Prime Minister’s Youth loan scheme

In a total mayhem of terrorism, inflation and real economic crises, a youth loan scheme coupled with metro bus projects are exactly the things Pakistan needs.

What is at stake is not the millions that have been earmarked for the loan scheme. Pakistani governments, specifically Sharif’s, generally have an unenviable record of wasting huge sums of public money on fanciful economic growth projects.

Besides, young people do not merely need capital, but also the knowledge of how they can turn their raw ideas into sound and profitable businesses. They will need to be given a helping hand in establishing a basic enterprise infrastructure, as well as in marketing and sales. That means creating institutions that overcome much market-related inefficiency.

Talking from banks’ perspective, in an environment where banks appear hesitant in lending to the private sector, sovereign guarantees might persuade them to take a step ahead and reap the risky avenues. Besides, the government hasn’t highlighted any recovery mechanism of loans or penalties that could be imposed in the case of late payments. There is no clarity on what will be the success parameters of the scheme and who will monitor the appropriate usage of the disbursed amount.

2222 hours
Friday 24 January

Strategic depth, does it promote our strategic interests?

Pakistan in order to gain strategic depth helped US during Afghan war but as this war ended Pakistan stands almost alone to bear its consequences.

After Afghan war Pakistan was left with more than 3 million refugees to care for, thousands of madrassas funded by foreign money (Saudi Arabia) where youth was recruited to get training for militant activities, a Kalashnikov culture and the drug trade especially in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA) which also became heaven for the militant outfits.

Kudos to our flawed strategic depth doctrine, which was adopted without realizing the long term effects that it would have on Pakistan’s society, culture and survival as a nation state.

After 9/11 the situation has further complicated, now Pakistan is fighting against the same militants who were once trained by its incorporation with CIA. As Pakistan’s competition for influence in the region vastly outweighed the country’s interests in the “War on Terror”, its perceived policy ambivalence towards militants was in actuality a conscious decision as Pakistan Army never considered Al-Qaeda, the Afghan Taliban or the Punjabi Taliban a threat to the State.

Moreover, increasing ‘Indian influence’ in Afghanistan is creating even more security concerns for Pakistan.
Policy makers of Pakistan believe that India’s expensive, extensive and growing Afghan presence is a direct threat to Pakistan and after the incident of 9/11 this area of strategic depth has been transformed into a second military frontier with India”

India is effectively pursuing its long term policy of ‘strategic encirclement’ of Pakistan but unfortunately in response to it Pakistan does not have effective counter diplomatic and security policy towards Afghanistan.
It is very much evident that Pakistan’s security policy towards Afghanistan needs to be reviewed as this idea of strategic depth have failed badly and now ultimately the policy makers should realize that no strategic arrangement can be fruitful if it is based on country’s compromise of sovereignty.

2324 hours
Sunday 12 January