"What the government needs to do is bring the media in line and make it part of Pakistan, they should not behave like a ‘State above a State.’ If media is well directed, Pakistan can bounce back as a solid rock." Raja Mujtaba
By Raja G Mujtaba
Hamid Rajput has surfaced again after a long disappearance. Maybe he had dived to Sydney to dig some pearls from there, but sure he found some. This time he comes out with Tony Lazaro who has Pakistan in a very positive and high esteem.
Irony is that even the Pakistani Media that is commonly known to be on US baits is not giving a projection that Pakistan deserves. Being a resilient state with hard working people, few have high jacked the future of Pakistan. But I have full faith in our youth who feel, see, breathe and live nothing but Pakistan. Though our media, especially the big houses are trying their utmost to confuse them but they would meet with utter failure.
What the government needs to do is bring the media in line and make it part of Pakistan, they should not behave like a ‘State above a State.’ If media is well directed, Pakistan can bounce back as a solid rock.
The media keeps projecting a gloomy state for Pakistan’s future. Some say Pakistan is a failing state others say its economy and state of terrorist hold is beyond repair. However, the efforts of government and its institutions like Army have made a significant shift towards a bright future which is now being noticed by the foreigners traveling to Pakistan.
Read what Tony Lazaro has to say about this country in his Letter to editor sent for publication in Times Magazine. But then some more has been added to what Tony has said, after all Pakistan is a 200 million population where so much is happening.
“Subject: Time Magazine
Letter To The Editor
The Editor, Time Magazine
I recently returned from a charitable trip to Pakistan, whereby I visited both Karachi and Islamabad. I spoke with several universities, key businesses, prominent business leaders and several religious people from all generations….On the day I returned to the office, someone had placed your magazine (January 16, 2012), on my desk. I read with interest your article on Karachi and the city in doom. For a person to have just returned from the very same place that your magazine described was somewhat bizarre, so I read with great detail your writer (Andrew Marshall’s) account. Let me begin by saying that I often flick through your magazine and find the articles of great interest, but on this particular day and this particular article, I found certain comments to be both one sided and indeed very negative. I say that because I saw a different Pakistan to what was portrayed in your article. I do not and will not comment on the political or religious problems that the country faces, but I will go so far as to say that not everything is as bad as the image that your magazine paints. Sure there are deaths in the cities. Please show me a city in the world, that is free from political fighting and unrest. Sure there are differences in the political party opinions. Please show me a country in the world where the political parties agree. Sure the innocent are suffering. Please show me a country in the world where wealth and power is equal and the innocent don’t suffer. Sure corruption is in Pakistan . Please show me a country in the world that is corruption free. My list could go on, but my point is that Pakistan does have problems…but so does every other country in the world in some way or another. However, in the case of ALL other nations, there are often good things to report and the media goes out of its way to promote these good things across the globe, whenever possible. The ridiculous amount of shootings in the USA are balanced off by the success of Google, Microsoft and Apple.
The financial dilemmas of Greece are lost in the marketing of the Greek Islands as a holiday destination of choice. The child slave industry of India , is brushed under the carpet in favour of the nation’s growth in the global software boom. What I am trying to say, is that someone needs to look further into Pakistan and see that there are millions of great stories to write about, which would portray the country in a different light, to that what is being portrayed by your article. When I was in Pakistan , I visited a towel manufacturing company (Alkaram Towels). They produced some $60million in export in 2011 and are aiming at $85million in 2012. A substantial increase in sales…in a recession I would remind you. The company was started by the current Chairman, Mr. Mehtab Chawla, at the tender age of nine, after his father passed away. Today the very man employs 3000 staff. Now that’s a story.
I visited universities of NED, Hamdard, Karachi , Szabist and NUST. The students are unbelievably intelligent. They spend their spare time developing APPS for android and apple. They are involved in cutting edge technology and no one in the world knows this. Why not send a reporter to Pakistan to look into this. Why not research good things in this nation, rather than just the bad things.
At NUST (National Institution for Science and Technology – Islamabad)) there were 38,000 applications for medicine. There are only 83 seats for the medicine course on offer. The competition is unbelievable. In short it pushes the best to be even better. But the world doesn’t know this. Why ? Because no one wants to report on it, or no one knows about it…or both!! Please do not get me wrong.
I understand that news is news, but it is high time that the western world stopped promoting these terrorists and political wars in Pakistan and started to write something that would help the nation. Something positive. If we really care about global partnerships and economic growth, then I suggest we try and give Pakistan a helping hand. There are 180 million people in Pakistan, 65% are under the age of 25. The youth of Pakistan is its strength… it is like a sleeping giant. If you think that India is a booming nation. I suggest you stop a second and look at Pakistan.
Given a little help from the western world, Pakistan can become a dominant economy. She doesn’t want aid and she doesn’t need money… she just wants the chance to be seen in a different light. I believe we have a fundamental obligation to assist. The only question is, who will reach out first.
Managing Director Rising
Stars Management Group Tel: 02 8824 7000
Fax: 02 8824 7766. www.risingstars.com.au
Pakistanis have not lost hope in Pakistan, had they done so, then the remittances would have dried up but on the contrary, it’s rising. It’s the ruling elite who have transferred their assets abroad and do not show any faith in Pakistan; such people have no right to be at the helm of affairs.
Let us share with you some facts of hope listed by the Federal Government (MOI):
· In spite of all the difficulties, the economy will grow by 4 percent in 2012.
· Exports crossed a historic benchmark of 25 billion dollars last year.
· Remittances were 11.2 billion dollars last year, and will double over the 2008 levels this year.
· Our foreign exchange reserves reached their highest level ever at over 18 billion dollars at the end of June.
· In spite of global increase in the price of oil and food our rate of inflation has been coming down. We have worked hard to bring inflation from its peak of 25 percent in 2008 to 11 percent now.
· We have taken steps to raise revenues. Our tax collections have doubled from one thousand billion to about two thousand billion rupees since 2008. This year the tax growth is the highest ever at 26 percent.
· The stock market has begun to improve. The index has crossed 13000, compared to around 7000 in 2009.
· Dependence on food imports has been reduced. We estimate our wheat crop to be 25 million tons and cotton crop will touch 13 million bales despite loss of 2 million bales in floods in Sindh.
· The government has adopted agricultural pricing policies so as to benefit the farmers and bring prosperity to the rural areas. In the last two years approximately Rs 800 billion additional income has been generated for the growers.
· During the last four years the Government spent 2200 billion rupees on development programs. More than 200 projects have been completed. These include: Chashma Nuclear Power 2, Mangla Raising, Mirani Dam, Islamabad Peshawar Motorway and Islamabad Muzaffarabad Expressway.
· New projects of national importance have been started. These include: Bhasha Dam Project, Neelum-Jhelum Hydro power, Tarbela Extension, Chashma Nuclear Power 3 and 4 and rebuilding of KKH and Indus Highway. We will soon start construction of Karachi-Hyderabad Motorway on BOT basis.
· We have negotiated currency swap arrangements with China, Russia, Turkey and Jordan.
· Concurrent list has been abolished and eighteen ministries have been transferred to the provinces.
· Council of Common Interests has become fully functional. It has not only given Provinces more power, but also more resources
· After a gap of 13 years, the federal and all provincial governments agreed on the 7th NFC Award, which was signed in Gawadar on 29 Dec, 2009
· As per the new Award the share of provinces has been enhanced and nearly 70 percent of the resources are being transferred to the provinces.
· In the last two years alone, over 800 billion rupees have additionally been transferred to the provinces
o The biggest beneficiary of this Award has been Balochistan which got 100% increase in its share from the divisible pool.
o Before this award, the provinces were provided Rs. 670 billion, whereas during the year 2010-11, Rs. 1000 billion were given and this year Rs. 1200 billion are estimated to be provided to the provinces. So in these two years, Rs. 900 billion were given as additional resources to the provinces.
o Total distributed amount among the provinces is Rs1, 203, 321 million.
o The demand of Balochistan for payment of Rs. 120 Billion royalty that it collected from the sale of gas between 1954 to1991 has been accepted and arrears are being paid on account of Gas Development Surcharge
o A comprehensive package of proposals, titled “Aghaz-e-huqooq-e-Blochistan” aimed at addressing the grievance of people of Baluchistan was presented in National Assembly on November 24, 2009. Its significant features are:
o The recruitment process of providing additional jobs to the educated youth of the Province has been initiated and 11,500 jobs financed by federal government have been created in the province
o This year the share of Balochistan in the new NFC has been more than doubled from Rs 43 billion to Rs 93 billion.
o The province will be able to purchase up to 20 per cent of the shares of the PPL, the OGDCL and the Sui Southern when offered in the open market.
o 15,000 graduates and post-graduates from the province will be given jobs under the prime minister’s Internship Programme.
o Government has decided to double the number of beneficiaries of the BISP in Baluchistan to 750,000
o Prime Minister’s program of free schooling to 150 brilliant students from Balochistan shall be extended to additional 350 students in the next academic year. Endowment fund of Rs.5.00 billion will be created to sustain the imitative
§ Salaries were increased by 50%, benefitting Government employees.
§ Minimum wage has been raised from Rs.4, 600 to Rs7, 000 per month.
§ Tax exemption limits were increased from Rs 100,000 to Rs 300,000 benefitting 1.2 million low income tax payers. No income taxes were levied.
§ Very importantly, a deficit target was fixed at 4% and strong austerity measures were introduced to check inflation.
§ To ensure transparency and accountability, the present Government decided to place the Defence Budget proposal also before the Parliament.
· In order to strengthen security, present Government enacted the following acts.
a. National Command Authority (NCA) Act 2010
b. Establishment of Institute of Space Technology (IST) Act 2010
c. Establishment of National Defence University (NDU) Act 2011
· In order to provide better services for traveling by air, land the new Gwadar International Airport Project has been acquired, night landing facilities at Quetta Airport have been provided, newly established Sialkot International Airport has been linked with Gulf States once a week to Kuwait, Muscat, Abu-Dhabi and Istanbul.
· Flights have been extended to Amsterdam and Barcelona as well. In addition latest security equipments / systems have been acquired for making the existing body search procedures and scanning of baggage more effective / efficient.
· Government of Pakistan in all its efforts is strengthening the capability of Maritime Security Agency (MSA). In this connection MSA HQ Building Karachi is constructed at a cost of Rs.199.890 Million approved by the CDWP.
· To strengthen Pak-Air-Force, 4 Air-to-Air Refuellers (AARs) aircraft have been procured from Ukraine out of which 3 have arrived and one is expected to arrive during the current year i.e. 2012
Read related article: Pakistan leaps towards bright future which says “The brightness of the prosperous future seem evident under close mutual struggle and sacrifices of political and military leadership. Political ownership of the military operations has given strength to the government’s success against militancy. If the military continues to assert itself and the civilian government supplements the military job with better governance, the normalcy in security environment and boost in economic activity is not very far. “ and visit another link Where is Pakistan Army? which shows its institution contribution in Swat Valley, Wazristan and Balochistan.
When people of Pakistan raise huge business empires from scratch there is no reason that they cannot make it an economic powerhouse. All they need is safety, security and dignity which the people in power and the media fail to provide.
Also see Mediapoint.pk