AS far as the Privatisation Ministry is concerned, the matter of the Qadirpur gas field stands resolved in the light of the Prime Minister's statement. In short, neither the Qadirpur gas field nor the Oil and Gas Development Corporation are scheduled for the privatisation that was earlier approved by the Federal Cabinet Committee on Privatisation, but which ran into serious trouble when there erupted a spate of protests in the Senate. The Privatisation Commission had originally planned an Initial Public Offering of 10 percent of the corporation, which it was cancelling after the Prime Minister's statement. Apart from the 10 percent IPO, the Commission had obtained approval for the privatisation of the SME Bank and the Heavy Mechanical Complex. There is a world trend towards privatisation, and there have been significant privatisations in Pakistan, marking the state getting out of most of the sectors in which it has involved itself. Therefore, in principle, there should be no objection to the Qadirpur gas field privatisation, or to that of the OGDC, except that it should be ensured that strategic assets, like the gas field do not fall into private hands, and certainly not foreign hands, which could easily transfer these enterprises to citizens of unfriendly powers. It must also be ensured that privatised assets do not end up pricing their strategic products out of the reach of the ordinary consumer, especially strategic consumers in industry and agriculture, as would be the case with the gas of the Qadirpur gas field. The Senate was particularly sensitive to the privatisation because gas loadshedding is predicted this winter. Selling off gas assets at a time like this would be highly damaging to a government, which has no major achievements to show, so the decision not to sell was almost inevitable.  However, it is not clear what is the official position on the privatisation of the remaining assets. At the same time, the global financial crisis would probably mean that even the biggest global players do not have the ready cash to offer a reasonable price, and the motive of the privatisation, to raise money so that Pakistan might tide over the current crisis, will probably be defeated. That is not a good reason to privatise, anyway, for it leaves no way of dealing with future crises. Privatisation should only occur when the state is involved in a particular economic enterprise, and should be getting out. It should not be an attempt to raise money, easily sensed by private entrepreneurs in search of a bargain.