Pakistan must refuse debt repayments, divert amount for relief & rehabilitation of flood-hit communities

The Spark September 2010

This article is a reprint of a recently-issued statement by Abdul Khaliq Shah and Farooq Tariq of the Labour Party Pakistan’s Labour Relief Campaign.

Farooq Tariq

Pakistan must refuse to pay the foreign debts and divert the amount into the relief and rehabilitation of the flood affectees. It is high time to change the priorities of the national budget and all those suggesting to cut the development budget and spend on flood affectees be stopped. There is an easy way out. Stop paying the debts owed to International Finance Institutions, donor countries and club.Pakistan is facing the worst disaster of its history. About 20 million of its population is badly affected by the recent huge devastation caused by angry floods. Major infrastructure is totally destroyed in major parts of the country.  The country has suffered a loss of about Rs250 billion only in the agricultural and livestock sectors and the flood recovery costs may run into billions of dollars. Pakistan is in real and worst human and economic crisis. Though international donors are announcing commitments for relief and rehabilitation, but these are peanuts vis-à-vis the degree of catastrophe. [Read more…]

The legacy of Benazir Bhutto

Joel Cosgrove

No one should be crowing about the way in which Benazir Bhutto, the former Prime Minister and leader of the Pakistan Peoples’ Party, died – killed by an assassin’s bullet at the end of a political meeting in Rawalpindi on December 27.

Yet the obituaries that quickly flowed across the Western world following her death illustrated the way in which history is being constantly rewritten to suit the times. Bhutto is not being remembered for the trail of corruption that littered her two previous terms as prime minister. Nor for her husband Asif Ali “10%” Zardari and the serious charges of money laundering laid against the both of them.

[Read more…]