Thursday, 31 March 2016

Your Monkey Is With us: Indian State Sponsored Terrorism Exposed

Your   Monkey  Is  With  us:

Indian   State   Sponsored  Terrorism  Exposed

Pakistan’s Security forces on March 03, 2016 arrested the man, Kulbhushan Yadav who is 'a serving officer in the Indian Navy and deputed to the Indian intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing (RAW) from Balochistan province of Pakistan. It is for the first time that Pakistan has arrested a serving officer of the Indian security forces working for RAW inside its territory. In past, Pakistan did arrest many an operative of RAW but never ever a serving officer of the rank of a lieutenant colonel has been nabbed. 'RAW officer' had been shifted to Islamabad for interrogation, as he was suspected of involvement in various acts of terrorism and other subversive activities in Pakistan.The spy had links with separatist elements in Balochistan.RAW agent was also involved in acts of sectarian terrorism and terror attacks in Karachi. This is state sponsored terrorism by India, a violation of the UN Charter. RAW agent main goal was to disrupt development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), with Gwadar port as a special target. Yadav’s has trained Baloch separatists in Mumbai to use speedboats in terrorist attacks, and supplied an unknown number to them for that purpose. They were to attack the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor infrastructure as well as Gwadar port and the ships and installations of the Pakistan Navy. 
Areas of Gwadar, Pasni, Jevani and other places in Balochistan were the target of the agent who wanted to sabotage future projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) through subversive activities. RAW agent was either involved or had information about many terror acts, including Mehran Base attack, bomb blast in Gwadar, SSP Aslam Chauhadry’s murder, Tiger Force’s constitution and Baloch nationalists’ terrorist activities. He was given the task to attack a five-star hotel in Gwadar where Chinese national working on the seaport use to stay.

The arrested agent would lure Baloch students to use them in anti-national and destabilising activities by offering them a lot of money.  The information received from Yadav has been sent to the federal government for necessary action. The federal government has started an emergency operation in order to break the network of the detained RAW agent. At least 13 more accomplices of Indian intelligence agency Research and Analysis Wing’s (RAW) agent Kulbhushan Yadav were arrested on March 27, 2016.The nabbed suspects are involved in terrorism, sectarian clashes and target killing therefore their arrest is being kept confidential. During investigation from the suspects it has been revealed that as many as 500 Indian trained terrorists posing as Muslims have entered in Pakistan and are indulged in promoting terrorism, religious conflicts, arousing anti-army sentiments and other anti-national activities. In another curious development, after his arrest, rather than disavowing the man completely as is usual when a spy is caught operating in foreign territory, New Delhi admitted that the captured Indian national had been a commander (equivalent of a lieutenant colonel) in the Indian navy but had not been affiliated with the Indian navy for a number of years.
Presence of an Indian Spy in Pakistan and his confessions after his arrest from Balochistan can be seen in context of ongoing conspiracies to sabotage China-Pakistan Economic Corridor Projects

Response of Pakistan’s Government Response
Investigation is being carried out against the apprehended Indian spy and significant lead is being obtained in this regards. All possible steps should be taken to take up this issue at the international forums. The arrested Indian agent will be prosecuted under the law of the land. Pakistan had fulfilled its responsibility by conveying Yadav’s arrest to the Indian ambassador. Pakistan’s Foreign Office summoned Indian High Commissioner (HC) to Pakistan and recorded protest over arrest of RAW agent in Balochistan. Pakistan lodged a strong protest over the RAW officer's spying activities in Balochistan and Karachi, making it clear that this was unacceptable. According to Foreign Office; Pakistan had also apprised European Union and the world’s “major capitals” about the Indian spy’s arrest from Balochistan. “The whole world saw the Indian agent’s confessional statement.” Pakistan had already shared evidence regarding Indian involvement in terror activities inside Pakistan with the United Nations (UN), and the latest arrest will also be taken up with the body. Pakistan has forwarded a formal reference to Iran requesting assistance in investigation of RAW’s -the Indian intelligence agency- interference in Pakistan using Iranian soil and presence of Indian spies at Chabahar port. The letter, which has been forwarded by Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan to his Iranian counterpart, comprises of six sections including a request of information about activities of detained RAW officer Kulbhushan Yadav while he was residing in Tehran. In the reference, Pakistan asks Iran how Indian spy agency’s network was being operated in Chabahar and one of its agents had come to Pakistan via Iranian border,” the interior ministry spokesman said.

Facts about Kulbushan Yadhav
He is the contact man for Anil Kumar Gupta, the joint secretary of RAW, and his other operatives in Pakistan. His was tasked to disrupt development of CPEC, with Gwadar port as a special target. Yadhav is still a serving officer in the Indian Navy and will be due for retirement in 2022. He started carrying out intelligence based operations in 2002 and in 2003 established a small business in Chabahar, Iran. Yadhav directed various activities in Karachi and Balochistan at the behest of RAW .He was involved in activities of 'anti-national or terrorist nature'
RAW Agent Kulbhushan’s Confessional Statement

In a joint press conference of Federal Minister for Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage and Director General, Inter-Services Intelligence at Press Information Department, a video was revealed to the media in which the RAW agent confessed with regard to his whereabouts. Complete text of his confessions is reproduced below:

My name is Commander Kulbhushan Yadav and I am the serving officer of Indian Navy. I am from the cadre of engineering department of Indian Navy and my cover name was Hussein Mubarik Patel, which I had taken for doing some intelligence gathering for Indian agencies. I joined the National Defence Academy in 1987 and subsequently joined Indian Navy in Jan 1991 and subsequently served for the Indian Navy till around December 2001 when the Parliament attack occurred and that is when I started contributing my services towards gathering of information and intelligence within India. I live in the city of Mumbai in India. I am still the serving officer in the Indian Navy and will be due for retirement by 2022 as a commissioned officer in Indian Navy after having completed 14 years of service by 2002. I commenced intelligence operation in 2003 and established a small business in Chabahar in Iran as I was able to achieve undetected existence and visits to Karachi in 2003 and 2004 and having done some basic assignments within India for RAW. I was picked up by RAW in 2013 end. Ever since I have been directing various activities in Balochistan and Karachi at the behest of RAW and deteriorating law and order situation in Karachi, I was basically the man for MrAni Kumar Gupta who is the joint secretary of RAW and his contacts in Pakistan especially in Balochistan Student Organisation. My purpose was to hold meetings with Baloch insurgents and carry out activities with their collaboration. These activities have been of criminal nature, leading to killing of or maiming of Pakistani citizens. I realise during this process that RAW is involved in some activities related to the Baloch liberation movement within Pakistan and the region around it. There are finances which are fed into the Baloch movement through various contacts or various ways and means into the Baloch liberation (movement) and various activities of the Baloch liberation and RAW handlers go towards activities which are criminal, which are anti-national, which can lead to maiming or killing of people within Pakistan and mostly these activities were centred around of what I have knowledge is of ports of Gwadar, PasniJewani and various other installations, which are around the coast damaging various other installations, which are in Balochistan.
So the activity seems to be revolving and trying to create a criminal sort of mindset within the Baloch liberation which leads to instability within Pakistan. In my pursuit towards achieving the set targets by my handlers in RAW, I was trying to cross over into Pakistan from the Saravan border in Iran on March 3, 2016, and was apprehended by Pakistani authorities while on the Pakistani side and the main aim of this crossing over into Pakistan was to hold (a) meeting with Baloch separatists in Balochistan for carrying out various activities, which they were supposed to undertake and carrying backwards the messages which had to deliver to Indian agencies. The main issues regarding this were that they were planning to conduct some operations within the next immediate (near) future so that was to be discussed mainly and that was the main aim of trying to coming into Pakistan.
So that moment I realised that my intelligence operations have been compromised on my being detained in Pakistan, I revealed that I am an Indian naval officer, and it is on mentioning that I am Indian naval officer, the total perception of the establishment of the Pakistani side changed and they treated me very honourably and they did utmost respect and due regards and have handled me subsequently on a more professional and proper courteous way and they have handled me in a way that befits that of an officer and once I realised that I have been compromised in my process of intelligence operations, I decided to just end the mess I have landed myself in and just wanted to subsequently move on and cooperate with the authorities in removing complications which I have landed myself and my family members into, and whatever I am stating just now, it is the truth and it is not under any duress or pressure. I am doing it totally out of my own desire to mention and come clean out of this entire process which I have gone through last 14 years.”

Tuesday, 22 March 2016

Pakistan-Turkmenistan; A Friendship Highway

The President of Turkmenistan Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov arrived in Islamabad on March 16, 2016 for an official visit to meet the Pakistani leadership and discuss issues of mutual importance. Turkmenistan and Pakistan enjoy excellent economic, social, cultural and political relations since 1991 when Pakistan recognised the independence of Turkmenistan. For the past two decades, Turkmenistan and Pakistan have been developing good diplomatic relations.In October 1997, the then Prime Minister of Pakistan, Nawaz Sharif, had visited Turkmenistan. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif also attended the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline groundbreaking ceremony on December 13, 2015 in southeastern Turkmenistan.

The recent visit to Pakistan by the president of Turkmenistan, Gurbanguly Berdymukhammedov, will boost bilateral relations between the two. The presidents of Turkmenistan and Pakistan expressed the resolve to expedite the implementation process of more than $10 billion Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project, which was inked last December in Turkmenistan. 
Pakistan and Turkmenistan had good coordination at international fora and would continue to work together for regional and international peace and security. Regional connectivity was an important pillar of Pakistan’s Vision 2025, aimed at making the country a hub of regional trade and commerce. Pakistan’s present government is closely working with Turkmenistan for improving infrastructure development for better regional connectivity in central Asian states. It would be conducive to the promotion of economic relations, people to people contacts and tourism. Both Countries need for greater cooperation in the fields of trade, energy, agriculture, education, science and technology, infrastructure and transportation. Pakistan looked towards Turkmenistan for future energy security and offered Turkmenistan to take advantage of Pakistani ports for its exports and imports. Pakistan and Turkmenistan also had great cooperation in culture, science and education, relations dating back to centuries, and a desire to reach out to the people in neighbouring countries.

TAPI gas pipeline project: 

For Pakistan TAPI is not just a gas transit initiative connecting energy-rich Central Asia with energy-starved South Asia, but a trailblazing project that will open doors for greater regional economic collaboration and integration. It will provide the shortest route for access to sea ports through Central Asian republic and other states in the region. The TAPI project will bring peace to the region and promote trade. The TAPI play a big role in aligning the perspectives of major stakeholders on Afghanistan’s internal situation, since it will tie the future energy security of three South Asian countries together, making them partners in each other’s stability. Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) is a “mega-energy cooperation project in the region. It would greatly help Pakistan in mitigating the shortage of natural gas in Pakistan. Pakistan was committed to the early completion of Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) gas pipeline project, considering it as a new chapter in economic collaboration and greater regional integration with Central Asia. The regional energy projects would facilitate regional connectivity and contribute to peace, stability and security by creating interdependence in the region. The gas line will bring warmth and cordiality, and generate economic activity, create job opportunities and improve the living standards. 

MoUs Signed during recent visit of Turkmen President to Pakistan 

Pakistan and Turkmenistan on March 16, 2016, inked eight accords on cooperation, including a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on financial intelligence to curb money laundering and terrorism financing and sharing intelligence on terrorism. Pakistan and Turkmenistan shared the concern that terrorism and extremism were the root cause of insecurity and instability in the region.Both countries were facing common challenges and “combating common threats. Pakistan also welcomed Turkmenistan's offer for export of 1000MW electricity to Pakistan and signing of tripartite MoU during Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif visit to Turkmenistan last December. The MoU between National University of Modern Languages (NUML), Pakistan and Magtymguly Turkmen State University (MTSU), Turkmenistan The Institute of Peace and Diplomatic Studies (IPDS), Pakistan signed two separate MoUs with an international university for Humanities and Development (IUHD), Ashgabat and Institute of International Relations of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Turkmenistan (IIT). The MoU between COMSATS Institute of Information Technology and Turkmen State Institute of Economics and Management (TSIEM)

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Women empowerment in Pakistan- A Dream becoming Reality

Father of the nation Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah once said: “No Nation can rise to the height of glory unless your women are side by side with you; we are victims of evil customs. It is a crime against women humanity that our women are shut up within the four walls of the houses as prisoners. There is no sanction anywhere for the deplorable condition in which our women have to live.” Since the creation of Pakistan in 1947, Pakistan inherited the menace of poverty. The burden of this poverty was put heavily on the female population. Women were neglected and under-nourished. All the governments had tried in one form or the other but could not make a very happy progress because of various reasons. In a globalising world gender equality and empowerment of women are vital tools to achieve the sustainable development therefore it’s very important to bring women into main stream so that they can play its role in the development of the country.

Women comprise more than 50 percent of Pakistan’s total population. Despite this, on an average, the situation of Pakistani women vis-à-vis men is one of systemic gender subordination, although there have been attempts by the government and enlightened groups to elevate their status in society. Women’s role in the country’s progress is as crucial as that of men, the government’s vision of transforming Pakistan into a modern and developed state, as envisioned by the founding father of the nation, could not be realized if women making half of the country’s population were ignored. 
Pakistan’s present Government as per its manifesto considers it a national duty to protect the interests of women and provide them equal opportunities without any discrimination. The government strongly believes that the country could not make progress without providing equal opportunities to women which were half part of society. The government is committed to ensuring empowerment of women as their participation in all walks of life is necessary for sustainable development. The Government believes that effective participation of women, in political and practical fields, is essential to make Pakistan a strong and dignified country in the comity of nations. Present government had taken historic steps during the last three years for the social and economic empowerment of women along with effective legislation to address women’s issues with a view to safeguard their rights. Moreover, for the promotion and protection of women rights, to restore the personal security and dignity of women and to give them protection at workplace, the Government has taken deliberate and conscious steps like reservations of 10 percent quota for females, on the political side, reservation of thirty three percent seats for women in all local bodies more than 36,000 women councilors, 17 percent seats have been reserved for women in the constituent Assembly, Senate, Provincial Assembly and in national assembly.
To tackle the issues of harassment and to eliminate the gender based violence. Current government has taken many measures to enhance the participation of women in economic sphere. In line with federal Government efforts to empower women, the Punjab Assembly unanimously approved the Protection of Women against Violence Bill, calling for an end to all criminalities against women, such as, domestic violence, acid attack, rape, psychological and economic abuse, stalking, and cyber-crimes. The 31 clauses of the new bill provide an efficient system for complaint registration and penalties for offenders. According to the clauses, a toll-free helpline (UAN number) will be launched to receive direct complaints. It also calls for the creation of protection centres and shelters homes, where conflicts and misunderstandings can be settled and help partners reach reconciliation. The bill has magnificently covered all the critical must-have consolidated statutes dealing with violence and crafted the complaint system easier than ever. It’s certainly a milestone towards women rights, empowerment and gender equality. There is now no justification to continue the smear campaign against this important act, which is a right step towards protecting the dignity and self-respect of women. Islam does not allow any form of violence rather it has given an elevated status to women. Therefore any step taken towards their empowerment and protection should not be politicised as they constitute half of the population and their participation in all walks of life is critical for socio-economic uplift of the country. In many Islamic countries including Malaysia and Turkey, women are working shoulder to shoulder with men for the development of their countries yet in our country resistance against participation of women would not serve any purpose for the forward march of the country.

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

National Action Plan: A Story of Success

Pakistan’s government believes that security and peace are essential for sustainable development in the economic, political, social and cultural spheres of the national life which entails protecting the lives and rights of the citizens, resources, territorial integrity of the country, state institutions and sovereignty of the state. The existentialist threat posed by terrorism and extremism which went unchecked for well over a decade severely hampered the successive governments’ efforts to check the menace and erase its ill-effects on the economy and other areas of national life. The scourge of terrorism has not only inflicted incalculable harm on Pakistan internally but it had also tarnished the image of the country at the global level. Terrorism is a global problem, and Pakistan as a country and as a nation in particular has been suffering from it for the past few years. No country had suffered so much from it as Pakistan. We have lost more than 60,000 innocent lives. Our country has been faced with the threat of militancy and extremism. Our forces and police and civilians have been attacked and martyred. Our bases, police stations, pipelines, railways, hotels, schools, have been targeted. Even our mosques, churches and religious shrines have not been spared. Our country’s image has been negatively projected. Our economy has had to bear extra burdens. Even the good name of our great religion -- a religion of peace and harmony and love -- has been exploited. The international war against terrorism has caused more agony, deaths and destruction to the people of Pakistan than any other country in the world.

Government therefore accorded top priority to dealing with this phenomenon. Immediately after assuming office, Prime Minister, Muhammad Nawaz Sharif, called an All Party Conference to evolve a national consensus through the collective wisdom of all the major political parties and stakeholders on the strategies and policies purported to restore peace and stability in the country.

The government enunciated the country’s first ever National Internal Security Policy and in line with the strategy approved by the APC, initiated a process of dialogue with the militants with a view to finding a peaceful settlement, keeping the option of use of force open as a last resort.

Unfortunately the process of dialogue failed to achieve the desired results due to the inexplicably defiant conduct of militants who continued to attack the security and other installations of the state, forcing the government to launch operation Zarb-e-Azb in North Waziristan in June 2014 in the wake of terrorist attack on Karachi airport, with the consensus of all the political entities.

On 16th December 2014, the terrorist committed the most horrendous and detestable act of terrorism by targeting the innocent students of Army Public School, Peshawar.

The government wasted no time in mounting a decisive and comprehensive offensive against the terrorists in the form of the National Action Plan with the unruffled backing of all political parties represented in the Parliament and a valuable input and support from the military leadership.

The salient features of the Plan include:- 
  • Implementation of death sentence of those convicted in cases of terrorism.
  • Special trial courts under the supervision of Army. The duration of these courts would be two years.
  • Militant outfits and armed gangs will not be allowed to operate in the country.
  • NACTA, the anti-terrorism institution will be strengthened.
  • Strict action against the literature, newspapers and magazines promoting hatred, decapitation, extremism, sectarianism and intolerance.
  • All funding sources of terrorists and terrorist outfits will be frozen.
  • The defunct outfits will not be allowed to operate under any other name.
  • Establishing and deploying a dedicated counter-terrorism force.
  • End to religious extremism and protection of minorities will be ensured.
  • Registration and regulation of religious seminaries.
  • Ban on glorification of terrorists and terrorist organizations through print and electronic media.
  • Administrative and development reforms in FATA with immediate focus on repatriation of IDPs.
  • Communication network of terrorists will be dismantled completely.
  • Concrete measures against promotion of terrorism through Internet and social media.
  • No room will be left for the extremism in any part of the country.
  • Ongoing operation in Karachi will be taken to its logical end.
  • Balochistan government to be fully empowered for political reconciliation with complete ownership by all stakeholders.
  • Action against elements spreading sectarianism.
  • Formulation of a comprehensive policy to deal with the issue of Afghan refugees, beginning with registration of all refugees.
  • Reforms in criminal courts system to strengthen the anti-terrorism institutions including provincial CIDs.

Legal and constitutional measures:
  • The government also took recourse to legal and constitutional measures to supplement administrative actions in dealing with terrorism and law and order situation. 
  • In pursuance to implementing the National Action Plan, Twenty-first Amendment Bill amending the Article 175 and the First Schedule of the Constitution of Pakistan 1973 was passed in January, 2015.
  • The amendment seeks to setup speedy trial Military Courts for offences relating to terrorism, waging of war against Pakistan and prevention of acts threatening the security of Pakistan.
  •  The duration of these courts would be two years which ends on January 7, 2017. Similarly, it promulgated Protection of Pakistan Ordinance (PPO) to strengthen the legal and practical framework to fight terrorists and criminal elements, prowling around the country.
  •  The Ordinance stipulates that writ of the state will be established at all costs and the elements spreading terror and fear will be considered as enemies of the state. The new piece of law would go a long way in moving towards realization of that specific objective.

NAP brings down incidence of terrorism and heinous offences:
If we were to assess 2015, it would be fair to generalise that Pakistan, after a long spell, has overcome the worst and seems set on a trajectory that could lead to incremental progress and stability. Government is committed to wipe out terrorism in all its shades and hues and has adopted a zero tolerance policy against the terrorists. Incidents of terrorism, as hard statistics indicate, have definitely reduced, from 5,496 in 2014 to 3,625 in 2015.  The New Year Sun witnessed 80% decline in terror acts and extremism by breaking network of terrorists in FATA, Karachi and Balochistan after developing much need consensus among the political parties.
All political forces clustered around National Action Plan to take it to logical conclusion. A terror-stricken Pakistan was largely out of fear in 2015, when a close coordination and cooperation between Armed Forces and civilian leadership made Zarb-e-Azb a great success, destroying footholds of the most feared terrorists entrenched in North Waziristan and Khyber Agency.  It was a year of great reckoning when Pakistan was able to offer its assistance to France to counter terror threat there following the massacre in Paris.The National Action Plan (NAP) has also brought about relief to the nation as the country has witnessed overall decline in heinous offences, particularly the crime against persons, last year as compared to 2014. The statistics showed a comparison among the four provinces about the overall heinous crime and an analysis of the offences occurred in 2014 and in 2015 (after the implementation of NAP).  The data showed a vivid picture in regard to crime against persons in Pakistan as the total murder incidents decreased manifold largely due to the country-wide execution of the convicts, particularly the terrorists belonging to the banned organisations. Punjab and Sindh have taken lead on two other provinces in bringing the total heinous crime down under the NAP. After the implementation of NAP, three and two per cent decline was witnessed from 2014 to 2015 in the total crime that had taken place in Sindh and Punjab, respectively. The data was obtained from the provinces to analyse the countrywide crime status one year after the implementation of NAP. Punjab’s overall crime was reported 3, 89,554 cases in 2014 which decreased to 3, 82,932 in 2015 showing a difference of 6,622. Unfortunately, two provinces – Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan – witnessed 10 and 1 per cent surge in the total crime in 2015 as compared to 2014. The KP had reported a total of 1, 38,446 overall crime cases in 2014 which increased to 1, 52,433 in 2015, according to the available statistics. Punjab being the most populous province of Pakistan with approximately 56pc of the country’s total population showed an unprecedented decline in murder cases under the NAP. In 2014, as many as 6,094 persons were murdered in Punjab and this number had come down to 4,522 in 2015, according to the statistics. Sindh took a lead on other provinces in this particular category of crime (murder incidents) by reporting 42pc reduction in 2015 as compared to 2014
In dacoity and robbery incidents, again Punjab and Sindh showed visibly good performance under NAP as both had reported 33pc and 37pc decline in the former and 16pc and 25pc in the latter category of crime, respectively. The kidnap for ransom has been a very challenging task in Pakistan during the last few years as the countrywide surge in the percentage of this kind of crime had upset the rich and business class. After the implementation of NAP, all the provinces overwhelmingly responded to this category of crime by reducing it to 52pc
In respect of crime against property, the statistics showed that the KP was the only province which had reported surge while Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan brought the incidents against such offences down in 2015 under the action plan. In 2014, the data showed the KP had reported 3,702 incidents of crime against property which increased to 3,826 next year. In the Punjab, the incidents of crime against property declined from 96,062 in 2014 to 84,518 in 2015. The same is the situation in Sindh which had reported 17,975 cases in 2014 that later decreased to 13,932 next year

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Green Pakistan

Climate change is an ever-growing concern in the world. Melting glaciers and ice sheets, rising pollution levels, deforestation, etc., all contribute or are reflective of the very fact that global warming and/or climate change is, after all, very much real.

Last year saw the leaders of the world come together in Paris for the summit on climate change, where, various proposals were agreed upon to cut down on each country’s respective carbon footprint.

However, the effects of climate change are not just limited to the melting of glaciers. They reach out far and wide and even affect food production.

So much so, that the effects of climate change on food production could lead to the deaths of more than half a million adults in 2050, according to researchers’ estimates.

Major environmental issues currently confronting Pakistan include climate change, water, energy, pollution and waste management, salinity and water logging, irrigated agriculture, biodiversity and more that are too numerous to count.

Environmental hazards have become a major global issue this century. These hazards are impacting the national, social and economic landscape. Ozone layer of atmosphere is also being affected due to climate change.

Pakistan has become 8th country in the world, which is being affected by climate change. Earlier Pakistan was the 10th country in the world now it has reached at 8th number.

During the recent years, floods have been playing havoc with life and property from the hilly areas of the north to the plains of Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan and KP.

Pakistan had the highest annual deforestation rate in Asia and forests covered only 5.2 percent of the total land. There was an urgent need of initiating massive plantation drives to reduce the adverse impacts of climate change.

Federal  government was favoured towards development, but not at the expense of the environment. The environmental projects are at the heart of government’s political manifesto.

The government in its manifesto has promised  that it will give high priority to ecologically sound development, policies to preserve and develop the country’s natural and forest, resources to counteract the impact of global warming and fight the cancer of water-logging and salinity.

The manifesto further states that there is need for a coherent strategy across all our provinces to deal with the climate change threat facing Pakistan.

Prime Minister Green Pakistan Programme:
  • As promised made in manifesto Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has approved the launch of “Green Pakistan Programme”. The prime minister will lead the Green Pakistan Programme on the pattern of “Green Wall Programme” of China.
  • Under this venture, over 100 million trees will be planted over the next five years all over the country along canals and roadsides as well as in the forest areas of KP, Fata, Gilgit-Baltistan, Azad Kashmir, Balochistan, Punjab and Sindh.
  • The Green Pakistan Programme contains a few other dimensions that make it more than just a massive tree plantation drive, such as regular stocktaking of forests and their degradation which have a meaningful impact on the ecology of Pakistan.
  • To achieve the desire objectives of forest preservation and wildlife protection, all relevant federal and provincial ministries and agencies are facilitated to fulfill the task.
  • The federal government would provide 50 percent of the funding requirement while the provinces are to meet the rest of the cost.
  • Locations under the “Green Pakistan programme” include:  
One thousand avenue miles of Canal Side & Roadside Plantations in Punjab, KP and Sindh

Plantations in Changa Manga, Darphar, Bahawalpur and Chichawatni

Mangroves forests in Karachi and Badin along with hill forests of Khirthar Range in Sindh

Juniper forests of Ziarat and Chilghoza forest in Suleiman Ranges of Balochistan  

Areas in GB, AJK, Muree, Hazara, Kotli Sattian, Malakand, Fata (Orakzai, North Waziristan, etc) are some of the locations for plantations.
  • Under the Green Pakistan Revival, protection and management of internationally recognized wildlife habitats wildlife, also the main aspects of the programme which include: 
Khunjrab National Park (GB),
Khirthar National Park (Sindh),
Hingol National Park (Baluchistan),
Chitral Gol National Park
National Park and Salt Range area (Punjab),
Machiara National Park (AJK)
Margalla Hills National Park (ICT).

  • For the Green Pakistan program Ministry of Climate Change has consulted the federating units including the Provinces, GB, AJK and FATA, prior to development of the roadmap.
  • The initiative will ensure far-reaching reform in forestry and wildlife sectors of the country. Assessment of forest resource depletion, use of modern technology, and development of immediate and long term forest resource expansion plans would be devised for the purpose.
  • The PM directed the Ministry of Climate Change to develop a proposal for strengthening Zoological Survey of Pakistan so as to immediately undertake inventory of endangered wildlife species and habitats across the country.
  • The institutional and administrative steps for the protection of habitat and inventory for endangered wildlife species will help a great to deal to achieve the desired goals.
  • Government believes that the preservation and management of forest and wildlife resources of the country need to be adequately developed in line with the best international practices.
  • Government has taken number of steps during the last three years (2013-16) to mitigate the impacts of climate change in the country.
  • The Prime Minister’s initiative to plant 100m trees across the country over the next five years under the “Green Pakistan programme” is a welcome step.
  • Political ownership of such efforts would help check fast depleting flora and fauna of the country.

Monday, 7 March 2016

Infrastructure and developmental projects Initiated by Present Government

Large-scale infrastructure development projects play a pivotal role in boosting the economy.  Such projects act as guarantors of economic and social wellbeing while boosting employment, reducing cost of accessing markets, providing means of improved opportunities, and ensuring the provision of basic services at the grassroots level.

The transport infrastructure can contribute towards poverty reduction, economic growth and inclusive social development.NHA is following the vision of the prime minister in developing infrastructure projects through private sector on Build Own Operate (BOO) and Build Operate Transfer (BOT) basis.

For the first time in the history of Pakistan, three BOT projects costing Rs 91 billion have been awarded which will generate Rs366 billion over the concession period.

In Pakistan, roads are the prime source of the transport system, accounting for the bulk of national passenger traffic and freight movement. The increasing trend in road traffic, both passenger and freight, dictates much faster development of the road network. Accordingly, the PSDP allocation to NHA was raised from Rs.50 billion in 2011-12 to Rs.112 billion in 2014-15.

Punjab, Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir were being connected through a network of high-quality roads and highways, which would help accelerate the process of socio-economic development in the country. 

PML-N Government road-Connectivity Projects:
Roads and highways are an integral part of the transport system. The more efficient the road network of country is, the maximum are its economic and social benefits.

Realizing the significant role in achieving national development and contributing to the overall performance and social functioning of the society, the PML-N government has accorded the highest priority to the construction of efficient roads and highways

During the last two and half years, the details of projects are as under:
Construction of Karachi – Hyderabad Motorway (M-9) – 136 Km
Hoshab- Basima – Sorab Road (454 Km)
Khuzdar-Ratodero Road (143 Km)
Gwadar -Turbat-Hoshab Road (193 Km
Rehabilitate/improve 336 km flood affected roads.
Hazara Motorway (E-35)

In addition, the following achievements are worth mentioning:
Presently NH&MP is policing on 2,732 kms of the Motorways to ensure and impart road safety education, and to provide instant help to motorists in distress.
Besides, the NHA has numerous new projects in the pipeline to construct about1,274 km roads worth Rs. 878 million
Karachi-Hyderabad motorway, The M-9 which connects Karachi to Hyderabad is going to be 136 Km long with 16 exits and is going to cost about Rs. 24 Billion. The Project was inaugurated on MAR 16, 2015and it is expected to be completed within 2.5 years. The M-9 will later be linked to the Karachi-Lahore and Karachi-Gawadar motorways to constitute the longest tract in the motorway network.
Motorway E-35 (Burhan-Havelian) was inaugurated at November 29, 2014. This road link is part of Pakistan-China Economic Corridor agreement. The 60 km long expressway will reduce the drive time from Islamabad to Havelian to just 30 minutes. Also, it will facilitate the Havelian Dry Port project.
Sialkot-Lahore Motorway Project was inaugurated by PM Nawaz Sharif on Mar 21, 2015. project began from Saahowala-Sambrial and lead to Lahore along the banks of two local main canals namely Marala-Ravi-Link (MR Link )Canal through Motra-Daska and Bambaanwala-Ravi-Baidian (BRB) Canal Daska.
Signal-free corridor of Islamabad Highway inaugurated on June 30, 2015 envisages conversion of 24-kilometre Expressway from Zero Point to GT Road Rawat, besides addition of lanes to ease traffic congestion. In the first phase, a four-kilometer portion from Zero Point to Faizabad would be completed at a cost of Rs 1.6 billion. An overhead bridge would be constructed at Shakarparian Chowk to give signal-free access to travellers.
Work on Karachi-Hyderabad motorway and Khanewal-Lahore motorway will soon be completed without compromising on the issues of transparency and international standards.
Pindi Bhattian to Faisalabad Motorway is being planned to be converted from existing four lanes into a six-lane motorway. A good road may be built to connect Okara and Bahawalpur with Karachi-Lahore motorway.
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has inaugurated second section of the M4 motorway which will stretch from Faisalabad to Multan upon completion.
The M4 motorway is divided into four segments: the 58km Faisalabad-Gojra section, which has already been opened for traffic; the 62km Gojra-Shorkot section, is expected to be completed by 2019; the 64km Shorkot-Dinpur section and the 45km Khanewal-Multan section.

Road Connectivity projects under CPEC:
The Corridor project comprises modern highway and railway transportation system; linking Kashgar in West China, to Khunjrab in the north and onwards to Karachi and Gawadar in the south of Pakistan through multiple routes
Chinese government concessional loans for the second phase up gradation of Karakorum Highway (Havelian to Thakot),
Karachi-Lahore Motorway (Multan to Sukur),
Gwadar Port East Bay Expressway Project and Gwadar International Airport
The government was establishing new public universities, upgrading the private universities as well as improving relations with foreign varsities, while Higher Education Commission (HEC) initiated various Ph.D. and other scholarship programmes to enhance quality of education in Pakistan.

The PML (N) is committed to increase the budgetary allocation for education to 4% of GDP by 2018 (as per UNESCO target) as against the dismally low 2.6% of GDP spent on education by successive governments. In consultation with the provinces it is working on initiating a legislation to provide a roadmap for achieving 80% enrolment up to the middle level and 80% universal literacy.
There are also plans to reform the curricula and upgrading the existing educational institutions. Setting up of Danish schools in Punjab, institution of Education Endowment Funds in all the provinces, award of scholarships to needy students for higher education are indicative of the commitment of the government to bring a revolution in education sector in the country.

As part of prime minister’s educational reforms scheme 422 schools of Islamabad are being revamped. The project is spear-headed by Maryam Nawaz, a lady known for her impeccable knack for excellence and commitment to the cause of education. She has already accomplished the revamping 22 schools in Islamabad in a short span of time and the work on rest of schools is likely to be completed by the end of the year.

Energy situation is quite satisfactory as compared to when the government assumed power. Nearly 3000MW of electricity have been added to the system and new plans to generate 21000MW of electricity have already been initiated and some of these projects are scheduled to become operative during 2017-18 ending the current energy crisis.Out of this projected production, 10640MW will be produced through projects under CPEC with Chinese investment.

The government is also striving to change the energy production mix with greater emphasis on coal-based power generating units and the ones based on hydel power and renewable energy that will facilitate production of power on cheaper rates.

 The government has recently signed LNG deal with Qatar and prospects of IP gas pipeline becoming a reality in the near future have also re-emerged with the lifting of sanctions against Iran by US, UN and Pakistan. These are all verifiable facts and even the die-hard critics of the government and its political opponents cannot challenge their veracity.