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The timing of a Swiss federal tribunal's verdict in a case his last government initiated in October 1997 against former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, her husband Asif Ali Zardari, and her mother Nusrat Bhutto could not be worse for the present Sharif government. Whilst he badly needed the PPP's support in his confrontation with the PTI leader Imran Khan the Swiss tribunal has ruled that a diamond jewellery set worth $180,000 seized in connection with investigations into allegations of ill-gotten money belongs to Zardari and other legal heirs of the late PPP leader.

The legal framework in this regard has been embodied in a bundle of international agreements. The most important of them, are known as the multilateral trade agreements; these are a bunch of agreements on international intellectual property field or in the international trade field. The first group of these agreements belongs to multilateral treaties representing a large number of member countries. The second group represents bilateral treaties, which represents two countries, for example, the agreement on bilateral Free Trade Areas (FTAs). The third group represents regional treaties like North American Free Trade Agreement or the treaty establishing the European Union and its directives and regulations to regulate and administer the European Union. The fourth group consists of something most recently known as plurilateral treaties1; these are treaties which have partners less than multilateral and regional treaties but at the same time involve more than just two parties. This is the bunch of four groups of international treaties covering the subject of international intellectual property rights.
The world has become a more difficult place for the small, intrepid Canadian oil explorers that roam the globe hunting for the next big petroleum discovery. Like the big-game hunters that once ranged Africa, these small-cap explorers and producers (E&Ps) call their quest for billion barrel-plus oil deposits "elephant-hunting", and for many the thrill of the chase is a big part of why they are in business.
"So the US has flawed policies and China and Russia should play their due role, or so said the Minister of Defence."
Having itself caused market panic by its recent decision to gum up the works at KASB for a so-called six-month moratorium, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) appears to have realised its gaffe. It now claims that the financial system is sound and that public should have faith in its judicious management of the country's financial sector. The question is, if there is no cause for concern, why is SBP issuing clarifications regarding the health of some weak financial institutions? These banks have continuously posted large losses for the past four years and may today be realistically dubbed "insolvent". Under an identically captioned article, this issue was first raised by your scribe in these very columns of Business Recorder as far back as November 13, 2010.
The present spate of national crises be it political, energy, economy, security, diplomatic and similar, a good 75 percent of it is on account of poor governance across the board. The main factor being lack of professional skills to manage state affairs. Management skill is all about the management of state affairs by the right person at the right job. This has never been the choice of governance by the last government nor it appears to be the focus of the present government in power. Nepotism, cronyism, loyalty, political affiliation and subservience to political dictates has precedence over professionalism to manage the affairs of the country in the interest of the State of Pakistan.
There is great excitement for the 18th South Asian Association for Regional Co-operation (Saarc) summit being held this week in Katmandu. A big question is whether there will be faster progress towards greater regional trade, which could boost economic growth and spread prosperity across South Asia.


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Banking Review 2013

Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
Average CPI 8.6%
Trade Balance $-2.380 bln
Exports $2.181 bln
Imports $4.561 bln
WeeklyNovember 13, 2014
Reserves $13.268 bln