Budget 2012-2013

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NATO Supply; Reinstituted or Not? If Yes, Where Does Democratic Rationality Stand? Discussion with Humayun Akhtar Khan

Overview

November 26, 2011 attack on Salala check post ended in stoppage of NATO supply via Pakistan. It has been six months since the incident and there is rumor of NATO supply to be reinstituted. The government is insisting that NATO is not just about the US, rather it is a 48 member organization that consists of many countries and many of them are on good terms with Pakistan. The basic question is to see what would be decided and what would be in the best interests of the country.

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The Caretaker Setup; A Question or a Conquest? In view of Humayun Akhtar Khan

Overview

The process of democracy has been initiated by the preparations of elections. It is a debate to understand who stands responsible for this conquest. It is believed that even if amendments were observed in the past, there were not functional and stayed to documentation only. Sole vertex of power was observed to emanate from the parliament house only, where major decisions were taken. The administration has failed to provide the public with basic facilities and major areas of the country are inflamed with terrorism and anarchy.

The question here arises, why is there so much anxiety on the selection of a caretaker government, especially when the government failed to deliver in the previous 5 years? Negotiations of 48 hours resulted in a deadlock between the government and opposition leadership. Major developments have been seen in the political arena, changing loyalties and civil political tumult is stemming towards the center and provinces, equally. Given the current situation the biggest question stays the same: Will the elections be timely and importantly, transparent?

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SPLGO 2012; Intent of Withdrawal In View of Humayun Akhtar Khan

Overview

On February 21, 2013 Sindh assembly withdrew Sindh Peoples Local Government Ordinance (SPLGO 2012) by adaptation of bill. Effective from that date Local Bodies Act of 1979 has been restored for the whole of Sindh.

How do you see withdrawal of the ordinance? Do you think it’s a message for Nawaz Sharif?

We have to understand that the ordinance in place now is one that was preferred by government. The bill passed for alteration was a consequence of MQMs wishes and PPPs effort to pacify their demands. However, the ordinance was unacceptable to the population of rural Sindh and it brought an immense reaction from public. Three days before, MQM has declared separation from the ruling party and withdrawal occurred as a reaction to it. We do not see any intent but political requital. If this was not the case, government should have consulted MQM before withdrawing the ordinance, as it is a major party in urban Sindh and was a part of the decision for the change.

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Paradigm Shift in Foreign Policy or Political Shift In the Administration

Overview

25 days left to dissolution of the assembly and prompt preparations for elections are underway. There have been many important proceedings in Pakistan’s situation in recent times. 2014 is important for the expulsion of US troops from Afghanistan. Geographical location of Pakistan has become an important question for the world and Pakistan equally. The foreign policy is expected to experience a paradigm shift in the coming year and Pakistan has decided to stop relying on resourses from United States of America. Signing of Gawadar port contract with Chinese government plays an important role in this regard. Iran pipeline project that was initially Afghanistan and Turkmenistan pipeline has been reduced to Iran only. These are the reasons that have probed analysts to foresee tension in foreign associations. Some elements are connecting these foreign policy changes to tension in Baluchistan area where the tragedy with Hazaras has taken a violent turn with the protestors. They suggest the disturbance is a reaction to the policy trends favoring China and Iran.

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The Whats and the Whys of Youth While Favoring Political Parties With Haroon Akhtar Khan

Overview

The session aims to identify political trends in the youth of Pakistan. This election will be very important in terms of the bulk of youth present in our region. The politicians will be exposed to questions from the youth.

PTI accuses that PML Ns priorities have been ill-advised in Punjab for the past years. Supposedly health conditions are worse than Uganda. How will you defend PML Ns performance in Punjab?

The indicators mentioned by PTI are macroeconomic policy failures in Pakistan. The federal government is handling all the policies such as health, financial and fiscal. A statement that there has been an overall policy failure due to incapacitated policy making in Pakistan for the past few years, would be more appropriate.

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Congregation for Peaceful Move Towards Elections

Opposition parties assembled on February 4, in front of parliament house to show solidarity for the election commission. The congregation was held to urge the government in moving towards peaceful and timely elections and to favor the Baloch allies in their demand for opposition leader selection in Baluchistan and Sindh.Senior leaders like Chaudhry Nisar, Humayun Akhtar Khan, Liaqat Baloch and Ishaq Dar participated in the peaceful procession.

Source: Daily, Nawa-E-Waqt, Lahore; February 5, 2013.

 

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PML Sit-in, Aspirations and Demands to Ensure a Fair Election In View of Humayun Akhtar Khan

Overview

PML observed a sit in at the capital today. The party claimed to hold it, as an expression of their confidence in the election commission. Salient propositions of this rally were:

  •  To protest against political entities aiming to de-track the election process, by showing distrust in the election commission.
  •  To demand the involvement of army for electoral duties in Karachi, in persuance of Supreme Court orders.
  •  To demand reshuffle of senior bureaucracy, who can influence the electoral process.
  •  To request Leader of opposition nomination, in Sindh and Baluchistan.

Previously a similar rally was assembled in Islamabad by Tehreek e Minhaj ul Quran but there is a difference in the message given by both groups. Minhaj ul Quran demanded dissolution of the election commission whereas PML have supported the commission.

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Press Conference – ATV – 03 February 2013″ With Humayun Akhtar Khan

Today’s time has made us witness multitude of national problems. Unemployment, deteriorating security situation, energy crisis and a non-exhaustive list of problems have engulfed the nation. One thing has brought a ray of hope, and that is the completion of tenure of a civilian government. Unity was seen when parties gave input on issues like the 18th, 19th and the 20th amendments and the government succeeded in bringing people to the negotiation table.

There are insecurities as rumors circulate doubting if the elections will be carried out or not. If some believe that elections will take place they doubt the caretaker government will leave on time. I have been in politics for the past 25 years and have witnessed such situations and have experienced that voicing of insecurities before elections has been a norm. Despite that, elections have always occurred and the democratic process has prevailed.

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New Province or a New Dispute In View of Humayun Akhtar Khan

Do you think now is the right time to start a debate on establishing a new province?

I believe it’s not the time to engage in this debate and the administration is not planning to establish one at the moment. Punjab assembly with the consent of PPP put forward a clear resolution suggesting to restore Bahawalpur as a province and discussed establishment of Saraiki province.

The commission that was structured for this purpose does not have the representation of Punjab government or even their alliance partners. There is talk of revising section 239 A so that the province broken apart has no capacity to intervene in the resolution and its proceedings. It appears that the government is disinclined for the establishment of a province. Our constitution gives freedom of choice to the people and permits them to demand a separate province if desired. It is the responsibility of the government to do the same, according to the constitution and to not disrupt the proper process.

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