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Shahid Khaqan Abbasi


A marked deterioration in the economy, a treasury on the verge of bankruptcy and huge levels of debt made fresh fiscal measures unavoidable, the PTI’s Federal Minister for Finance had perforce to present the Finance Supplementary (Amendment) Bill 2018 in the National Assembly (NA) on Sep 18.



When former PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi announced July 25 as the Election Day 2018, the mystery was why (1) he gave only 60 days instead of the 90 days that he could and (2) why he did not pay heed to the extremely hot weather of June and July which would not only make campaigning almost impossible but deter voters from coming out to vote? The third part of the puzzle fell into place when Khawaja Haris, legal counsel of Mian Nawaz Sharif, withdrew from representing his client in the corruption references filed by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB). That effectively threw a legal spanner in continuing the trial process of conviction of the Sharif family in three corruption references in the accountability court, accused of money laundering, tax evasion and hiding offshore assets. Add to that perjury, forgery, falsifying information, intimidating judges and investigating staff, etc.



A month or so plus 40 years ago the democratically elected government of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was toppled in a coup in 1977 by Gen Zia-ul-Haq. Initially Zia could have been sincere about holding “free and fair elections” within 90 days. The aura of wielding absolute power, extenuating political circumstances and apprehension of a vengeful Bhutto running rampant dissipated whatever sincerity, if any, he had to start with.


Tapping Energy Resources

According to Global “Economic Prospects”, South Asia Region growth declined from 7.4% in 2011 to an estimated 5.4% in 2012, mainly due to a sharp slowdown in India. Home to many of the developing world’s poor, the economic future of the region depends upon (1) Regional cooperation bringing about the Asian Century (2) supporting regional networks to promote cooperation and (3) focusing on trade in goods, services, and electricity, people-to-people contact, and cooperation in water resources management.