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Pak-India trade potential seen at USD 1-5b PDF Print E-mail
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Wednesday January 25, 2006, IRNA.

Pakistan's premier bank, the State Bank of Pakistan, has estimated the potential of Pakistan-India trade within the range of USD 1-5 billion in a year.

Local media reports said that according to an analysis of bilateral trade composition in the year 2004 there were 1,181 items worth USD 3.9 billion common to Pakistan-India exports and imports, the figure pointing to a huge potential for boosting bilateral trade.

Likewise, against 2,646 common items in Pakistan's imports worth USD 7 billion in the year 2004, India had exports worth over USD 15 billion.

The bank study noted that in such case where over 50 percent of those items were imported, the unit value of Pakistan's imports was more than the unit value of India's exports, hinting at the possibility of the import potential from India to Pakistan of many of these items at a far cheaper cost than what is being paid now.

The study assesses Pakistan's average national savings in foreign exchange between USD 400 million to USD 900 million provided the Pakistani government expands its positive list of importable items from India.

The reports said that bilateral trade had witnessed a significant increase after the start of the Pak-India peace process in February 2004.


World Social Forum in Caracas opens with march against war and imperialism PDF Print E-mail
World Peace
Brasília - The 6th World Social Forum opens this afternoon with a massive protest against war and imperialism. Performing artists, writers, intellectuals, musicians, representatives of non-governmental organizations, and activists from all over the planet will participate in the march through the streets of the Venezuelan capital, Caracas.

This is the second time since its inception in 2000 that the forum is being held outside of Porto Alegre. This first time was in Mombai (formerly Bombay), India, two years ago. This year's version is the first divided into regional venues: Bamako, Mali, and Karachi, Pakistan, in addition to Caracas. The forum in Caracas expects to receive around 100 thousand people, most of them from Latin America. According to the organizers of the event, there are already 50 thousand people enrolled, representing 2,177 social organizations and governments from all around the world.

For six days the Caracas forum, which is organized according to thematic pillars, will discuss the following topics: Power, politics, and social emancipation struggles; Imperial strategies and popular resistance; Resources and the right to life, alternatives to the predatory model of civilization; Diversities, identities, and shifting cosmovisions; Work, exploitation, and the reproduction of life; Communication, culture and education, dynamics and democratizing alternatives.

Brazil will participate in discussions with representatives of governmental and civil society organizations. The minister of Agrarian Development, Miguel Rossetto, is leaving today (24) for Venezuela, where his presence has been confirmed at a conference on agrarian reform on Thursday (26), together with government officials from Venezuela, Chile, Nicaragua, and Spain.

The head of the presidential staff office, minister Luiz Dulci, the minister of Environment, Marina Silva, and the head of the special secretariat of human rights, Paulo Vannuchi, will also attend the forum, where they will participate in debates on issues related to development, participatory democracy, and human rights.

The Caracas session of the 6th World Social Forum ends on Sunday (29).

Agência Brasil, Translation: David Silberstein,24/01/2006
Fidel Castro against Nuclear Escalation PDF Print E-mail
World Peace
Havana, Jan 22 (Prensa Latina) Cuban President Fidel Castro has denounced the danger posed to the world by a new nuclear escalation in view of the stand the US and its allies have taken on the use of weapons of mass destruction.

During a radio, TV broadcast appearance until late Saturday night, the Cuban Head of State warned that the alliance of Washington, NATO and Israel tries to sow fear by threatening to use nuclear weapons.

It´s worrying that this alliance proclaims the right to use nuclear weapons against an alleged terrorist State and that Iran is being accused of terrorism, he pointed out.

In this regard, he said that the Washington-spearheaded threats stem from the fact that Iran has resumed its nuclear research work for peaceful ends.

Iran has not said it wants to produce nuclear weapons, but on the contrary, Fidel said while recalling that the Persian country has signed every nuclear-related agreement.

They want to pre-emptively ban Iran from producing nuclear fuel and demand from it to burn all its oil and gas, he added.

The Cuban president also referred to remarks made by President of France Jacques Chirac, who recently said that his country has the right to respond with nuclear weapons to "State leaders" who resort to "terrorist means."

He expressed concern over a country making such a claim, when all, instead, should ban the use of nuclear weapons, he stressed.

They are talking of using nuclear weapons as if it were water, he added, and lamented that a nation like France, which have not been behind US military adventures, has said made such statement.

The Revolution leader also denounced the threats made by US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, who said Iran does not have much time left.

What does she mean by that, what can one expect,? Fidel Castro wondered.

The Cuban president insisted it is necessary to fight for peace and secure a more just world where people were no longer plundered.

There is no other way, the world has never had so many problems as today, he stressed.

He referred to Washington´s hypocrisy as it keeps holding five Cuban anti-terrorist fighters in prison, when the US authorities say they are fighting such scourge.

He also referred to White House maneuvers to release terrorist Luis Posada Carriles, who is responsible for the blowing up of a Cuban civil plane in mid-air in 1976, killing all 73 people on board, among other acts of terror.

During his address to the nation, Fidel Castro also examined aspects related to the energy revolution which he launchd to overhaul an aging power system in Cuba.

Fidel Castro will continue his radio, TV broadcast appearance on Sunday evening, when he is expected to discuss issues of interest to national and foreign public opinion, particularly the US authorities maneuvering to release Posada Carriles, a well known international terrorist of Cuban origin.
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