Poverty and Saudi Arabia may appear a contradiction in terms yet the kingdom’s economy has suffered massive blows because of wrong-headed policies. The kingdom is on the verge of bankruptcy.3
The rush for Persian black gold is on. European business executives have made a beeline to Tehran to line up deals in the lucrative oil and gas arena with the easing of some sanctions against the Islamic Republic. While only a small fraction of sanctions have been eased, European oil executives know the rush is on. They do not wish to be left out even if the Americans--and Canadians--are absent from the scene.
The government of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is trying to wriggle out of its agreement with Iran to construct the gas pipeline that would provide major relief to energy starved Pakistan. Industrial production has been badly affected by shortage of electricity with many industrialists shutting their factories and relocating abroad. The people of Pakistan have historical suffered at the hands of incompetent and selfish rulers.
A lethal brew of raw imperial ambition and personal greed, not the claims of US president George Bush that he intends to eliminate Iraq’s alleged weapons of mass destruction, is behind the drive for a renewed onslaught on Iraq...
While America has couched its ‘war’ on Afghanistan in the language of morality, more sinister motives are at work: desire to control the Caspian Sea’s oil and gas, as well as the destruction or removal (‘neutralisation’) of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons.
Barely two decades ago, oil prices were closely tied to international political events. Every major crisis sent the price of a barrel of crude shooting upward, much to western consternation.
There are more than 200 billion barrels of proven oil reserves and perhaps 50 trillion cubic metres of gas in Central Asia and the Caspian Sea Basin. Such riches could keep the lights burning in the west for a long time.