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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Ayaz Amir, Pepe Escobar, Amartya Sen, Harris Khalique

The greatest responsibility for moving on lies with the National Assembly, a task it has somehow shirked up till now. If PM Gilani is now in a mood to become more active and take his responsibilities more seriously it is high time he did so. The cabinet is oversized and needs to be cut. Only such a step will send the nation a signal that the government is at last getting serious. Reconciliation is a good concept but if it means trying to please everyone all the time it is little better than a watchword for doing nothing. Why do people look up to Justice Chaudhry and the Supreme Court? Because parliament and cabinet are yet to prove their effectiveness. Ayaz Amir

HONG KONG - Does it make sense to talk about a Beijing-Tehran axis? Apparently no, when one learns that Iran's application to become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) was flatly denied at the 2008 summit in Tajikistan. Apparently yes, when one sees how the military dictatorship of the mullahtariat in Tehran and the collective leadership in Beijing have dealt with their recent turmoil - the "green revolution" in Tehran and the Uighur riots in Urumqi - reawakening in the West the ghostly mythology of "Asian despotism". NEW GREAT GAME REVISITED, Part 2Iran, China and the New Silk Road By Pepe Escobar

Part 1: Iran and Russia, scorpions in a bottle

The Idea of Justice is billed as Amartya Sen's most ambitious book yet. This is quite a claim for a man whose publications on famine are acknowledged as having changed global perceptions on poverty and food production, and whose work on welfare economics significantly contributed to the United Nations' Human Development Index. He has been garlanded with honours, including the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1998. So celebrated is he as a thinker and academic that, asked what Sen does at weekends, his publisher replied, "he collects honorary degrees". The thinker: Inside the mind of prized intellectual Amartya Sen

The textile industry contributes most significantly to the country's GDP, from eight to nine per cent, and significantly to our export as well as generating employment for millions of people. Pakistan being an agrarian economy, the only agro-based industry where value addition makes us proud as a nation to some extent is textile. It is undoubtedly the backbone of our exports. While we continue to export raw cotton, the country has an accumulated spinning capacity of 1,550 million kilos of yarn, weaving capacity of approximately 4,500 million square-metres of fabric and finishing capacity of 4,000 million square-metres. We produce 670 million units of garments, 400 million units of knitwear and more than 50 million kilos of towel. In 2007, we had more than 1,200 units of ginning, about 450 units for spinning, 124 large weaving units and 425 small units. With more than 20,600 power looms, there are 10 large finishing units and 625 small units. Garment manufacturing units are 50 large and 2,500 small. Knitwear-producing units are 600 and towel is produced in 400 units. I am quoting figures just to emphasise the point that it is a huge industry and contributes to 60 per cent of the country's total exports bringing us more than five billion dollars every year. Harris Khalique


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