Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Sabri Assassination; India's NSG Bid; Brexit & Trump; Hamza Yousuf vs ISIS

Who killed Pakistan's world famous sufi singer Amjad Sabri Qawwal last week? Why was he targeted close to home in MQM-dominated Liaquatabad neighborhood? Is the Sabri killing a failure of Sindh Rangers' Karachi operation? Who wants to see the Army-led Karachi Operation fail? India? RAW? TTP? PPP? MQM? Why?

Why is India seeking full membership of NSG? Why has its effort failed so far? How did India succeed in getting the NSG waiver to allow nuclear trade in 2008? Did Pakistan's then ambassador Husain Haqqani recommend to then President of Pakistan Asif Ali Zardari to not ask China to oppose the India NSG waiver? Is the NSG waiver not enough to accomplish India's goal of growing both its civil and military nuclear programs?

Why did the British voters vote 52% to 48% to leave the European Union? Do these British voters supporting Brexit have anything in common with Donald Trump supporters in the United States? Is this vote part of anti-establishment backlash against globalization, immigration and trade sweeping Europe and America? Is this result motivated by racism, Islamophobia, and xenophobia? Or does it reflect a genuine economic anxiety of those who have been left behind?

Source: Harvard Business Review
Why is ISIS naming San Francisco Bay Area based American Muslim scholar Hamza Yousuf as its enemy? What did Yousuf's viral video "Crisis of ISIS" say that so angered ISIS leaders that they named him as an assassination target in their online publication tracked by the US FBI? Is it because Hamza Yousuf has effectively challenged ISIS based on Islamic theology? Or is it because Hamza Yousuf has taken on ISIS on its favorite battleground in social media and cyberspace?

Viewpoint From Overseas host Misbah Azam discusses these questions with panelists Ali Hasan Cemendtaur and Riaz Haq (www.riazhaq.com)


https://youtu.be/LaLi85lRsck





https://vimeo.com/172752421


Sabri Assassination; India's NSG Bid; Brexit & Trump; Hamaz Yousuf vs ISIS from Ikolachi on Vimeo.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

MQM-RAW Links

Did the West Sow the Seeds of ISIS?

Husain Haqqani's Animosity Toward Pakistan

Sadiq Khan Hails Triumph of Hope Over Fear

Trump Phenomenon in America

Is Trump Getting Foreign Policy Advice From Husain Haqqani?

Trump's Muslim Ban

What Can Pakistani-Americans Do to Stop Trump?

Silicon Valley Opposes Islamophobia

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Is Chicken Really More Affordable Than Daal in Pakistan?

Pakistan's finance minister Ishaq Dar has suggested to his countrymen to eat chicken instead of daal (pulses or legumes). Does the minister sound like Queen Marie-Antoinette (wife of France's King Louis XVI) who reportedly said to hungry rioters during the French Revolution:  “Qu'ils mangent de la brioche”—“Let them eat cake”? Let's look into it.

It is indeed true that some varieties of daal are priced higher than chicken. For example, maash is selling at Rs. 260 per kilo, higher than chicken meat at Rs. 200 per kilo. But other daals such as mung, masur and chana are cheaper than chicken.

The reason for higher daal prices and relatively lower chicken prices can be found in the fact that Pakistan's livestock industry, particularly poultry farming, has seen significant growth that the nation's pulse crop harvests have not.

Poultry Farm in Pakistan

Pakistan's poultry industry achieved 127% growth in the total number of birds produced, 126% growth in the total meat production and 71%growth in terms of total eggs produced between 2000 and 2010, according to government data. As a result, the cheapest sources of animal protein in Pakistan are the eggs and meat from the poultry sector.  As of 2013, the per capita availability of poultry meat in Pakistan is 5 kg. In addition, Pakistanis consume 51 eggs per year per capita.

Major Pulse Producing Nations in 2011

Poultry share of meat consumption in Pakistan has steadily increased over the years.  In 1971, the market share of beef was 61%, mutton was 37%, and poultry meat a mere 2-2.5%. In 2010 the market share of poultry meat had increased to 25%, while beef and mutton declined to 55% and 20% respectively.  This increase in the overall size of the poultry sector has decreased the gap between the supply and demand of animal proteins and helped stabilize beef and mutton prices, making meat relatively more affordable to more people.

Production of daal, another important source of protein in Pakistan, has not kept pace with demand. Domestic production is not enough to provide 6-7 kilos of daal per person consumed in the country. Pakistan is forced to resort to imports to meet demand. Pakistan spent $139 million to import 628,000 tons of pulses in fiscal year 2010-2011. Pulse imports jumped to $224 million in July 2014 to January 2015 period, according to a report.

Overall, livestock contribution to agriculture in Pakistan has now risen to 58.55 percent, with the rest coming from crops, fisheries and forestry, according to Economic Survey of Pakistan 2015-16. The agriculture sector accounts for 19.82 percent of GDP and 42.3 percent of employment with strong backward and forward linkages. Dairy farming has grown in Pakistan by leaps and bounds, making the country the third largest milk producer in the world.

Services sector now accounts for 59.16% of Pakistan's GDP,  the largest sector of the economy, followed by industrial sector that contributes 21.02%. Manufacturing is the most important sub-sector of the industrial sector containing 64.71 percent share in the overall industrial sector.

There has been significant progress in increasing animal protein supply via growth in Pakistan's livestock sector over the last few decades. Nations' policymakers now need to focus on increasing plant protein sources to close the gap between protein supply and demand in an affordable manner.


Related Links:

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Orlando Shooting: Is US Gun Lobby Empowering Terrorists?

Yet another tragic mass shooting in America--this time in an Orlando gay night club with the heaviest recorded death toll in a mass shooting in American history. The culprit: Omar Mateen, a young AR-15 high-powered assault-rifle-wielding American-born Muslim reportedly self-radicalized remotely by ISIS via the Internet.

Could the Orlando night club tragedy have been prevented if America had fewer Muslims, as the presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump suggests? Would the results have been less tragic with smaller death toll if America had stricter gun-control laws, as President Obama argues? To answer these questions, let's consider the following excerpt from a recent New York Time column written by Nicholas Kristof:


"Over the last two decades, Canada has had eight mass shootings. Just so far this month, the United States has already had 20........Could it be, as Donald Trump suggests, that the peril comes from admitting Muslims? On the contrary, Canadians are safe despite having been far more hospitable to Muslim refugees: Canada has admitted more than 27,000 Syrian refugees since November, some 10 times the number the United States has.......More broadly, Canada’s population is 3.2 percent Muslim, while the United States is about 1 percent Muslim — yet Canada doesn’t have massacres like the one we just experienced at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Fla., or the one in December in San Bernardino, Calif. So perhaps the problem isn’t so much Muslims out of control but guns out of control."

Source: New York Times


Although the Orlando shooting is the deadliest to date, it is one in top 5 mass shootings in America. The other four were carried out by non-Muslim shooters. One thing common among these mass shootings is that each of these involved the use of the AR-15 automatic assault rifle that was designed for use by the US military in Vietnam war to kill a large number of people quickly. 

A third of the world's 15 deadliest mass shootings have occurred in the United States. Orlando shooting with 49 dead ranks third in the world on this list. The world's deadliest mass shooting was carried out by a Norwegian named Anders Behring Breivik who is not a Muslim. To the contrary, Breivik was motivated by hatred of Muslims and Islam

Source: New York Times


It appears that the Norwegian white supremacist terror suspect Anders Behring Breivik's manifesto against the "Islamization of Western Europe" was heavily influenced by the kind of anti-Muslim rhetoric that is typical of the Nazi-loving Hindu Nationalists like late Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar (1906-1973), and his present-day Sangh Parivar followers and sympathizers in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) who currently rule India. This Hindutva rhetoric which infected Breivik has been spreading like a virus on the Internet, particularly on many of the well-known Islamophobic hate sites that have sprouted up in Europe and America in recent years. In fact, much of the Breivik manifesto is cut-and-pastes of anti-Muslim blog posts and columns that validated his worldview.

After the Oregon mass shooting in October 2015, President Barack H. Obama finally asked the questions that many American Muslim victims of Islamophobia have been asking for a long time: How many Americans have been killed through terrorist attacks over the last decade?  And how many Americans have died in gun violence.

Here's the exact quote from Obama's speech after mass shooting in rural Oregon:

“I would ask news organizations – because I won’t put these facts forward – have news organizations tally up the number of Americans who’ve been killed through terrorist attacks over the last decade and the number of Americans who’ve been killed by gun violence, and post those side-by-side on your news reports. This won’t be information coming from me; it will be coming from you. “We spend over a trillion dollars, and pass countless laws, and devote entire agencies to preventing terrorist attacks on our soil, and rightfully so. And yet, we have a Congress that explicitly blocks us from even collecting data on how we could potentially reduce gun deaths. How can that be?”

The President's question got the media attention. CNN, among others, compiled the data and put the following graph on its website:

Sources: CDC and US Security Officials Via CNN



The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has reported 316,545 people deaths by firearms on U.S. soil from 2004 to 2013. This figure is 1000 times higher than the total deaths of 313 Americans by terrorism at home and abroad in the same period.

Aided by the gun lobby and its conservative supporters, anti-terrorism and Islamophobia have emerged as major new US industries in the wake of the terrorist attacks of 911. Anti-terror industry is worth trillions of dollars. Islamophobia industry, estimated at $200 million, reinforces and promotes the fear of Islam and Muslims for its own gains. With their entrenched vested interests, the growth of these industries has served to distract attention from the 1000X bigger problem of gun violence. The National Rife Association, also know as the gun lobby, has taken full advantage of the situation by buying out the majority of US Congress which opposes even most modest gun safety regulations.

In addition to distracting Americans' attention from growing gun violence, increased spending on Islamophobia is having a significant impact on Americans' perception of Muslim Americans. Results differ by political party, with the majority of Republicans holding negative views of both Arab-Americans and Muslims. Democrats gave Arab-Americans a 30 percent unfavorable rating and Muslim-Americans a 33 percent unfavorable rating, while Republicans gave Arab-Americans a 54 percent unfavorable rating and Muslim-Americans a 63 percent unfavorable rating, according to public opinion survey conducted by Zogby Analytics.

I'm glad to see President Obama finally highlighting the issue of gun violence as the biggest public safety issue in America, far bigger than the issue of terrorism. I hope the President will continue to use his bully pulpit to highlight the problem of gun violence and persuade Americans to not vote for those to US Congress who oppose gun control legislation. I also hope that other individuals, organizations and the mass media will support Mr. Obama's campaign to bring about a sea change in American thinking about gun rights.

 Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Anders Breivik Inspired by Hindutva Rhetoric

Trump's Dog-Whistle Politics of Islamophobia & Racism

Silicon Valley Stands Against Islamophobia

US Gun Violence 

Money is Free Speech in America

King's Hypocrisy

FBI Entrapping Young Muslims

Saudi Prince Funding Hate in America


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Pakistan Regulator Publishes New Feed-in Tariff (FiT) Rates

Pakistan’s National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA) has published for public comments its revised feed-in tariffs (FiTs) for solar energy projects of up to 100 MW, according to a report in PV-Tech journal.
Source: PV-Tech
The proposed FiTs are slightly lower in Balochistan, Sindh and Southern Punjab region than in Khyber Pakhtun Khwa (KPK) and the rest of Punjab. The proposal for years 1 through 13 includes Rs. 11.128 (US$0.105) per unit for southern region and Rs. 11.783 (US$0.111) per unit for northern region. The rates drop to Rs. 5.588 (US$0.053) and Rs. 5.917 (US$0.056) per unit for northern and southern regions respectively for years 14-25.  The average for the next 25 years works out to Rs. 9.924 (US$0.094) and Rs. 10.507 (US$0.099) per unit for the two regions.

Pakistan Solar Map  Multi-year mean (2000-2012) of daily Global Horizontal Irradiance (GHI) for Pakistan in kWh/m2 [Note: preliminary, unvalidated results] Source: World Bank


Last year, NEPRA, the nation's power regulator,  approved a regulatory framework for solar and wind energy for both commercial and residential installations. The framework includes feed-in tariffs for commercial power producers and net metering for residential applications of up to 1 MW.



Under the new Net Metering Law, NEPRA, the Pakistani power regulator, will grant power generation licenses to solar and wind system owners. The owners will need to register the critical equipment used, particularly the make and model of inverter and generator used. Among other technical considerations, the generator must also install a manual disconnect device to take the system off the network if necessary, according to details published by PV Tech publication.

Net metering is a billing mechanism that pays solar energy system owners for the electricity they add to the grid. It allows a residential customers with rooftop solar panels to generate more electricity than the home uses during daylight hours and sell it to the power supply company. It will require a bi-directional meter (or two separate meters) for implementation.

Pakistan has already introduced feed-in tariffs (FiTs) for larger renewable power systems to supply electricity to the national grid on a commercial scale.  It paved the way for a 1000 MW Quaid-e-Azam solar park being built in Bahawalpur.

Cost of solar power is rapidly declining.  However, Pakistan's NEPRA's attempt to cut tariff down from 14.15 cents to 9.25 cents per unit is being resisted strongly by Zonergy Company Limited, a Chinese company working on Quaid-e-Azam solar park power project, according to a story in Express Tribune newspaper.  This is in sharp contrast to the record low solar tariff of Indian Rs 4.63 per unit (Pak Rs. 7.19)  for 500 MW solar project by US-based Sun-Edison, according to Indian media reports.

Pakistan's renewable power policy and regulatory frameworks have drawn praise from international law firm Eversheds which has described the country as “one of the most exciting renewables markets globally, with an abundance of potential”. Alternative Energy Development Board (AEDB) of Pakistan's CEO, Amjad Ali Awan has said that "Pakistan’s renewable market is relatively new but it provides an attractive investment opportunity with compelling structures which make it bankable as well as marketable."

Net metering law is necessary but not sufficient to promote widespread use of renewable energy. It will take serious coordinated efforts of Pakistan power regulator NEPRA, the country's nascent solar industry and various utilities like K-Electric to start implementation. Meanwhile, consumers could install a stand-alone rooftop solar system that can be connected to the grid in future. They just need to make sure to select high-quality equipment, particularly inverter and switch, for this purpose which will most likely be acceptable to utilities.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Pakistan Deploys IT Apps to Improve Service in Public Sector

Solar Power For Pakistan Homes, Schools, Factories

Shakti Solar Model For Pakistan

Pakistan's New FIT Policy For Alternative Energy

Media & Telecom Revolution in Pakistan

Pakistan Building 1000 MW Wind Farms

Pakistan Launches Wind Farm Projects

Renewable Energy to Solve Pakistan's Electricity Crisis

Electrification Rates By Country

Wind Turbine Manufacturing in Pakistan

Pakistan Pursues Hydroelectric Power Projects

Solar Energy for Sunny Pakistan

Wind Power Tariffs in Pakistan

Pakistan's Twin Energy Shortages

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Pakistan's Emerging Market Upgrade Will Attract More Investors

MSCI Pakistan Index will be reclassified to Emerging Markets status, coinciding with the May 2017 Semi-Annual Index Review, according to an MSCI press release on June 14, 2016.

Emerging Market Upgrade:

Pakistan's Karachi Stock Exchange KSE100 Index has rallied 14% in 2016, making it Asia's best performing market so far this year in anticipation of the MSCI announcement.

Source: Bloomberg


The upgrade could attract additional $475 million of inflows by the middle of next year as investors rush to buy Pakistani shares, according to analysts quoted by Bloomberg News.



Pakistan was classified as Emerging Market in 1994, a status it retained during the Musharraf years.  It was downgraded to frontier status in December 2008, four months after the former president was forced out by PPP and PMLN politicians.

Loss of investor confidence after President Musharraf's departure triggered a major bear market that wiped out nearly $37 billion of market capitalization at the Karachi Stock Exchange. It led to the imposition of a floor on share prices that caused near total paralysis of market activity for more than three months, according to Bloomberg News.

Pakistan is seeing soaring foreign direct investment (FDI) with improving security and the start of several major energy and infrastructure projects as part of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), according to the UK's Financial Times business newspaper.

A New High in FDI:

The year 2015 was a bumper year for foreign investment  pouring into Pakistan, says the Financial Times. The country saw 39 greenfield investments adding up to an estimated $18.9 billion last year, according to fDi Markets, an FT data service. This is a big jump from 28 projects for $7.6 billion started in 2014, and marks a new high for greenfield capital investment into the country since fDi began collecting data in 2003.

Pakistan FDI Source: FT.com


The number of projects in 2015 is the largest since Pakistan attracted 57 greenfield projects back in 2005 on President Musharraf's watch.  China is now the top source country for investment into the country, surpassing the second-ranked United Arab Emirates, primarily due to its investments in power.

Top 10 Destinations of Chinese FDI 2012-14. Source: UNESCAP


Major CPEC Projects: 

China's Shanghai Electric, a power generation and electrical equipment manufacturing company, announced plans last year to establish a 1,320 megawatt coal-based power project in Thar desert using domestic coal, scheduled to launch in 2017 or 2018. Traditional energy and power projects made up two-thirds of last year’s total greenfield investment into Pakistan at $12.9 billion with alternative energy bringing in a further $1.8 billion.

CPEC Projects

Among the more notable projects, UAE-based Metal Investment Holding Corporation announced plans to partner with Power China E & M International to invest $5 billion to build three coal-fired plants at Karachi’s Port Qasim. In addition, the transportation sector is also showing promise, with 12 projects totaling $3 billion being announced or initiated last year.

Special Economic Zones:

Beyond the initial phase of power and road projects, there are plans to establish special economic zones in the Corridor where Chinese companies will locate factories. Extensive manufacturing collaboration between the two neighbors will include a wide range of products from cheap toys and textiles to consumer electronics and supersonic fighter planes.

The basic idea of an industrial corridor is to develop a sound industrial base, served by competitive infrastructure as a prerequisite for attracting investments into export oriented industries and manufacturing. Such industries have helped a succession of countries like Indonesia, Japan, Hong Kong,  Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan, China and now even Vietnam rise from low-cost manufacturing base to more advanced, high-end exports.  As a country's labour gets too expensive to be used to produce low-value products, some poorer country takes over and starts the climb to prosperity.

Once completed, the Pak-China industrial corridor with a sound industrial base and competitive infrastructure combined with low labor costs is expected to draw growing FDI from manufacturers in many other countries looking for a low-cost location to build products for exports to rich OECD nations.

Key Challenges:

While the commitment is there on both sides to make the corridor a reality, there are many challenges that need to be overcome. The key ones are  maintaining security and political stability, ensuring transparency, good governance and quality of execution. These challenges are not unsurmountable but overcoming them does require serious effort on the part of both sides but particularly on the Pakistani side. Let's hope Pakistani leaders are up to these challenges.

Summary: 

Pak-China economic corridor is a very ambitious effort by the two countries that will lead to greater investment and rapid industrialization of Pakistan. Successful implementation of it will be a game-changer for the people of Pakistan in terms of new economic opportunities leading to higher incomes and significant improvements in the living standards for ordinary Pakistanis. It will be in the best interest of all of them to set their differences aside and work for its successful implementation.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Chinese to Set New FDI Record For Pakistan

Pak Army Completes Half of CPEC Western Route

Chabahar and Gwadar Ports

Pakistan Launches $8.2 Billion Railway Upgrade

Pak-China Defense Industry Collaboration Irks West

President Musharraf Accelerated Human and Financial Capital Growth in Pakistan

China's Investment and Trade in South Asia

China Signs Power Plant Deals with Pakistan

Soaring Imports from China Worry India

China's Checkbook Diplomacy

Yuan to Replace Dollar in World Trade?

Challenging, Debunking Tarek Fatah's Anti-Pakistan, Anti-Muslim Rhetoric

Tarek Fatah, a Karachi-born Canada-based writer,  is loved in India mainly by Hindu Nationalists for his strong anti-Pakistan and anti-Muslim views. He is warmly welcomed and given lots of praise and attention during his frequent visits to India where his views resonate with those on the extreme right of the Indian political spectrum.

Among other things, he has emerged as a strong advocate for separation of Balochistan from Pakistan. He dismisses all those who disagree with him, including well-known pro-independence Baloch nationalists like Malik Siraj Akbar, as ISI agents.

In the West, Tarek Fatah has aligned himself with well-known Islamophobes like Frank Gaffney who is a policy advisor to the presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump.

Viewpoint From Overseas has now done two shows to challenge Tarek Fatah on his oft-repeated anti-Pakistan and anti-Muslim rhetoric. Please watch these two shows shared below:


1. Tarek Fatah Vs Cemendtaur on India, Pakistan, South Asia, Balochistan


https://youtu.be/3Ic4cmxMnB4





2. Tarek Fatah vs Riaz Haq on India, Pakistan and Muslims


https://youtu.be/XbD7_K1ABao





Related Links:

Haq's Musings

India's Proxy War Against Pakistan

Hinduization of India

Hindu Nationalists Admire Hitler, Nazis

Western Islamophobia Industry

Trump's Muslim Ban

Talk4Pak Think Tank

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Pakistan Launches $8.2 Billion Railway Upgrade Project

Pakistan government has approved an $ 8.2 billion project to upgrade the 1,872 km Karachi - Peshawar rail track, bridges, tunnels, and culverts, according to International Railway Journal.

The new track will support increased axle load of up to 25 tons, up from 22.8 tons which is now the norm in South Asian countries. The higher axle load capacity will allow heavier freight trains carrying more freight per train for greater trade overland.

China will provide 85% of the financing for the project. It will be done in two phases, with the first due for completion in December 2017 and the second in 2021.

It will be part of an international rail link that will connect Pakistan with China,  Russia, Central Asia and Europe. It will extend south from the city of Kashgar in the Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region in Western China to Pakistan's deep-sea Gwadar Port on the Arabian Sea, according to Zhang Chunlin, director of Xinjiang's regional development and reform commission.

Source: China Daily
A study for the plans for this international rail link was first presented in 2014 at a two-day International Seminar on the Silk Road Economic Belt in Urumqi, Xinjiang's capital, according to China Daily.

"The 1,800-kilometer China-Pakistan railway is planned to also pass through Pakistan's capital of Islamabad and Karachi," Zhang Chunlin said. "Although the cost of constructing the railway is expected to be high due to the hostile environment and complicated geographic conditions, the study of the (international rail link) project has already started," Zhang said. "China and Pakistan will co-fund the railway construction. Building oil and gas pipelines between Gwadar Port and China is also on the agenda," Zhang added.

The Pak-China link announcement was part of the discussion on China's broader effort to revive the historic Silk Route by building three main corridors through southern, central and northern Xinjiang to connect China with Russia, Europe and Pakistan. The Silk Road Economic Belt International seminar which concluded on Friday in Urumqi, Xinjinag was jointly sponsored by the State Council Information Office, China International Publishing Group (CIPG), China Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) and Xinjiang Academy of Social Sciences.

In a 2013 report, China's State-owned Xinhua News Agency articulated China's motivation to expand land trade in addition to building its navy to protect its sea trade. Here's what it said:

“As a global economic power, China has a tremendous number of economic sea lanes to protect. China is justified to develop its military capabilities to safeguard its sovereignty and protect its vast interests around the world."

The Xinhua report has for the first time shed light on China's growing concerns with US pivot to Asia which could threaten China's international trade and its economic lifeline of energy and other natural resources it needs to sustain and grow its economy. This concern has been further reinforced by the following:

1. Frequent US statements to "check" China's rise.  For example, former US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said in a 2011 address to the Naval Postgraduate School in California: "We try everything we can to cooperate with these rising powers and to work with them, but to make sure at the same time that they do not threaten stability in the world, to be able to project our power, to be able to say to the world that we continue to be a force to be reckoned with." He added that "we continue to confront rising powers in the world - China, India, Brazil, Russia, countries that we need to cooperate with. We need to hopefully work with. But in the end, we also need to make sure do not threaten the stability of the world."

Source: The Guardian


2. Chinese strategists see a long chain of islands from Japan in the north, all the way down to Australia, all United States allies, all potential controlling chokepoints that could  block Chinese sea lanes and cripple its economy, business and industry.



Karakoram Highway-World's Highest Paved International Road at 15000 ft.


Chinese Premier's emphasis on "connectivity and maritime sectors" and "China-Pakistan economic corridor project" is mainly driven by their paranoia about the US intentions to "check China's rise" It is intended to establish greater maritime presence at Gwadar, located close to the strategic Strait of Hormuz, and  to build land routes (motorways, rail links, pipelines)  from the Persian Gulf through Pakistan to Western China. This is China's insurance to continue trade with West Asia and the Middle East in case of hostilities with the United States and its allies in Asia.

Pakistan's Gawadar Port- located 400 Km from the Strait of Hormuz


As to the benefits for Pakistanis, expanded trade and the Chinese investment in "connectivity and maritime sectors" and "China-Pakistan economic corridor project" will help build infrastructure, stimulate Pakistan's economy and create millions of badly needed jobs.

Clearly, China-Pakistan ties have now become much more strategic than the US-Pakistan ties, particularly since 2011 because, as American Journalist Mark Mazzetti of New York Times put it, the  Obama administration's heavy handed policies "turned Pakistan against the United States". A similar view is offered by a former State Department official Vali Nasr in his book "The Dispensable Nation".

Related Links:

Haq's Musings 

Comparison of Chabahar and Gwadar

How Strategic Are Pak-China Ties?

Gwadar as Hong Kong West

China-Pakistan Industrial Corridor

US-Pakistan Ties and New Silk Route

Can Pakistan Say No to US Aid?

Post Cold War Shifting Alliances

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Has Any Pakistani Leader Ever Received Warm Washington Welcome Like Modi's?

After watching the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's welcome in Washington this week, one of my blog readers asked me the following question: "Has Any Pakistani leader ever received a warm Washington welcome like Modi's?"

The answer is: Yes, President Ayub Khan of Pakistan received a much bigger and warmer welcome in America than Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi this week. Before I describe it, let me try and put things in perspective for my readers.

President John F. Kennedy and Jackie Kennedy receiving President Ayub Khan

Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger of the United States has often been quoted as saying: “America has no permanent friends or enemies, only interests.”

 Let's interpret Kissinger's quote to explain the crux of the shifting alliances since the end of the US-Soviet Cold War in early 1990s. The United States needed Pakistan to counter the Soviet influence in Asia until late 1980s. Today,  America needs India to check the rise of China as a great superpower which is seen as challenging the United States as the sole superpower now.

Even as the Obama administration courts Modi, the top US officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry and Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, are in Beijing for "Strategic and Economic Dialogue".  It's an acknowledgment of the fact that the U.S. and China are the two largest economies in the world.  American Treasury Secretary has described the US-China relationship as "the most important economic relationship in the world."

Meanwhile, Pakistan is drawing close to China to broaden its strategic relationship with stronger economic and military ties.  Joint military programs like the JF-17 Thunder combat jet and the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) are manifestations of it.



Now, let me describe in a little more detail Pakistani President Ayub Khan's 1961 visit to the United States. The fact is Modi's reception pales in comparison to what a Pakistani leader got during the Cold War.

The Pakistani President was extended the rare honor of being welcomed by the US President and the First Lady at the airport when the PIA airplane carrying him landed at Andrews Air Force Base near Washington DC.

He was also given the privilege of addressing a special Joint Session of the US Congress on Capitol Hill where he received standing ovation. Prime Minister Liaquat Ali Khan was the first Pakistani leader to address a session of US Congress back in 1950. Pakistani Prime Minster Benazir Bhutto also addressed a joint session of US Congress in 1989.

There was a state dinner in Ayub's honor hosted by President and Mrs. Kennedy at Mount Vernon, the historic residence of  America's founding father and first president George Washington.

Later, he was hosted at a dinner by New York City mayor after he rode an open top car in a ticker-tape parade through the Big Apple with tens of thousands of New Yorkers lining the parade route and cheering him on.

Then President Ayub visited The Alamo in Texas where then Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson hosted him for a Texas style barbecue. Ayub Khan addressed joint houses of Texas legislature.

On his way back, the then UN Secretary General Dag Hammarskjold of Sweden hosted a dinner in his honor before President Ayub returned to Pakistan.

The fact is Modi's reception pales in comparison with what the Pakistani leader was given during the Cold War.

Here's a video of President Ayub Khan's US visit:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K2cF72JeKtI





Related Links:

Haq's Musings

When Ayub Met JFK

Post-Cold War Shifting Alliances

China-Pakistan Strategic Relationship

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor

Modi's Pakistan Policy

Chimerica: China-US Relations

Will Chinese Yuan Replace US Dollar as Reserve Currency?

China-Pakistan Defense Ties Irk West

Sunday, June 5, 2016

Pakistan Economy & Budget; NIA Pathankot Report; Hillary v Trump

How’s Pakistani economy doing? Is it gaining strength? How are the major economic indicators looking? What are Nawaz Sharif government’s economic priorities? How has it allocated spending in budget 2016-17 presented to National Assembly by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar? Why does Pakistan rely almost entirely on indirect taxation to raise revenue? Why is there such disproportionate burden for revenue placed on the poor and the middle-income Pakistanis? Why is the taxation system in Pakistan so regressive? What needs to be done to broaden the tax net to increase revenue and make the taxation system more fair. What should the provincial governments do? Should they impose at least a modest agriculture income tax and various service taxes to raise revenue?


How did the Indian National Investigation Agency conclude that Pakistan and its agencies had no role in Pathankot incident in India? Why are they now backtracking from this conclusion? What evidence of India-Pakistan border breach do they have to implicate Pakistani nationals in the incident? Or is it just Indian media hype, part of the Indian government propaganda by some elements to unfairly malign Pakistan?

What are Donald Trump’s and Hillary Clinton's strategies for the general elections in November 2016? Can Trump win by attacking minorities and women? Why the did Trump so personally and viciously attack US Federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel and New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez? Will Hillary’s strategy of questioning Trump’s temperament to be US president work? Will she use fear of mercurial Trump’s potential actions as president with his finger on the nuclear button to scare off voters from the Republican candidate?

Viewpoint From Overseas host Misbah Azam discusses these questions with panelists Ali H. Cemendtaur and Riaz Haq (www.riazhaq.com)


https://youtu.be/nbNWnhI_oVk





http://dai.ly/video/x4elbrk




Pakistan Economy & Budget; NIA Pathankot Report... by ViewpointFromOverseas

https://vimeo.com/169428604


Pakistan Economy & Budget; NIA Pathankot Report; Hillary v Trump from Ikolachi on Vimeo.


Related Links:


Haq's Musings

Pakistan FDI Soaring as CPEC Gets Underway

Pathankot Attack in India

Trump Phenomenon

Talk4Pak Think Tank

VPOS Youtube Channel

VPOS Vimeo Channel

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Why Don't Indian Muslims Migrate to Pakistan?

"One of the more intriguing nuggets about the Africa emigration story is that far from fleeing poverty, migrants out of the continent are likely to be relatively well off, and are rarely from the most destitute families"    Mail and Guardian Africa

The above quote comes to mind when answering an oft-repeated question: "Why don't Indian Muslims migrate to Pakistan?" This question of why don't all of the Muslims migrate out of India to Pakistan and other Muslim nations is most often asked by the Hindu Nationalists who seek to make their country 100% "Hindu Rashtra".

Indian Muslims Most Deprived:

Muslims in India are the most deprived among various groups. In fact, they are worse off than even the lowest caste Hindus called Dalits or untouchables, according to data available from multiple sources, including Indian government report. They suffer from widespread discrimination at the hands of the Hindu majority in education, employment, housing and in the criminal justice system. They have significantly lower levels of development than their Hindu counterparts.  So why don't they all migrate out of India?

Why Don't Indian Muslims Leave India?

This question of why don't all of the Muslims migrate out of India to Pakistan and other Muslim nations is most often asked by the Hindu Nationalists who seek to make their country 100% "Hindu Rashtra".

The question, however,  does deserve an answer. And the answer is: Poorest and least developed people tend to stay put where they are; they do not migrate. It's only people who have a certain level of income and skills who are more likely to migrate to other countries for better opportunities. This fact has been well-established by multiple studies conducted in Africa.

Here's an except of African Development Bank report on migration:

"Results show that despite increase in the absolute number of migrants, Africa, particularly SubSaharan Africa has one of the lowest rate of emigration in the world .... Poorer countries generally have lower rate of emigration ......Bad socio-economic conditions generally seem to lead to higher rate of emigration by highly skilled individuals. Generally, migration is driven by motives to improve livelihoods with notable evidence on changes in labor market status. Often, self-employed or unemployed émigré ended up in wage employment. The paper outlines policy issues emerging from the migration trend in Africa."

Migration vs Human Development Source: Hein de Haas








The Poorest Least Likely to Emigrate:

Data shows that increased human and economic development is initially associated with increasing emigration. Any form of development in the poorest countries of the world is therefore likely to lead to accelerating emigration. Such findings contradict conventional thinking and force us to radically change our views on migration. Such rethinking can be achieved by learning to see migration as an intrinsic part of broader development processes rather than as a problem to be solved, or the temporary response to development “disequilibria”, according to The Conversation, a US publication.

Summary:

There is a strong inverse correlation between poverty and emigration. The poorest citizens of a developing country are least likely to emigrate. People with higher education and better skills are most likely to leave developing nations for better opportunities abroad. This data explains why Indian Muslims, most of  whom are worse off than the untouchables, tend to leave India in proportionally much smaller numbers than their Hindu counterparts.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Muslims Are the New Untouchables in India

Pakistan: A Blessing for Muslims of Sindh and Punjab

Modi's Pakistan Policy

Hinduization of India

Indian Muslims Worse Off Than Dalits

Gujarat Muslims Ignored By Indian Politcians

Are Muslims Better Off in Jinnah's Pakistan?

India's Guantanamos and Abu Ghraibs