Pakistan Observer

Editorial

All set for Diamer-Bhasha Dam

IT seems the Government is quite serious in initiating construction work on the much-talked-about Diamer-Bhasha Dam following years of lip-service by successive regimes. This is evident from approval of the Executive Committee of the National Economic Council (ECNEC) given on Monday for huge sums to take care of land acquisition and resettlement component of the mega project.

The ECNEC also approved a number of other water and power and other projects of vital importance but Diamer-Bhasha dam is more significant in view of its socio-economic benefits and its relevance to agricultural development and energy security. A cursory glance on the history of the project would reveal that unlike Kalabagh Dam, which was rendered controversial by vested interests, it remained neglected just because of lack of interest and commitment on the part of those at the helm of affairs. In January 2006, the Government announced the decision to construct 5 multi-purpose storage dams in the country during next 10–12 years. According to the plan, Diamer-Bhasha Dam project was proposed in the first phase. In November 2008, the ECNEC formally approved the project followed by clearance from Council of Common Interests Pakistan. Its foundation stone was first laid by then President Musharraf and then the former Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani but no actual implementation could start due to ...
Wednesday, March 04, 2015 Read More

Bills to deter rape and honour killings

THE Senate on Monday passed four bills including anti-honour killings and anti-rape laws. The upper House passed Anti-Rape Laws (Criminal Laws Amendment) Bill, 2014, and Anti-Honour Killings Laws (Criminal Laws Amendment) Bill, 2014, moved by Pakistan Peoples Party’s (PPP) Senator Syeda Sughra Imam.

The unanimously adopted bills would hopefully have a deterring effect on the curse of rape and honour killings. One can guess the gravity of the situation from the figures quoted by the Senator during her speech in the upper House. She stated that 432 women were reportedly killed in the name of honour in Pakistan in 2012, 705 in 2011, 557 in 2010, 604 in 2009 and 475 women were killed in 2008. These figures do not include unreported cases or, indeed, the number of men who are often killed alongside women in the name of honour. Honour killings are one of the most psychologically complex, sociologically complicated, morally distressing and legally challenging violent crimes against humanity. Such crimes have been happening throughout history all over the world in many communities, countries and cultures but their number is awfully increasing in our society because of ignorance and prejudices. Similarly, the incidents of rape and gang-rape are also on the rise but attitude of the authorities and especially that of the Police remains indifferent, thus compounding the problem and ...
Wednesday, March 04, 2015 Read More

CPEC’s rating by Moody

WHAT a tragedy that while some elements in Pakistan are engaged in opposing the route of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Moody’s Investor Services — one of the three largest credit rating agencies in the world — has described the project as a ‘credit positive’ for the country, implying that the economic growth generated will eventually help the government’s finances. The Agency in a note on Monday said CPEC will spur investment activity, boost bilateral trade flows and help ease Pakistan’s growing energy shortages.

The $46-billion project would create a 2,000-kilometre road and rail link from China’s western hinterlands to the Gwadar Port, creating a network of infrastructure in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. The influx of investment into Pakistan is what prompted Moody’s to view the economic corridor as a positive from a credit perspective. The credit rating agency uses several macroeconomic indicators to determine its rating for Pakistan’s government, including investment as a percentage of the total size of the economy. Another reason Moody believes this project will be positive for Pakistan is their belief that Islamabad will be able to get Beijing to finance several energy projects throughout the country that would reduce the cost of power generation, ultimately lowering the need for electricity subsidies — a key burden on the Federal budget — and im ...
Wednesday, March 04, 2015 Read More