April Editorial periscope: Afghanistan & Pakistan’s logistic nightmare

Editorial pericope this month looks at the US-Afghanistan Taliban deal and the difficulties of Pakistan's logistic nightmare.

Editorial Periscope | March 2020

As we were rushing to print, United States, under Trump, managed to achieve something that had bedevilled three administrations and had looked impossible till only a few months ago. On 29th Feb, US Special Envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban point man, Mullah Baradar signed a peace deal in Doha thus bringing United States’ longest war to a potential end.

This 19-year-old war had emerged on the global scene when the US and the UK had started bombing a Taliban lead Afghanistan on Oct 7, 2001 – 18 days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on World Trade Centre that had killed more than 2000 innocent men and women in downtown Manhattan.

On 20th Feb, New York Times published an Opinion piece by Sirajuddin Haqqani – leader of the same Haqqani Network, the US had repeatedly declared “dangerous terrorists”. Washington’s main conflict with Pakistan was centred on Haqqani network; with CIA and Pentagon demanding Pakistan’s coercive action against the group and Pakistan continuously asserting that ultimately the solution in Afghanistan lies in engaging Taliban – and that Islamabad must maintain contacts to deliver them on table.

Doha Peace Agreement is thus a huge moral and political victory for Pakistan’s foreign office, its military establishment and its troubled prime minister. Imran Khan had always maintained that solution in Afghanistan lies in talks with Taliban – his perseverance had earned him the nickname, Taliban Khan.

Editor Global Village examines the impact of this change for Pakistan in this regional periscope. Domestically, Khan government’s troubles continue to mount. Past few weeks have seen shortages of wheat and sugar and now businesses and economists are both worried on state bank’s inability to bring down interest rates.

What magazine covers this month under editorial periscope

Dr. Kamal Monnoo who enjoys the rare distinction of being an economist and a businessman examines if IMF’s prescription of high-interest rates to keep inflation down applies to Pakistan’s peculiar circumstances. We also examine the backlash on PTI government’s ill planned move to regulate social media giants like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

However, our main theme that captures our title cover is: Pakistan’s logistic challenge in view of the CPEC phase II. Last month, we published a detailed report on Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and we focused on the groundbreaking of Allama Iqbal Industrial City, near Faisalabad where Faisalabad Investment & Economic Development Management Company (FIEDMC) had invited the Prime Minister for ground-breaking.

In this issue, we offer a detailed analysis of how the emergence of these SEZ’s now presents Pakistan with its unique opportunities and challenges in the logistics industry. We argue that without modernizing and streamlining its logistics industry, Pakistan will not be able to fully utilize the benefits from CPEC, its linked SEZs and China’s Industrial relocation policy.

In this context we have also interviewed, DG NLC – who not only head’s country’s largest logistic enterprise but brings forward a 30 year plus experience of dealing with logistic issues. Gen. Asim puts forward out of box thinking on many aspects – including the scope for Inland Water Transport.

Will a country haunted by podophile rapists and murderers benefit from public hangings? Two legal minds argue from opposing ends. And finally, we talk to IGP Islamabad, Aamir Zulfiqar Khan, who explains his success in turning Pakistan’s capital into one of the safest cities in the world.

Najma Minhas

Managing Editor

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