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Fallen PIA

July 6, 2020

Now that PIA (Pakistan International Airlines) has been downgraded from a three-star to one-star airline by top rating website AirlineRatings.com, perhaps the government will see the error in its decision to make the issue about fake licenses public in the way that it did. For some reason the ruling party...

The way senior government ministers have defended PTI’s performance, especially with regard to their inability to reationalise sugar, wheat or petrol prices, is rather concerning. For one thing, they still seem to think that the best answer to every tough question is blaming practically everything on previous governments. But that leaves them looking a little unaware...

Observers on this side of the Pak-India border, at least, were wondering for a while just what form India’s next accusation against Pakistan was going to take. It was expected rather urgently because of all the embarrassment Delhi has had to suffer in the standoff with China in the Laddakh region. And now it has come. Suddenly, India informed Pakistan that the latter’s...

Government is once again on a slippery slope as far as controlling the narrative about the coronavirus goes. Since the prime minister chose the way of targeted lockdowns and this is a very sensitive phase of the fight against the coronavirus, the need for a very clear code of conduct for everybody as well as complete transparency about how things are proceeding cannot...

Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar had last month expressed the view that the capacity of 30,000 tests per day would be sufficient for Pakistan to control the spread of the deadly virus.“Currently, we are in a position to hold over 25,000 tests per day and with every passing day our capacity to conduct tests is increasing,” Mr Umar had stated, expressing...

Sigh of relief

June 24, 2020

While any good news regarding the coronavirus pandemic is always very welcome, it is extremely important to read the numbers correctly to get the right idea about the kind of situation that still confronts us. The number of new cases as well as deaths is one the decline for the first time in a while in Punjab, for example, but then there are also reports that people with...

Smart Lockdown

June 23, 2020

The evidence coming out from the smart lockdown in specific sectors of Islamabad is proof that this strategy, if implemented properly, can be quite effective in curbing the spread of coronavirus cases in high incidence areas. The need to enforce such measures will continue to arise because despite repeated pleas, many people continue to violate SOPs created by the government....

Hopefully now, as the prime minister has promised to monitor implementation of SOPs (standard operating procedures), some of the most senior government officials will also take the matter seriously. It would help if the prime minister personally set an example as well, and started wearing a mask, not the least so others can learn from him and follow his example. It is...

China-India clash

June 17, 2020

Beijing and New Delhi need to deescalate immediately if they want to keep this particular confrontation from creating problems for the whole region. The first skirmish, which was increasingly expected as India tried to talk tough without possessing the ability to back it up, finally broke out the other day with the Chinese killing three-odd Indian soldiers that crossed...

One of the very many promises PTI (Pakistan Tehreek e Insaf) made on the campaign trail, and indeed during much its two decades in opposition before that, was making the annual federal budget not just an efficient but also a realistic exercise. It really defeats the purpose when all ministries spend at least half the fiscal year preparing for the budget yet what is presented...

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