Stories about world bank

Dear Pakistan, let America and Saudi Arabia fight over oil prices because it works in your favour!

Oil prices are way down these days. Crude oil prices have fallen by more than $50 per barrel in international markets in the last six months. From $115 in the middle of June, 2014, the price of a barrel of crude oil has fallen to $65, as of the second week of December. On November 27, 2014, the prices took a definitive downward turn when Saudi Arabia – the largest and strongest member of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) – refused to mitigate production. And since none of the other OPEC nations are cutting back, there isn’t a way to eliminate the current ...

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Afghanistan: A new dawn but old challenges

For over 30 years, Afghanistan has had to contend with political upheavals, foreign invaders, economic disruption and a ruthless insurgency. On April 5, 2014, Afghans went to the polls to choose a new president, in an election that was seen as crucial to the country’s future. Divided along ethnic fault-lines, instead of an inclusive and legitimate leadership who acts as a reflection of the mosaic nature of the Afghan society, what these elections produced in return was chaos and instability. For more than six months, the two rivals for the Afghan presidency, Ashraf Ghani and Abdullah Abdullah had accused the other of ...

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Is anarchy within Pakistan’s reach?

Imran Khan, Nawaz Sharif, Tahirul Qadri: A triumvirate of egos. This is what it is all about. You’d wish this was about democracy, but unfortunately, it is these three we should focus on to understand this. Pakistan’s current political crises are a joint concoction of blunders committed by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Pakistan Awami Tehreek (PAT). PML-N instigated this with their utter refusal to take the opposition seriously, or accept the legitimacy of their demands. Perhaps they were yet to grasp the reality of the new face of opposition force; that it wasn’t going to settle for ...

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The rise of the rupee: A politically potent economical stupidity

Last week I received a call from a friend in Karachi. “What is going on with the dollar?! Should I buy dollars? Why is it falling like this?”  My answer was simple. “The dollar isn’t falling; it’s the rupee that is rising.” What’s the difference? Difference is its implication. Hailing from a regime that had made promises of ending load shedding within 90 days of coming to power, the fact that Finance Minister Ishaq Dar made good on his December 2013 promise to bring the dollar down to Rs98 deserves an applause. While those who consider the currency exchange rate as something of a competitive sport where appreciation ...

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Before blocking NATO supplies, take a look at the repercussions for Pakistan’s economy!

In an interview with a journalist, Akram Durrani of Jamiat Ulema-Islam-Fazal (JUI-F), who was the former Chief Minister of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) portrayed his plans for economic development as: “We believe that God prearranged food and clothing for every man, which He created. If we give up the ways of God and devise our own solutions to perceived problems, we may land in trouble.” The policy pursued by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) towards the drones strike is very much in procession with that of Akram Durrani’s. It is true that God feeds every mouth on the planet but it is also true ...

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Poverty and population growth

Sceptics may call it statistical trickery, but economic data confirms that global poverty has indeed been falling for the last three decades. According to the Poverty Reduction and Equity report of the World Bank, which was updated in April, the percentage of people living in the developing world on less than $1.25 a day (in purchasing power parity terms) was 52.2 per cent back in 1981. The figure dropped to just 20.6% in 2010. In other words, 1.2 billion people were impoverished in 2010 in the developing world as opposed to 1.9 billion in 1981. However, far more people would have ...

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Corruption farce?

The present era is being called the age of corruption by many in Pakistan. Ranging from the National Reconciliation Ordinance to the growing allegations of corruption within state institutions, the perception of the current regime being highly corrupt has solidified. Despite its dominance in popular discourse, there has been little effort made to understand the global political context in which the anti-corruption rhetoric has developed. It is essential for Pakistanis to understand where the anti-corruption slogan is coming from. Ivan Krastev in his 2004 book titled Shifting obsessions: three essays on the politics of anti-corruption, writes: “It was the new anti-corruption rhetoric ...

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Rebuilding an emperor’s dream

I do not feel very proud as I tell you about Akbari gate, it is more of a junkyard than a cultural heritage site. When you walk through this gate it feels like you have descended to some level of hell. The air is filled with dust and the odour of animal waste has permeated to even the edibles sold here. Surprisingly, people manage to live here. They conduct business very proudly, contributing to the increasingly vast garbage heaps in the area. There are no traces of monuments and our old heritage; all that is left is a materialistic mess of the greed of humanity. There is little sign of the gate named after Mughal emperor Jalaludin Muhammad ...

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Power crisis: The road to impending doom

The nation faces a severe power crisis yet again, not entirely unanticipated, as summers draw to their summit. Because of the frequent outages and prolonged load shedding hours, the masses are already on the streets, violently recording their protest. The disruption has also adversely affected commercial activity and industrial production all around the nation and the losses have accumulated to deteriorate national economic indexes. The governmental policy of two-day weekends and the 8pm shutter down have not fared well as the masses continue to express their anger against such short-term measures. It has also pushed ground-level commercial actors, the shopkeepers, ...

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Dilemma: Only 1.7m pay taxes in Pakistan

As always, we have to blame the other for our actions. No wonder Pakistan is at the verge of being globally labelled as a “failed state” and many countries do not want to be diplomatically associated with it. Conspiracy theories are something we live for, and do not even have the courage to verify. Most conspiracy theories come from sources who feed on propaganda purposely or only for “speaking the public’s language”. But we will not learn and be truthful to ourselves. Because we just like believing in them. The media is talking about Pakistanis not paying taxes, that only 1.7 ...

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