby alleviate poverty. The motto of the new government must be ‘Jobs, Jobs and Jobs’. To make this happen, agricultural development and industrialisation has to be our focus. To promote manufacturing in high value-added fields, technical training, education, science, technology and innovation (TESTI) should be a priority. The autonomy of the federal HEC must be restored, and the body must be fully supported to discharge its function independently of the Ministry of Education. Some of our best universities should be transformed into ‘research universities’ and some of our best research institutes developed into centres of excellence. To promote innovation and entrepreneurship, every university should establish a Science Park for the incubation of new companies. The vice chancellors of all universities should be screened and those who appear to be academically and administratively weak should be removed, with a better person being appointed in their place.

School and college education needs to be completely revamped. A Lower Education Commission could be formed that is independent of ministries and reports directly to the PM on the same lines as the HEC, so that a coordinated nationwide strategy for improving school-level education can be developed. Similarly, the provincial HECs need to be disbanded as they are duplicating the functions of the federal HEC, and the higher education departments in each province should be given the task of uplifting colleges.

The new cabinet must not contain any politicians. It should be composed of respected technocrats, each a specialist in their relevant discipline. All federal secretaries should be replaced by top experts, and each ministry should have think tanks which comprise experts from within Pakistan and abroad. These should then advise the federal ministries. The same should be done at the provincial level.

The clock is ticking. Secretaries should be required to be in office at 8am sharp and the ministries should function till 5pm each day, including on Saturdays. National holidays should be cancelled except for one day each for Eid and Muharram. If people want to celebrate Kashmir or Iqbal days, then that week’s Sunday should be declared a working day and the salary for that day should be donated to the relevant cause. Destiny has provided a wonderful opportunity to Pakistan through a dynamic, honest and sincere leader in the form of Imran Khan. We should all gather round to support him.

The writer is the former chairman of the HEC, and president of the Network of Academies of Science of OIC

Countries (NASIC).

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 8, 2018 at 8:52am

#Pakistani troops to receive #training at #Russian #military institutes as #Trump policies push #Pakistan closer to #Russia and #China. #Pakistan https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/pakistani-troops-to-rec...

Pakistan and Russia have signed an agreement to allow Pakistani troops to receive training at Russian military training institutes, a move aimed at boosting their bilateral defence ties.

The agreement was signed on Tuesday at the conclusion of the first meeting of Russia-Pakistan Joint Military Consultative Committee (JMCC), according to Pakistan’s defence ministry.

“Both countries signed the Contract on Admission of Service Members of Pakistan in RF’s (Russian Federation) Training Institutes,” the ministry said.

The Russian side was led by Deputy Defence Minister Col Gen. Alexander V. Fomin who visited Pakistan from August 6-7 to attend the first session of Russia-Pakistan Joint Military Consultative Committee (JMCC).

Lt. Gen (retd.) Zamir ul Hassan Shah, Secretary Defence, led the Pakistani delegation during the JMCC meeting.

Prior to the inaugural meeting, held on Tuesday at the Ministry of Defence in Rawalpindi, the visiting dignitary called on the defence secretary and the defence minister.

During the meetings, the two sides discussed the present status of their bilateral defence relations with the aim to further strengthen, expand and diversify mutual cooperation.

JMCC is the highest forum of defence collaboration between Pakistan and Russia.

During the inaugural session of the JMCC, both sides exchanged views on bilateral and major international issues including situation in the Middle East and Afghanistan.

A comprehensive issue based review was also carried out during which the two countries expressed satisfaction on the milestones achieved since the signing of ground breaking Agreement on Defence Cooperation in 2014. The two sides also held in depth discussions on avenues of future cooperation, the defence ministry said.

Col. Gen. Fomin also met Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee and the three services chiefs.

An Army spokesman said that Col Gen Fomin met Army Chief Gen Qamar Javed Bajwa and discussed the regional security situation and matters of mutual interest including enhancement of bilateral defence and security cooperation.

Gen. Fomin expressed his appreciation for Pakistan Army’s achievements against terrorism and expressed requirement of greater cooperative and collaborative approach among global community to defeat extremism.

Pakistan’s defence ties with Russia have moved past the bitter Cold War hostilities in recent years and the chill in the relations between Pakistan and the U.S. has further pushed the country towards Russia and China.

Pakistan has shown eagerness to build military-to-military level ties with Russia.

Earlier this year, the then foreign minister Khawaja Asif visited Moscow during which the two sides agreed to set up a commission to boost military cooperation.

Russia has over the past three years provided four Mi-35M combat and cargo helicopters to Pakistan and the militaries of the two countries also held joint drills codenamed ‘Friendship’.

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 12, 2018 at 7:26am

#Pakistan political dynasties unite against triumphant #ImranKhan's #PTI. An unexpected bond between #PPP and #PMLN whose ruling families have been in charge of Pakistan for about half of the past 50 years.
https://www.ft.com/content/b3b159fa-9c92-11e8-9702-5946bae86e6d 


The two dynasties that have battled for control of Pakistan for generations will join forces on Monday, promising to stage “noisy protests” inside parliament against the results of last month’s elections as new members take their oaths.

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, which is controlled by the Sharif family, and the Pakistan Peoples party, run by the Bhuttos, have formed an unlikely alliance against Imran Khan, the former cricketer whose party won most seats last month.

Analysts say that if the two parties manage to maintain their unity, they could present a significant obstacle for Mr Khan, who is due to take his oath as prime minister in the coming days.

One senior PML-N politician said: “Inside the house we are going to keep up the clamour that the elections were clearly rigged.” A leader of the PPP added that the two parties would combine forces inside parliament over the next few years “on important political and legislative issues”.

Mr Khan has spent the past few weeks composing a governing coalition, after his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party won 116 of the 272 contested parliamentary seats.

His negotiations have taken place, however, against a backdrop of protests by the opposition parties, which claim the PTI was helped by interference from the country’s powerful security services — something denied by both the PTI and the army.

---------------


Analysts say they do not expect the opposition parties to be able to form a government, not least because they fear a backlash from voters, among whom Mr Khan remains popular. 

Ali Sarwar Naqvi, a political commentator, said: “Ever since the elections, opposition parties have been unable to show strength on the streets. Imran Khan is new and untested and therefore there is a lot of enthusiasm over his arrival.”

But many believe the alliance could make its presence felt in parliament over the next few years, especially as Mr Khan’s first job will be to repair the country’s balance sheet, possibly by enacting unpopular spending cuts or tax rises.

Asad Umar, Mr Khan’s proposed finance minister, has said the country has just weeks to secure extra financing to meet its external debt requirements.

Ghazi Salahuddin, a political commentator for The News newspaper, said: “As time goes by and the new government faces difficult choices, the opposition will gain strength — especially if Imran Khan himself becomes unpopular.”

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 19, 2018 at 8:14pm

Prime Minister Imran Khan made his inaugural address to the nation on Sunday and promised sweeping reforms. 

Here are key takeaways from his address.

https://www.thenews.com.pk/latest/357402-pm-imran-khans-speech

Pakistan's current economic scenario

2. References of riyasat-e-Madina


3. Cutdown expenses

4. Tax Collection through FBR

5. Taskforce to eradicate money laundering

6. Increase exports

7. Bring in investments

8. Empower SMEs

9. Create ease for expats through embassies abroad

10. Control corruption

11. Whistle blower act

12. Interior ministry to remain under Imran Khan supervising FIA

13. Improve judicial system for commoners

14. Appeal to CJP especially for cases related to widows

15. Revamp nationwide police system - appointment of Nasir Durrani in the advisory board of punjab police

16. Juvenile rape cases

17. Focus on improving government schools as well as education system of madrassas

18. Taskforce to revamp existing system in government hospitals and introduce health card

19. Resolve water crisis and build diamer basha dam

20. Government to help farmers

21. Civil service reforms

22. District level reforms

23. 50 lac housing plan

24. Skill education

25. Interest free loans to youngsters

26. Sports ground for youngsters

27. Nationwide tree plantation campaign

28. Curb air pollution through ministry of environment

29. Campaign to clean Pakistan

30. Boost tourism nationwide

31. Development in FATA

32. Resolve issues in Balochistan

33. Southern Punjab province

34. Focus on Karachi's development

35. Implement national action plan

36. Establish better relations with neighbors

37. Take responsibility for shelter and development especially of street children, widows and disabled people.

38. Prove himself as an example of simplicity

Comment by Riaz Haq on August 19, 2018 at 8:49pm

US Sec of State Mike Pompeo to visit #Pakistan on Sept 5 for meeting with newly elected prime minister #ImranKhan before proceeding to #Delhi, #India http://toi.in/F2FD1a/a24gk via @TOIWorld

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