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Showing posts from May 21, 2017

China’s silent debt bomb for Pakistan Pakistani PM Nawaz Sharif meets Chinese President Xi Jinping ahead of the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, China, on May 13, 2017. (Reuters) Shares455   MINHAZ MERCHANT  | Thu, 25 May 2017-08:05am , DNA Excessive liquidity making its way from Chinese banks to Pakistan does not bode well for its modest economy History shows that when a country’s debt-to-GDP ratio climbs above 200 per cent, a red flag goes up. China’s total debt at $27 trillion is now 277 per cent of its GDP. At first glance, the principal worry for China is its over-leveraged state sector. Local governments have used cheap credit for years to fuel infrastructure growth. Many gleaming new Chinese cities built during the boom period are today ghost towns with unoccupied residential towers and empty streets. Chinese GDP has slowed significantly from its breakneck speed of 10 per cent a year in the mid-2000s. China’s economic statistics a

Three years of Modi Sarkar: Bureaucrats now have hotline to Prime Minister

By  Sidhartha  &  Dipak K. Dash , TNN | May 26, 2017, 10.57 AM IST Junior officials too can send ideas to the PM through the mygov portal. The  NDA  government appears to have made a dent in the working of the  bureaucracy  that seemed plagued by compartmentalisation, which turned ministries and departments into silos, stalling the smooth exchange of ideas.  Under PM Modi's system of secretary-level panels, ideas that may have remained on paper don't just find traction but are even getting implemented. "If I can convince committee members, there's every chance the PM will give his go-ahead to implement a scheme," said a secretary .  Junior officials too can send ideas to the PM through the mygov portal. "At times we hesitate, wondering if there'll be an adverse impact. But there've been cases when ideas submitted have received a positive response," said an officer.  Secretaries make presentations directly to the PM to ensure that they h

Ahead of 'Modern Silk Road' build, China credit downgrade worrisome BY ARTHUR DONG, OPINION The recent announcement that Moody’s Investors Service, one of the leading global credit ratings agencies, downgraded China’s credit rating, contradicts the official narrative promoted by China that things are great, and its economy is on solid footing. Chinese policymakers have consistently justified the high debt-to-GDP level arguing that its economic model can both safely and reliably service such large amounts of debt, so long as the economy continues growing at a healthy pace. For Moody’s, the assumptions on which China is predicating its growth has it most concerned. For roughly the past 10 years, China’s growth has come by way of two areas — investment in infrastructure, commercial and residential real estate and exports of manufactured goods. With regard to the former, since 2008, China has embarked on a building spree unlike anything wi

Pakistan operationalises Naval Station in Balochistan KARACHI:  Pakistan  Thursday operationalised a Naval Air Station which will provide the navy with the much needed depth, flexibility and reach to counter emerging challenges of deterring terrorism at sea, curbing piracy and carrying out maritime security operations, according to a statement Defence Minister Khawaja Muhammad Asif was the chief guest of the ceremony that was also attended by Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Zakaullah and other officials.   Speaking on the occasion, Khawaja  Asif highlighted that this major Naval facility will boost Pakistan Navy’s capability for the defence of motherland, enhancing the Naval power over the Arabian Sea and especially its strategic reach westwards. He said that the dual utilization of Naval Air Station Turbat will accrue dividends both for the maritime defence and in the economic sector by yielding best value for money. The defenc

How Pakistan avoided a plebiscite -Excerpts from the book "The Kashmir Story" by B. L. Sharma

How Pakistan avoided a plebiscite -Excerpts from the book "The Kashmir Story" by B. L. Sharma April 01, 2003 How Pakistan Avoided Plebiscite- I Excerpts from the Book "The Kashmir Story" by B. L. Sharma Publishers: Asia Publishing House, Copyright © B. L. Sharma, 1967  To those conversant with the so-called Kashmir Question, Mr. B. L. Sharma needs no introduction, for chiefly as Officer on Special Duty for Kashmir Affairs in the Indian Foreign Office he accompanied nine Indian delegations to the United nations between 1948 and 1965 in the capacity of Adviser. In 1952 he was again a member of the Indian delegation for talks in Geneva, and he also attended the Tashkent conference, in January 1966, as Adviser.  Mr. Sharma has thus been in close touch with the Kashmir Question since its inception and his book reflects the tremendous industry and insight he brought to bear on this difficult, delicate, and complicated subject. Here, however, is much more than the o

An Independent Iraqi Kurdistan? On the Prospects and Viability of a Future State

25 May 2017 By Gallia Lindenstrauss and Adrien Cluzet for Institute for National Security Studies (INSS) OK, so how close are Iraqi Kurds to establishing their own independent state in Northern Iraq? In this article, Gallia Lindenstrauss and Adrien Cluzet analyze the myriad factors that have to be addressed if a truly autonomous or South Sudan-like homeland is to appear. In all cases, our authors are confident that such an entity would be pro-Western, have a favorable attitude towards Israel, and remain lukewarm to the idea of creating a Greater Kurdistan This article was  originally published  in Strategic Assessment  Volume 20, Number 1  by the  Institute for National Security Studies (INSS)  in April 2017. In February 2016, Masoud Barzani, President of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region, announced his desire to hold a referendum among Iraqi Kurds on the issue of independence. While he did not promise that the results would dictate an immediate declaration of independence, he did state