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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Realitiy of Osama's Death Photo

This is The Photo was show by the news channels..... Se the Line..
and check the diffrence of colours above and below........

This is the original photo of which upper and the Shoulder part was used in editing of OSAMA's PHOTO...

This is the crude form i made for u people to understand the reason of colour difference....

This is The real photo of Osama Bin LADEN........
as far as i remember this is the photo taken in yr1999 or 2000....

So according to me Photo of OSAMA's Death is an equation..........................:P

According to equation It's proved that photage was not real........
We don't Know OSAMA is dead or Alive....
but he wasnt killed in pakistan LAST DAYS

The new world's tallest building

On July 21, construction reached 1,680 feet on the 141st floor of the Burj Dubai tower in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, making it the largest building in the world. The skyscraper is now 13 feet above the former record holder, Tapei 101 in Taiwan, which is 1,667 feet above the ground.

Burj Dubai is the tallest building now, and according to the official site, it's nowhere near finished. The final height and number of stories are a secret.

Read more: http://news.cnet.com/2300-1008_3-6198214.html#ixzz1N63z6rTc

World’s Biggest Building Coming to Moscow: Crystal Island

Moscow’s rapidly growing skyline will soon feature an eye-popping new addition: Crystal Island, which will be the world’s biggest building when completed. Sir Norman Foster’s mountainous 27 million square feet spiraling “city within a building” will cost $4 billion and it is scheduled to be built within next 5 years.

The Crystal Island will be Lord Foster’s second large scale project in the Russian capital, and his third new building design that resembles a volcano (we’re talking about his two mountainous buildings in Astana, Kazakstan). Although many people are calling this design the ‘Christmas Tree’ of Moscow – we can’t help but be reminded of the utopian and also rather volcanic X-Seed 4000 design for Tokyo. Unlike that pipe-dream project, however, Foster has a track record of getting buildings built, so the likelihood is high that we will see this striking structure towering over the Kremlin within 5 years time.

The statistics for the project are absolutely staggering; floor area alone will be four times the size of Pentagon in Washington DC. The incredible 1500 ft. tall multi use structure will feature 900 apartments, 3000 hotel rooms, an international school for 500 students, cinemas, a theater, sports complex and much more. There will also be a 16,500 space underground parking lot for all the visitors. The Crystal Island visitors will be able to enjoy panoramic views of Moscow on the viewing platforms located 980 ft. above ground.

And as we’d expect from Foster + Partners, this soon-to-be world’s biggest building will also incorporate a number of sustainable design features into the overall scheme. The exterior facade will be solar responsive and will include solar panels which, along with wind turbines, will generate electricity for the huge tower. Natural ventilation will be provided thanks to numerous strategically placed large atriums. The internal environment will also have dynamic enclosure panels slotted into the structural framing that will allow daylight to penetrate deep into the heart of the structure; the panels will also be controlled to modify temperature inside the building – closed in winter for extra warmth and opened in summer to allow natural ventilation. Energy management is at the heart of this structure, several on-site renewable and low-carbon energy generation projects are planned.

In a feat worthy of the reality television programme I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here!, Kanchana Kaetkaew, 39, allowed her husband, Boonthawee Siangwong, to place the writhing poisonous arachnid on her tongue, where it stayed for two minutes and three seconds before she spat it out.

Her proud husband – known as Thailand's "Centipede King" – looked on as Miss Kaetkaew, dressed in a white dress covered with more of the stinging creatures, made her record attempt in front of a crowd at a shopping centre in Pattaya, a city on the Gulf of Thailand known for its nightlife and cabaret.

Miss Kaetkaew remains ambitious for more records and, for her next stunt, she is planning to live in a glass compound for 33 days and nights in the company of 5,000 scorpions.

If successful, she will beat her 2002 record of 32 days in a glass house with 3,400 scorpions. Her husband set a Thai record for enduring 28 days with 1,000 centipedes.

The "Scorpion Queen" and the "Centipede King" were married in a haunted house on Valentine's Day in 2006. The couple met while performing their respective stunts at a snake farm on the resort island of Koh Samui.

Happy hackers at Maker Faire 2011

SAN MATEO, Calif.--From the size of the crowd at Maker Faire today, it's clear the world has a growing appetite for DIY innovation. More than 100,000 people were expected for the sixth annual event, taking place at the San Mateo County Event Center this weekend.

A diverse mix of science, engineering, design, and art--with everything from robots to knitting to exploding soda to steam rollers--Maker Faire is an otherworldly extravaganza that attracts kids and adults, leaving both wide-eyed at the marvelous maker creations.

Where else can you see four very realistic beeping R2D2s twirling around through gawking crowds?

Vintage WWII aircraft live to tell their tales

A lucky few will get to take rides on the vintage planes during the week-long stop of the National Wings of Freedom tour. The Collings Foundation, which puts on the tour, asks for donations of between $325-$425 per person, depending on plane and seat location. Flight training in the P-51, shown here, is also available at most stops on the tour, with pricing beginning at $2,200 for a half hour.

Top-rated reviews of the week

Here's our weekly roundup of the new products CNET reviewers liked best.

Samsung Nexus S 4G (Sprint)

Editors' rating: 4 out of 5

The good: The Samsung Nexus S 4G offers a brilliant display, WiMax support, and agreeable performance. It gains a number of usability improvements from the Gingerbread OS, and its straight Google interface will appeal to Android purists.

The bad: The Samsung Nexus S 4G feels rather fragile, and it lacks a memory card slot and LED notifications. We were hoping for more new features over the Nexus One, and its 4G connection was spotty at times.

The bottom line: The Samsung Nexus S 4G offers a great combination of design, features, and performance. The 4G connection could be more reliable, but the Gingerbread OS, stock Android UI, and admirable call quality make for a satisfying smartphone.

Setting up a DIY extravaganza at Maker Faire

SAN MATEO, Calif.--It's hard to believe that Maker Faire will be making its sixth annual visit here this weekend. But with the DIY movement in full swing these days, it's no surprise that the festival keeps on winning over new converts and keeps growing. From the first-ever Maker Faire, which took place here in 2006, the event is now held in cities around the world. And while the first-ever iteration of this DIY bacchanalia drew just 20,000 curious souls, the rumor is that there will be more than 100,000 on hand this weekend.

The masses will descend Saturday, but Friday was setup day, and throughout the giant San Mateo County Event Center, the makers were busy putting together their diverse collection of robots, singing tesla coils, giant battleship tanks, and felt Flying Spaghetti Monsters.

Friday was also education day at Maker Faire, and there were about 1,300 school kids on hand. These kids were treated to all kinds of exhibitions, including one by the Eepy Birds, the duo famous for choreographing the fountains that occur when you drop Mentos into Diet Coke.

Here, we see that fountain of soda, while a group of kids looks on.

Flexible solar panel uses thin-film cells

Using a proprietary manufacturing process that layers copper, indium, gallium, and selenium on a flexible metal substrate, SoloPower can create thin-film solar panels in flexible rolls, which, the company says, are not only easy to manufacture but also to transport and install. For example, the panels can be applied directly to rooftops without the need for framing systems.

San Jose, Calif.-based SoloPower claims that just these few microns of semiconductor material--layers vary from a few nanometers to tens of micrometers thick--can generate returns that rival traditional silicon photovoltaic systems. In short: equal energy, fewer materials.

Iconic Apple stores around the world

Apple's retail stores turn 10 years old today. To mark the occasion, CNET is taking a look at some of the company's most iconic or otherwise noteworthy stores around the world.

Apple now has more than 320 stores, with most of those in the U.S. The company plans to build 40 more this year, with 30 of those being international.

Pictured here is the company's iconic Fifth Avenue store in New York. The store is actually underground. According to a study by Cornell in 2009, this location is one of the most photographed places in the city, as well as one of the most visited by tourists and locals alike.

Creating plants with a kill switch

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, left, visited Boston-area start-up Agrivida last week to tour the biotech company's lab. Agrivida has received grant money from the Departments of Agriculture and Energy to research a method of speeding up biofuel production from non-food plants. Its technique is to isolate and insert specific genes into plants that break down the cellulose in the cell walls of sorghum and corn stover, the residue from corn harvesting. To sift through the hundreds of thousands of enzymes scientists are trying to isolate, it uses this robot to rapidly scan different enzymes. Showing him how it operates is Agrivida biochemist Taran Shilling.

7 wonders of the Maker Faire

About 40 percent of the attractions at the San Francisco Bay Area Maker Faire this weekend will be all new, according to show organizers. In addition to returning fire-breathing favorites, new installations worth seeing this year include large projects that blend art, science fair engineering, and often a dose of madness. Here are what we expect to be the top projects of the Maker Faire 2011.

Colossus is a 70-foot maypole with three 10,000-pound rocks suspended from a rotating gyre at the top. Brave Faire attendees can stand under the stones and move them by pulling chains.

Maker Faire organizers say they've reviewed all installations for safety. This project was originally created for the 2005 Burning Man.

Aperion is a "14-foot-tall singing Tesla sculpture." It creates electrical arcs about four feet long. The coils can be controlled by theremins played by attendees.

This mechanical bird flaps its wings when the operator, sitting in its ribcage, pedals. Attendees may be able to take turns powering the bird.

Think you have hot Rock Band chops? Fire Jam connects Rock Band controllers to a pyrotechnic display. It was created by sophomores at a San Francisco high school.

A tactile lighting fixture, Lightchimes elements illuminate as the user runs his or her hands over the sculpture.

Artists: Jason Chua, Kiran Malladi and Jimmy Chion.

The Molinari Gyrocopter is a street-legal motorcycle that converts into a gyrocopter. It's fairly unlikely that attendees will be able to pilot the prototype that will be at the Maker Faire.

The Praxis Zero is an open-source guitar. Designed to be constructed by anyone with access to a computer-controller router (the shop kind, not the network kind), and built out of recycled or reclaimed materials, the source files for the guitar will be released this weekend.

Urban hipster Carolyn LaHorgue, 17, with her grandfather's analog Nikon in San Francisco, which she uses when her sister's film camera isn't available.

Caption by Declan McCullagh

Film cameras live on among urban hipsters

Carolyn LaHorgue, Amanda Golden, and Alana Shaw take film pictures at the Embarcadero in San Francisco.

Carolyn LaHorgue takes a picture of the Raygun Gothic Rocketship with a film camera in downtown San Francisco.

The Su-30MK is a two-seat multirole fighter

The Su-30MK is a two-seat multirole fighter and air superiority aircraft. It is derived from the Su-27 Flanker family, and is comparable with the American F-15. According to the Sukhoi Design Bureau, the Su-30 can perform all tasks of the Su-24 and Su-27, while having around twice the combat range and 2.5 times the combat effectiveness.


India and Russia are expected to sign a deal on swapping 18 older Sukhoi Su-30 fighter jets in service with the Indian Air Force for the latest version of the aircraft.

The deal is expected to be inked during parleys to be held here by Defence Secretary Shekhar Dutt, who arrived in Moscow on Friday on a two-day visit.

During his talks with top Russian defence officials, Dutt is also expected to review progress on ongoing long-term military projects including Advanced Technology Vessel (ATV) project for developing indigenous nuclear submarine

Russia to keep upgraded Su-25 strike aircraft until 2020

MOSCOW, October 20 (RIA Novosti) - Russia will keep a modernized version of its Su-25 strike aircraft in service with the Air Force until 2020, an aircraft industry official said on Monday.

The Su-25 Frogfoot is a single-seat, twin-engine combat aircraft developed by the Sukhoi Design Bureau to provide close air support for ground troops.

"Considering the fact that Russia is not planning to develop a new strike aircraft in the near future, we will continue to upgrade outdated Su-25s into a modernized version, Su-25SM, until 2020," said Yakov Kazhdan, general director of an aircraft maintenance and repair plant in the Moscow Region.

The Su-25 aircraft has been in service with the Russian Air Force for more than 25 years. In 1999, Russia adopted a program to upgrade part of its aging Su-25 fleet. The Air Force received the first six modernized Su-25SM planes in December 2006.

The Su-25SM version features the Panther fire-control system with the Kopyo-25 radar in a rebuilt nose and the Glonass satellite navigation system. It also has a redesigned cockpit with a new HUD and two large color LCD monitors.

"Thanks to thorough modernization, the combat capabilities of the aircraft have increased threefold," Kazhdan said.

The Su-25SM can carry more than 4,000 kilograms (8,800 pounds) of weaponry, including R-73M2 (AA-11 Archer) short-range air-to-air missiles and can provide close infantry support regardless of weather conditions or time of day.

The Russian Air Force is planning to equip at least two air regiments with Su-25SM planes in the future.

January 22. 2009, Moscow, The Russian Air Force will receive around 20 modernized Su-25 Frogfoot attack aircraft and new MiG-29SMT Fulcrum fighters in 2009, an Air Force spokesman said on Thursday.

"About 10 modernized Su-25 attack aircraft and over 10 MiG-29SMT fighters will be delivered to the Air Force in 2009," Lt. Col. Vladimir Drik said.

The Su-25 Frogfoot is a single-seat, twin-engine combat aircraft developed by the Sukhoi Design Bureau to provide close air support for ground troops.

The Su-25 aircraft has been in service with the Russian Air Force for more than 25 years. In 1999, Russia adopted a program to upgrade part of its aging Su-25 fleet. The Air Force received the first six modernized Su-25SM planes in December 2006.

Russia will keep a modernized version of its Su-25 attack aircraft in service with the Air Force until 2020.

The MiG-29SMT is a recent modification of the MiG-29 multirole frontline fighter. The aircraft features a longer flight range due to the extra capacity of its integral fuel tanks and the installation of an in-flight refueling system (similar to that of the MiG-29SD), among other enhancements.

Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Ivanov, who is in charge of arms procurement, said on Wednesday that Russia's fifth-generation fighter must be commissioned with the Air Force by 2015.

ndia will jointly develop and produce fifth generation fighter jets with Russia
(Reuters Photo)

Russia's next-generation warplane to make maiden flight in 2009

January 21, 2009, Astrakhan -- Russia's first fifth-generation warplane will make its maiden flight before the end of this year, the deputy prime minister in charge of arms procurement said on Wednesday.

"We expect the plane to take to the skies no later than the end of this year," Sergei Ivanov told a news conference after a meeting of the Military-Industrial Commission.

Earlier plans set 2010 for the first tests of the new fighter, which will feature high maneuverability and stealth to ensure air superiority and precision in destroying ground and sea targets.

Russia's advanced multirole fighter is being developed by Sukhoi, which is part of Russia's United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), along with India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), under a preliminary intergovernmental agreement signed in October 2007.

Russia and India will simultaneously develop two versions of the combat aircraft - a two-seat version to meet the requirements of India's air superiority doctrine, and a single-seat version for the Russian Air Force.

The Russian version will be built at the Komsomolsk-on-Amur aircraft-manufacturing plant in Russia's Far East.

Ivanov said the plant had almost completed the construction of a first prototype of the fifth-generation fighter, but it will undergo only durability tests on the ground at a research facility in Zhukovsky near Moscow.

However, a second prototype will be built and will take to the skies by the end of this year, he said.

Ivanov also said on Wednesday that the aircraft manufacturing industry should review and adjust some testing programs and methods due to advanced nature of the new aircraft.

Tests of Russia's new fighter must start in 2009

January 21, 2009, Akhtubinsk - The testing of Russia's fifth-generation fighter must begin in 2009 and the aircraft should be commissioned with the Russian Air Force in 2015, a deputy prime minister said on Wednesday.

"I insist that the testing start as early as 2009, and the fifth-generation fighter must enter service with the Russian Air Force in 2015," Sergei Ivanov said at a meeting of the Military-Industrial Commission.

Earlier plans set 2010 for the first tests of the new fighter.

Ivanov said Russia was "nearing the end of the development of the first prototype of the new fighter."

Russia's advanced multirole fighter is being developed by Sukhoi, which is part of Russia's United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), along with India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), under a preliminary intergovernmental agreement signed in October 2007.

Russia and India will simultaneously develop two versions of the combat aircraft - a two-seat version to meet the requirements of India's air superiority doctrine, and a single-seat version for the Russian Air Force.

Russia's Sukhoi aircraft maker earlier said it had started to construct a prototype of the fifth-generation fighter, which will feature high maneuverability and stealth to ensure air superiority and precision in destroying ground and sea targets.

The Russian version will be built at the Komsomolsk-on-Amur aircraft-manufacturing plant in Russia's Far East.

Ivanov said on Wednesday that the aircraft manufacturing industry should review and adjust some testing programs and methods due to advanced nature of the new aircraft

Abkhazia Says Georgian Threat Boosts Talks on Russian Naval Base

The possibility of Georgian sabotage in Abkhazia makes the breakaway republic push forward talks with Russia on hosting a base for the Russian Black Sea Fleet, the Abkhazian president said on Monday. "The threat of clandestine Georgian actions prompts both Russia and Abkhazia to speed up talks on the issue," Sergei Bagapsh said in a statement. The Abkhazian president also said his country was ready to "formalize cooperation with the [Russian] Black Sea Fleet." Russia and Abkhazia have agreed to establish a Russian Black Sea Fleet base at Ochamchira, a seaside town in the separatist Georgian republic recognized by Russia as independent. No official documents have been signed, however. Russia's Black Sea Fleet currently uses a range of naval facilities in Ukraine's Crimea as part of a 1997 agreement, under which Ukraine agreed to lease the bases to Russia until 2017. Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko announced last summer that Ukraine would not extend the lease of the base in the Crimean city of Sevastopol beyond 2017, and urged the Russia to start preparations for a withdrawal. Russian media previously reported that Russia was also looking at possible naval facilities in Yemen, Syria and Libya, among other countries. Russian military officials are also on record as saying Moscow could build up its presence in the Mediterranean to make up for the loss of Sevastopol.

Russia, China to Strengthen Ties in Military Aircraft Production

Russia and China are set to boost cooperation in the sphere of combat aircraft production, the director general of Russia's Sukhoi aircraft manufacturer said on Wednesday. "China is one of the main customers for our [Russian] aircraft and today the Chinese Air Force has in service over 200 of our Su-27 Flanker and Su-30 Flanker-C jet fighters," Mikhail Pogosyan said. Pogosyan is on a visit to China with Russia's Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov and is attending the 13th session of the Russian-Chinese mixed commission on military and technical cooperation. Pogosyan said that the commission is set to discuss the further development of cooperation in the sphere of aircraft production and particularly the licensed production of Su-27 and Su-30 planes in China. China has acquired 76 Su-27SK fighters from Russia since 1992, and bought a license for production of another 200 planes in 1995, in a deal worth $2.5 billion. However, the 1995 agreement did not include the transfer of avionics and AL-31F turbofan engine technology, and the Chinese manufacturers had to rely on the Russian supply of these systems. Pogosyan also told Chinese journalists that Russia would soon sign a contract with India to jointly develop and produce a fifth-generation jet fighter. "We plan to begin flight tests [of the fighter] as early as in 2009," he said. The Russian-Indian advanced multirole fighter is being developed by Sukhoi, which is part of Russia's United Aircraft Corporation (UAC), along with India's Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), under a preliminary intergovernmental agreement signed in October 2007. Russia and India will simultaneously develop two versions of the combat aircraft - a two-seat version to meet the requirements of India's air superiority policy, and a single-seat version for the Russian Air Force.

UN says world's poor needs $5bn

Hundreds of thousands have been displaced in new conflicts, such as the one in Pakistan]

The United Nations says it needs $5bn to help the world's poor this year, warning that the need for aid has never been greater.

John Holmes, the UN humanitarian chief, said on Tuesday that more than $4.8bn of the agency's $9.5bn target for the year had yet to be raised - the biggest ever shortfall at the mid-year mark.

Holmes noted that the $4.6bn collected in the first half of the year "is the best ever result we've had at mid year and particularly, I think, noteworthy because of the economic and financial crisis that we're all going through".

3.5 millon children at risk , economy and exports to contract as losses could exceed $10bn

Pakistan seeks restructuring of $10bn IMF loan as the United Nations urges help and raises $500 million

Given the initial reports about crop and other losses, it now appears that Pakistan’s economy may contract in the next twelve months and total output, property and other losses would exceed $10 billion and Pakistan could borrow as much as $8bn in new loans in the next six months.

This would be another mistake. Pakistan’s lenders must start considering debt cancellation as a form of assistance because it might be a more effective and sustainable solution. Adding the debt burden is unlikley to prevent another default or restructuring in the next couple of years. The US and the European Union should also eliminate all tariffs on imports from Pakistan to help its hard-hit and critical textile exports.

The destruction in the agriculture sector would seriously hurt cotton and textile sector that accounts for over 50 percent of Pakistan’s exports. Pakistan will need to mobilise all international and local resources to face the catastrophe which has caused the greatest damage to the country since 1971 war.

Already, parallel is being drawn with October 1970 cyclone in the former East Pakistan

that was neglected and mismanaged by the Generals in Pindi to a degree that added fuel to the secessionist sentiment and contributed to further alienation from West Pakistan.

These floods may ultimately lead to greater political and social upheaval as the alienation of the people from the state seems to be reaching new heights as a humanitarian disaster unfolds, millions sleep under open skies virtually abandoned by the state and the world, the aid slowly arrives, and the rulers and leaders show no sign of urgency or sincere concern.

The initially slow international response for aid appeals is now building up. Thus far, about 60 percent of the United Nations’ $459 million funding appeal has been met. The plenary session of the UN General Assembly (GA) on Aug. 20 entered its second day, calling for international solidarity in mobilizing support and funding for flood-hit Pakistan. Unanimously adopted at the start of the high-level meeting, a resolution stressed the “urgency of undertaking a massive rescue and relief operation and supporting the efforts for rehabilitation and reconstruction.” “Make no mistake: this is a global disaster, a global challenge, ” UN Secretary-general Ban Ki-moon told the 192-member body on Aug. 19. “It is one of the greatest tests of global solidarity in our times.”

Pakistan will need aid to the tune of billions of dollars because the economic fall-out is certain to be devastating. Specifically, it seems likely that:

1. Food inflation would cross 20%

2. The economy as a whole will contract by as much as 1%

3. Exports could plunge by $3-4bn, causing balance of trade to widen, and rupee to fall to Rs 100 by the year-end. Capital flight could happen again like in 2008 when people transferred abroad about $3 billion over a period of six months.

4. Pakistan would need foreign assistance of as much as $8-$10bn to rebuild the infrastructure, and to deal with loss of exports and crops and to stave off another possible balance of payments crisis.

5. In absence of growth in the local revenues and the inevitable rise in flood related expenses, the fiscal deficit will cross 6-7% of the GDP.

6. A secondary implication is that since the textile sector will be hurt the most, the banking sector will come under pressure. This would hurt the much needed growth in private sector credit.

Pakistan’s finance minister will go to Washington next week to ask the International Monetary Fund to ease restrictions on a $10bn loan it received in 2008. Pakistani officials believe that the recent devastating floods has made the conditions attached to the lending programme impossible to meet. The IMF can restructure the existing $10.66bn IMF loan out of which Pakistan has received about $7.3bn so far or can replace the current loan with funds from another financing facility that imposes fewer restrictions.

The United Nations warned Aug. 17 that 3.5m Pakistani children were at risk from cholera and other diseases because of the slow and inadequate delivery of flood relief, as raging waters from the bloated Indus river marooned dozens more villages. Hundreds of thousands of survivors are still cut off from rescue more than two weeks after Pakistan’s worst-ever flooding hit the country, killing at least 1,600 people. Many survivors are forced to drink contaminated drinking water, relief workers said. The death toll could rise from disease and hunger if the aid effort is not stepped up, the U.N. warned.

The floods in Pakistan – the world’s sixth most-populous country of 170m

- have casued a disaster of epic proportions that can cause more grief and suffering if the aid effort, rehabilitation, and reconstruction process are not timely and effective. The United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon met August 15 with Pakistan’s president and said the “enormous disaster” would require a huge international response.

The UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that while he has visited sites of natural disasters around the world, he has never seen anything like the devastation created by flooding in Pakistan. “The scale of this disaster is so large — so many people and in so many places, in so much need,” Ban said, speaking alongside Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari.

So far the people have faced the disaster bravely with remarkable endurance, so characteristic of ordinary Pakistanis, that keeps them going despite the heavy odds. But the public anger is rising as incompetent leaders like Prime Minister Gilani and the opposition leader Nawaz Sharif move at a glacial pace (as if Zardari’s blunders were not enough) after days of inaction whereas the swift action was needed yesterday. Aid vehicles were besieged by an angry mob in the southern province of Sindh on Aug. 15 as eyewitnesses reported people ripping at each other’s clothes in their frenzy. The food handout descended into such chaos the aid distribution had to be abandoned.

A section of the US and local media has unwisely raised the subject of the role of aid in fighting militancy.

The aid discussion should not be in terms of US and some militants trying to compete to win the ‘hearts and minds”. This is a distasteful, reprehensible, and disgusting twist to the public discourse in the wake of a huge disaster and may prove to be counter-productive. Beyond the question of immediate relief, more relevant issue is that of threat of a breakdown of Pakistan’s already fragile political and administrative system and of more anarchy and chaos in days, weeks, and years to follow.

One-fifth of Pakistan — or an area about the size of Florida

— has been flooded in relentless monsoon rains, according to the United Nations. Millions of people are still at peril as the bloated Indus River is cresting this weekend in parts of Sindh province. In some areas, the Indus has expanded from its usual width of one mile to as much as 12 miles. Homes, crops, trees, livestock, entire villages and towns have been transformed into vast lakes, forcing thousands of flood victims to huddle in sludgy camps or in jam-packed public buildings. Others are sleeping under the stars next to the cows, sheep and goats they rescued from rising waters.

The earthquake of 2005 hit the mountainous and relatively thinly populated areas in 2005 but the recent floods have hit villages, towns, and cities across Pakistan including its agricultural heartland and have destroyed hundreds of thousands of homes. Latest figures estimate 20 million people are affected by the floods, more than 700,000 homes are damaged and destroyed.

Rebuilding Pakistan after the worst floods in decades could take five years

, and foreign donors are in danger of reacting too slowly, said the Red Cross. “Crops are gone. Infrastructure is gone, including canals. Community canals. Irrigation canals. To bring that back is going to take a long time. It could end up being five years,” said Bekele Geleta, Secretary-General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC).

Jacques de Maio, who heads operations for South Asia for the International Committee of the Red Cross, said the full magnitude, scope and nature of the catastrophe is not yet known. The different humanitarian agencies working in Pakistan believe that there might be a second wave of deaths induced by the floods under the shape of water-borne diseases, diarrhea-related problems,” he said. “And, this is something that needs to be addressed from the very onset of the humanitarian response.”

The disease outbreaks pose grave risks to victims of Pakistan’s worst floods in decades, aid agencies said Aug. 13, causing fresh concern about already complicated relief efforts. An epidemic could create another disaster for Pakistan. Cases have cholera have been reported. A health crisis would tax aid agencies which are facing vast logistical challenges because of the damage and illness caused by the widespread flooding. The United Nations is worried about water-borne diseases. There have been 36,000 suspected cases of potentially fatal acute watery diarrhoea reported so far. The government and aid agencies said they are unable to reach or help many of the millions uprooted so far.

Floods in Pakistan have affected more people than those displaced in the 2005 Asian Tsunami and the deadly earthquakes in South Asia and Haiti combined, the United Nations said. The United Nations said the number of people affected have surpassed that of a 2005 earthquake in Kashmir. In many places, whole farming villages have been wiped off the map and the UN estimates that around six million people may be in need of immediate food or shelter.

The United Nations estimates that flooding has destroyed 1.4 million acres of crops in Punjab

province, Pakistan’s agricultural heartland.The World Bank estimates total crop losses to be around $1bn. This may be an understatement as according to Khursheed Ahmed Khan Kanjo, president of the Pakistan Kissan Board, a farmers’ group, the floods have destroyed 30 percent of the cotton crop which was estimated to be around 10.5m bales (480 lbs/bale) or worth over $5bn at current market prices. Pakistan earned around $208m from raw cotton exports last year.

17 million acres of farm land have been inundated. Some 100,000 cattle and more than one million tonnes of privately stored wheat have been lost, while 3,000 fish farms, 2,000 poultry farms and 1,000 tractors had been destroyed. Losses so far have amounted to three per cent of GDP, according a report in the daily Telegraph.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on August 9 the floods will cause major economic harm as donor and investor concerns grow over the disaster’s impact on an already fragile economy. The disaster may cut the nation’s economic growth in half, Pakistan’s Finance Secretary Salman Siddique said in an interview, with expansion falling up to 2.5 percentage points short of a 4.5 percent target. Pakistan’s GDP is around $176bn and a cut of 2.5 percentage points would amount to over $4.4bn in output losses.

Initially, Kyber-Pakhtunkhwa province in the northwest, already a victim of terrorist attacks and suicide bombings, was hit hard and many parts of the province, including the Swat valley, were cut off as the waters washed away roads and bridges.

According to estimates of the Relief International, an international agency, 98% of water and sanitation facilities in the affected areas of Peshawar, Charsada, Nowshere, and Swat districts were severely damaged or have been rendered unusable due to heavy silting and heavy water flow. Throughout the province fields are flooded with expected production damage to rice, sugarcane and corn by an estimated 10 percent to 15 percent.

The floods after reaching the south wrecked havoc in the plains of Punjab, Sind, and Balouchistan submerging entire areas of some cities. Twelve districts of Balochistan are badly affected. Due to floods and torrential rains, at least 250,000 people have been directly affected.

The floods in Balochistan started from Barkhan, where 50 people died. Thousands of flood victims are stranded in Naseerabad, Jafarabad, and Sibi and are in need of food, tents and medicines.

Pakistan’s Qadirpur gas field – one of its largest - was shut down after being submerged in floodwater, causing six power plants to shut down and thus deepening Pakistan’s electricity deficit by 1,500 megawatts, according to Power Minister Raja Parvez Ashraf.

Flooding also damaged 20 percent of the rice crop in Sindh,

said Abdul Majeed Nizamani, president of the Sindh Abadgar Board. Half the red chilli and tomato plantations and 70 percent of the onion crop were also damaged. The floods have damaged more than a million acres of sugar cane, cotton and rice fields and caused 250bn rupees ($2.9bn) of agricultural losses, a farmers’ group said August 12.

Flood-waters ravaged 700,000 acres of planted cotton, and 200,000 acres each of rice and cane, Mohammed Ibrahim Moghul, chairman of Agri Forum Pakistan, told Bloomberg by phone. Rains also destroyed 500,000 metrics tons of wheat, 300,000 acres of animal fodder and 100,000 head of livestock, he said. Wheat prices gained in Chicago after five days of declines and sugar rose in New York and London on speculation the losses may force Pakistan to import the staples.

The agriculture sector losses have serious implications. Even though agriculture constitutes 22 percent of the economy, it employs two-thirds of the country’s population and cotton and textile exports accounted for over 50 percent of Pakistan’s merchandise exports of nearly $20bn last year. The trade deficit is expected to worsen, as Pakistan will need to increase imports of food and other necessities and agriculture and textile exports are likely to plunge. Cotton and textile exports were around $10bn last year and assuming a drop of 20 percent, cotton and textile exports alone could drop by $2bn.

Analysts at Citigroup predicted Aug. 10 that a contraction in agricultural production could lower GDP growth rate for 2011 from an estimated 4.4 percent to 3.1 percent but this may prove to be a low estimate. The Economist Intelligence Unit says Punjab, in particular, is crucial for growing both wheat and cotton; widespread destruction of cotton would affect the textile industry, a mainstay of the national economy.

While it will require months to make a full assessment of the losses from the devastating floods, it might be recalled that the flood events of 1950, 1973, 1992, 1998, and 2003 caused hundreds of deaths and huge losses to the economy. In the year 1973, more than three million homes were destroyed and 160 persons lost their lives

. The 1976 floods demolished over 10 million houses while 425 lives were lost with losses amounting to Rs. 6bn. In 1988, an unprecedented flood occurred towards the end of September inflicting about Rs. 17 billion worth of damages to the country. The catastrophic flood of 1992 surpassed all the previous records with damages estimated at Rs. 50bn or US 2.1 billion which represented about 3.6% of the GDP.

Given the initial reports, damages to crops, past history of losses, and the fact these are the worst floods that have not only damaged infrastructure and crops but are would cause prolonged disruption of normal activities across the country, it is quite probable that the damages could exceed 5 to 6% of the GDP or $8 to $10 bn.

In terms of total aid needed, Martin Mogwanja, United Nations Humanitarian Coordinator for Pakistan, had said August 5, $150 million to $200 million for relief and recovery efforts in the coming weeks and months, and possibly more if the impact of flooding was severe in south Sindh. The UN had to revise its initial estimate quickly.

Donors have come forward with nearly 500 million dollars to meet an emergency appeal for flood-hit Pakistan, with the United States, Saudi Arabia and Britain leading the way, figures showed as of Aug. 20. The Financial Tracking Service, a UN database that aims to track all donations, showed late Friday that 490.7 million dollars in funding has come in for Pakistan’s floods, with another 325 million dollars promised.

The Asian Development Bank will offer Pakistan a $2bn emergency loan to help repair massive damage to infrastructure caused by the country’s recent floods. Juan Miranda, the bank’s director-general for central and west Asia, told the Financial Times Aug . 18 that the ADB would also set up a trust fund to channel donor contributions for reconstruction. The pledge comes amid rising concern over the sluggish nature of the international response to the flood disaster which began three weeks ago.

The U.S. Agency for International Development initially pledged $55 million to international organizations involved in the aid effort. On Aug. 19. the United States led a stream of new aid pledges for flood-stricken Pakistan, promising a further $60 million to rectify a humanitarian response that has been criticized as too slow. “With a new pledge that I am making today of $60 million, the United States will be contributing more than $150 million toward emergency flood relief,” US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told the U.N. General Assembly.

The World Bank has decided to convert about $900 million in project lending towards flood relief assistance and informed the government that the joint WB-Asian Development Bank (ADB) Damage Need Assessment (DNA) of Flood 2010 would be completed by mid-October. The ADB has decided to send its director general to Pakistan to assess the country’s needs and to discuss avenues for further support to meet the challenge posed by the recent floods.

So far the aid has fallen short of what is needed. The international community must act fast and mobilise resources on a huge scale as the political fall out and huge human and economic costs could destabilize the whole country and not just a weak government. The Zardari government – with its credibility at its lowest since it was voted into power in 2008 - is in disarray and the Army is stretched. The NGOs and other private organizations are trying to reach out with their limited resources.

The floods did not stop the politicians or sections of the media from the usual squabbling or finger pointing but toned down after Gilani and Nawaz joint press conference to form an independent commission to manage the aid. But no progress has been made so far since that announcement. The response of the political leadership has bewildered the people and Pakistan’s media.

Munizae Jahangir, a TV Correspondent writes in a column for the Express Tribune:

“Our province has been eaten away by terror and now these floods. We need help and we need it fast. We do not see the same spirit of caring that was there during the earthquake in 2005. Where is Pakistan?” asked the Kyhber-Pakhtunkhwa minister for excise and taxation, Liaquat Shabab, as he stood next to his sinking home. Back in Islamabad, as I watch the coverage of the floods, all I see is politicians bickering and talk show hosts expounding media freedom. I switch to the international networks and floods in Pakistan are headline news. Some have posted appeals for aid. I too wonder, “Where is Pakistan? ”

It remains to be seen if Pakistani nation shall rise to the challenge as it did in the aftermath of 2005 earthquake and would the international community come to her rescue in the same way it did then? So far, the US and the Obama administration have been in the forefront with both monetary and physical assistance and American effort has received positive reaction in Pakistan but the top level response from other traditional friends like Saudi Arabia and China has been lukewarm though both the countries have pledged aid with Saudi Arabia’s contribution of over $100 million.

Aid fatigue, Pakistan’s image distorted by an obsessive focus on Talibans, low death toll, and not the least, fears that the aid money would be stolen or misused have been cited as possible reasons for the disappointingly low level of aid announcements. But the government itself has not given any indication that it is ready to lead by example and make sacrifices by making deep spending cuts in military and civil expenditure. Both Zardari and Nawaz are widely believed to have hundreds of millions of dollars abroad and the people in the streets and angry commentators on TV talk shows often ask why don’t they bring some of it back?

If the international aid fails to meet the huge amounts required for relief and reconstruction work, the World Bank and the IMF together with the Asian Development Bank (ABD) would likely play the lead role in economic assistance but that would almost certainly increase Pakistan’s debt burden. Hence the international donors and the west should consider cancellation a part of Pakistan’s $55bn external debt. Pakistan’s spent about $5.6bn or 23% of its exports on debt-servicing last year. In the near term, higher food inflation and a probable fall in rupee value to 100 per US dollar are likely to add to the miseries of the people.

I hope I am wrong about the extent of the damages to the economy. My previous two forecasts about Pakistan’s economy published in DAWN on January 1, 2007 (Economy: challenges ahead) and May 30, 2008 (The Coming Economic Tsunami) turned out to be unfortunately right. It does not give me any pleasure but most local and foreign analysts as well as institutions had failed to anticipate the adverse developments, as well as their magnitude, that were to follow during 2007-2008. But still, I wasn’t that much worried then. This time, it is more than the economy. The future of Pakistan is at stake.
There is an increasing risk of widespread social unrest in the aftermath of the floods but the odds of a military coup are low because the Army leadership does not seem to have any illusions about its capacity to face the grave situation Pakistan is in today. But a rapid and serious deterioration in the overall political and economic situation would increase the pressure on the Army chief Parwez Kayani “to do something”.

Given the Lilliputian character of Pakistan’s current military and political leadership, the poor quality of governance, and extreme incompetence shown by the federal and provincial governments inspite of the gravity of the situation, Pakistan faces the spectre of a massive political,

economic, and administrative collapse and its future seems bleaker than it ever did since 1972.

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