Prime Minister Imran Khan chaired a meeting of the Gems, Jewellery and Minerals Task Force. The meeting was attended by Federal Minister for Industry Makhdoom Khusro Bakhtiar, Special Assistant Dr. Shahbaz Gill, Chairman Gems and Jewellery Task Force Engineer Gull Asghar Khan, Atif Khan, members of the task force and relevant senior officers. During the meeting, recommendations were made to the Prime Minister on the restructuring of the Gems, Jewellery and Minerals Division of the Task Force and the proposed Mineral City.
The meeting was informed that Pakistan has a potential of USD 5 billion annually in terms of exports of precious stones which will have a positive impact on the national economy and create millions of jobs. Pakistan currently has reserves of 99 types of precious stones and is the eighth largest producer in the world. Moreover, according to conservative estimates, Pakistan consumes 200 tons of gold annually. With effective legislation and better management of this sector, it will be transformed into a major export industry.
The meeting was informed that Gems and Jewellery have been given industry status and its implementation will be ensured as per the strategy of the task force. In order to increase exports, special attention will be given to export promotion for which assistance will also be sought from Pakistani embassies. In addition, a Gems and Jewellery City will be set up to pool resources, provide one-window operations to address the problems the sector is facing and provide incentives to investors. Initially, a public-private partnership model will be adopted using existing resources.
Pakistan will also actively seek sector-related certifications for access to international markets. It will not only improve the standards of not only precious stones but also precious metals but will bring the current standards at par with internationally recognized standards. The meeting was also informed that despite the availability of research resources in this field, no significant progress has been made. According to the strategy, all modern standards will be introduced by utilizing the research sector. The meeting was also given a detailed briefing on the establishment of Mineral City.
An area has been identified for the chemical and mineral industry in Pakistan where industrial value addition from crude minerals will not only help reduce imports but also increase foreign exchange from exports. The Prime Minister said on the occasion that the government was restructuring the sector with modern technology by changing the traditional practices of the minerals and precious stones sector. The Prime Minister further directed that all the resources that are being wasted should be utilized and a schedule should be worked out for the implementation of this strategy with clear-cut timelines as well as the existing barriers for investors should be eradicated.
Socio-Economic Implications of Canadian Border Closure With U.S
After doing a detailed analysis of the situation emerging from the closure of the border between Canada and US, it could be assessed that how damaging the decision is for the Economy of Canada, and how beneficial, it will be for Canada, if it decides to re-open the Border which is closed over the fears of an outbreak of Covid-19 Pandemic.
Since, some people think that given the maximum number of Covid-19 cases and several deaths worldwide, the decision should stay as there are thousands of cases and deaths over covid-19 in the US. They deem it a good step to keep the border shut over the fears of Novel Corona Virus with the US and Mexico.
Though some sections consider the move as a right decision based on the covid0-19 statistics some experts term it very dangerous for Canadian Economy as it will be affected as major industries such Tourism and Travel, Immigration affected very badly and economic cannot be put on hold for long as the numbers show that 75% to 80% Canadian exports go to the US while 30% to 40% US exports make their way in Canada.
Thus the economy has been hit very badly due to this prolonged closure and shutdown of Economic activities will ultimately pose a grave threat to falling in Recession and Falling of Reserves.
The Canadian authorities will have to swallow a hard pill to re-open the b border for essential and non-essential travel since both types of entries in the country contribute to the economy of the country.
At the moment, Canada has limited Covid-19 infections as compared to the US that has a massive number of infections in the world.
According to the Border Management Experts, this could be the only problem that might have prompted Canadian Prime Minister to extend the closure for another month until some SOP’s may be developed to ensure on border covid-19 Testing and Scanning so that preventive measures should be taken to keep the infection ratio low in Canada.
The World economies are affected very badly over the lockdowns announced to prevent Covid-19 outbreak and their economy has been under pressure already and the financial experts predict the worst type recession shortly.
The people of both countries are of the view that the Prolonged border closure has caused an economic crisis and several Industries such as Hotel Industry, Travel Tours and Immigration, Food and beverages Industry, sports Industry, Education have been affected very badly and both Canada and the US cannot afford to sustain more jolts to their economy as economic activities have dropped to almost 80% and ring the alarm bells for the leadership to decide immediately what their next plan will for the border.
Whether they will reopen it in phases or provide restrict access to essential travel such health workers, Airline Crew, Food and Goods services, People visiting ailing relatives and other related activities that fall within the purview of “ essential”.
Although, the global Pandemic has created a situation like recession which is going from bad to worse each Passing day, yet in such scenario “keeping borders Closed” for trade and Business Opportunities and other travel, entertainment industry, will incur an irreparable loss to the Economy of both Canada and US as both countries have signed several Trade Agreements and US has been losing millions of Dollars in terms ” US Entry Waivers” and this is putting pressure on world’s biggest economy.
Even it is a great blow to the Immigrants who wish to travel to neighbouring countries.
Both Canada and the United States are providing millions of dollars to people as relief package, Health and social security and other procurements such Covid-19 testing kits and establishing new isolation and Quarantine centres as the infections surge in the US and worldwide.
In such circumstances halting economic activities are suicidal for Canada and Virus affected the US by keeping borders close for non-essential or optional purposes despite putting some curbs on essential travels such putting immigrants in 14 days quarantine and other immigration-related curbs.
The economists fear that what would be the consequences if the covid-19 vaccine was unavailable till the end of the year 2021, will they still keep the border closed, sounds like insensible and disastrous for all types Industries and Sectors including Immigration and Border services.
So, it would be prudent on the part of Both Canada and US to think over the re-opening of their border so that people intending to visit their relatives on both sides of borders may have uninterrupted access and they must be facilities at the border checkpoints for covid-19 so that the fears of Canadian authorities about getting soaring infections may be dispelled by assuring them safety measures at border crossing points.
Furthermore, the fears cannot be treated with medicines but they could be soothed with confidence-building measures as the statistics show that 65% Canadian fear to get contracted by Virus while over 60% US people have a similar situation for contracting virus.
Despite all this, nobody knows that when these borders will reopen for general people apart from essential travel as most people are in the grip of fear and prefer staying at home as per WHO guidelines, that may be the issue that both Canadian and US Governments are lingering on the issue and prefer extending closure as both nations enjoy cordial relation and the closure is a mutual decision of both countries.
Recently, though some Tour industry groups recorded their protest and demanded to re-open the border. The decision could not be influenced until the general public presses their respective Governments to review the decision and take some bold steps to save their economies falling to prey to this pandemic.
Both Canada and the US cannot afford to lose millions of Dollars in border trade and border revenues such as Entry waivers, customs etc to boost their economies.
China-India Stand-Off and the Emerging World Order
The Recent showdown between People’s Liberation Army and Indian Army has escalated the situation in Galwan valley along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) Between China and India. The unarmed fight resulted in the killing of 20 Indian Soldiers while the casualties on China side have not been confirmed yet.
The analysts link the fight with Indian Unilateral move on August 05 2019, when it annexed the disputed territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh by repealing article 370.
This move irked both Pakistan and china and both raised the issue at UNSC and UNGA and recorded their protest against such unilateral move that was tantamount to UN Security Council Resolutions that asked for holding a plebiscite in disputed Jammu and Kashmir.
Unfortunately, India has worst diplomatic relations with its neighbours such as Afghanistan, China, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. It has used all its resources to destabilize neighbouring states especially Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
The recent clash has serious repercussion after 40 years when both Nations clashed in 1962. The war clouds are looming as both Nations are preparing to engage in a full-scale war that might be disastrous for the whole region. So much so that UK Newspapers called it World War –III as two biggest South Asian Countries engaged in fighting that was a heavy blow to Fascist Modi who is the mastermind of Muslim Massacre and Genocide.
Even linked Covid-19 outbreak with Muslims, that showed his Hindutva mindset and stupidity. The Indian reaction to boycott Chinese Brands will cost the heavily economically as world economies are already fragile owing to two-month lockdown that has paralyzed the business and Trade and limited people to their houses.
Pakistan has been watching the emerging situation after June 15 Clash between Chinese PLA and Indian Army, is ready to defend its frontiers as Forces put on Red Alert.
The high-level negotiations were held to deescalate the situation but all efforts of peacemaking have not produced positive results and Modi’s BJP is underfire internally since Congress has been posing hard questions as Chinese forces are present in areas claimed by India.
There are protests in Nepal against India as new released Map has reflected some disputed areas in India that have also sparked protests in Nepal. Though India still enjoys support from the US especially from President Donald Trump he is himself under pressure from Republicans owing to his failure to manage the pandemic and the cases are soaring each day.
America is worst affected by the pandemic with the maximum number of infections and deaths over one lac. India has also close relations with Israel and has purchased fighter jets and other war-related items.
The recent mysterious bomb blasts targeting Iran’s Nuclear Installations and army camps have raised serious questions on the state of Iran’s internal l security measures as well as it let everybody wondering that who was behind the attacks but Iran has blamed Israel for the blasts.
Though none has accepted the responsibility of attacks, Iran has alleged Israel as Israel is the soul of the US and may be involved in a bombing incident.
The conflict will expand in the Middle East and South Asia if Iran takes aggressive action against Israel and on the other hand If China and India engage in a full-scale war.
The situation is getting tougher and complicated day by as US has been struggling to tackle with the pandemic issue that has infected millions of American baffling US President Donald to the extent that It power game is waning each passing day and Global influence is declining due to economic crisis and massive unemployment owing to the pandemic.
The pandemic has forced hundreds of companies to lay off staff as they could not afford to pay the salaries of Staff given the lockdowns imposed by various Governments in the world as well as the sense of uncertainty gripping the enterprises and startups.
Though the health companies, Pharma and Tech companies, online stores and markets are booming with profit the most profitable business, travel and Tour, entertainment and Hotel Business and wedding Party and Even management Companies have almost been closed for an indefinite period owing to the restrictions placed by the Governments to control the outbreak of Covid-19.
US being superpower has been weakened or jolted by the pandemic and gradually losing its hold on world Affairs. On the contrary, China has been regaining the control and even declared itself superpower of the world. The World order is constantly changing and china has put itself in a strong geostrategic position even in the time of Pandemic.
Recent China and Iran Pact have further paved the for the success of CPEC since Iran may join CPEC to make its oil available to China, Pakistan and Central Asian Muslim Countries.
“The inclusion of Iran in CPEC may further Isolate India in the region since it will be surrounded by all sides i.e. China, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iran. Pakistan may play a leading role in the region since America has lost a sincere ally in South Asia.”
Pakistan Army and Civilian Leadership played a pivotal role peacemaking in Afghanistan by bringing the Taliban on the negotiation table and signing the deal with the US providing safe passage to US Troops Withdrawal.
Turkey also emerging great power and may have a role in changing world order where US, UK may fade in history books as some international Policy Experts are of the view that Pandemic has provided a golden chance to countries like China to play a leading role as American hegemony has bitten the dust.
The upcoming Presidential Elections will carve the future of America as Trump Administration has completely failed to manage and control Covid-19 and even put curbs on new Testing Policy which is already under fire from his Rival Political Party the Democrats, especially the Presidential Election Nominee Joe Biden.
The November is just two months away and these Presidential Elections will be both violent and historical since the African American will support Democrats as they are fed up with Trump over racist thoughts especially brutal Killing of African American George Floyd that prompted worldwide Protests against racism and Police Brutalities.
“The Recent deal between Israel and UAE inked with efforts Donald Trump has irked both Arab and Non Arab Nations as recognition of Israel will have serious repercussions on the Muslim world. “
Efforts are being made by Turkey, Iran, Pakistan to form a new Block as Since Independence Pakistan has clear Policy that it will never recognize Israel until Establishment of Palestine State as per the wishes of People of Palestine.
Pakistan is the only Islamic country in the world that has reflected on its Passport that it is valid for all countries except Israel sending a strong message that It will never recognize Israel as it is an occupant.
Though at the moment, Pakistan is under pressure from the US to recognize Israel this will not happen any time soon. The statement of Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi has escalated Pak Saudi diplomatic relations as Qureshi criticized that OIC has not adopted the strong stance on Kashmir Issue. Though Army Chief along with ISI chief paid a visit to Saudi Arab to mend ways but Pakistan’s weak economic structure will compel it to bow down before Pressure.
China is playing on the front foot as it’s expedition inside Indian Controlled areas is advancing rapidly the escalation is high. The weakened structure of the US has given birth to new regional powers carving new world order as the US is waning due to wrong policies of Donald. The emerging situation is favouring China, Russia, Turkey, Iran and Pakistan.
Adopting the Best Governance System in Pakistan
Pakistan has always oscillated between the good and the bad Governance Models as both the civil and the military powers holding the reins of the country one after another. It is unfortunate for the people of Pakistan that despite the passage of 71 years of Independence, we have not been able to find the best Governance Model yet that may serve our subjects in a better way and bring social and economic prosperity.
The Post-Independence period was tattered as Pakistan faced various economic, Social and infrastructural challenges.Pakistan was deprived of its due share from the joint resources at the time of partition.
Yet, Quaid’s able leadership and brave leadership did not let Pakistan go down since he was visionary and had the clear roadmap to steer the county through crisis to prosperity with planning and untiring efforts. He was of the View that if Pakistan’s problems were not addressed or resolved, It may have failed as the state.
The consequential Martial Laws furthered the woes of people that implemented dictatorial laws which were not meant for the people and were contrary to human rights as safeguarded by the constitution. These were the basis that prompted people to denounce such the military coups and raised their voices to regain their freedom of speech and freedom to act according to one’s wishes and intentions.
Pakistan has experienced both the Presidential and parliamentary form of governance. It has also experienced Civil and Military coups and even sustained so far except the Fall of Dhaka in 1971 when Sheikh Mujib was denied the Government despite having an absolute majority to form the government.
As a result of Governance Crisis, Pakistan has suffered on many fronts i.e economic, social and Security. The Ill-will of the feudal nature of Politicians has forcibly sunk the ship of Pakistan by creating a leadership vacuum and gave rise to corrupt practices that played havoc with its fragile and fractured path.
The changing Governance Models, lack of proper Constitutional Development and consensus building have forced the Fragile state to fall in the Governance crisis since no policy framework was followed that may have provided the basis of Constitutional development. The Institutional Building was not initiated that triggered the constant pull in the civil-military relationship.
That was evident from the promulgation of First Constitution on 23rd March 1956, Nine years after the independence, unfortunately, the Martial law was imposed after two and half years of its inaction on 7th October 1958 by the powerful man in our history General Ayoob Khan.
Being a military General, Ayoob khan wanted a controlled and reasonably weaker form of Democracy, since he believed the western form of Democracy does not suit to Pakistan. Consequently, he introduced the 1962 Constitution which came into force on 1st March 1962.
The biggest change in form governance was the introduction of the Presidential form of government since all the powers vested in the president. He was both head of state and head of Government. The Provinces were given autonomy, equality of mankind, independence of the judiciary; rights of minorities were salient features of the constitution.
The Islamic advisory council was also constituted to advise Govt. over Islamic injunctions or laws.
The presidential form of Government was more suitable since all the power vested in President who was elected directly and there was no burden of ineffective legislators just the skeleton Ministers, Provincial Governors and the staff was enough to run the state affairs in a very effective manner since decision making was on the fast track.
“Even the founder of Pakistan, Quaid-e-Azam had envisaged 71 years ago during his speech found in the handwritten paper that the presidential form of Government is suitable for Pakistan since a parliamentary form of Government does not work owing to feudal vested interests, illiteracy and lack of visionary leadership.
Actually, he had given clear roadmap that as long as feudalism and feudal approach exists in Pakistan, the democracy cannot develop its roots deeper since these feudal politicians have vested interests that are detrimental to people who vote them to power and tantamount to Islamic Ideologies.”
With the resignation of General Ayoob, the constitutional crises once again aggravated with the abrogation of 1962 constitution.
The story unfolded when Sheikh Mujib ur Rahman had succeeded in winning the majority in the first ever general elections of Pakistan held in 1970 but the then military ruler, President General Yahya Khan, had refused categorically to transfer power to him. Sheikh Mujib was imprisoned in Mianwali. General Yahya resigned succumbing to internal pressure.
Then we had the best constitution gifted by Shaheed Zulfiquar Ali Bhutto. The 1973 constitution promulgated on 14th August 1973 with an overwhelming majority. The 1973 constitution was the turning point in the history of Pakistan as it was considered the complete constitution which safeguarded the rights of every citizen. Though East Pakistan was separated in 1971, yet Bhutto steer the country out of governance and constitutional crisis and had solved the long-standing issue.
Even, he was not spared, he was hanged under Zia regime and was inducted in the Murder plot of Nawaz Mohammad Ahmad Khan Kasuri’s, consequently hanged on 3rd April 1978. Bhutto during his premiership reshaped the foreign policy and made people friendly and people-centric decisions that disrupted the status quo and had great economic extinct since he wanted to establish a World Islamic Bank in Pakistan with the help of Islamic Countries.
Bhutto’s speech UN general assembly still echoes in our hearts as No leader in our history had made such fearless and emotional speech that rocked the Superpowers.
Unfortunately, we could not get such a brave and fearless leader who could speak eye to eye with the enemies and even to the Superpowers.
Though we had a leader like Mohammad Khan Junejo who was also a good Statesman and had ignited the real dream of Welfare State his powers were curtailed by former Chief Martial law Administrator and later Elected President through the so-called referendum General Ziaul Haq.
Later, Benazir Bhutto, the great daughter of Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto rose to heights of success but his teammates sunk her ship through corrupt practices in Government. Then, Pakistan went into the two-party system i.e. PPP and PML from 1988 to October 1999.
In 1999, Pakistan experienced yet another military involvement that sent PML-N government packing by General Musharraf. PM Nawaz was jailed and later released on the interference of Saudi kings and exiled with family.
Musharraf after three years, held elections and his Party PML-Q win the elections. In 2007, Benazir Bhutto returned from Self Exile and apparently assassinated during the Public gathering.
Benazir’s Murder brought the turmoil in the country. PPP won 2008 elections on a sympathy vote and Zardari became the President after Musharraf relinquished due to fears of impeachment.
It was the first time that any civilian Government had completed their term and laid the foundation of Democratic Transition.
The PPP government was not impressive and effective but the only good thing they had done that was the 18th amendments that had offered autonomy to the provinces and few federal ministries were devolved to the Provinces including Health and Education.
The 18th amendment also paved the way for the premier to be elected for the third term as earlier it was just two terms. PML-N won 2013 elections with the majority and completed their term but PM Nawaz was disqualified due to Panama Papers case few months before completion of the tenure.
Finally, democratic transition worked again, and the PTI came into power with the slogan of change and making Naya Pakistan.
if we analyze our history, we would be disappointed to know that most of the time, the Martial Law Administrator governed our country as compared to the civilian Government. This gives the message that Pakistani electoral framework only suits a single powerful system means the presidential form of Government as practised in Turkey, Afghanistan and US.
The presidential form of Government is the strong as the president is the head of State and the head of a Government at the same time. He appoints his ministers from professionals, technocrats and Legislature. He makes timely decisions as a Parliamentary form of Government does not allow implementing policies without the debate and without approval from the parliament.
We are still going through a transition and learning from our past mistakes, yet we need to mull over that which Governance Model suits our people–Parliamentary form of Government or Presidential form of Government or Mixture of both.
It is not the time of meddling with both systems or engage in the debate of good or bad system but we should adopt the best governance system suits Pakistan and benefits the common men and bridges the gap between state and the subjects. The system which provides access to justice offers equal opportunities regardless of religion, caste or creed.
It has been seven decades since independence that we are struggling to form a strong and vibrant system that benefits the people of Pakistan. The issue warrants public debate and is open to the public to give their input which system of Governance may be fruitful for them that strengthens the federation, Federating units and builds the basis of good governance.
Though we have a new government in place but the old players of Opposition Parties PPP, PML-N and JUI, MMA and ANP are giving a tough time to hide their corrupt practices. Therefore, if we want the state to flourish and prosper, we need to put the presidential form of governance for a four or five year to analyze whether it is physible for Pakistan and produces desired results. Either, We have to part ways with the parliamentary form of Government or adhere to the Presidential form of Government as practised in developed nations of the world.
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