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No city in Pakistan is secure from terrorist attacks, but Quetta happens to be the epicenter of terrorism for no other place does host such an admixture of banned sectarian outfits and anti-state political factions as the capital of Balochistan does. It is here where foreign-funded sectarian proxies sort out each other; so-called nationalists periodically conduct ethnic cleansing and tribal chiefs flex muscles. How merciless they are as they pursue their vicious goals; the city had yet another encounter this past Thursday. The day opened with the killings of eight Hazaras by four-hooded terrorists in an attack not very different from the past. They had collected their shopping from the fruit and vegetable market at Hazarganji and were about to leave in a minibus when killers arrived and shot point-blank all nine; of whom only one survived. In no time the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi spokesman was on telephone to a news agency claiming responsibility. Later, during the day the same banned outfit exploded a bomb-rigged motorcycle on Kirani Road killing one more Hazara, and a 'we-did-it' claim was made by the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi. Another terrorist attack on Qambrani Road took three lives when a Frontier Corps vehicle came under attack, for which responsibility was claimed by the banned Baloch Liberation Army. But the stellar performance of the day was put up by the banned Jundullah (it is different from 'Jundullah' that operates in Iran) that carried out a suicide-bombing attack on JUI (F) chief Maulana Fazlur Rehman. Although, the blast badly damaged the Maulana's bullet-proof car, he survived the attack unhurt. As usual, the victims' sympathisers have blamed the local administration for its failure to provide them security while the administration has deflected accusations by asserting that all that was required to be done before and after the attacks was done - had the Hazaras informed the authorities about their trip to Hazarganji market necessary security cover would have been given.

Pakistan has been in bad news during the recent days on account of drug smuggling cases. Six young men with Pakistani names, arriving from Karachi, were sentenced on Wednesday for smuggling into the UK heroin worth a million pounds concealed in baby clothes. A day earlier, Saudi Arabia beheaded a Pakistani convicted of attempting to smuggle "a large amount of heroin" hidden in his stomach. Sadly, several others have met a similar fate in the past. Yet people continue to take risks, going to such extreme lengths as the man put to sword in Saudi Arabia. He must have undergone surgery for placing 'a large' heroin package in his stomach. The activity brings a bad name to the country; it should also be a matter of concern that people get the ultimate punishment for pedalling illicit drugs.
It is the responsibility of the monetary authorities of a country to have a close watch on the banks' payment instruments and continue to find new ways to improve the payment system on modern lines and check the possibility of fraud. According to the latest circular issued by the State Bank of Pakistan in this connection, it has been decided that henceforth banks and Microfinance Banks (MFBs) shall strictly observe a new set of controls, in addition to those already in place, in processing, cancellation and issuance of Payment Order/Demand Draft/Cash Deposit/Banker's Cheque (collectively referred to as the Payment Instruments). As per fresh instructions, before processing the request for purchase of the Payment Instruments, the banks/MFBs shall ensure that the purchaser has properly narrated the NIC, NTN (for corporate entities), complete address, and contact details of both the purchaser and the beneficiary, besides describing the purpose for which the Payment Instrument was required. Banks/MFBs were also required to declare that information provided in the form was correct and verifiable with all risks and consequences on the part of the purchaser. In case of the issuance of Duplicate Payment Instrument, the banks/MFBs will obtain Police Report/copy of the FIR regarding loss of the original Payment Instrument, and an affidavit on non-judicial stamp paper from purchaser wherein he/she will provide indemnity bond against all claims etc which may arise against or suffered by the bank/MFB in consequence of paying the amount of Payment Instrument. In addition, banks/MFBs have been directed to devise a standardised Payment Instrument Verification Form and upon request from the beneficiary verify the genuineness of the Payment Instrument. They have also been asked to put in place stringent internal controls for printing, stock taking, issuance and storage of stationery used for printing the Payment Instruments as well as customise and adopt the security features for Payment Instruments as prescribed for printing of cheques by the SBP from time to time.
From the word go, no sane person ever believed that Dr Tahirul Qadri had a valid cause or an enabling capacity to usher in an 'Inqilab' (revolution) in Pakistan and implement his 10-point idealistic agenda. For 67 days he staked the national parliament but his revolution remained a distant mirage - though all along he did disappoint his many a critic and surprised all by holding spell-bound a large audience night after night in the heart of the capital. Every night he would tell a new story burnishing hopes and thus kept alive the spirit of revolution. But how long could his magic work have been mesmerising his audience that mostly comprised strangers to Islamabad, easily vulnerable to its capricious weather? Not that Qadri was insensitive to the increasing plight of his audience that included women and children, but for him to take a U-turn on his promise to stay put at the D-Chowk until the Sharif brothers resign was not that simple. He knew he had run into a wall; he had bitten more than what he could chew. The 'dharna' fatigue was setting in, but the Sharifs had become ever more unconcerned and unimpressed. And, as some assert, the back-patting to go ahead and stay put at the D-Chowk until the prime minister resigns and his brother chief minister is arrested too had stopped. Versatility being his strong trait Tahirul Qadri has decided to change course. He has wrapped up the 'dharna' at D-Chowk, and set out on what he calls 'Inqilabi March'. 'Revolution is a journey, and it comes in phases,' he told his audience in his farewell address. The first phase of 'breaking the siege' has been achieved, he said and 'the next is spreading the revolution all over the country'. Only a few days back Qadri told his rally at the Minar-i-Pakistan, in Lahore, that he would stay put at the D-Chowk as long as Nawaz Sharif doesn't resign. But why did he wrap up the 'dharna'; what happened? Is there a deal he has cut with the Sharifs as doubted by some? No deal was done, he assured his audience in his speech for 'neither the government backtracked nor did we backtrack from our respective stands'. But then why the dharna was wrapped up? And, why is it that his allies including PML (Q) Chaudhry brothers, Sunni Ittehad Council and Majlis-i-Wahdatul Muslimeen were not taken into confidence on the question of winding up the 'dharna' in Islamabad? Even the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf is disappointed to see its neighbour leaving at the dead of night. No wonder then, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has advised his party leaders 'to show grace and not pass any negative comments' about Tahirul Qadri's decision to pack up the D-Chowk sit-in. That Qadri will now hold short duration sit-ins in other cities is nothing but a face-saver. His is a cult following and he can always manage big rallies and long-lasting sit-ins, but his song has ended and only the melody lingers on. Hopefully, Imran Khan too would call it a day by winding up his sit-in. The reality is that both the sit-ins at D-Chowk have outlived their purpose. Ideally, their leaders should have accepted Nawaz Sharif's offer for a judicial commission to investigate the election fraud. It was an expression of crass naivety on their part to demand resignation of Nawaz Sharif, who enjoys majority in the National Assembly and cannot be removed short of a military coup, which is neither here nor there. But in the process, both, Imran Khan and Tahirul Qadri have undermined their image as credible political leaders. Even when the last general elections did not catapult Imran Khan in the prime ministerial slot particularly when these were the fairest that Pakistan had in a long time, according to the international observers. Objecting to their fairness is not a case strong enough to justify staking out the very stability and unity of the country. Not only have these sit-ins damaged the national economy, these have also hurt national image as a secure country to visit and invest. But for the sit-ins in the capital, the Chinese President would have visited Pakistan. They should realise that there
It appears that All Pakistan Textile Mills Association and Pakistan Textile Exporters' Association have shocked the Finance Minister Muhammad Ishaq Dar asserting that country's textile exports would drop by 2.5 billion dollars in case the textile industry in Punjab is denied natural gas during the winter months. As it is, the drop in exports during the month of September is by a billion dollars and that Pakistan would not be able to take advantage of GSP Plus opportunity, a favour offered by the European Union for boosting the country's exports. Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has very clearly said that there is not enough domestically-produced natural gas for all sectors of the economy. And, the earliest import of Liquified Natural Gas will not be before March/April next year.
'I began at Mithadar in Karachi and brought back bloated, drowned bodies from the sea. Black bodies that crumbled with one touch. I picked them up from rivers, from wells, from roadsides, accident sites and hospitals. When families forsook them and the authorities threw them away, I picked them and brought home, to my workforce, spreading the stench in the air forever'. That's Edhi Sahib in his autobiography; and that Mithadar Centre was robbed this past Sunday. Some masked and others open-faced, they came rather early in the morning, when Edhi Sahib, who is on dialysis for the past one year, was still asleep. Kicking him up they asked for the keys. The keys were with his wife Bilquis who was not there, he told them. 'No problem,' they said; they knew what to look for and which cupboard was to be ransacked. In just half an hour they swept clean every locker, taking away nearly Rs 30 million in cash and five kilos of gold jewellery the people who trusted Edhi Sahib more than the banks, had deposited with the Edhi Centre for safe keeping. Edhi Sahib's close confidant, Anwar Kazmi, believes the robbers made two or three calls from their mobile phones, suggesting they were getting instructions from some insider. As per normal practice, the IG has suspended the area SHO and formed an inquiry team and Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah has directed the police to arrest the culprits and bring them to book. Meanwhile, the Citizens Police Liaison Committee (CPLC) has offered its expertise to help arrest culprits of the Edhi Centre heist. Given that one of the robbers was open-faced and was identified by the Centre staff as a regular visitor and mobile phone calls can be traced there is every hope that the culprits would be arrested and brought to justice.
The Supreme Court has conditionally allowed the federal government to sell-off 10 percent shares of the profitable Oil and Gas Development Company (OGDCL) on the condition that the proceeds would not be considered government revenue till the final decision on the federal government's plea against the Peshawar High Court (PHC) verdict. The PHC interim order freezing the process of divestment was in response to a plea by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) government claiming its due share of the proceeds based on its contention that the province is a major source of gas and oil in the country and, subsequent to the 18th Constitutional Amendment, is entitled to its share of the divestment proceeds.


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Foreign Debt $61.805bn
Per Cap Income $1,386
GDP Growth 4.14%
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WeeklyOctober 23, 2014
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