Posts tagged ‘Strengthening’

July 2, 2011

Strengthening Peace: Kohistanis invite president to attend cultural event

A three-day Swat-Kohistan Indigenous Culture Festival “Simam”, to be held from July 11.

PESHAWAR: Kohistanis have invited President Asif Ali Zardari to attend the three-day Swat-Kohistan Indigenous Culture Festival “Simam”, to be held from July 11.

The Idara Baraye Taleem-o-Taraqi (IBTT) sent a letter to the president, inviting him to attend the event, which will take place in Bahrain, a scenic town in Swat.

The letter says that Swat Valley was once considered the Switzerland of Pakistan. However the people fell victim to barbarism and terror after suffering from militancy and floods, both of which caused physical and psychological damage to the people of the valley, the letter said.

“The security forces were able to get rid of terrorism…. however, the local people also cooperated with the government and rendered countless sacrifices for the purpose,” the letter reads.

The prime minister and other officials regularly cite the operation as a testament to Pakistan’s resolve to fight terrorism, but what is missing in these statements is the cost paid by the Swatis, and whether their plight ends here or will it be prolonged as the war on terror goes on, the letter said.

“A peaceful Swat is the only successful mission in Pakistan’s war against terrorism. What we want is to make Swat an example of peace, development, beauty and pluralism, [for which we need billions of rupees in funding],” the letter added.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 2nd, 2011.

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June 30, 2011

Strengthening trade: Food exports rise 35% to Rs338 billion

Decreasing quantity of export and higher revenue generation suggests that the increase is more of a fallout of the devaluation against the dollar more than anything else. DESIGN: MOHSIN ALAM

KARACHI: 

Food exports have increased 35 per cent to Rs338 billion in the first eleven months of the current financial year with the largest share of revenues coming from rice.


The total quantity of rice exported was 3.4 million tons, which generated revenues of Rs168 billion. However, it is a worrying factor that the quantity of rice exported dropped by around 10% even though revenues generated showed an increase of 1.24%. The fact that rice export revenues fell 0.7% in dollar terms indicates that the increase is more of a fallout of the devaluation against the dollar more than anything else. This drop would have been even worse had it not been for the increase in the country’s basmati exports.


While rice exports made up about half of total exports in the food group, they were not the reason for the increase in total revenues from this group.


Because of the policy of not exporting wheat one year and then exporting it the year after, revenues from this commodity were Rs41 billion compared to just Rs61 million for the corresponding period last year. The total quantity of wheat exported surged from 3,500 tons to 1.4 million tons and was responsible for a 12% increase in the overall value of food group exports.


The other significant boost to overall exports came from smaller sectors like meat and meat products which registered a 59% increase in rupee terms, increasing from Rs7.5 to Rs 11.8 billion. Tobacco exports almost doubled in rupee terms, generating Rs2.2 billion compared to Rs1.1 billion in the same period last year. Vegetable exports also depicted a healthy increase both in quantity and value. Quantity increased from 427,821 tons to 590,503 tons and revenues increased from Rs9.2 million to Rs17.6 million. Fish and fish products registered a healthy increase of over 20% from 98.142 tons to 119,358 tons and earned the country Rs22.9 billion in revenues, a healthy increase of over 30%.


Fruit exports on the other hand managed to register a 19% increase from Rs18.8 billion to Rs 22.9 billion even though quantities fell by over five per cent from 646,516 tons to 612,952 tons. Spices also registered a fall in quantity, dropping from 15,408 tons top 14,146 tons but revenues increased from Rs3.16 million to Rs3.7 million.


The country earned Rs168 million from exporting leguminous vegetables (pulses), a new entrant to the export list.