In this article, Humza Ikram offers a comprehensive review of the performance of the PPP government in 2009.
OFFICIAL LAUNCH OF Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP)
In January 2009, BISP was officially launched after its form distribution took place in 2008.
In financial year 2008-09 government announced income support program which was named after the PPP’s late chairperson Benazir Bhutto. Late BB included the income support program in PPP’s 2008 election manifesto after going through a series of consultation meetings with renowned economist Dr Qaiser Bengali in order to immediately cater the poorest section of the society. The distribution of forms took place through the elected representatives of the parliament in autumn 2008.
Senate Election 2009
In March senate election took place .It was a historic election in many regards.It was the first election of its kind in Pakistan where the senators were named after passing resolutions in the provincial assembly and thus ended the practice of selling votes and floor crossing .and for the first time we saw central government didn’t indulge in buying the votes of the provincial MP.
It was an election first of its kind where ruling part PPP gave the senate seats to Baloch nationalist who didn’t participated in general election 2008. Hasil Bizenjo of National Party was elected to the Senate of Pakistan. It was an historic election since it was 30 years since PPP got majority in Senate of Pakistan as two previous government of BB were dismissed days before the senate elections.
PRESIDENT VISIT TO IRAN
FODP HEAD OF STATES TOKOYO SUMMIT
A Ministerial meeting of the Friends of Democratic Pakistan was held in Tokyo on 17 April 2009 under the chairmanship of the President of Pakistan Mr. Asif Ali Zardari. (more)
GAS PIPELINE DEAL
After fifteen years of negotiations over the Iran-Pakistan-India (IPI) gas pipeline project, Pakistan and Iran have finally signed the initial agreement in Tehran this may.
The project termed as ‘Peace Pipeline’ by the officials of both the countries has been inked by President Zardari and his Iranian counterpart Mahmoud Ahmedinejad on the sidelines of the tripartite summit on Afghanistan security.
Successful Malakand Operation
Military offensive was launched in Malakand ,Swat,Dir and Buner in may after the failed peace talk with Taliban and Maualana Sufi Muhammad. Even after government promulgated Nizam-e-Adal ordinance ,militant didn’t stop their activities and were threating to capture Islamabad.
million people were displaced from their homes but after going to terrible summer all the IDP’s reached back to their homes before the monsoon.
FIRST PAKISTAN-EU PARTNERSHIP SUMMIT
President Asif Ali Zardari lead Pakistan in an all important first ever Pakistan-EU summit aimed at boosting ties with the European community.
“The European Union has for the first time realized the importance of Pakistan’s geo-strategic location and the Pakistan-EU summit has mainly been made possible due to the democratic set up in the country,” Pakistan ambassador Shafkat Saeed said in an interview.
Sharam El Sheikh: Beginning of a bilateral ties
SHam El Sheikh
Fata reforms unveiled.
President Asif Ali Zardari announced on political, judicial and administrative reforms for the tribal areas, allowing political activities in Fata, setting up an appellate tribunal, curtailing arbitrary powers of political agents, giving people right to appeal and bail, excluding women and children from the territorial responsibility clause and envisaging audit of accounts by the auditor general.
Pakistan-Iran-Turkey freight beigns trial run
The trial operation of a freight train service connecting the Pakistani and Turkish capitals via Iran has begun.
The 6,500-kilometer railroad is the first project run under the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO).
Pakistani Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gilani inaugurated the project on Friday while representatives from ECO as well as Iran and Turkey were also present.
Gilgit-Baltistan Empowerment and Self Governance Order 2009.
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani issued a landmark proclamation on August 29 joining his voice with those of more than 1.5 million people of Gilgit-Baltistan for self-rule, which they have been yearning for six decades.
The people of this hitherto Federally Administered Northern Areas through this act will virtually have a de-facto province enjoying political, administrative and financial rights, with constitutional and legal guarantees with the appointment of governor, chief minister and a judicature.
Besides, a 33-member Gilgit-Baltistan Legislative Assembly has also been ordered in place; 24 of the members are to be elected directly on a party-based poll, while six seats have been reserved for women and three for technocrats in the assembly, which will have its own Rules of Business.
The new legislative assembly has been empowered to enact laws on 61 subjects. The ‘province’ will also have a six-member cabinet that will have the power of making and approving its annual budget. Steps have also been taken to give constitutional and legal cover to the new province.
AGHAZ-E-HUQOOQ-E- BALOCHISTAN PACKAGE
The federal government has tabled the long-awaited Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan package based on 39 points at a joint sitting of parliament. Package prepared by committee headed by Senator Raza Rabbani proposed the facilitation of the return of political exiles, the immediate release of political workers and negotiation with all stakeholders in the province. Package prepared in four categories: constitutional, political, administrative and economic mechanism recommends setting up of a fact-finding commission to investigate the circumstances that led to the death of Nawab Akbar Bugti, a judicial inquiry into the killing of three Baloch nationalist leaders, no construction of cantonments in Sui and Kohlu, withdrawing the armed forces from these areas. Terming it a positive move political Pandits are of the view that Aghaz-e-Huqooq-e-Balochistan package will help address grievances of the people of Balochistan. The PPP government started working on the package as soon as it assumed office, with a view to provide relief to the Baloch people. Balochistan package is a historic step, which will help end the feeling of deprivation among the people of the province The package was the right step towards addressing the issues of the Baloch people.
The 7th National Finance Commission (NFC) award were finally decided in December. A consensus was reached among Center and provinces ,and between four provinces. Center decided to give provinces 56-58.5 % from the divisible pool and giving back provinces the right to collect the sales tax. and another landmark achievement of this award was mulitple crtieria horizontal distribution based on population 82% ,revenue 5%, backwardness&poverty10.3% ,inverse Population Density (IPD) 2.7 %.
The final percentage share of the provinces decided under NFC was as under: Punjab 51 per cent, Sindh 24 per cent, NWFP 14 per cent and Balochistan would be given 9.9 per cent share of the NFC, according to agreed formula.
As a gesture of support by all provinces and the federal government 1 per cent of the total divisible pool has been earmarked for the NWFP as additional sources for war on terror during the Award period.