Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Kashmir - the most dangerous place in the world

Indian army has accelerated killing innocent civilians on the disputed border of Kashmir. Pakistani army responded to Indian attacks with a measured and proportionate retaliation. Pakistan has restrained itself in response to unprovoked Indian attacks.

However, former President of Pakistan, General Pervez Musharraf said that “Pakistan will never shy of using the nuclear weapons against India if the need arises” in an interview to a news channel from India. He said that Indian Prime Minister, “Modi will have to change his stance. He is anti-Muslim and anti-Pakistan”.

Former US President Bill Clinton also said that “the most dangerous place in the world today, I think you could argue, is the Indian subcontinent and the line of control in Kashmir”.

It is time for India to diffuse the dangerous situation in Kashmir. The core issue between India and Pakistan is Kashmir. The only way to resolve this issue is to let people of Kashmir decide their own destiny.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Sykes–Picot Agreement: Neo-Colonialism in the Middle East

The West and its allies under the American leadership are trying hard to support dictators in the Middle East. Americans have used extremists to further their cause. Americans supported the revolt against the Syrian regime.

Now, Americans have turned against their extremist allies in Syria. Americans supported the militants to weaken the iron grip of Syrian President, Bashar al-Assad. But these militants have become the new enemy of the West.

Americans played same game in Afghanistan. The Afghan Mujahideen (freedom fighters) who fought against the brutal Russians forces were labelled terrorists by Americans. Once, these Mujahideen were American ally.

The West is pushing its neo-colonialist agenda in the Middle East to sustain its dwindling hegemony. The West tried same strategy under Sykes–Picot Agreement of 1916. However, the defeat is the destiny of the West.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Genocide of Palestinians by Israel

United Nations and human right groups condemned the killing of hundreds of women and children by Israel during its recent offensive against Palestinians.

But no major report is published as a result of investigations into killings by Israel. The condemnation by these groups was empty rhetoric as usual. True believers of human rights are waiting for a proper report in to the atrocities by Israel.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Israel is committing crimes against humanity in Gaza

Israel has killed hundreds of women and children during its current attack on Gaza Strip. The West and its allies are showing no signs of mercy. Meanwhile, Israeli forces are committing crimes against humanity but the West is silent as usual.

The world’s conscious does not work when it comes to helping innocent Muslim civilians anywhere in the world. There is no hope that Israel will stop crimes against humanity in Palestine. Current situation due to Israeli crimes will help non-state actors to take matters in their own hands.

Its time that United Nation and other international bodies play their role to stop crimes against humanity by Israel.

Monday, June 30, 2014

Echo of Sykes Picot agreement

Former Prime Minister of UK, Tony Blair has absolved himself of any responsibility in recent Iraqi crisis. Blair said, “We have to liberate ourselves from the notion that ‘we’ caused this”.

The West is playing the old game which it planned while finalising Sykes Picot agreement in 1916. Its ally, Israeli prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, has also supported the Kurdish independence.

The West should understand that the days of its hegemony are over. The people will decide their own fate all over the world including in the West.

Friday, May 30, 2014

Propaganda against Pakistan

The Western media gone into frenzy in reaction to a murder of a Pakistani woman outside a court in Lahore. First the Western media reported that a Pakistani woman was “bludgeoned” to death. Then it twisted the story that a Pakistani woman was “stoned” to death.

The Western media wants to propagate negative stories about Pakistan. This was a very sad incident but the purpose of the coverage of this story by the Western media is to spread propaganda against Pakistan.

More than 40 percent of female murders are committed by their family members in the USA according to Department of Justice. Around one-third of female murder victims ages 12 or older are killed by their partners.

Every 90 seconds, someone is sexually assaulted in USA calculated from 2012 National Crime Victimization Survey, U.S. Department of Justice.

Over 22 million women have been raped in their lifetime in USA according to National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey.

This is the time for the Western media to start talking about crimes against females in the West as well

Monday, April 28, 2014

Nationalization in Disguise

Elderly people started forming long queues in front of the British bank Northern Rock to salvage their savings from the fifth largest lender in the fourth biggest economy of the world. It was a classical run on a bank which ended up in nationalization of Northern Rock.

The developed world funnelled thousands of billions of dollars to salvage its dwindling economies during the global financial crisis. It is still continuing the same policy in the name of quantitative easing. However, it wants developing countries like Pakistan to opt for privatization using the IMF and the World Bank as a cover.

The then shadow chancellor George Osborne said that the conservatives would oppose plans to nationalize Northern Rock. "After months of dither and delay we have ended up with this catastrophic decision," said Mr Osborne. "We now have the situation where the government will be making decisions on whether or not to foreclose on people's loans in a falling housing market," he added.  The conservatives decided to follow footsteps of their former leader Margaret Thatcher.

British entrepreneur Richard Branson who led a consortium to save beleaguered Northern Rock from bankruptcy also criticised the government's decision. He said, “We believe nationalization is not the right answer and that a commercial solution would have been the best way forward.”

American airlines and automobile companies also faced same fate like banks in Europe and USA. They also queued for bailout packages from their governments. In fact bailout plan in USA was nationalization in disguise. The American establishment called it bailout plan to avoid being branded the proponent of nationalization. Thousands of billions of dollars from public purse were handed over to Wall Street.

Actions of the private sector and governments made the job of central banks harder. The job of the central bank is not only to smoothen the boom bust cycles and keep the dragon of inflation under control but also to create employment. This is why during the global financial crisis the central banks around the world opted for the Keynesian model. The main argument behind this policy was to keep the unemployment levels down.

US President Barack Obama followed this policy after winning the election. Obama in his first post-vote news conference said, “my priority is going to be, how do we grow the economy? How do we create more jobs?” Any assistance should "help the auto industry adjust, weather the financial crisis, and succeed in producing fuel-efficient cars here in the United States of America.” Obama also defended his auto bailout by saying that “We refused to let Detroit go bankrupt” during his bid for second term.

Emirates Airline became one of the most successful airlines of the world while American airlines and automobile companies from private sector were queuing for bailout packages to avoid bankruptcy. Emirates Airline is wholly owned by the government of Dubai. Successful operations of Emirates Airline have blunted the argument that public sector is inherently inefficient. This is the case with state owned Chinese enterprises as well.

Privatization has produced mixed results over decades. Opponents of privatization argue that services like health, education and transportation should be owned by the public sector. They cite the case of America’s health sector as a vivid example. Countries like Australia which provide universal health cover have lower per capita costs than USA. All Australian citizens receive free medical care provided by their government. However, USA does not provide this facility to its citizens.

USA has spent US$ 8,895 on health expenditure per capita. USA’s health expenditure as a percentage of GDP is the highest in world. However, a huge number of people in USA do not have access to adequate health services. Dr. David Blumenthal, president of Commonwealth Fund said, “the U.S. spends more on healthcare than any other country, but what we get for these significant resources falls short in terms of access to care, affordability, and quality”.

A survey by Commonwealth Fund shows that almost 4 out of 10 adults are more likely to forgo medical care because they cannot afford it. They also face hardships when paying medical bills. They are also likely to face higher medical bills and have disputes with their insurers. This survey highlighted the need for health care reforms in USA to ensure people have access to health care, protect them from medical debt and simplify health insurance system.

Commonwealth Fund’s senior vice president Cathy Schoen said, “this study highlights pervasive gaps in U.S. health insurance that put families' health and budgets at risk … in fact, the U.S. is the only country in the study where having health insurance doesn't guarantee you access to health care or financial protection when you're sick."

More than 3 out of 10 adults in USA did not see a doctor, failed to buy medicines or went without recommended care because of they could not arrange money. On the other hand, 5 to 6 percent did this in the Netherlands and the U.K compared to 33 percent in USA according to the survey analysis of Commonwealth Fund.

Apart from inefficiencies of the health sector, the agricultural sector in the West and USA is also facing similar challenges. Farmers receive more than one billion dollars a day in shape of subsidies in developed countries.

“European cow receives $2.50 per day in government subsidies and the average Japanese cow receives $7.50 in subsidies, while 75 percent of people in Africa live on less than $2 per day”, the former Chief Economist of the World Bank, Nicholas Stern pointed out this disgraceful policy of the industrialized world in 2002. Meanwhile, 1.22 billion people lived on less than $1.25 a day and 2.4 billion people lived on less than US $2 a day in 2010 according to the World Bank.

Political elites in Pakistan should have a meaningful debate to address the issue of privatization. This debate should be handled in the national interest of Pakistan. The main task for the political elites in Pakistan is to tackle the endemic corruption.

China, Dubai and Australia have shown how to run an effective public sector. On the other hand, success stories of the private sector are impossible to ignore. Pakistani political elites should focus on eradication of corruption rather than engaging in a philosophical discussion of merits and demerits of privatization and nationalization.