Marvi Memon A selection of news from leading newspapers of a country determines quite clearly the socioeconomic and political mood of that country. It determines the priorities of the country and it certainly determines what stage of development that country is in. I would like you to spend a few minutes to contrast the priorities of Pakistan, Switzerland and Singapore. I have chosen the other two countries deliberately so that the contrast is clear. PAKISTAN: i The Prime Minister, during his address in Balochistan, appealed that the terrorists should give up their activities and come forward to establish peace in the region. i About 8,600 women die during delivery in Balochistan every year, due to the non-availability of labour room and healthcare facilities. i The Lahore High Court has issued notices on the filed petition making plea for demanding the details of the bank accounts and foreign assets of scores of politicians, including the President, Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, Imran Khan, Chaudhry Shujaat and Pervaiz Elahi. i The first-year student, who was gang raped in Kot Kahlwan, Shahkot, has rejected the chance of any agreement with the culprits and said that no accord can be made with the accused who has ruined her life. i The PPP and PML-Q have jointly submitted a privilege motion against the Unification Bloc parliamentary leader Dr Tahir Ali Javed in the Punjab Assembly saying the move to dissolve the Assembly is unconstitutional and undemocratic. i Twelve PPP members of the Sindh Assembly have revolted in favour of Dr Zulfiqar Mirza. According to sources, these 12 MPAs have arrived at the home of Syed Khursheed Ahmed Shah after decision of action against the MPAs who supported Dr Mirza. The meeting is underway here. i Massive hours-long traffic jams on two Ravi bridges blocked GT road and some other link roads on Tuesday mainly due to the lacklustre performance by city traffic police and ill-planned security checking. i Three missiles were fired near the place Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa was to attend a function. i After the death of one more patient in Lahore, the total number of dengue victims has surged to 182 in Lahore and 203 in Punjab. SWITZERLAND: i The Cabinet has been asked to consider a proposal that would see it advocates the setting up of an international framework for dealing with bankrupt States. i Swiss cultural policy has received a boost, with Parliament approving a four-year culture budget worth SFr669.5 million ($742 million). This will see significant increases in funding for cinema and the protection of heritage and monuments in particular. i Parliament has decided to gradually shutdown the country's nuclear power plants by 2034 and boost renewable energy resources. The Senate followed the House of Representatives in calling on the government to ban new nuclear plants, but keep Parliament informed about innovations in the field. i Swiss Economy Minister, Johann Schneider-Ammann, is off to Brazil and Chile this week accompanied by a large business delegation. One of the main aims of the visit is to stimulate negotiations for a free trade agreement with Mercosur, the trade block of South American nations, similar to the one between the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) and Chile. i The International Commission against death penalty will move its headquarters from Madrid to Geneva. i Demonstrators have staged further protests in the Swiss city of Geneva, as part of a Europe-wide drive against the Syrian President. i The Director of the Swiss Financial Market Regulator (FINMA) has urged the countrys two main banks to continue building up their equity capital. i If youre a Sikh, Hindu or Buddhist in Switzerland and want to build a temple, no problem; if youre a Muslim and want to put up a minaret, you'd better start praying. The rightwing campaign to ban minarets, launched with October's parliamentary elections in mind, follows local opposition in a handful of Swiss-German towns. i Experts from the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) are coming to Switzerland to monitor this months federal elections. The experts are hoping to learn from the Swiss e-voting experience so as to be able to apply the lessons in younger democracies. SINGAPORE: i A Chinese national was jailed for three weeks on Tuesday for threatening his ex-girlfriend. i The Energy Market Authority (EMA) released the inaugural Singapore Energy Statistics (SES) report on Tuesday. The report stated that Singapore imported 146.1 million tonnes of oil equivalent (MTOE) of energy products in 2009 and made available for the first time the final gas consumption figures for Singapore. i Opposition members of Parliament agreed with President Tony Tan Keng Yam's address on Monday night that outlined the government's goal to grow the economy and share its fruits with all citizens over the next five years. He said: Our role as the opposition is to highlight gaps.......and in turn minimalise marginalisation of some groups in society. i Early morning commuters may not realise it, but they have been paying less when they travel to the city on SMRT trains; travellers receive a 30-cent discount when they travel on SMRT trains to the city area and complete their journey before 7:45am. i Two kittens were found dead at the void deck of Block 212 Marsiling Crescent by a member of the public. The SPCA is offering a reward of $1,000 for the information leading to the arrest and prosecution of the person or people responsible. i A businessman accused of dishonestly receiving stolen $1.4 million worth of electronic goods alleged in court on Monday that he was tortured by the police. i The National Environment Agency issued a heavy rain warning with moderate to heavy or thundery showers with gusty wind expected over many areas of Singapore between 8:35am and 9:50am. i Five MPs paid tribute to the newly-elected Speaker of Parliament, Michael Palmer, and his predecessor, Mr Abdullah Tarmugi, at the opening of the 12th Parliament. We are very far behind the rest of the world in terms of indicators, and priorities. One of the main reasons for this is our insincerity to ourselves and our nation. Remember, if our country is on sale so are we I have realised in my four years in politics that it is very easy for the government to buy protestors fighting for a cause or scare them. It is a minority who doesnt get sold out. Till this weakness in ethos, values and personality remains, we cannot progress. If Pakistanis want food and security, they must strive for it and not get sold out, scared and must not take shortcuts. We will try and give you courage by standing next to you. However, the selling out is something you must think about. Say 'no to being bought over. Your country is sinking as a result. United we stand, divided we fall. The choice is yours. The writer is a former Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan. Email: