Only in Pakistan, Ikram Sehgal
Cutting down cabinet to under 25 not in this: Federal Cabinet approves austerity plan
Only in Pakistan Only in Pakistan did the ruler promulgate a law giving a blanket amnesty, in the name of national reconciliation, to hundreds accused of corruption in return for their support to his staying in power. Only in Pakistan is the highest office of state held by someone who stands accused of having pocketed the highest amount of public money in the history of the country and who is now taking cover behind his official position to evade a trial. Only in Pakistan did a democratic government propose legislation that would have decriminalised graft generally only in order to enable the head of state and a few of his cronies to escape justice. Only in Pakistan is the ministry responsible for fighting crime headed by someone who is himself charged with crimes involving large-scale corruption. Only in Pakistan did a parliamentary committee approve a bill – later withdrawn – giving all parliamentarians protection from corruption proceedings without the consent of their peers. The list of government actions to condone and facilitate corruption goes on and on..
Ikram Sehgal The US must not fritter the $1.5 billion Kerry-Lugar Bill (KLB) through schemes that will disappear into the public memory not long after most of the money has disappeared into the pockets of consultants and go-between NGOs. The US must target major projects in Pakistan, such as dams, power stations, hospitals, roads and ports like Gwadar and Pasni, as well as north-south road and rail communications. The US must upgrade the quality of the Pakistani Armed Forces, particularly the Frontier Corps, for prolonged counterinsurgency operations, concentrating mainly on providing training, helicopters, night-vision devices and armoured vehicles. Moreover, a counterterrorism force must be funded and trained from scratch. Instead of doling out aid, the US must give us: (1) our legitimate transit dues and (2) market access for our cotton textile and manufactures thereof. Steps must be taken to bring us out of the "nuclear cold," giving us the same parity as the US nuclear accord with India. We cannot be a responsible nuclear nation if we have to depend upon clandestine sources to sustain our nuclear potential!