Last update: Sun, 04 Dec 2016 07pm

Articles and Letters: Articles


Age of Sci-Tech-Human Power Complex has made 16 years bachelor and 18 years masters programs archaic and counterproductive. In countries where education starts at the age of 5 or 6; 16 years' education means student will be a graduate or a post-graduate during his 20s', ie, by the age of 22 or 24. In developing countries, this duration also depends upon the smooth running of educational institutions. In case of any breaks or disruptions, the time period could be lengthier than normal.
Held at diplomatic arm's-length for years, Russian President Vladimir Putin is pivoting back to centre stage as his admirers and international allies rise to power, a move that analysts say the Kremlin will be quick to exploit. Most notable among newly-elected leaders is Donald Trump, who on the campaign trail loudly proclaimed his esteem for Putin and met with a round of Kremlin applause in return.
With this week's deal to cut output, Opec is creating incentives for American shale producers to boost output just as the incoming Trump administration vows measures to promote US oil development. The deal, announced Wednesday by the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries, will cut the cartel's output by 1.2 million barrels per day (bpd).
Pakistan's trade deficit from July to October 2016 has increased to US $9.3 billion and the annual deficit for FY 2016-17 is estimated to jack up to $28 billion which is one of the highest trade deficits in the recent history of Pakistan. In 2014 and 2015, the total trade deficit exceeded $20 billion. Much of it is on account of declining exports.
Since November 1990, when Nawaz Sharif became Prime Minister of Pakistan for the first time, the culture of loot, plunder, corruption, tax evasion and money laundering has been legalised and promoted through an obnoxious law namely, Protection of Economic Reforms Act, 1992 giving a free hand to criminals that no question would be asked by tax officials and functionaries of Federal Investigative Agency (FIA) for acquiring and using dirty money. His three stints as Prime Minister and years as minister and chief minister in Punjab can safely be labelled as "rule of a trader" whose heart is infested with the insatiable greed of amassing wealth, expanding a mediocre family-owned business into a flourishing empire at the expense of the national exchequer, other business houses and the public at large. This fact was also noted by a judge of High Court in a reported case, details of which are summarised below.
Fidel Castro spent his life combating US capitalism, but by the time he died, American cruise ships, regular flights and even the embassy had returned to the communist-ruled island. The US flag now hangs ubiquitously on the bicycle rickshaws that pull growing numbers of American visitors around Old Havana, while artists sell posters of US President Barack Obama, highlighting Cubans' hopes that the rapprochement will improve the island's anemic economy.
Pakistan is a unique country where the governments-military and civilian alike-have been frequently introducing amnesty schemes allowing whitening of dirty money. In other words, both the Legislature and Executive are keen in sponsoring and patronising criminal activities of not only tax evaders, but also in extending facilities to terrorists, drug barons, and such others to decriminalise their funds. In the presence of obnoxious laws protecting dirty money, the only hope is the Apex Court to take suo motu action under Article 184(3) of the Constitution. If it is not done, the criminals engaged in tax evasion, terrorist financing, corruption, money laundering will continue to play havoc with the State.