by Ali Shah

The author is the head of research at the NUST Global Think Tank Network

Introduction

China will host the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) from May 14 till 15, 2017, in Beijing. Twice announced by President Xi Jinping, first in his address to the Uzbek Parliament in June, 2016, and, then, during the World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos in January, 2017, the Belt and Road Forum bids fair to be a landmark event set high on the Chinese policy agenda.

BUSINESS

by Atiqa Odho

 

The Pakistani Production and Entertainment sector has been evolving into a big business hub over the past fifteen years. A lot of content has been developed and many talented people have been discovered and launched on and off our screens during this time. Strangely enough in all these years, we have never had a trade conference for this sector to strengthen communication amongst its stakeholders.

by Dr. Ashfaque H. Khan

The author is Principal and Dean of NUST School of Social Sciences and Humanities, Islamabad

 

Introduction

The readers would recall that I wrote an extensive article under the title of “Rising Debt: A Threat to National Security”, published in this Quarterly during January - March 2016 issue. This article generated considerable interest among economists and others with interest in Pakistan’s economy. Some influential independent economists also wrote a series of articles on the subject.

Export or Bust

 

by Dr. Salman Shah

 

As the year slips by Pakistan's public debt has exceeded 22 trillion rupees with external liabilities crossing the $74 billion mark. Add to this amount, the projected external borrowings for the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), along with the looming massive energy bills in foreign exchange needed to service the state guaranteed payments for independent coal power projects, the true picture of Pakistan's escalating debt liabilities emerges.

by Asmatullah Niazi

 

For years we have been seeing world leaders fighting to get a hold of energy resources, which include oil and gas. The United States and other Western countries have been fighting vicious wars for oil, leaving the invaded countries destroyed and many of its people dead, internally displaced or seeking refuge in other countries.

Pakistan has the potential to become an energy corridor for the South Asia region. However, it is not as it has become a victim of energy politics by the world powers.

Let’s take for example, the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India Gas (TAPI) pipeline, which is from the virgin gas fields of Turkmenistan, a Caspian Sea country of the central Asian republics.

The pipeline will transport the Caspian Sea natural gas from Turkmenistan, through Afghanistan, and into Pakistan and then to India. All the countries signed an agreement in the early 90s.

However, due to unrest in Afghanistan and the threat to the pipeline by the Taliban in Afghanistan, the work on TAPI could not be done. However, the work on this project started in 2015, when the leadership of all the four countries inaugurated it in the Karakum desert outside the Southeastern Turkmen city of Mary, marking the beginning of the work on the Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) link.

A $10 billion gas pipeline is expected to help ease energy deficits in South Asia. The Pakistan-Iran GAS Pipeline is another pipeline which has importance for the entire region, but remains a victim of international politics.

Initially, India was also a part of the Iran-Pakistan gas pipe line, but due to the pressure from the United States, India preferred to quit the project and signed an agreement for civil use of nuclear with the United States in the mid 2000s.

However, Pakistan remained committed to the project as it needed energy resources from other countries to meet the growing domestic demand, and to keep the pace of development going.

Both the governments started discussions on the project, which is also known as the ‘peace pipeline’. The initial agreement was signed in 1995. This agreement foresaw the construction of a pipeline from South Pars gas field to Karachi .

Later Iran made a proposal to extend the pipeline from Pakistan into India. In February 1999, a preliminary agreement between Iran and India was signed. Iran also invited China and Bangladesh to join the project, however western powers, including the US, continued to pressurize Pakistan not to  go for this gigantic project. In 2013, the Pakistani President went to Iran to inaugurate the Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline; however it turned out to be just an inauguration event. The construction on the Pakistani side is yet to begin.

Another energy agreement which was initiated in the late 80s is the Central Asia-South Asia power project (CASA 1000) with Tajikistan. This too is yet to materialize. A $1.16 billion project currently under construction that will allow for the export of hydroelectricity from Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan to Pakistan and Afghanistan. All the above projects were hampered due to international and regional politics. If completed, these projects will provide uninterrupted power supply to the countries of the South Asia region. 

by Kamran Rizvi
Kamran Rizvi came to Pakistan and pioneered the self-improvement and organisation development movement under the banner of KZR

Irresponsible leadership can be deadly for any business particularly when it results in talented people leaving your organization just when they are most needed.

Your organization hemorrhages internally particularly when the people who make positive contributions decide to leave, and those you would rather lose, hang around. Irresponsible leadership is toxic.

It is surprising to see senior managers in some organizations seeking approval from head office for minor expenses.

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