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Pakistan

Pakistani police said they arrested 150 hard-line Muslim activists on Wednesday as they tried to rally in support of the country’s tough blasphemy law on the anniversary of a provincial governor’s assassination over his call to reform the statute.

 

The new year has been rung in around the world in already a less than auspicious way. For Pakistan, 2016 may not have been entirely annus horribilis, with a few positive developments taking place with regard to the economy amid the negative ones, but it was far from being annus mirabilis either.

 

HE latest quarterly report from the State Bank of Pakistan may sound like a dry affair, but read it a little closely and you’ll notice some startling revelations.

 

PAKISTAN’S population has probably crossed 200 million as we enter 2017. This year the country will complete 70 years of existence. By the time it reaches 100 years its population will approximate 400m.

 

The biggest question that awaits us in 2017 is whether we will move ahead as a country or go two steps back. In the past, we have moved backwards owing to short-sighted policies of our leaders. We hope the coming year will be different.

 

There was a time, not long ago, when Patrade utopia of CPEC will remain incomplete if India is kept outkistan blamed America for acts of terrorism inside Pakistan. After its flawed “strategic depth” made shipwreck and America got together with India against China in the region, Pakistan took a close look at what India was doing in Afghanistan and joined the dots. It accepted that Pakistani Taliban ensconced in Afghanistan were killing people inside Pakistan but added the more dangerous detail about India actually funding the Taliban.

 

If what they’re saying is true, that the government is moving to ‘abolish’ the regulators and practically take over all their functions, then it will be an unmitigated disaster for each of the sectors involved. But, at the moment, nothing of the sort has happened. Most of the people raising a hue and cry about this agree that the main regulator at stake is Nepra, the power sector regulator that is currently in the thick of deciding the fate of billions of dollars worth of projects under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.

 

Following the shocking result of the Brexit referendum in the UK, the Supreme Court of England and Wales recently heard an appeal concerning the lawfulness of the UK government’s intention to serve notice of its to leave the European Union under the powers of the Royal Prerogative, rather than through an Act of Parliament. 

 

Past master in wheeling and dealing Asif Ali Zardari, has ended his self-exile and is back in the country in the hope of turning the political tide. His decision to go back to the National Assembly along with his son Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has surprised even his supporters. His presence in parliament will certainly have a significant impact but it is not likely to change the political dynamics at work in the country.

 
 

This week, our defence minister Khawaja Asif directed a nuclear threat to Israel in response to a news report that quoted the Israeli defence minister of threatening to “destroy [Pakistan] with a nuclear attack.”

 


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