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Instability in global economy makes Pakistan vulnerable: Daily

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Islamabad: A leading Pakistan daily said that the sharp swings on the stock market along with pressure on rupee is a reminder that Pakistan is still vulnerable to instability in the global economy, and added that “it is best to be prepared.”

dawn_9830101313831216671An editorial “Financial market gyrations” published in the Dawn on Wednesday said that for the past one year at least, a series of economic crisis have been roiling the global economy to which “we in Pakistan have been little more than spectators.”

“But this week, the sharp volatilities could return very quickly since the crisis in the international markets is far from over.” The editorial said that the exchange rate on the other hand is continuing to feel the stress.

As per the editorial, as a first step, the government should allow the rupee to find its own value. “Investing too much importance in a strong currency is far too old-fashioned a way to view the exchange rate.”

It went on to say that the last “such bail-out following 2008 had to be hastily arranged and was of doubtful merit.”

“It would be better this time, if recourse to public funds should become necessary to prevent systemic risk, for strong guidelines to be in place for transparency as well as to ensure that the funds are not appropriated by the big brokers,” the daily said.

economy

The editorial noted that the sharp volatilities roiling the global markets are escalating and “it would be a grave mistake to seek solace in the notion that Pakistan will remain insulated from these developments”.

“Nobody knows where the volatility will end, and nobody expects that the government can do much to keep it from impacting the country. But a few preparatory steps can go a long way to ensure that the government works to safeguard the public interest should matters deteriorate, rather than have its actions dictated to it in the thick of the crisis by a small cabal of brokers,” it added.

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Pakistan In U.S. Blacklist For Religious Freedom Violations

Russia has increasingly drawn concern in the United States over its treatment of Jehovah's Witnesses

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Pakistan, Religious Freedom
Members and supporters of the Muslim Student Organization (MSO) chant slogans during a protest after the Supreme Court overturned the conviction of a Christian woman sentenced to death for blasphemy against Islam, in Islamabad, Pakistan. VOA

The United States said Tuesday it has added Pakistan to its blacklist of countries that violate religious freedom, ramping up pressure over its treatment of minorities.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he had designated Pakistan among “countries of particular concern” in a congressionally mandated annual report, meaning the U.S. government is obliged to exert pressure to end freedom violations.

Pompeo a year earlier had placed Pakistan on a special watch list – a step short of the designation – in what had been seen as a U.S. tactic to press Islamabad into reforms.

Human rights advocates have long voiced worry about the treatment of minorities in Pakistan, including Shiites, Ahmadis and Christians.

Sikh, Religious Freedom
A Sikh pilgrim visits the shrine of their spiritual leader Guru Nanak Dev in Kartarpur, Pakistan. VOA

But the timing of the full designation may be jarring as it comes after Pakistan moved to resolve its most high-profile case, with the Supreme Court in October releasing Asia Bibi – a Christian woman on death row for eight years for blasphemy.

The government recently charged a hardline cleric, Khadim Hussain Rizvi, with terrorism and sedition after he led violent protests against Bibi’s acquittal.

“In far too many places across the globe, individuals continue to face harassment, arrests or even death for simply living their lives in accordance with their beliefs,” Pompeo said in a statement.

“The United States will not stand by as spectators in the face of such oppression,” he said.

Nine countries remained for another year on the list of Countries of Particular Concern – China, Eritrea, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

pakistan,Sikh, Religious Freedom
Pakistani activist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai, center, arrives along with her father Ziauddin Yousafzai, second left, brother Atal Yousafzai, left, and the principal of all-boys Swat Cadet College Guli Bagh, during her hometown visit, March 31, 2018. VOA

The United States removed one country from the list – Uzbekistan– but kept it on the watch list.

Pompeo also put on the watch list Russia, adding another item of contention to the relationship between the two powers.

Also Read: The Hindu Temple of Gulyana and Sikh Samadhi in Pakistan

Russia has increasingly drawn concern in the United States over its treatment of Jehovah’s Witnesses, the heterodox Christian group known for proselytization.

Also on the watch list was the Comoros, the Indian Ocean archipelago that is almost exclusively Sunni Muslim. (VOA)