India Blamed Pakistan Protecting Militants’ Satellite Phones

Today Indian Express has published a statement of Indian government that they have found evidence that Pakistan has set up an electronic infrastructer to protect Thuraya satellite phones used by Pakistani militants targeting India. According to Indian sources transmitters have been found along the Line of Control and Pakistan-Indian border which obscure the signals originating from the phones. Indian believe it could not exist without the implicit support of Pakistani government.

This allegation has come just a week before the the meeting of Foreign Secretaries of India and Pakistan to discuss steps Islamabad has taken to curb the terrorism directed against India.

Is Pakistan involved in this activity as India has blamed? May be? The problem is Pakistan has no credibility in front of world community. In November last year on the occasion of Mumbai terrorist attacks Indian blamed Pakistan and said they have evidence of mobile phone communication. President Zardari and Rahman Malik of Interior Ministry of Pakistan immediately denied the charges which turned out to be true later. So Pakistan should be careful.

If the Pakistani government is involved in this particular case the reason could be to shield it unsuccessful efforts to control militant activities. Why they cannot locate the people who are involved in these type of activities. May be Pakistan should seek help from India.

Unless there is a political will in Pakistan to curb the extremism, nothing is going to change. Recent events indicate government is afraid of religious parties and mullahs. PPP government is also afraid of Nawaz Sharif because he supports these mullahs and he has shown power to move the people with the help of TV media against PPP government.

IMF Announces Staff Level Agreement with Pakistan on US$7.6 Billion Loan

Press Release No. 08/285

November 15, 2008

Mr. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Managing Director of the International
Monetary Fund (IMF), issued the following statement on Pakistan today:

“IMF staff and the Pakistani authorities have reached an agreement
in principle on the key elements of an economic program to be supported by an SDR 5.17 billion (about US$7.6 billion) 23-month Stand-By Arrangement, subject to the approval of the IMF Executive Board.

The Executive Board is expected to meet to discuss the program shortly under the Fund’s Emergency Financing Mechanism procedures.

“The Pakistani authorities have developed a policy package to help
the country meet its serious balance of payments difficulties. The
authorities’ program has two main objectives: (i) to restore the
confidence of domestic and external investors by addressing
macroeconomic imbalances through a tightening of fiscal and monetary policies; and (ii) to protect the poor and preserve social stability through a well-targeted and adequately funded social safety net.
Both objectives are an integral part of Fund support for Pakistan.

“The IMF is prepared to help Pakistan by providing a high level of
financial support on the order of 500 percent of the country’s quota in the Fund. This support is part of a broader package that includes financing from other multilateral institutions and regional development banks. I would like to call on the donor community to work together and act quickly to support Pakistan’s program in order to mitigate the impact of the current economic difficulties on the poor and ensure an adequate level of spending on development programs,” Mr. Strauss-Kahn added.

Reuters has reported today quoting Shaukat Tarin, economic advisor to the Prime Minister that the agreement will be finalized within a week.
Tarin said the interest rate would be between 3.51 and 4.51 percent,
and payments would be due between the fiscal years 2011-2012 and
2015-2016. As part of the deal, the Pakistani government agreed to
reduce excessive borrowing from the central bank and boost its tax
base, but no cuts in defense is demanded by IMF.

Earlier there were rumors that IMF wants Pakistan to decrease the defense spending besides increasing the interest rates and eliminate the subsidies on fuel and power. Government of Pakistan has already complied with increased interest rates from 13 percent to 15 percent and removed the subsidies from fuel and power. That has already created an up roar against the Zardari government in Pakistan. Zaradri came to power to provide roti, kapra and makaan, (food, clothings and shelter). The problem is government is spending very lavishly on non-productive expenses and they are borrowing heavily from the Central Bank. Dr. Shamshad Akhtar stated that in her recent press conference that governemnt has to reduce their expenses. I don’t think Zardari and Gilani will listen to her but they will be forced by IMF.

Pakistan got this loan from IMF because of the blessings of the US government. Amercia had a big say in this deal. Zardari’s position is extremely weak in the country and outside the Pakistan. Nobody trusted Pakistan government becuase they did not have any action plan to show for circumventing the current financial crises in the country. Therefore, as a result Saudi Arabia, China and so-called Friends of Pakistan did not extend any financial help (loan in the form of cash) to Pakistan.

To establish some credibility at the behests of US government, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Managing Director of the International
Monetary Fund has mentioned in his statement that other donors should also come forward and help Pakistan. This is for encouragement to other donors that IMF will keep an eye on Zardari’s spending of loan money which other wise nobody trust him.

Are things going to get better in the country. Not really. All this IMF thing is done to avoid bankruptcy.

Highest Security For Former President Pervez Musharraf

Interior Ministry has issued very strict instructions to heads of all the security agencies in Pakistan including home secretaries, frontier corps, rangers and inspector generals of all the provinces to provide foolproof security to former President Pervez Musharraf.

According to the notification issued by the Ministry, it is mandatory to provide optimum security to the former president where ever he goes. The Inspector General of the province will be responsible for his security.

A bullet proof vehicle will be provide to former president along with the security escort on evacuated roads.

Interior Ministry and security officials will stay in contact with the former president all the times.

This notification was quite unexpected. What is the reason for issuing this notification at this time is not known. Either Pervez Musharraf is not satisfied with the present security arrangements or USA has shown some concern about his security. Recently, Richard Boucher US Assistant Secretary of State visited Pakistan. There was no news that he met former president but about the security of Pervez Musharraf may have come under discussion with the government officials.

When former president resigned it was part of the arrangement that Pakistan government will provide security to former president. Further, there was an understanding that no case will be raised against Pervez Musharraf. News published in the foreign media indicated that US, UK and Saudi Arabia are guarantors of this arrangement.