Chief Editor: Ansar Mahmood Bhatti

Category Archives: Articles

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Isloo mafia: pitfalls for the diplomats by Ansar Mahmood Bhatti

Much has been written about various mafias like the Sicilian, Russian, 18thStreet Gang, Colombian Cartels, Chinese Triads and many more. Here in Pakistan a new mafia seems to have made inroads into our polity that may aptly be called “The Islo mafia”. This unscrupulous business mafia, mostly comprising businessmen, businesswomen, so-called media practitioners, real estate agents etc, is out to trap unwary diplomats. And then use their privileged positions for various purposes  acquiring visas being at the top of the list. This mafia adopts various innovative ways to trap their unsuspecting targets. Their normal modus operandi is to first invest in certain key individuals who can potentially deliver on their varied needs. These investments are made in different shapes.

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BISP progress during PML-N tenure Marvi Memon, MNA

Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) has made commendable progress under the PMLN government during the last four years highlighting the commitment of the government to the poor and vulnerable of the country. The budget allocation for BISP that was Rs 70 billion in 2013 jumped to Rs 121 billion in 2017. The quarterly stipend increased from Rs 3000/quarter in 2013 to Rs 4834 in 2016. BISP has made itself the pride of Pakistan and a role model for international social safety nets winning Pakistan recognition internationally thereby contributing to institution building and poverty alleviation in Pakistan.

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Beijing has literally pulled Pakistan out of a generally hostile international environment through the CPEC Imtiaz Gul

Whole-of-government

approach needed

Recent interviews of President Trump’s National Security Adviser HR McMaster sound like alarm bells for Pakistan. While talking of an Afghanistan strategy packaged in a regional collaboration context, McMaster resonated a White House desire for a ‘change in behaviour.’ And this desire singles out Pakistan.“This is Pakistan in particular that we want to really see a change in — and a reduction of their support for these groups,” he said. “I mean, this is — of course, you know, a very paradoxical situation, right, where Pakistan is taking great losses.” “They have fought very hard against these groups,” McMaster argued, “but they’ve done so really only selectively.”

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The buck should not stop here by Ansar Mahmood Bhatti

The apex court of Pakistan on July 28, 2017 finally announced the much-awaited and much-anticipated verdict in Panama case in which the court not only disqualified the sitting prime minister Nawaz Sharif  but also ordered  constitution of sixteen cases against him and his family members. The court also directed the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) to file references within six weeks and the accountability court pronounces verdict/s within six months thereafter. Therefore, in the present circumstances future of the former prime minister and family appears quite bleak.

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Extremism in Europe BY Ms. Sabahat Ali  

 

The recent London terror attack on Sat June 2, killed at least eleven people including 3 perpetrators and injured 58 others on London Bridge and in nearby Borough Market.Three knifemen were shot dead by police after mowing down pedestrians on the bridge and going on a killing spree at pubs and restaurants at 10pm. The perpetrators Khurram Butt,  RachidRedouane and Youssef Zaghbawere all young, radicalised Muslims either born or had spent a considerable time of their life in Western Europe.

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70 years of US-Pakistan relations by David Hale

JUL 04 – In 1948, the Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah wrote to President Truman the first message to America from Pakistan for our Independence Day. Speaking of our two nations, he wrote that that the “common desire for order, justice and peace, and their equal wish to contribute to uplift suffering humanity are the best proof, which I hope will lead to the intimate and confident collaboration of our two countries in all matters for our mutual interests.

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The Chinese Initiative by Ansar Mahmood Bhatti

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi dash to Pakistan and Afghanistan in a bid to convince both sides to talk peace in order to ensure stability in the region as tensions between the two neighbors would only lead to chaos and instability is a welcomed initiative. Chinese have serious apprehensions about Pakistan, Afghanistan hostilities that continued tension in the region will not augur well for the smooth execution of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and their subsequent strategic development plans.