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Pakistan persistently among top 10 countries affected due to climate change
Feb. 10, 2021:Pakistan has persistently been reckoned among the top 10 most affected countries due to climate change where its recent ranking descended from number 5. A recent German Watch Report of the Long-term Global Climate Risk Index 2020, a global think-tank working on climate change, had rated Pakistan number 8th most affected country due to adverse impacts of climate change. The data was reckoned from 2000 to 2019 that mentioned the country facing 0.3 percent life losses per 100,000 inhabitants and $3.8 billion economic losses due to recurrent phenomenon of floods and climate change induced catastrophes.
The Ministry of Climate Change had a dedicated arm of scientists and climate change experts at Global Climate Impact Studies Center (GCISC) that were extensively working to compile an intricate set of data based on emissions from industrial, petroleum, agricultural and livestock sectors. A ministry official told APP that Pakistan was contributing less than one percent to the global emissions and was not provided any global assistance particularly on cutting down its GHG emissions resulting global warming and environmental degradation, however, the country had managed on its own to protect the global environment.
He added that apart from this achievement the country was going to achieve first billion plantation targets under the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami programme in June 2021. The thriving mangroves in the country were the only increasing plantation of the species all over the world with a 300 percent increase since its conservation along the coastal areas started. Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Climate Change Malik Amin Aslam had also announced an additional one billion mangroves plantation under the Ten Billion Tree Tsunami project keeping in view its increasing rate.
The Prime Minister had also initiated the Protected Areas Initiative aimed to establish 15 National Parks sprawling over areas of 7,300 square kilometers that comprised mountains in the Northern region to the scrub forests in the plains and a marine protected area in the south of the country. Pakistan had also used COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to provide job opportunities to pandemic-idle workforce including youth and working women of impoverished households in the rural areas.
The Green Stimulus package of Rs2400 billion had helped the masses in raising nurseries, protecting forests and also planting olive and fruit trees and generating alternate incomes through honey farming. The country had bagged global acclaim from World Economic Forum, IUCN, WWF, Normandy Chair for Peace and many others showered unreluctant praise for the initiative that was killing two birds with one stone as conserving environment at one hand and ensuring employment for jobless people during pandemic lockdown.
India misguiding world about ground realities in IIOJK
Feb 05, 2021(APP, LPP): Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK) President Sardar Masood Khan on Friday said India was misguiding the European governments and the US administration as well as decision-making institutions that Delhi was fighting against terrorists in occupied Kashmir. “The reality is somewhat different and India in fact is crushing defenceless, weak and unarmed Kashmiri people, and depriving them of their homeland, businesses and livelihood and engaged in the genocide of the inhabitants of the disputed territory,” he stressed.
He was addressing the Kashmir Solidarity Conference organized Faheem Kiani President Tehrik e Kashmir by through video link, which was also participated and addressed by more than 40-plus UK members of Parliament (MPs) and leaders of the Kashmiri community living in Britain, according to AJK President Office.
The UK MPs, who spoke on occasion and expressed solidarity with the people of occupied Jammu and Kashmir, were included, Robbie Moore MP, Gill Furniss MP Tony Lloyd MP, Steve Baker MP, Nadia Whittome MP, Yasmin Qureshi MP, Richard Burgon MP, Stephen Timms MP, Sarah Owen MP, Rachel Hopkins MP, Paul Bristow MP,
James Daly MP, Kate Hollern MP, Andrew Gwynne MP, Sara Britcliffe MP, Afzal Khan MP, Alison Thewliss MP, Rebecca Longbailey MP, Imran Hussain MP, John Spellar MP, Shabana Mahmood MP, Tahir Ali MP, Sam Tarry MP, Lillian Greenwood MP. Phil Bennion Former MEP, Liam Byrne MP, Tanmanjeet Singh Dhesi MP, Lord Wajid Khan, Debbie Abraham MP, Hilary Benn MP, Paul Blomfield MP and Cheryl Gillan MP.
The AJK president exhorted them to use their influence, and convey to the governments of the Western countries that if they failed to block the Indian military adventurism, the rule of law and the world order would no longer be in place in the world. Tragically, he maintained that India was committing the crimes against humanity, and at the same time, it wanted that the world should not speak about its guilt. Such attitude of India should not be acceptable to the world at all.
The AJK president expressed gratitude to the UK and the European parliaments, media and the civil society for supporting the Kashmir cause, but he also complained that the powerful governments of those countries were silent over the Indian repression and the worst violations of human rights as well as the genocide of Kashmiri people at the hands of the Indian Army, and are thus showing negligence towards their international obligations.
“Their silence is encouraging India to trample human rights in Kashmir,” he added. He asserted that the UK MPs must not support the Kashmiri people mere to seek votes from the Kashmiri community in their constituencies but they should support the Kashmiri people because they were being deprived of their civil liberties and rights.
Sardar Masood Khan suggested that economic sanctions should be imposed on India for committing crimes against humanity in occupied Kashmir, and the Western countries should avoid making an investment in India until and unless it is ready to grant the right of self-determination to the Kashmiri people.
He prevailed upon the UN Security Council, the UN secretary-general and the UN Human Rights Commission to immediately take notice of the situation prevailing occupied Kashmir as it is posing a serious threat to peace and security of not only the region but the entire world. He reminded that both Pakistan and India are nuclear states, and the Indian brutalities are bringing both the countries close to a nuclear clash.
President Tehrik Kashmir and host of the Solidarity Faheem Kiani in his welcome address thanked, especially the President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir and the British Parliamentarians for attending this Kashmir Solidarity Conference and expressing solidarity with the people of Indian occupied Jammu and Kashmir who living in the most militarized area in the world under brutal Indian occupation, Subjugation and oppression for last 73 years.
He said that you all know what the Indian Army is doing to Kashmiris in occupied Jammu and Kashmir. The Indian Army has killed thousands of Kashmiris and is using rape as a weapon of war in Kashmir. Kashmir, that needs your attention. He said we have seen genocidal fascists emerge throughout history like Hitler, Mussolini and many others. In places like Rwanda and the Balkans, we have seen firsthand what happens when the world turns a blind eye. It is imperative that MPs play their role in preventing a repeat of history before it is too late.
A delegation of All Parties Hurriyat Conference headed by Ishtiaq Hamid also called on President Arif Alvi. Talking to the delegation, the Pakistan president declared the APHC leaders as heroes and said they can narrate the true story of the Kashmiris’ plight. and more effectively advocate the international community about the Kashmir cause. The Hurriyat leadership thanked the president Pakistan for coming to Azad Kashmir and expressing solidarity with the oppressed Kashmiri people. They said the words of President of Pakistan have emboldened the whole population of IIOJK.
France is arming India to teeth
France‘s defense industry may have benefited from its weapons export to the world’s volatile regions but South Asia, in particular, is witnessing the worst ramification of French weapons export to India. According to Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI) report, France’s weapons export reached its highest level for any five-year period since 1990 and accounted for 7.9 percent of total global arms exports in 2015–19, a 72 percent increase. France’s dramatic increase of its weapons export to India without considering South Asia’s security dynamics is worrisome.
The Indo-French bonhomie cannot be seen only through the prism of France's hustle to secure mega projects for its otherwise aging defense sector but this new strategic partnership has developed an appetite for expansion in a variety of areas of mutual interest. This includes France’s active role in the Indo-Pacific region, its direct investment in the Indian defense sector, and, in the long run, French assistance in India’s nuclear power sector.
On 7th January 2021, France and India held Strategic Dialogue with a renewed focus on areas of convergence including, the Indo-Pacific region, cybersecurity, and maritime security. The indo-French partnership is not new, in fact, it has remained robust throughout the years. For instance, when India detonated a nuclear device for the first time in 1974, the US and Canada suspended their peaceful nuclear cooperation with India but France not only congratulated the Indian government but also continued its Uranium supplies. France virtually rescued India, which was termed as “nuclear pariah” for its blatant nuclear proliferation.
As they say, History is a great teacher; today, neither France nor India has changed. France has not only continued its tradition of rescuing India but it has undoubtedly undermined South Asian security by selling nuclear-capable fighter jets to the latter. France has sold 36 Rafale Fighter Jets to India. As per media reports, these jets are also known as nuclear delivery platforms, hence this would be in violation of Article I of the NPT by France.
France’s defense cooperation with India isn’t limited to the Indian Army’s modernization plan. India entered into a contract worth $4.16 billion, with a French firm to build six Scorpene submarines in India through a technology-transfer arrangement in 2005. Two of the six submarines have already been commissioned into the Indian navy while a third is undergoing sea trials. In addition, India and France are engaged in Maritime Activity in the Indo-Pacific region. Both navies have conducted joint patrols from Reunion Island, the French naval base in the Indian Ocean.
France’s defense cooperation with India thrives by leaps and bounds with each passing day. Such a massive influx of sophisticated weapons and armaments in the World’s most fragile region is concerning. France also sells these weapons to other countries but those countries and regions have different dynamics. South Asia is a different case. Unlike other regions, unabated arms supply to India directly contributes to Pakistan’s security anxieties.
France’s cooperation with India in multiple domains of defense primarily is driven by the lucrative Indian market, but its regional implications are disastrous in the long run. Pakistan and India share a history of animosity and longstanding territorial disputes, most importantly the Kashmir issue which continues to shape their relationship. India, under Modi rule, has closed every window of opportunity for dialogue and diplomacy. Therefore, possession of such weapons in the hands of far-right Hindu leadership is threatening for the entire region.
In fact, being a part of the civilized global community, it should be France’s responsibility to press India for an early solution to the Kashmir dispute. Perhaps, due to its close connection with the political leadership in New Delhi, French leadership is in an ideal position to mediate between India and Pakistan on the Kashmir dispute. Such a step will bring peace and normalcy back to the region.
When East-European NATO members objected to France’s decision to go ahead with USD$ 1.3 billion deal with Russia under which the French navy was supposed to provide new 21,300t amphibious assault, command, and power projection ship, France immediately canceled its proposed deal. Europe is far more stable than South Asia but for France, South Asian instability appears to be a business opportunity to sell its arms.
Pakistan is located in a difficult neighborhood. It has to deal with a militarily superior enemy that is massively modernizing its military and warfighting capabilities. These imported weapons are going to be used against Pakistan in any future conflict. Therefore, it is France’s responsibility to realize the severity of its weapons sale to India. Indo-France cooperation, its latest trends, and trajectories are exacerbating regional instability. Haris Akmal
Indian Farmers besiege IndianPM Modi
ISLAMABAD, Jan 30, 2021: Narendra Modi’s BJP government is under tremendous pressure on many fronts as he is trying to prove himself a great reformer and in the process has stepped on too many toes. He has however met his match in the protesting farming community that has besieged Delhi and its environs asking for withdrawal of regulations passed by the government. Modi’s government has not been able to make them to agree to a compromise formula even after holding seven sessions of talks. For 41 days, the 41 farmers’ unions have been sitting on a protest at the Delhi borders demanding repeal of the three farm laws and they have shown no signs of relenting.
The farmer’s protest began on 26 November, with thousands of protesters gathering at highways leading to Delhi and the momentum has shifted a few times. Initially, Modi tried to browbeat the farmers and it appeared that the farmers were prepared to accept a written guarantee on the Minimum Support Price (MSP) but the government lowered its guard and offered to amend the farm laws, the farmers’ unions appeared to harden their position. The main reason however is that there is a deep lack of trust between the government and the farmers due to which the outcome of every round of negotiation has ended in failure. Quite obviously both sides have blamed each other for the impasse.
The government has been insisting that the three farm laws implemented through Ordinance route in June 2019 and passed by Parliament in September, are aimed at reforming agriculture and marketing of agriculture produces. The government has countered the protesters saying that the laws are not limited to the farmers of the granary of the country comprising of Punjab, Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh but also for farmers of other states. To back its stand, the BJP leadership has referred to the past efforts in this connection and also allude to the 2019 manifesto of the opposition Congress Party that also had pledged undertaking such measures.
The government and the BJP see the protest by farmers’ unions as an agitation by the critics of the Narendra Modi government hiding behind the farmers. On the other hand, after the seventh round of talks, the farmers’ unions want nothing less than the repeal of the farm laws. They have mentioned that the government wants to discuss the laws with clause-wise but they only insist on repealing the laws. They have categorically rejected any alternative method suggested by the government. The bitterness is increasing by the day as was evident by government ministers not sharing lunch with the representatives of the farmers’ unions, unlike the previous round of talks.
Keeping in view the situation, signs are now emerging that the government may be hardening its stand once again after showing willingness to concede grounds to the protesting farmers. There is a sense in the government that the protesters may have taken its willingness to amend the laws – as offered in the eight-page letter in December as its weakness. Secondly, the understanding in the government is that the protest has sustained on account of behind-the-scene-support by opposition parties, particularly the Congress and the Left. This comes from the fact that even though protesters have come from several states, the core of the thousands of protesting farmers is from Punjab, a state ruled by the Congress.
The leftist alliance ruing Kerala has extended its support to the farmers and the Aam Aadmi Party of Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal too is helping farmers protesting at the Delhi borders. This makes the BJP-led central government’s position unsuitable if it is seen to concede more than it can handle politically. This could be why the government has again hardened its position. It is back to “clause-wise” discussion of the farm laws to explain the merits of the legislation to the protesters. After the farmers’ unions rejected a discussion on the merit of the laws, Union Agriculture Minister said that two hands are needed to clap and that both sides need to take steps forward to find a solution.
Meanwhile, pressure is building on the government to find ways to end the stalemate, given that the highway protest by thousands of farmers would soon gain international attention again as UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson is scheduled to visit India by the end of the month. The farmers however are resilient and they have planned a tractor march that reveals that they are planning to intensify their protest after the government refused to repeal the laws. The farmers intend to take out tractor march at four borders of Delhi including Eastern and Western peripheral and point out that this march will be the prelude to the massive protest they plan for Indian Republic Day on 26 January 2021.
A word or two about India’s farming sector may bring to fore its crucial position in the Indian socio-economic position. Indian agricultural sector is vast and troubled providing livelihood to nearly 70 per cent of the country’s 1.3 billion people and accounts for around 15 per cent of the $2.7 trillion economy. The forward-looking policies in 1970s turned India from a country facing regular food shortages into one with a surplus and a major exporter but for the past few decades, farm incomes have remained largely stagnant and the sector is in sore need of investment and modernisation.
More than 85 per cent of farmers have less than two hectares (five acres) of land and fewer than one in a hundred farmers own over 10 hectares. In addition, India hands out an estimated $32 billion in subsidies to farmers annually. The salient issues facing the sector are water shortages, floods and increasingly erratic weather caused by climate change, as well as debt that have taken a heavy toll on farmers. Farmers and their workers are also abandoning agriculture in droves 2,000 of them every day according to the last census in 2011. Keeping in view the centrality of the matter, successive Indian governments have long made big promises to farmers and Modi is no exception, vowing to double their incomes by 2022.
In September, parliament passed three laws that enabled farmers to sell to any buyer they chose, rather than to commission agents at state-controlled markets. These markets were set up in the 1950s to stop the exploitation of farmers and pay a minimum support price (MSP) for certain produce. The system has led to farmers sometimes growing crops unsuited to the local climate, such as thirsty rice in Punjab and can be fertile ground for corruption. But many farmers see the MSP as a vital safety net and fear being unable to compete with large farms and being paid low prices by big corporations.
The famers openly express that land, cattle and farmers will be enslaved by rich people. In rural areas, where 70 per cent of Indians live, there is already a growing perception that Modi is cosy with big business and billionaire industrialists such as Mukesh Ambani, Asia’s richest person. This is by far the biggest challenge to BJP government and it will have to find a way to walk back and save face at the same time. Shahmir Kazi works in the private sector with interest in socio-political affairs
COVID vaccines: Israeli hasbara versus reality
Israelis love to use their hasbara machinery to get good press. But, as is the case with propagandists, the stories they generate frequently fail to reflect reality. Israel’s handling of the coronavirus has provided several examples. In the very early stages of this pandemic, there were press reports that Israeli scientists were on the verge of developing a vaccine against the disease. Months later, there is still no Israeli-produced vaccine.
In the early summer, Israel was boasting it had the lowest infection rate in the world and that they were a model country for dealing with the pandemic. A short time later, there were mass outbreaks of the virus across Israel, forcing them to go into repeated lockdowns. The hasbarists were ready with the explanation that the problem was the Ultra-Orthodox and Israel’s Arab citizens, both of whom were accused of failing to observe the lockdown.
After paying more than twice the market rate to purchase millions of doses of the available vaccine, Israel is again presenting itself as a model country. Embattled Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu touted his “success” before a high-level European summit and is staking his reelection bid on his pandemic policies. But increasingly, press accounts are challenging Israel’s success, noting it doesn’t include the five million Palestinians who are under their control. And this isn’t sitting well with the hasbarists.
On Christmas Eve, I appeared on MSNBC to discuss Israel’s failure to provide vaccines for Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza. A week earlier, the Washington Post ran a story, “Israel is starting to vaccinate, but Palestinians may have to wait for months.” The article quoted international rights groups noting that, “Israel bears moral and humanitarian responsibility for vaccinating the Palestinian population under their control.” In the same article, Israel’s Minister of Health flatly stated, “There is no responsibility...We can’t deny an Israeli citizen a vaccination because we want to help someone else.”
When asked to comment on this policy, I noted that the Fourth Geneva Convention governing military occupation clearly states that the occupying authority has the responsibility for the public health of the occupied population. Within days, both the MSNBC host and I were attacked by a pro-Israel media “watch dog” group. Days later, a newly elected Congresswoman from Illinois also criticised Israel for failing to provide vaccines for the Palestinians. She too was criticised by a coalition of Illinois American Jewish organisations.
The defence Israel offered in each instance was galling, since they based their case on the provisions of the 1993 Oslo Accords and the 1994 Paris Protocols which empowered Palestinians to provide for “present standards of vaccinations” and the imports of pharmaceutical products. It takes a massive amount of “chutzpah” for defenders of Israel to use the Oslo Accords and the Paris Protocols to make their case. When it comes to Israeli behaviour, these agreements have, as the saying goes, “been honoured more in the breach than in the observance.”
Oslo was intended as an interim agreement in anticipation of final status negotiations after five years. Oslo specifically laid out the most sensitive issues including Jerusalem, settlements, and borders and enjoined both parties against taking any unilateral measures that might predetermine their outcomes. The Paris Protocols spelled out the economic relations that would govern the interim period. Palestinians were to have a seaport and an airport. And while Israel reserved the right to inspect and approve all Palestinian imports and to collect VAT taxes to be turned over the Palestinians monthly (minus a small administrative fee), the agreements do not allow for arbitrary administration of these inspections. Nor do they allow for Israel to withhold the monies since it was clearly understood that these were Palestinian revenues.
Since Oslo, Israel repeatedly violated these provisions by acting to predetermine the final status of Jerusalem, settlements and borders. Israel also violated the provisions of the Paris Protocols. They routinely withhold the transfer of tax revenues to the Palestinians. There is no airport or seaport. Israel routinely denies Palestinians the opportunity to freely import and export. While it doles out small amounts of medical supplies to Palestinian health authorities, Israel limits the transfer of needed items, like oxygen, to Palestinian hospitals.
With Israel having abrogated both Oslo and Paris, as I’ve said, it is galling that they now use these agreements as justification for their refusal to accept their legal responsibility for the health and safety of the Palestinian population over whom they rule. Since the Post story, numerous other mainstream media outlets have noted Israel’s violation of its responsibility toward the Palestinians under international law. What has caused panic is the concern that they are ruining Israel’s “good story” about being the number one provider of vaccines to its population and Israeli hasbarists can’t stand being challenged by reality. Dr. James J. Zogby. The writer is the President of Arab American Institute.
Govt To Unveil Special Package for Farmers Soon: PM
ISLAMABAD, Jan 24 (APP):The Prime Minister Imran Khan Sunday said that the government would announce a special package for the farmers “very soon” as a sub-committee of the cabinet was formulating proposals on the subject. The PM in a meeting with the Members of National Assembly from South Punjab, Dir and Swat, said the previous governments ignored South Punjab region and discriminated with the people in provision of education, health and employment opportunities.
The meeting which focused on South Punjab Secretariat and farmers’ special package, was attended by Special Assistant to PM on Political Affairs Malik Amir Dogar and MNAs Aurangzeb Khan Khichi and Nur Muhammad Khan Bhabha. The Prime Minister said that the purpose of establishing South Punjab Secretariat was to give special focus on development of the South Punjab districts.
Aurangzeb Khichi put forward a proposal for establishment of a cadet college in Vehari. During the meeting with MNAs Salim Rehman and Bashir Khan, PM was briefed on the provision of employment opportunities to the locals during the construction of dams in Dir.
Moreover, the Prime Minister was also apprised of the public issues and efforts for their resolution, besides progress on education and health projects in Swat. MNA Salim Rehman briefed the prime minister on the promotion of tourism in Swat which was also casting positive impacts on people’s lives.
Status of Agriculture Pakistan
Agriculture is a vital sector of Pakistan's economy and accounted for 25.9 percent of GDP in 1999-2000, according to government estimates. The sector directly supports three-quarters of the country's population, employs half the labor force , and contributes a large share of foreign exchange earnings. The main agricultural products are cotton, wheat, rice, sugarcane, fruits, and vegetables, in addition to milk, beef, mutton, and eggs. Pakistan depends on one of the world's largest irrigation systems to support production. There are 2 principal seasons. Cotton, rice, and sugarcane are produced during the kharif season, which lasts from May to November.
Wheat is the major rabi crop, which extends from November to April. The key to a much-needed improvement of productivity lies in a more efficient use of resources, principally land and water. However, change is dependent on the large landowners who own 40 percent of the arable land and control most of the irrigation system, which makes widespread reform difficult. Assessments by independent agencies, including the World Bank, show these large landholdings to be very unproductive. Pakistan is a net importer of agricultural commodities. Annual imports total about US$2 billion and include wheat, edible oils, pulses, and consumer foods.
Pakistan is one of the world's largest producers of raw cotton. The size of the annual cotton crop the bulk of it grown in Punjab province is a crucial barometer of the health of the overall economy, as it determines the availability and cost of the main raw material for the yarn-spinning industry, much of which is concentrated around the southern port city of Karachi. Official estimates put the 1999-2000 harvest at some 11.2 million 170-kilogram bales, compared with the 1998-99 out-turn of 8.8 million bales and the record 12.8 million bales achieved in 1991-92.
The government recently actively intervened in the market to boost prices and to encourage production. A major problem is that the cotton crop is highly susceptible to adverse weather and pest damage, which is reflected in crop figures. After peaking at 2.18 million tons in 1991-92, the lint harvest has since fluctuated considerably, ranging from a low of 1.37 million tons in 1993-94 to a high of 1.9 million tons in 1999-2000.
The 2000-01 wheat crop was forecast at a record 19.3 million tons, compared to 17.8 million tons produced during the previous year. This increase is due largely to favourable weather and a 25-percent increase in the procurement price to about US$135 per ton. About 85 percent of the crop is irrigated. Despite the record production, Pakistan will continue to be a major wheat importer. The government has imported an average of US$2.4 million annually over the past 5 years. The United States and Australia are the major suppliers. Demand for wheat is increasing from Pakistan's rapidly growing population as well as from cross-border trade with Afghanistan.
Pakistan is a major rice exporter and annually exports about 2 million tons, or about 10 percent of world trade. About 25 percent of exports is Pakistan's famous fragrant Basmati rice. Rice is Pakistan's second leading source of export earnings. Private traders handle all exports. Pakistan's main competitors in rice trade are Thailand, Vietnam, and India. Tobacco is grown mainly in the North-West Frontier Province and Punjab and is an important cash crop . Yields in Pakistan are about twice those for neighboring countries largely due to the extension services provided by the industry.
Quality, however, is improving only slowly due to problems related to climate and soil. Farmers have started inter-cropping tobacco with vegetables and sugarcane to increase returns. About half of the total production is used for cigarette manufacturing and the remainder used in traditional ways of smoking (in hand-rolled cigarettes called birris, in water pipes, and as snuff). The share of imported tobacco is increasing gradually in response to an increased demand for high-quality cigarettes.
Minor crops account for only 5 percent of total cultivated area; these include oilseeds (sunflower, soybean), chilies, potatoes, and onions. Domestic oilseed production accounts only for about 25 percent of Pakistan total edible oil needs. As a result, Pakistan spends more than US$1 billion annually in scarce foreign exchange to import edible oils, while its oilseed processing industry operates at less than 25 percent of capacity due to an inadequate supply of oilseeds. For 2000-01 total oilseed production was forecast to decrease 10 percent to 3.6 million tons. The government has highlighted development of the oilseed sector as a priority.
Pakistan's fishing industry is relatively modest, but has shown strong growth in recent years. The domestic market is quite small, with per capita annual consumption of approximately 2 kilograms. About 80 percent of production comes from marine fisheries from 2 main areas, the Sindh coast east from Karachi to the Indian border, and the Makran coast of Baluchistan. Ninety percent of the total marine catch is fish; the shrimp which constitute the remainder are prized because of their greater relative value and demand in foreign markets. During 1999-00, total fish production was 620,000 tons, of which 440,000 tons consisted of sea fish and the remainder were fresh-water species. About one-third of the catch is consumed fresh, 9 percent is frozen, 8 percent canned, and about 43 percent used as fish meal for animal food.
Livestock accounts for 40 percent of the agricultural sector and 9 percent of the total GDP. Principal products are milk, beef, mutton, poultry, and wool. During 1999, the livestock population increased to 120 million head. That same year Pakistan generated 970,000 tons of beef, 640,000 tons of mutton, and 190,000 tons of poultry. In an effort to enhance milk and meat production, the government recently launched a comprehensive livestock development project with Asian Development Bank assistance. Poultry production provides an increasingly popular low-cost source of protein. Modern poultry production is constrained by high mortality, high incidence of disease, poor quality chicks, and poor quality feed, combined with an inadequate marketing system. Frozen poultry have only recently been introduced.
Forests cover an area of 4.2 million hectares or about 5 percent of the total area of Pakistan. The principal forest products are timber, principally for house construction, furniture, and firewood. Many of the country's wooded areas are severely depleted as a result of over-exploitation. The government has restricted cutting to protect remaining resources though corruption often jeopardizes environmental efforts and has lowered duties to encourage imports. Forestry production has since declined from 1.07 million cubic meters in 1990-91 to 475,000 cubic meters in 1998-99. Pakistan imports an estimated US$150 million of wood products annually to meet the requirements of a growing population and rising demand by a wealthy elite.